Are you getting ready to gear up for the 2011-2012 season? Picking a new one-piece composite hockey stick can set the tone for an entire year, but in order to get the stick you need, at the best possible price, you’re best off shopping online.
Buying Hockey Sticks Online Means Greater Selection & Value
Let’s say you’ve done your research, checked out the features of various sticks, read assorted reviews, and have come up with the brand and model of hockey stick that you want to use this upcoming season. For sake of argument, let’s go with my personal favorite so far, the Easton Synergy EQ50. So off you go to the local hockey store to see what they’ve got on-hand…
But what are the chances that the store is going to have the precise variety of stick that you need? Sure, you’ve nailed down the model, but there are many other factors at play. In fact, there can be dozens of different variations of that same stick, and if you don’t get the right one, you’ll have wasted your money.
Flex, Lie, & Blade Pattern are key!
First off, you need to select the right Flex rating, deciding if you want a stiff or whippy shaft. For shorter players like myself, who need to saw off a few inches from the top of the stick, you’ll want to select a 75 or 85 Flex rating, because the stiffness will increase as you trim off some of the length up top (many sticks now offer check marks telling you what the new rating of the stick will be based on where you cut, too).
Next, you’ll move on to the Lie and Blade Pattern. The Lie dictates the angle between the blade and the shaft; a higher number (like a 6) is appropriate for a player who plays the puck closer to his feet, and can be suitable for slap shots and one-timers. Moving to a lower lie, like 5.5 or 5 is for the player who holds the puck further away from the body, and may be more focused on passing and wrist shots.
Then there’s the blade pattern – do you like a curve in the middle of the blade, a heel curve, or not much curve at all? Open-face, or closed? Round toe, or square?
Rather than make individual decisions on each of these, a particular combination is combined in a style attributed to a particular player, i.e. the Taylor Hall curve has a 5.5 lie, mid curve, open face, and round toe.
Simply put, an online hockey equipment store can carry a much wider variety of styles, since they’re shipping to customers all over. It’s simply not practical for your typical hockey store to have that much inventory on hand, just in case someone walks in looking for that particular variety.
If you’re going to make an investment in a new stick, shouldn’t you make sure you’re getting exactly the one you need, not just whatever’s available on the rack?
Save with special offers, or order a 2- or 3-pack!
One benefit of using online vendors is the variety of hockey coupon codes which can result in big discounts, but they are constantly changing from week to week and month to month.
Of course, the best way to keep on top of those coupon codes is to sign up for the Hockey Gear HQ email newsletter, in which I pass along the latest & greatest deals on a regular basis. That way you can strike when an offer becomes available for the specific brand you’re looking for, whether it’s Easton, Bauer, Reebok, etc.
Another nice bonus is that if you want to go ahead and order multiple sticks so you’re prepared just in case one breaks, most online vendors offer discounts on the second or third stick within a given order, as much as $10 per stick on a 3-pack. Add that together with the right coupon code, and that can easily result in savings in excess of $100 on a 3-stick order.
Buying a new hockey stick is a big decision
There is perhaps no individual piece of hockey equipment which has a stronger effect on a player’s confidence than a stick. If you’re not happy with the feel and responsiveness of your twig, it undermines pretty much every aspect of your game. So why not make sure you may the best buy possible? Do your research, and I think you’ll find that an online hockey store is the way to go if you want to get the right stick, at the right price.
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