There are three basic staff types:
1. The Bo (6' foot staff)
2. The Jo (5' and 4' staff)
3. The Hanbo (or half of a bo - 3' staff)
We are starting with the Jo as it can be applied to both the bo and hanbo as needed. Any stick of length can be used; shovel handle, broom stick, red oak, whit oak, rattan, etc. Each has its unique pros and cons. Play with as many stick types and diameters and densities so that you know what works with whatever you have.
BTW, sticks do crack and break (rattan shreds). get over it. It's the circle of life. Go and get another. With that said I do prefer (never have favorites) a red oak 4' staff about 1" to 1 1/8" thick. Very versatile between striking and locking/grappling.
Our method will blend Japanese, Chinese and Filipino styles into one hybrid bastardization - and I mean that in the good sense. LOL.
Here is a YouTube playlist of the basic intro striking methods.
ninpo ik kan, my friends...