There are so many options out there when it comes to curves, how can you be sure you are getting the right one? You are actually the best person to figure out which is the right one for you. But you don’t even know where to start? Well let me give you a little of the basics and maybe that will help you narrow down your search. Your first stick will be your learning curve to see what you like and dislike..pun intended. You can find the different types of curves here.
What kind is your playing style?
Your playing style can greatly affect which type of curve you may prefer. A forward who likes to stick handle may prefer a different curve to a forward who likes to snipe the goalie. Lets break it down by position:
Centers: Centers take the majority of the face-offs and are the quarterback of the forwards. They tend to be in front of the net as well as revolving around the zone to set up big plays. What I would recommend would be a mid to a mid-heel curve or a curve with a flat mid section. (Like the Bauer PM9) Its much easier to take a face-off with a flatter blade so you can send the puck right back with accuracy. The heel curve also allows a large surface area for tip ins and deflections. Now this isn’t your only option, you may like a big toe curve because you find it easier to control.
Wingers: I think wingers have the most options when it comes to curves because there are so many variables. Wingers can use almost any curve they are comfortable using. If you really like to stick handle a lot or you are a beginner you should try a mid curve or a mid-toe curve. (Like the P88) they give you the most comfort stick handling as well as shooting forehand and back hand. You will also have the most accuracy. If you like to snipe corners you want a mid-toe to toe curve. (Like the Bauer P92 or the P14) Many NHL players use big toe hooks. They like it because it gives your shots a little extra speed and accuracy. The toe curve allow the puck to flatten out as it is released give you that nice sauce.
Defenseman: Last but not least are defensemen. Many defensemen prefer a heel or mid heel curve. The large flat surface allows for easy stopping of pucks and long accurate passes. Depending on your league, you may prefer to take a big slapshot from the point. The heel curve will allow you to snipe top shelf from the blue line. The heel curve also allows you to dump in pucks and lift them out of the zone much easier. However, not all defenseman are the same. You may be the type of defenseman who likes to stick handle and get into the play. For this you may prefer a more neutral or mid curve compared to the heel.
So as you can tell there are specific advantages to using differnt curves for different positions. This is not set in stone and you should only use this as a suggestion. You can be a forward who loves a deep heel curve or a defensemen who loves a toe curve. What really matters is what is comfortable for you.
There are also some features of your curve that you may not have considered.
Square toe vs Round toe?
I’m sure you have noticed that some blades have squared toes and some are rounded. Have you wondered why? The round toe helps you toe drag and keep more of your blade on the ice for stick handling. If this is something you like to do, then make sure you have a round toe on your stick. The square toe is to help pick up pucks by the boards. The square toe fits nicely and square to the boards not allowing the puck to go under or past the toe of your blade. You may also notice that most goalie sticks have very squared toes for this very reason. When the puck goes behind the net they can stop it easily. If you are having trouble with loosing pucks on the boards you may want to consider a square toe.
Here you will find a breakdown of all the popular curves and much more specific information here.