Choosing a Stick: Blade Patterns – Part III of III

In case you missed part I, we covered how to find the right flex given your height and weight. Part II explained how to determine the correct length for your hockey stick. In the third and final segment, we will discuss how stick blade patterns can affect your game.  Retail blades are usual named after the professional player who uses them see the chart at Consult the table below before you purchase your next replacement hockey blade and most importantly, try out as many as you can before you buy! The best way to develop a preference is through experimentation.

Example Attribute description Good for Bad for
Curve Type
blade curve type Toe Curve begins closer to the tip of the blade Handling, quick wrist shots Backhands
Heel Curve begins closer to the shaft of the stick Slapshots, garbage collecting, one-timers Wrist shots
Curve Depth
blade curve depth Slight Increases surface area Accurate passes. easier backhands Handling, control
Deep Puck spins of the blade easier Creates spiral effect for faster wrist shots Predictability when making or receiving passes, slap shots
Loft/Face Angle
blade loft angle Closed Blade is more perpendicular to the ground Keeping it low on long-range shots, shooting accuracy Getting lift
Open Blade is more wedge-like Higher shots Backhands, playing with a ball
stick lie Low Puts blade further from the body Players who have a lower stance, slap shots Handling, control
High Brings blade closer to the body Players who stand more upright, quick hard shots Defensive reach
rocker No Rocker Sharper Heel More stick on the ice, easier to receive passes
Rockered Rounded Heel Plays like low lie when handling, high lie when shooting
blade shape Round Smoother edge Toe drags, fancier stick handling
Square Broader edge Snagging pucks off the boards, receiving passes

Another factor to consider when shopping for blades is the length. A longer blade will obviously cover more area, but more wood means more weight. You just have to decide what you are willing to compromise on.

Ok, now here’s the test: I am a forward with a an upright stance, a weak slap shot, who likes to hog the puck and frusterate goalies with fancy wrist shots.What blade do you think I use? If you guessed a Thornton, you’re right.The deep-mid curve is ideal for putting a little zip on my wrist shots, and the round edge is nice for handling. The closed angle helps me control the height of my shots and a lie of 6 keeps the blade flat on the ground.

If you have a two-piece stick you can easily change out blades until you find what you like. Be sure to take it to a pro shop or watch this guide on how to replace a hockey stick blade. With a one-piece stick the decision is a little more permanent so be sure you know what you want before you get it.


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  1. Rena said on March 15, 2013

    Hi there, just wanted to mention, I loved this blog post.
    It was practical. Keep on posting!

  2. bee cee said on June 25, 2013

    I purchased some sticks with a square blade, but prefer them more rounded. Is there a tool that I can use to shave it down? Thanks,

  3. jsdgh said on January 7, 2015

    idgaf about hockey

  4. George said on January 8, 2015

    Good thing you took the time to read and comment on this article then, genius

  5. Brent said on June 3, 2018

    Did you get the “BAD FOR” items reversed for lie?
    At present it says “high lie bad for control, low lie bad for defensive control” which I believe is reversed.

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