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The Best Youth Hockey Sticks

After countless hours of , reading consumer and professional reviews, and reviewing manufacturer specs, we have crowned the Bauer Vapor 1X Lite Grip Youth as our champion of 2019.  Youth hockey sticks are designed for little hockey dynamos between 3’0″ and 4’8″ and 3 – 8 years of age, and getting a great stick into your little ones hands will hopefully help them along the right path in their hockey career!  It also has an awesome low kick point helping smaller players start to get the feel of using the whip of a stick.  To round out the features it also has some of Bauer’s most advanced carbon fiber to reinforce it, ensuring this stick lasts your little hockey player until the day he grows out of it!

Looking to get a new stick for yourself?  Check out our Best Senior Hockey Sticks guide here!

Our Pick

The Best Youth Hockey Stick

An amazing little stick for your budding super star all the technology like advanced carbon fiber to ensure you get a great bang for your buck!

Packed with new features, and used by tons of NHL players, what isn’t to love about the Bauer Vapor 1X Lite?  Bauer has upped it’s game by upgrading its TeXtreme carbon fiber and aLASTech resin system to make the blade and shaft more resistant to cracking, meaning a longer life and more value to you!  Bauer also claims this is the quickest releasing stick on the market with a reinforced QRT+ taper to increase blade stability.  All of this might sound like a bit much for a 3-8 year old hockey player, but the advanced carbon fibers and low kick point ensure that this stick will have some pop for the little guy or gal, as well as last them for as long as possible!

Runner-Up

The Best Mid Kick Youth Hockey Stick

A mid kick stick designed with youth hockey players in mind, a hockey stick with great feel and durability for younger players!

A different take on the youth hockey stick by Bauer, the Nexus 2N Pro is a great little twig for your son or daughter, with a mid kick point ensuring any shot they take will have a little extra zing on it!  The stick comes in a 35 flex and around 46″ in length ensuring it will be a great choice for any kids falling into the Youth age range!

Budget Friendly

Best Budget Youth Hockey Stick

A great value offering from Warrior, the Minimus Carbon technology built in to help this stick go the distance for your young hockey player!

When you don’t have top dollar to drop on the latest, newest stick, sometimes dropping down a price level doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality.  Borrowing tons of features from Warrior’s senior QR Edge, such as QR edge taper and Minimus Carbon technology, this stick will help your child get great shots off while coming in around half the price of the top of the line youth sticks

Our Recommendations

The Best Overall Youth Hockey Stick

An amazing little stick for your budding super star!  All of the senior models technology such as advanced carbon fiber to ensure you get a great bang for your buck!

Buying Options

When Second Place is almost as good as First

A mid kick stick designed with youth hockey players in mind.  This stick distills the top technologies from senior sticks into a small, usable package for younger players

Buying Options

Budget Friendly Youth Performance

A great value offering from Warrior, with their Minimus Carbon technology built in to help this stick go the distance for your young hockey player

Buying Options

Research And Findings

As far as lighting the lamp goes, the hockey stick is the most important piece of equipment a player uses.  Smaller kids starting hockey don’t necessarily need top of the line sticks for the best energy transfer and shot velocity, but developing a feel for the puck and learning proper shooting form with a well designed stick is critical.  Starting your kid off on the right foot with a stick that gives them a chance to feel the right way to shoot is imperative to start their hockey journey off!

We will be focusing on reviewing some of the best youth offerings from CCM, Bauer, Warrior, and True to help your little hockey player (try to) go bar down all the time. We will break down the hockey sticks and rank them by release, feel, power, durability, and cost. You really can’t go wrong choosing any of the hockey sticks we are going to review as they are all high quality, but each one is tailored to a slightly different style of player and we want you to pick the best hockey stick for your game.

If you are interested in taking a look at some of the best senior hockey sticks for yourself, be sure to click and check out our roundup article!

Read on in our best hockey youth sticks of the year for a brief comparison table showing our overall rating for each stick, and see the full reviews below.

  • Low kick point for quick wrist and snap shots
  • One of the lightest hockey sticks on the market 

Our Rating

5/5

USD / CAD Best Prices

  • Quick Strike and Saber Taper for great shot releases
  • Tapered low kick shaft for efficient shot loading

Our Rating

5/5

USD / CAD Best Prices

  • Mid kick flex profile to help kids get all sorts of shots off

Our Rating

5/5

USD / CAD Best Prices

  • Smaller shaft thickness for easy handling
  • Full shaft grip to help kids keep ahold of their stick

Our Rating

4.5/5

USD / CAD Best Prices

  • 20 Flex for maximum whip for small players
  • UFLEX is a dedicated children’s line designed by True

Our Rating

4.5/5

USD / CAD Best Prices

  • 40 flex for kids getting to the top of the youth age range
  • Designed to enhance puck feel to help young players develop puck handling skills

Our Rating:

3.8/5

CA / US Best Price

  • An easy to load stick for quick deceptive shots and carbon fiber for durability.
  • Carries many features the senior stick has for smaller players

Our Rating

4/5

USD / CAD Best Prices

  • A great entry level stick for kids with a light flex rating for a whippy shaft
  • 38 inches long for smaller (younger) players

Our Rating:

3.8/5

CA / US Best Price

Tired of burning through your glove palms?  Check out our best hockey stick grips article here!

Read on below for our in depth reviews of every top of the line hockey stick you need to know about!  If you are interested in learning about the basics of picking a hockey stick, based on length, flex, curves, and material, scroll to the bottom of the article to read up on all the essentials!

The Best Hockey Sticks For Young Hockey Players

1. Bauer Vapor 1X Lite Grip Youth Hockey Stick

Specifications and Features:

  • Low Kick Point – According to Bauer, this years model making use of the ACL has improved the shaft recoil in the stick by 11% compared to last years model. 
  • QRT+ Technology – Gives your kids stick whip-quick responsiveness on shots
  • eLASTech – Bauers proprietary use of this resin system is designed to reduce the spread of microfractures in the hockey stick from use and improve overall durability.  

Advantages:

  • Lightning Quick Release – The low kick point combined with the improved hockey stick recoil will have your little player going bar down before the goalie even has a chance to react! Teaching kids how to use a sticks flex is paramount to a good shooting foundation and the 1X lite will really help them in this department.
  • Improved Durability – The new eLASTech feature has significantly improved the durability of the hockey stick, specifically the blade compared to last years model. This helps ensure your investment in your child’s game lasts and you get great value for your money
  • Consistent Performance – With all the new features Bauer had added to this years Vapor 1X stick, we noticed over time this stick did not “weaken” or show any signs of decreased performance.  Bauer has distilled this stick from the senior version and the durability is great.

Disadvantages:

  • Premium pricing – While all youth hockey sticks are quite affordable, this one will run you near the top of the range at about $100 dollars unless you catch it on a sale

BOTTOM LINE:

This is one of the best and most well known sticks on the market, backed up by being one of the most popular sticks being used in the NHL. This is a great stick for a budding hockey player to get the feel of a high end stick for shooting and passing.  They found a way to improve on last years model of the Bauer Vapor 1X stick by increasing the durability while shaving a little weight off through a new carbon fiber technology. There will definitely not be any disappointments when your child steps onto the ice using this stick!

2. Warrior Alpha QX Youth Hockey Stick

Specifications and Features:

  • Quick Strike Technology – This feature results in quicker loading of your shot, helping your child get some pop off their shots
  • Saber Taper – Warrior has used the Saber Taper as a way to maintain the torsional stiffness of your shaft before and after you release your shot, helping with accuracy on shots
  • True 1 Phantom Feel – Warrior has re-engineered the shaft of the stick to create a fantastic light and durable childs stick
  • Minimus Carbon 1000 – A high strength and lightweight carbon-composite weave design that enhances the overall construction of the stick, making this one of the lightest youth sticks on the market

Advantages:

  • Precision Accuracy – The Saber Taper really makes an impact on the accuracy of your shot with the Warrior Alpha QX stick. The low quick point will help your child develop their shot with a quick release.
  • Responsive Feel – Warrior has made this their lightest one piece stick ever and this is carried over to the youth stick as well.  Your child will be astounded at how light this stick is.
  • Superior Durability – The Alpha QX really stepped it up in regards to durability. We felt last years model had some room for improvement in this department but Warrior has definitely addressed this with their Alpha QX stick. No one wants to buy their kid a great new stick and have it disappoint, and the new Minimus Carbon 1000 makes this stick feel a bit sturdy yet responsive.

Disadvantages:

  • Increased Blade Stability – This isn’t an overall disadvantage as it is more of a preference, but the stiffness of the blade on this could be a tad detrimental for brand spanking new hockey players!

BOTTOM LINE:

Warrior was always a bit of a niche hockey company but have really hit their stride with the Alpha QX.  As of the writing of this article this is the most popular stick among NHL players. The Youth version of the QX takes all the great features that NHL pros are using to light the lamp and puts it in a great usable and affordable package for your child!

3. Bauer 2N Pro Grip Youth Hockey Stick

Specifications and Features:

  • Control Shaft Geometry – Bauer’s new control shaft geometry design incorporates an ergonomic feel and has 14% rounder corners than last years Nexus 1N.  This will help your child hold onto the stick all game long! 
  • Power Sense 2 – Bauer has integrated an absorbent core into the blade of the stick, what this means for your child is they get a great feel for the right passes and shots they take.
  • Easy-Load Taper – Bauer has changed the taper for the Nexus 1N to make it more moderate as the shaft transitions to the blade, helping your child learn how to load shots properly

Advantages:

  • Shot Consistency – The combination of the Power Sense 2 and the Easy-Load Taper gives this Bauer hockey stick a consistent feel for your shot in all situations. This will really help children develop feel for when they get a good shot off compared to a poor one.
  • Comfortable Feel – The shaft geometry really improves the feel of the stick in your gloves which transfers to how well you handle the puck. The double concave walls of the shaft coupled with the Power Sense 2 blade make puck handling second nature. One thing we know is kids can be picky, so putting something in their hands that feels great is a no brainer.
  • Mid Kick-Point – Although this is a bit less apparent on a youth hockey stick, the mid kick-point a great spot for kids to learn to shoot, especially if they are considering playing defense instead of forward.

Disadvantages:

  • Price – As with Bauer’s top of the line Vapor Lite Grip Youth stick, this one will run you around $100 unless you can catch a sale.

BOTTOM LINE:

This is an exceptional senior hockey stick and has almost a cult following and Bauer has done a great job to put this into a youth package. This is a well balanced stick that suits every player, regardless of if your child has decided what position to play yet.

4. Bauer Supreme 2S PRO Youth Hockey Stick

Specifications and Features:

  • RenewCore – Bauer has incorporated a pressurized gel core in the blade of the stick that remains in a liquid state, improving shot power and reducing micro fractures in the blade. Watch the video below to get a up close look at RenewCore. 
  • High-Kick Point – The high kick point in the Supreme 2S was achieved with Bauers Maximum Power Kick technology. This may be better suited to larger children to take advantage of it.
  • Smaller Shaft – The 2S Pro has a smaller shaft to allow for easy handling and a comfortable grip

Advantages:

  • Improved Durability – While the RenewCore provides a softer feel, the pressurized gel core also works to seal cracks and defects in the blade through prolonged use. This makes an incredible difference as standard blades typically grow weaker after use, and makes sure your child is getting great performance game in and game out.
  • Uncompromising Feel – Getting a feel for shooting and passing is crucial for young players, and Bauer’s Proprietary RenewCore is really a revolutionary technology that hasn’t been seen in other Bauer hockey sticks.
  • Lightweight Feel – Although the TexTreme carbon fiber doesn’t make this stick quite as light as the Bauer Vapor 1X stick, but the Supreme 2S stick offers comparable feel while providing a higher kick point.  We think this stick is best suited to larger children who can really make use of it.

Disadvantages:

  • Quick Release –Loading this stick will not quite be as easy as some lower or mid kick sticks.  If your child has already chosen to play defense and doesn’t need that quick shot from around the net, this is a great choice for them.

BOTTOM LINE:

This is the stick of choice for larger chilrden that may be gearing up for a career on the point.  You really can’t go wrong in choosing this Bauer hockey stick, but the high kick point really favors defense men. 

5. True XCORE XC9 UFLEX 20 Hockey Stick

Specifications and Features:

  • 20 Flex For Maximized Performance – Putting an extremely low flex to ensure your child learns how to use a sticks whip
  • XCORE Gen 2 Insert – True XC9 has a re-designed and enlarged insert for this year’s XCORE.  This helps enhance the feel of the puck when receiving passes, which is crucial for young, beginner players  
  • BRT+ Tech – True XC9 has used BRT+ technology to create a more durable blade, ensuring your child doesn’t break or damage his or her new stick and gets a long life out of it!

Advantages:

  • Designed With Children In Mind – The 20 flex UFLEX comes in at 48 inches and weighs 315g.  This is targeted at new young players really trying to develop a feel for generating shot power through stick flex.
  • XCORE Insert – The namesake of this stick, the XCORE insert is now in its second generation.  This insert can be found in the blade and helps make the entire blade a sweet spot for passing and shooting, ensuring your child gets great shots off all the time.
  • BRT+ Tech and Smart Ply  – The BRT + features a braided rib structure along the heel of the blade improving the True XC9 durability.  The Smart Ply system is found along the shaft and increases shaft durability.  This is all quite advanced, but what does it mean for your child?  Longer stick life!

Disadvantages:

  • With all the design work True put into this, it is also in the $100 dollar stick club, putting it in a more premium price segment.

BOTTOM LINE:

True stays ‘true’ to its values.  The XCORE XC9 focuses on ultimate feel for your new young hockey player.  Whether it is receiving passes or taking shots, there is no bad spot on the blade, and the shaft loads very easily for fast releases.  The True XC9 also puts a big focus on durability, helping you feel good that this purchase for your young hockey player will go the distance.

6. Bauer Prodigy Youth Hockey Stick

Specifications and Features:

  • Multiple Flex Choices – Multiple flex choices to ensure you get the right stick for your child
  • Specially Tuned – Designed with smaller players in mind, these sticks flex properly for your child’s size

Bottom Line:

This is a great little stick designed with young, light, and small hockey players in mind.  Bauer makes various flex profiles so that no matter if your kid is 4 years old, or on the verge of graduating to Junior sized sticks, you can find the perfect stick for your child!

7. Warrior Covert QRE Grip Youth Hockey Stick

Specifications and Features:

  • Edge Quick Release – The Warrior Covert QRE Pro is easier to load and will help your child get quick accurate shots off
  • True 1 Phantom – True 1 Phantom construction creates a great stick feel for your child, allowing him or her to develop proper feel for the puck at a young age

Advantages:

  • Improved Control – The Tru 1 Phantom and other technology implemented into the Warrior Covert QRE Pro really improve puck control and pass reception.
  • Quick Releases – This hockey stick was designed to allow children to have quick and accurate releases, and to learn how to load a stick up to put a bit of power behind the shot as well.
  • Ergonomic Design – The shaft is designed in a way that allows children to easily grip it, helping ensure the stick stays in their hands all game long!

Bottom Line:

Is this the cheapest stick in our youth stick group?  No.  However for the small premium you pay you are getting a great stick that will help your child learn to load up their stick and get a great release.  Teaching them young is key, and the Covert QRE Youth will help your child come out of the gates firing!

8. CCM Jetspeed Youth Hockey Stick

Specifications and Features:

  • Calibrated Flex Ratio – Helps young players get a good feel for the puck with a flex designed with them in mind
  • P2B Youth Blade – A youth specific blade designed for great stick handling feel and shot technique development
  • Full Grip – Help your child keep ahold of their stick all game long
  • Blank Name Tag – How much fun would it be for your child to be able to put their name where the pro’s usually are?

Bottom Line:

CCM has specifically designed their ‘flex ratio’ with small players in mind.  The stick is designed to give enough flex in the horizontal axis without being rubbery.  CCM has put extra focus into shaft geometry on this stick to ensure that young players hold the stick correctly and do not develop bad habits at an early age.  One of the coolest features is the ability for your child to write their name on the stick and color in their number.  For kids, the name of the game is fun, and this will undoubtedly bring a smile to your child’s face!

There is no right or wrong answer in choosing any one of these sticks, all that matter is what they will do to your game. We want you to choose high performance equipment that will also help develop your young ones skills and instill good habits. For me, that stick is the Bauer Vapor 1X Lite Youth, which has it all.  Durability, feel, and shot quality, this will help your child find a feel for their game and learn how to use the stick to go bar down as soon as possible!

How To Choose Stick Length For Your Child

There are many variables to consider when it comes to choosing your hockey sticks.  Before we get to the stick reviews we will break down all the things you need to consider before purchasing a stick.  Remember, there are NO absolutes with any of these.  Our guidelines are here to get you started but your own personal experiences will lead you to find your perfect combination of features over time.

Recommendation – Try to get the stick just under your child’s chin while they are standing on skates.  This should be a good starting point and you can either cut the stick or add a plug if your child needs to alter the length a bit.

What Flex Does My Child Need?

Stick flex must be tailored to your individual playing style as well.  Youth flexes normally range from 20-40 and will play an important part in your child learning to shoot.

Your child’s stick flex should first and foremost be chosen based on their experience with the game.  New players will have no idea how to flex a stick to create whip, and therefore should be eased in with a lower flex stick.

The second thing to consider is the child’s weight.  Once your child either gains some experience playing or starts growing closer to the Junior age (8 years old) you should start exploring getting them a 30-40 flex stick.

What Curve Is Best For Youth Hockey Players?

How do you choose from the seemingly infinite amount of curve choices?  I can point you to a good curve for beginners but lets dive into the different types of curves first so you can choose based on your playing style.

Curve (Heel/Mid/Toe) – This refers to where the blade starts curving.  A heel curve begins right away and will look like more of a hook.  A toe curve will have a longer straight portion and curve at the end.  Most popular curves these days are some from of  a mid-range curve.


Face (Open/Closed) – This refers to the curve of the blade and if it is ‘opens’ (think of putting the puck towards the top of the net) or is ‘closed’ and allows for shots to easily be controlled and pointed towards the lower portion of the net.  Generally forwards will use a slightly more open curve and defensemen will us a slightly more closed curve (If they aren’t… forwards standing in front look out!)

Depth – If you placed a ruler on the toe of the stick straight to the heel, this would measure the deepest point between the ruler and blade.  A larger depth will be quite apparent and the blade will look like more of a ‘hook’ from above.

Recommendation – The Crosby / Ovechkin curves (or other brand equivalents) are a decent starting point for children.  A bit of toe curve will help them elevate the puck, and getting them used to a popular curve right off the bat is wise so they don’t have to make a major adjustment once they get older.

Stick Material

The hockey stick has evolved in many ways over the years.  We here at Going Bar Down have used it all.  From wood to aluminum and now to composites, and from the era of two pieces to one pieces, we have probably played with and broken a stick of every material combination. 

Material – The age of wooden sticks is over.  There, I said it.  I grew up on one for a few years before aluminum took over in the early 90’s, and after using modern composite sticks for 20 years, I can’t say I miss them.  Any stick you consider for your child  should be a composite stick.

One Piece vs Two Piece – Two piece sticks still exist, but are now mostly pushed out of the market.  You will be looking for a one piece carbon composite stick in order to best suit your child’s needs!

Conclusion

There is no right or wrong answer in choosing any one of these sticks, all that matter is what they will do to your game. We want you to choose high performance equipment that will also help develop your young ones skills and instill good habits. For me, that stick is the Bauer Vapor 1X Lite Youth, which has it all.  Durability, feel, and shot quality, this will help your child find a feel for their game and learn how to use the stick to go bar down as soon as possible!

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