Many decisions go into choosing a hockey stick- kick point, curve pattern, style of play and brand among others. But most experts would agree the most import decision is choosing the proper flex A stick that is too flexible can lead to less accurate shots while a stick that is too stiff can detract from velocity on shots and crispness on passes. So how do you choose the best flex? There are a few factors to consider
Very basically stated, a sticks flex rating is based on the pounds of relative force required to bend the stick 1 inch. While there are other factors involved in the physics of shooting a puck, this flex rating is the industry standard across the board. For example, a 75 flex stick would require 75 lbs of force to bend a stick 1 inch. Why is this important? Every shot and pass in hockey benefits from the loading, releasing, and follow through of the flexing of a stick. The proper flex ensures the best results
Sadly, there is no exact science to choosing the proper flex but the player’s height and weight are a good place to start. Keep in mind, stick are flex rated at full height. The more you cut a stick down, the flex rating goes up. Most sticks have hash marks on them to show you the approximate increase in flex the more you cut the stick down. Asa general rule, when in doubt, most players will benefit from a more flexible stick then one that is too stiff
With the focus on flex all of the major stick companies now offer sticks in more flexes than ever before with 70 flex adult sticks, 55 flex intermediate sticks, and 4o flex jr sticks now readily available for the first time. In fact, Raven Hockey built their entire company around making sticks in multiple flexes and heights designed just for kids!
The best way to choose the proper flex is to demo the stick first. In our Stick Cellar, we have demos sticks in a variety of flexes from all the major stick companies which allows you to try before you buy in the Shooting Booth. The CCM Stick Fitter, an interactive tool which is getting ready to go live as this blog is being written, is an exciting new tool. It will help to narrow your choices and then you can demo the sticks it recommends. Pretty cool, right?
Choosing the proper flex is critical to your game and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Speak to a stick expert and demo different flexes before settling on you choice. It will make all the difference in your game