DIY Hockey Stick: How to Make (And Finish) Your Own Hockey Stick

Third Assist Founder, Christopher DeVore, holding his DIY hockey stick.

We've just reached the one year anniversary of the first batch of Third Assist hockey sticks so we thought it'd be fun to share everything we've learned since we started exploring the DIY hockey stick idea. Sticks have come a long way in the last century and now we sit in a climate with two types of sticks: composite and wood. Composites are understandably taking the lead in the competitive game, but there's still a strong following of wood hockey stick connoisseurs. We count ourselves part of the latter group and we've always wanted to know how they're made and how we can make them for ourselves.

If you want to learn the whole process from the big guys you can learn that here:
YouTube thumbnail and link to How It's Made — Hockey Sticks.
If you want to learn how you and I can go about DIY hockey sticks, follow along here:
We source our sticks from the only remaining wood stickmaker in all of North America. Last year we found all other stickmakers have gone out of business or gone overseas.  We've worked out a deal with our professional stickmaker where we can purchase small batches of raw, unfinished birch sticks and finish them ourselves in the shop just like they used to in earlier decades.
Third Assist Founder, Christopher DeVore, working on a DIY hockey stick.
 When we receive the sticks, we start with a light grind, rough sanding, and other minor prep work before applying with a Third Assist brand. At this stage we either sell DIY kits for individual purchase or finish them ourselves. Here's how we (and you) go about the rest.
The next step is staining or painting the stick.
  • If staining, we recommend conditioning the stick first to provide an even coat and pull out the unique grain found in each stick. This is done using a wood conditioner you can find at a local hardware store. This is recommended for a more uniform stain, but not required.
  • If painting, we recommend a primer coat first, but this is not required.
Then apply at least two coats of stain or paint to your stick for a clean finish.
Third Assist Founder, Christopher DeVore, apply finish to his DIY hockey stick.
Next apply any customization after your base coats. This is the stage where we cut stencils and are able to customize each stick.
  •  With a stained stick, we apply polyurethane before we apply our stencil designs in order for the stencil to cure to the pores in the wood. If we did not, the stencils may not be received as well with oil based stains.
  • With a painted stick you can paint your designs over your base layers and let it dry.

Image of Third Assist wooden hockey stick customized my a customer.


Once you have applied your customization or unique design, it is vital to protect the stick.

  • For a stained stick, we apply a couple coats of marine grade oil-based varnish for a thicker, cleaner protective finish. This takes the abuse any outdoor hockey has been able to provide thus far.
  • For painted sticks you can choose to varnish, or simply use polyurethane. We recommend a few coats to protect your hard work.

Third Assist Founder, Christopher DeVore, completing his DIY hockey stick.

And there you go. There are the steps for completing you own wood hockey stick. Each stick takes us about one week of time between prep and finish, but it can be done much quicker depending on the complexity of your design (much of our time is consumed in the care of the stencil and curing into the wood pores).

We hope you learned something today and we provided a valuable resource in designing your own custom stick in the future!

Previous post Next post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published