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Length of the stick is probably the most important issue you have to deal with when purchasing. The type of curve is another issue. The type of material the stick is made of is also something that needs to be addressed, although it is not as important as the other issues.
Right or Left?This may seem counterintuitive, but a left-handed goalie stick is held in the right hand. A right-handed goalie stick is held in the left hand. So if your catching glove is on your left hand, you will be holding the stick with your right hand, and therefore need a left-handed stick.
Stick LengthThe length of the stick is extremely important. And unfortunately there are two lengths involved with each stick to further complicate things.
The first length is the overall length of the stick, measured from the butt end to the heel of the blade.
The second length is the length of the paddle, and this is the most important length to consider. Here is a link to a video produced by the folks at Ice Warehouse in Santa Barbara, CA that illustrates all of the issues involved in deciding which stick to purchase. Another useful video has been put together by Total Hockey. Remember to check stick size with your skates on.
Blade CurveIf you're just starting out playing goal, stick to a conservative blade curve. You will hear claims that one curve is better than another for handling the puck and passing, but the flatter the curve the better for blocking shots.
Stick CompositionI thought originally that lighter was better, and lightest was best. After using the ultra light weight Bauer Supreme One 100 stick I decided that the slightly heavier Supreme One90 stick was a better choice. Why? Because the lighter stick gets pushed around more when the puck strikes it. The heavier stick resists more because of its greater mass and reduces fatigue on your stick arm. Here is a photo of both sticks. Here is a photo of the stick blades. Also, I do not use stick tape at the top of my sticks (player or goalie). I use Tacki Macs. These are much more non-abrasive than stick tape which means the palms of your gloves don't wear out.
The lightest sticks are made of composite materials, usually with a foam core in the paddle area to dampen shock. Sticks made with a wood core covered by composite material are heavier and less likely to break, and are preferred by some goalies. The heaviest sticks are made of all wood, sometimes with a foam core paddle surrounded by wood laminate.
Except for proper length, stick choice usually comes down to individual preference.
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