Choosing the right curve on your hockey stick is vital since it can influence how you play. However, with so many different kinds of stick curves, you can choose from, it can be quite an overwhelming and challenging process to select the right one that perfectly suits your style.
One way you can narrow your options is to look first at the most sought-after stick curves currently. Among those are the P28 and P29, which are by far the most popular patterns you’ll find on the market today.
The P29, for example, is a mid-toe curve that’s ideal for stick handlers since it allows for better control, while the P28 is suitable for shooters since its design makes shooting as accurate as possible. It’s important to note that no curve is better than the other, and the curve pattern you choose entirely depends on your own playing style and preference.
The P29, despite being favored for its similarities with the P92, doesn’t mean that it’s already the better curve. That being said, we recommend the P28 curve if you’re a beginner, primarily because of its lightweight feel and convenient handling at the same time.
It might be quite tricky to play with this curve at first, but you’ll enjoy the play once you get the hang of it. Meanwhile, the P29 may be the best option for those already neck-deep into the game since the curve offers leverage when it comes to strategic gameplay.
To help you decide which curve you think is best suitable for your needs, this article will discuss the key differences between the P28 vs P29, what to expect from each, and essential information about how you can find the ideal hockey stick curve.
Why Is It Important To Find The Right Curve?
There may be instances in your life where a hockey stick you’re using doesn’t feel quite right – or probably the opposite, where it felt like it was just meant for your playing style.
The right curve on your hockey stick may be a minute detail, but it significantly impacts a range of aspects whenever you’re playing, such as accuracy, control, hard shots, and more. Choosing the right one for you makes your play better and gives you an increased sense of confidence in every game.
Before, curves on hockey sticks were something that most didn’t pay attention to. In fact, hockey sticks from decades ago were made to be entirely flat. This design made controlling the puck very unpredictable and difficult. It was not long after that hockey sticks began to be introduced with a curved design, which changed the way of playing the game.
Hockey stick curves make it far more convenient to control the pick, simultaneously meaning that players have also gotten faster and adept at shooting or defense. In the same way, this also means that the puck’s direction has gotten more predictable too, allowing players of the game to craft their strategies and maximize their skills with getting shots in without having to rely on pure luck.
With this in mind, playing with a non-curved hockey stick is a bad decision for the most part because it only makes playing and control so difficult.
It will also be a poor decision to bring it in games because it only makes your shots unpredictable, limiting your skills and what you can do to thrive as a player.
This also means that your play would be awful, and there would be little to no improvement on your skillset and method of play in hockey.
On the other hand, the right hockey stick curve will essentially shine a spotlight on all your skills, maximizing them to your utmost potential.
For this reason, it’s crucial for players to buy the kind that feels right for them, especially since it helps elevate their game and flex what they can do. From the size, curve, and how each pattern influences the way you play – it’s necessary to consider these things before you buy a hockey stick for your game.
The P28 Vs. P29
Every curve has its place in the ice and a unique playing style that suits them best. As mentioned earlier, this makes each curve distinct, so no type’s ultimately better than another. It all goes down to how it perfectly matches your skills and how it ideally suits your style of playing on the ice.
However, we will first look at the key differences between the P28 and P29 and some situations you’ll encounter with them in the game, so you’ll know which one has more leverage.
The P29 is a pattern ideal for stick handlers, especially since the slightly prominent curve makes for better puck control even in small spaces.
Furthermore, its open face pattern is useful for making snapshots and when the player needs to escalate the puck immediately. On the other hand, the P28 is a rising popular trend notable for its edge in the shooting department.
Great for forwards who want to make better and more accurate shots, the P28’s major toe hook makes this a possibility while making stickhandling convenient as well.
- Curve: Mid-Toe
- Size: Big
- Face: Slightly open
- Lie: 6
- Toe: Round
- Length: Long
- Curve: Toe
- Size: Big
- Face: Open
- Lie: 5
- Toe: Round
- Length: Medium
One misconception that most people tend to believe about curve patterns is that it highly impacts the speed of your shots. This is false since the curve on your hockey stick doesn’t have much influence on shot speed. Rather, they have a considerable impact on the lift of the puck.
When it comes to shooting, each curve varies in aim and lift. It tends to be easier to shoot your shots slightly higher with the P29, while it can be challenging for P28 users to lift the puck above the ice. The key difference here is that it’s just a tad more difficult for the latter to do so, but not entirely impossible.
If your playing style involves a lot more lift in your shots, you may find the P29 the ideal option. However, it’s worth noting that it can be relatively easy to overshoot the goal using the P29 if you’re just starting.
On the other hand, the P28 has significantly more leverage for taking wrist shots and backhands. However, it’s awful for slap shots due to how the puck tends to go wide.
Nonetheless, the P28 curve is excellent for those who play with the puck on the toe of their hockey stick since the overall design makes it easier for you to get it off the blade and immediately into the top corner. While this is perfect for shooters, it’s usually hard for starters to get the hang of it at first.
This is why the P29 is a great choice for beginners, since the p28 may need some getting used to before you can actually make great and accurate shots with it.
Most players say that passing is easier with the P29. This may be a good option if you’re on a team that relies on tactics that are pass-heavy since there’s more control with the puck at the same time. This is also especially true if you tend to receive passes with backhands, compared to the P28, which isn’t great in this aspect.
One of the main advantages of the P28 is its excellent puck control. Regardless of where the puck is placed on the blade, you’ll find it rather convenient and lightweight to control. Given that it’s a shooters’ curve, the P28 is perfect for those who are still grappling with their puck-handling skills.
The P29, on the other hand, only has one portion on its curve that can provide similar control to the P28. This part is between the mid-blade and heel. However, you may take some time to adjust your playing style to keep the puck in this particular location. The good thing is that you’ll find that the shape of the P29 makes skillful shots easier once you’re already used to it.
The P29 is significantly better for puck lifting, whether you’re passing or shooting. The P28 has a lot of merits to it, though puck lifting can be challenging to accomplish with its curve since it tends to have more effort to lift it, making your shot a tad more predictable for the opposing team.
There are also instances where the puck is sometimes flicked out of the zone, which makes it difficult to handle puck lifting.
While this is not something you may prioritize as a beginner, the better option between the two curves is the P29. The P28’s blade has more contact with the ice, making it prompt more drag than usual, eventually slowing down your pace.
On the other hand, an inch of the P29 only touches the ice. If you’re more focused on increasing speed and a more fast-paced style of play, you better opt for the P29.
The best choice between which is the better curve over one or the other mainly depends if you’re a beginner or a novice player. The P29 is the most popular hockey stick curve worldwide for a good reason, thanks to its great stickhandling features and versatile design.
If you’re a beginner, you’ll find it convenient to go for the P28 since it helps you improve your skills and get the hang of accurate shooting or handling. Depending on what fits your style, you can always switch from one to the other if you want to expand your skills even further.