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By Will Schaefer
Length - Although there is a minimum stick length for your stick, there is no maximum. Some people use sticks exactly 3 feet long while others opt for longer sticks. The advantage of having a longer server seems to be that it allows for greater serve height, while shorter sticks have more accuracy. Most players use sticks that are about the length of a hockey stick or mop (probably because most are hockey sticks or mops). Few have attempted to use sticks any longer.
Weight and Weight Distribution - As a general rule, the lighter the stick, the better. However, while trying to find a light stick, you must also keep in mind that the stick has to be sturdy enough to hold up through matches. Bamboo poles and the like aren't the best idea if you plan on trying any knockdowns. Also important is the distribution of the weight; this is especially important with longer sticks. In general, a rather even distribution of weight is preferred because it allows the most control when lining up for a stick-it. Recently, however, another strategy has become popular, especially with the longer sticks. This strategy involves the use of a counter weight, allowing the player to pull up quicker and hold the stick closer to the back while serving, increasing the height of serves. The counter weight can also double as a surface for knocking down the puck on serves you deem unstickable. Although this strategy makes the stick a little more awkward to line up, its advantages are clear.
Color / Decorations - Although some people choose plain sticks with the reasoning that they are classic or "traditional," these people are just lazy. The more colors your stick has and the more individualized and interesting it looks, the better. It not only makes the game more interesting, but it helps to give you a psychological advantage. A preferred way of decorating is with duct tape and stickers that say various clever things, like 'Lucky' or 'Rebel' or other hilarious phrases.
Accessories - Also important to consider are what you will do to your stick to give you that special edge. Ideas include stick stops, designed to keep a roll of duck tape from slamming down on your hand and potentially hindering the rest of your game. Similar items include deflectors - smaller than a stick stop but also preventing a direct hit to the thumb and fingers - and stick-it gloves (usually made of duct tape) to assure you can't feel the blow. The gloves are especially nice for winter play. Also, a blocking or knockdown surface will not only prevent your opponent from scoring as many points (due to roll outs) but will also earn you a few (for the knockdowns you get), the idea being that it's easier to hit the roll if you have a large area rather than just a stick.