Searching for a hockey stick that feels right is not always easy. You want something that is lightweight, just the right flex, and most importantly the best curve for your style of play. The P88 hockey stick curve is one that I have used in the past and it definitely has its pros on the ice.
The P88 hockey stick curve is good for low shots, backhand passing, and catching hard passes due to its slight middle curve. The P88 has a very small open face, the heel to the middle of the blade is pretty straight, but from the middle to the toe it just slightly opens up.
The P88 curve is great for all players, being a less opened-face curve it gives you a strong backhander and a nice low slap shot. There are certainly pros and cons to the P88 curve, but overall I think it is a solid curve option for beginners and pros.
What Does the P88 Curve Look Like?
The P88 curve is smaller than the P92 and the P28. The P88 curve begins opening its face in the middle ever so slightly, this slight open face remains constant until the end of the toe. The blades curve is small, it begins curving just before the middle of the blade and continues to the toe of the blade. The toe shape is different than other blades too, it is still round but it definitely has more of a flat top compared to the P92.
Here is what the P88 curve looks like:
What Are Other Names for the P88 Curve?
The P88 curve may have a different name under various brands, the most popular in hockey is Bauer and CCM, but there are others like TRUE, Easton, Warrior, Sherwood, and so on. The P88
Bauer P88 CCM P40 Sher-Wood PP88 Warrior W88 TRUE MC Easton E36 STX X88
What NHL Players Have Used the P88 Curve?
- Patrick Kane
- Johnny Gaudreau
- Cale Makar
- Henrik Zetterburg
- Eric Lindros
Many NHL players and pro hockey players use the P88 curve. Some players even customize the curve to be similar but with some minor modifications, well because they can. Buying the P88 curve you often see Patrick Kane’s name on the stick, he is number 88 so that is why it is the P88 today, when his name was listed on the stick the Chicago Black Hawks were doing great and so was Kane.
How is the P88 Different Compared to Other Curves?
The P88 Curve vs the P92 Curve?
The P92 curve is considered the most popular hockey stick curve, it has an open face, large round toe, and is considered a larger mid-toe curve than the P88. You can see the difference between them in my photo above.
If you look from above you can see the face of the blade more than you can when looking at the p88, meaning its a more open face curve. This means shots will go higher with the p92 curve then the p88 curve.
In my opinion, when comparing to the P88, the P92 is better for saucing the puck, stick handling (toe drags especially), wrist shots, picking corners, and as a defenseman its better for flicking the puck high out of the zone.
I think the P88 is better for low slap shots, picking up hard passes, backhanded shots, and backhanded passes. I recommend it for a solid defensive defensemen who isn’t looking to carry the puck end to end, you are a D-man who will fire the puck hard and low in the offensive zone.
I have used both of these curves in competitive hockey and I prefer the P92 over the P88.
The P88 Curve vs the P28 Curve?
The P28 curve is massive, if you have used the P88 and you are wondering about the P28 it is much different. The P28 is also known as the Eichel, McDavid, or Giroux curve.
The P28 is a larger open-faced curve with a huge toe hook, when compared to the P88 curve it looks much more aggressive. Plain and simple, they are totally different curves. If you look at the photo above you can see exactly what I am talking about.
What I find differentiates the P28 from all other curves is how large that toe curve is, it opens up and curves at the same time. This hook makes it great for toe dragging and quick stick handling. However, keep an eye on your shots as they are likely to go much higher with the P28.
I recently purchased the P28 and it is fun taking wrist shots and snap shots as picking corners is effortless compared to smaller curves like the P88. However, its also just as easy to place it 2-3 feet over the net, you need to adjust your release to prevent such high shots.
Passing with the P28 is fun, you can sauce the puck nicely, but I do find you need to do some minor adjustments on the saucer release. Since its bigger than other curves sometimes it comes off the blade funnily and it sauces high but low power, mostly with a soft release saucer pass. Just something I found strange as it rarely would happen with other curves I have used, and certainly never with the smaller P88 curve.
Overall, I think there are huge pros and huge cons to both these curves. The P88 wins when it comes to simple hockey, better low shots, easier to pick up passes (beginners), and much better for backhand use. The P28 wins in quick stick handling (best toe drag curve), effortless saucer passing, and easy high shots.
What is the P88 Curve Good For?
So, I already mentioned a handful of reasons why the P88 is a good curve, but let me get into each aspect breaking them down so you can really understand if this curve is the best option for you. However, always remember that choosing a hockey stick curve comes down to personal preference and how you play the game. Testing stick curves out is recommended!
Stick Handling and Puck Control with the P88 Curve
When it comes to stick handling and puck control the P88 gets the job done. It isn’t challenging to handle the puck with the P88, but it also isn’t the best curve for quick dangles around other players.
The most common stick deke is the toe drag, the P88 is not the best option for the toe drag as it has a very small toe curve. Larger curves at the toe of the blade make it easier to drag the puck back towards you, which the P88 lacks.
If you want to dangle and be shifty with the puck the P88 has less control and may not be the best option. But if you are looking to keep the game simple and limit the dangles, the P88 is a good option.
Shooting with the P88 Curve
The P88 curve is great for keeping shots down, if you tend to shoot over the net often then trying the P88 may change that for you.
When I used the P88 curve the best thing about the curve was taking slap shots. No matter how hard I shot, how I released the shot, I often kept the puck low. As a defenseman this is a huge advantage. Low shots from the point have a better chance of producing a goal. Low shots are extremely difficult for goalies to see, plus they often bounce around making it good for one of your forwards to pick it up and bury the puck.
For me personally, there are some negatives when shooting with the P88. Wrist shots and snap shots are a bit more challenging, especially for beginner players. It takes a stronger release to snap it high with the P88 curve compared to the P28 and the P92.
I find my accuracy with wristers and snap shots also better with the P28 and P92, but the P88 accuracy is better for slap shots. I find larger curves for slap shots make it easy to miss the net, so this is where the P88 does come in handy. You need to be careful with slappers when using a larger curve, it takes some practice.
Backhand shots are considered easier to make and the release can be much stronger with the P88. The Backhand of the blade of a P88 isn’t extremely closed-faced compared to larger curves so getting the extra power from the blade really increases the strength of that backhand shot.
Passing with the P88 Curve
Passing is great with the P88, its actually one of the best curves to pick up passes on the front of the curve and the back. The back especially as the toe isn’t to big it creates a rather large area to safely secure the puck on your backhand side.
Making passes with the P88 is simple too, I find the simple curve design makes it a solid on the ice pass perfect for all levels of players.
When it comes to saucer passes, the P88 can be more challenging as the curve doesn’t open up as much. I find open-face curves make saucer passes simple to execute and lift/spin off the blade. Of course, skill level is important for saucer passes as it is challenging for a beginner player to do.
Backhand passes are also easier to make because of the more closed-face back side of the blade. Just like I mentioned for shooting the puck, the more flat P88 backhand makes the release of a backhand pass stronger and even more accurate.
Switching from the P88 to Other Curves – Good or Bad Idea?
This obviously comes down to personal preference and style of play. However, I will say a few things that you can take into consideration.
Changing from a smaller curve like the P88 to a larger open-faced curve like the P92/P28 can be a good idea. A larger curve may make picking corners a bit easier, lifting the puck with a wrist shot or snap shot is easier with the larger curves. It is really only a bad idea if you continued to shoot the puck too high, test your shots out in warmup or during practice to figure out a safe release.
Saucer passes after switching from P88 to the larger curves is a game changer. I noticed it was easier to make a saucer pass with the P92 than the P88. I found the puck just came off the blade easier and it sauced up off the ice much easier too, it did take some adjustments but overall it was easier to do.
Something I noticed a lot when using the P28 curve is how the curve can truly change the way you control and release the puck on your backhand. If you change from the P88 to a larger curve, especially the P28, you will notice how strange a backhand release is. Larger curves means the backhand is harder to use, the backside toe is harder to control and you just don’t get that give when releasing the puck like you would on the P88. That’s something that takes some time to get used to when switching off to a larger curve.
Overall, switching away from the P88 has its pros and cons, if you are enjoying the P88 and like to play a safe and simple game maybe stick with it. If you are curious and want to dangle, snipe, and celly, then the larger curves may be something for you to test out.
Changing to the P88 to larger curves (P92/P28)
- Your shots will be higher with the larger curves because of the more open face
- Passes will be higher with the P92 and P28 because of the more open face
- Backhand toe is smaller on P88, the larger curves are more difficult to shoot from the backhand toe
- Backhand passes should now be picked up more towards the heel on the larger curves (P92/P28)
- Toe drags will become easier with the P92 and P28
Can a Beginner Hockey Player Use the P88 Curve?
Choosing the P88 as a beginner hockey player is a great idea. With the basic fundamentals of hockey, stick handling, passing, and shooting, the P88 is one of the preferred starter hockey blade curves.
It keeps picking up passes simple, making hard on-ice passes simple, and it keeps your shots strong but low.
If you can get comfortable with the P88 and begin lifting the puck nicely and getting some dekes in, you can then test out some larger curves to get a feel for better puck handling/movement.
I think the 2 best beginner hockey stick curves are the P88 and the P92. Either of these options are a great choice.
The Best P88 Curve Hockey Sticks:
Stick Junior Senior Bauer AG5NT Hockey Stick Jr Stick Latest Price Senior Stick Latest Price CCM Ribcor Trigger 7 Pro Hockey Stick Jr Stick Latest Price Senior Stick Latest Price Bauer Vapor 3X Grip Hockey Stick Jr Stick Latest Price Senior Stick Latest Price True HZRDUS 9X Hockey Stick Intermediate Stick Latest Price Senior Stick Latest Price
The Verdict – Should You Use the P92 Curve?
Yes! I think that you should at least try it. In hockey testing curves out is the best way to truly find the best fit for you. We all play a little different, we all have different goals as a player, the curve impacts your game and choosing the correct one will help you become the best player you can be.
The P88 is a great curve, if you can get your hands on one to try go for it! I know sticks are getting pricy, so ask a buddy if you can try it out before you go and drop a few bucks on a new twig.
I wish you luck on finding the best curve for your game!