Hurling is a dynamic and fast-paced Irish sport that is beginning to grow in popularity all over the world. For anyone that plays the sport having the right equipment can make a significant difference to your performance on the field. Amongst the essential gear, the hurling stick or ‘hurley’ stands out as one of the most fundamental pieces of kit for any player.

With this in mind, we have created a complete guide that covers everything you need to know about hurling sticks including the different parts of a hurling stick, the ideal stick size for your height, and the materials used to make a hurley!

After reading our guide you’ll be well-placed to buy a hurling stick with confidence.

Hurling stick

What are the parts of a hurling stick?

Firstly, we’ll cover the four different parts of a hurling stick. Understanding this terminology will help you establish the best place to hold the stick and determine the optimal striking point on the hurley.

The ‘bas’ is the round end at the bottom of the hurling stick. It is the part of the hurley that players used to strike the sliotar. Pronounced like the English word ‘boss’, the bas is also used to help players run with the sliotar in their hand. The ball must be bounced off the bas and back into the hand after every four steps. A band is used on the bas to strengthen the end of the stick.

Located on the bas to the left of the band, the heel is the thicker edge that curves outwards. The purpose of the heel is to heighten up a sliotar that is stuck on the ground.

The toe is the thinner rounded edge to the right of the band and towards the bottom of the bas. The toe aids in performing techniques known as the roll lift and jab lift.

The handle is the area in which players hold the hurley. The top of the handle is at the opposite end of the bas and is usually tightly wrapped with tape or other synthetic self-adhesive material. This is to prevent the stick from slipping out of the players’ hands. The middle of the handle is halfway between the top of the handle and the bas. Players will sometimes hold here when running at pace with their hurley.

What size hurling stick do you need?

Choosing the correct size hurley will increase a player’s chances of success at mastering the skills of the game. The optimal size will allow greater control of the sliotar and a more natural swing of the stick. Sticks come in five main sizes dependant on your height, below we will go through how to determine the correct hurling stick size as well as the typical stick size for all heights.

hurling stick sizes

How to measure the correct hurling stick size

To determine the correct size hurling stick for you follow these simple steps.

  1. Stand relaxed with your arms down by your side.
  2. The distance from the ground to your wrist is the correct length of hurling stick.
  3. You should be able to hold the hurley at the top and it should be just touching the ground.
  4. If you end up being between sizes, choose the smaller size as this is better than having a hurley that is too long.
  5. You should be able to hold the hurling stick by the handle in your dominant hand and make increasing size circles with the stick for 30 seconds comfortably. If you can’t the stick is too heavy.

Now you have determined the correct size hurling stick, why not look at our table to see the typical size hurley for your height? This table should act as a rough guide and shouldn’t dictate the exact size hurling stick you buy, as people the same height still might have different length arms and require different size sticks. If you are between sizes; whilst we recommend opting for the smaller stick size, you shouldn’t typically go any smaller than that size, as using a hurley that is too short will had adverse effects on your performance. Ultimately, personal preference will be the deciding factor on which size stick you choose.

Hurling Stick Size Typical Height
18in (45.7cm) Under 3ft 4in (101.6cm)
24in (61cm) 3ft 4in – 3ft 7in (101.6cm – 109.2cm)
26in (66cm) 3ft 8in – 4ft 2in (111.8cm – 127cm)
28in (71.1cm) 4ft 3in – 4ft 6in (129.5cm – 137.2cm)
30in (76.2cm) 4ft 7in – 4ft 11in (139.7cm – 149.9cm)
32in (81.3cm) 5ft – 5ft 8in (152.4cm – 172.7cm)
34in (86.4cm) 5ft 9in – 6ft 2in (175.2cm – 188cm)
36in (91.4cm) 6ft 2in (188cm)

As mentioned previously, choosing the correct size hurley will allow you to swing with the correct technique and make better contact with the sliotar. Using a stick that is too long will make it harder to swing fully as the handle will get in the way and lead to you developing a poor swing. If the stick is too long, the likelihood will be that the stick is also too heavy. This will lead to the stick becoming more difficult to swing, which will reduce your swing speed, meaning you won’t make as good contact with the sliotar and won’t be able to strike it as far, with a decrease in power. A heavy hurley will also limit your ability to get your stick up in the air as quickly, which reduces your reaction time and your ability to block shots.

On the flipside, using a hurling stick that is too short will limit the length of your strike. Your ability to reach for the sliotar and block shots will be severely limited, which could be the difference between winning or losing in a match. If you’re looking to strike the sliotar off the ground, the chance of any decent contact is very low, and you will have to over bend to reach the ground, which could lead to back injuries over a prolonged period of time. A short stick is also likely to be too light. Whilst swing speed will be increased, you won’t be able to generate sufficient power to strike the sliotar as far.

Hurling stick

Hurling stick materials

Hurling sticks are hand-crafted from ash wood taken from the base of the tree near the root. Ash wood is used for Hurleys due to its natural strength, flexibility, lightness, and shock absorption qualities. For some time in 1970s sticks were made using plastic, but these were proven more likely to cause injury and were phased out. Synthetic materials were approved for use by the GAA in 2012, but ash wood still remains the most popular stick type amongst the hurling community.

Grips are typically made using polyurethane (PU) tape. This helps players maintain a firm, comfortable hold of the hurley in all conditions. This allows players to optimise their stick handling skills and make precise hand movements to alter the response of the sliotar off the bas.

At Net World Sports all our FORZA hurling sticks are expertly designed by our inhouse team of sports product engineers and handcrafted by industry professionals using ash wood for the ultimate performance on the hurling field. Each bas has a traditional ‘Wexford’ shape and is taped, giving a larger surface area for better overall balance and control of the stick, whilst maintaining a pure strike.

The polyurethane grip on FORZA hurling sticks provides comfort and helps to keep your hands dry at all times, further enhancing your stick handling capabilities. The FORZA hurling stick is available in eight sizes, with a choice of four grip colours, adding to the aesthetic appeal of the hurley.

Now you have read our complete hurling stick guide, why not check out the rest of our FORZA Hurling equipment? We stock a comprehensive range of the highest quality sliotars, goal posts, training rebounders, matchday equipment plus much more more! If you’re looking to kit yourself or your club out with equipment that delivers on performance and reliability, we’ve got you covered!