This may seem like a very simple topic to field players, but when you are looking to get a new goalie shaft, the length is extremely important. If the shaft is too long it could get caught in the net, hit your legs or throw off your angles when taping the side bars to see where you're at. If the shaft is too short, it can cause major issues with clears.
I was at a camp yesterday and a very concerned mother who just bought her son a very nice goalie shaft (STX Shield SC)wanted my opinion on how short to cut the new shaft. She was basically stuck between what the coaches were saying, what her son wanted and what her husband thought (because everyone always thinks they are right!) Her son was about 13 years old and about 5'8. His previous goalie shaft was actually an old attack shaft which was much too short for him. He felt as though he couldn't clear to half field and his bottom hand would slide off when he went to throw. This is a common problem for most goalies and that's when you know it's time for a longer shaft. My advise to her was to put some tape around where he was thinking of cutting it as a temporary marker and play with it for a week. If his hand slides down past the tape, then move the marker down 2 inches. Once he gets the marker to where his hand isn't going past it anymore, then that is the spot to cut the shaft.
Some goalies prefer to have the lightest shafts on the market where others may prefer middle of the road weight. If you are looking for the lightest goalie shaft, check out the Gait Matter. This shaft comes in goalie length (40 inches) and attack length (30 inches). This shaft also has the Gait signature concave grooves which help goalies grip their sticks a bit better. The built in end cap is also great because if your hands go down to the bottom on a clear, you don't have to worry about the end cap falling off or really dropping your stick.
My advise to all fellow goalies is to not rush to cut down a goalie handle. The best part of the summer is not only going to camps, clinics and tournaments but trying to figure out what equipment works best for you. Purchasing a new shaft and making sure the length of the handle is perfect for you can really change your game for the better. So take your time....because once that handle is cut, you can't glue it back together!