When should kids start to have a bow in their hockey stick?

As children develop their skills as field hockey players, should kids have a bow in the stick they use? And when is a good time to introduce hockey sticks with a bow to children playing field hockey?

Hopefully this article will help you choose the best time to buy a junior hockey stick with a bow.

When did bow’s start to appear in hockey sticks?

Since the 1990’s hockey sticks started to be made from different materials, other than the wood they had been made out of up to then.

These new materials, such as fibre glass and carbon fibre, allowed for field hockey sticks to include a bow or curve in the shaft. This curved shaft of hockey sticks helps with a number of aspects of play.

More common in the modern game since the introduction of these shaped hockey sticks, ‘3D’ skills are now important on the field. ‘3D’ represents the ability to play with the ball in the air, instead of just along the ground of the field.

These skills include aerial passing, dribbling while lifting the ball slightly above the field, penalty flicks and of course the ‘drag flick’ so many aspire to when shooting during a penalty corner.

Also, though, a bow in the stick helps to create more ‘slingshot’ type power from push passes, and also helps to bring the ball under control when trapped, especially when the hockey stick is upright ‘posted up’.

When will kids need to introduce these skills?

Exactly at what age to start introducing field hockey sticks with a bow to help children develop these skills really depends on the child.

It wouldn’t be essential to choose a junior hockey stick with a bow for a kid just starting out in field hockey. It won’t do them any harm, however a straight stick is a little easier to start out with as it feels longer and helps with hand to eye coordination.

As kids develop through the ages of 9, 10 and 11 years old, their matches might start to be played on bigger pitches and this is a time they would benefit from the extra ball speed a junior hockey stick with a bow will produce.

Once they hit 12, 13, 14 years old, they will want to start introducing the more intricate ‘3D skills’ described about in to their field hockey game.

What type of bows are available in junior hockey sticks?

There are a couple of factors that effect the type of bow available to children for the hockey sticks.

First decision is the extremity of the bow. Mainly the curve in a junior hockey stick can be between 18mm to 25mm. Obviously the closer to 25mm the more extreme the bow will be, and the more adjustment the child with have to make to their hitting and dribbling to accommodate the bow.

For younger children just getting a feel for a hockey stick with shape, try to select a stick with a lesser extreme bow, around 18-22mm is great for them.

Once they have had a junior stick or twowith a subtle bow, you might want to push yourselves and move to an even more extreme bow. Most junior hockey stick brands will offer a 23-25mm bow for the kids who are really progressing.

Second decision is the position of the bow. The top of the apex of the bow will be in slightly different positions from stick to stick. Often referred to as either ‘low bow’ or ‘mid bow’ the position of the curve makes a difference to the feel of the kids stick.

‘Mid bow’ junior hockey sticks normally have a bow at 300mm or higher from the ground. This offers the benefit of a bow, while keeping the lowest part of the stick slightly straighter, this helps with hitting the ball and keeping it on the ground. If you play mainly in defence and/or pass more than dribble, this position will suit best.

‘Low bow’ junior hockey sticks might have the apex of the curve at 250mm or lower from the ground. These kids hockey sticks will offer even more assistance with 3D skills like dribbling and flicking the ball in the air. They will be harder to control hits though.

How to check whether to get a stick with a bow?

I would recommend speaking with your coach about whether you need a bow in your junior hockey stick.

Otherwise just observe your game,  position on field and what kind of situations you are coming up against in games.

Because almost all adult hockey sticks have a fairly extreme bow these days, I would suggest that as you move in to teenage years, you really should be using a hockey stick with a bow and with a carbon heavy material composition junior hockey stick so you are preparing for adult sticks.

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Complete list of junior hockey stick manufacturers

Review the best junior hockey sticks by picking the best hockey stick manufacturer or brand.

Most of the big brands in hockey have a set of options for children’s sticks. Although not every hockey stick brand has a junior option, so to make it easy for you to review the best hockey sticks, we thought we would put together a list of the best brands.

First of all, we will review the more established hockey brands, ones who’s sticks you will see on almost all pitches across the world.

Kookaburra Junior hockey sticks – Kookaburra are one of the best know hockey stick brands and have a range for kids. Disappointingly though, Kookaburra only offer wooden sticks for smaller children with Kookaburra composite kids hockey stick only starting at 35 inches.

Adidas Junior hockey sticks – adidas is obviously one of the best sports brands in the world and their hockey sticks are well known in the hockey world. adidas have a range of kids hockey sticks including some wood and fibreglass material hockey sticks for children. Beside that Adidas also known as the big brand about Hockey Gloves. Especially hockey gloves for 2020.

Grays Junior hockey sticks – Grays is a massive name in hockey and their sticks are used by some of the best players in the world. Grays have a massive range for children, particularly some of the best hockey stick choices for older kids, looking to use a stick with a bend and different material compositions for the first time.

TK Junior hockey sticks – The German brand TK make some of the best quality hockey sticks and offer a range for kids. This range is smaller than Grays, however they do include options with mixed material composition and bow shapes from progressing children.

Gryphon Junior hockey sticks – Gryphon are a big Australian hockey brand and you will find them on most hockey pitches across the world. They also have a popular range of hockey sticks for children with their kids options including bow shapes and mixed material options.

It might be unfair to label the following hockey sticks brands any less good for children, however I’m breaking them out as the less established, or maybe a fairer description is ‘challenger brands’ because they are newer and slightly less common. That said they have some great junior hockey stick options so don’t rule them out when you review.

Osaka Junior hockey sticks – Osaka are well established now and have some great hockey sticks for children. Review some of the best designed sticks for kids as well as a great mix of features.

STX Junior hockey sticks – STX children’s hockey sticks are also one of the best established of the newcomers. Great quality sticks from the USA which last a long time and have a good mix of options for kids hockey.

Mercian Junior hockey sticks – A niche hockey only brand from the UK, Mercian kids hockey sticks are available in a range of material compositions and introduce new features for older children to help with game progression.

Ritual Junior hockey sticks – Another niche and fashionable newish dedicated hockey brand, Ritual make some great sticks and have a small range of sticks for children. They have some high spec kids sticks with high carbon content and bow shapes.

Voodoo Junior hockey sticks – If you are comfortable introducing your children to the concept of ‘Voodoo’ this brand has a couple of junior option hockey sticks. Their smallest sticks are 30 inches so no need to introduce the little ones to Voodoo.

Mazon Junior hockey sticks – Mazon are actually a well established hockey brand from Australia and offer a good selection of kids hockey sticks right across the world.

Brabo Junior hockey sticks – A relatively new brand from the UK, Brabo are really starting to make an impact on the pitch. They have one of the largest ranges of children’s hockey sticks and have some really good specifications. Kids everywhere are starting to choose Brabo, I see them being carried to school more and more.

Byte Junior hockey sticks – Byte started out with just a range of budget sticks but now have some good quality, fair priced hockey sticks. A great brand to start kids out with junior hockey sticks.

Browning Junior hockey sticks – This is a funny brand, lots of sticks around but you can’t find anything out about the company behind them. From what I’ve seen the sticks are reasonable quality, they aren’t top end but for the price they sell at they would certainly not do any hard for a kid who grows out of sticks every season!

There are other brands out there but these are the junior hockey sticks you see most as you look to review the best for children hockey.

Brand is only one consideration to review when looking for a kids field hockey stick, check out our other articles on the important things to review before you buy a junior hockey stick.

Here are some good places to buy kids field hockey sticks