We've already walked you through a broad guide of how to pick the right hockey stick for you, but let's break it down even further by talking about flex. Long story short, stick flex is a measure of how a stick bends when you put pressure on it. This is expressed by a rating on the stick. The higher the rating, the stiffer a stick will be - so a stick with a flex rating of 90 will be significantly stiffer than a stick with a flex rating of 50. A good rule of thumb is to choose a flex rating that's roughly half your body weight. Then, you can move up or down depending on different factors and personal preference.
|Age range||Weight||Recommended flex|
|Tyke (3-5)||30-65 lbs||20-25|
|Youth (5-8)||40-80 lbs||30-40|
|Junior (7-12)||70-110 lbs||40-55|
|Intermediate (11-14)||95-140 lbs||55-70|
|Senior (14+)||140+ lbs||70+|
Pro tip: Having a stick that's either too whippy or too loose can cause issues. A stick that's too whippy for you can greatly reduce your shot speed because it can't store energy properly in the shaft. Having a stick that's too stiff can make it impossible to flex at all - making powerful shots extremely difficult to execute.
Thinking about flex
When trying to choose the best flex rating for you, it's important to consider a few things.
- Are you a player who values a quick release? Someone who likes to use wrist shots or snap shots to fool the goalie? Then you'll probably enjoy using a stick with a lower flex rating so you don't have to load as much energy into the shaft to shoot.
- Are you a player that likes to shoot from the half boards or set up for that one timer on the powerplay? Then you'll want a nice compromise between a lower, more whippy stick and a higher flex, more rigid stick so you can find the perfect balance of power and quickness.
- Are you a player who loves to wind up for big slapshots from the point? Are you tickling the rafters looking to put every ounce of power behind your shot? If so, you'll benefit from a stiffer stick that can withstand every bit of force you put into it.
Now that you've figured out your ideal flex, it's time to start thinking about how you'll utilize that flex. it's time to talk about kick point.
Kick point: an explanation
But it's not just about how much a stick flexes, it's also about where it flexes. That's referred to as the kick point. Having the right kick point factors into your game just as much as flex rating does.
Hockey sticks fall into 3 separate categories when you’re discussing kick point:
Low kick sticks are all about quickness. These sticks flex closer to the blade which allows for a quicker release of the puck. If you’re someone who finds yourself playing in tight quarters around the net with only a split second to release your shot, you’ll get the most out of a low kick stick. A low kick stick thrives when you take a lot of snap shots and wrist shots - these shots utilize the quick loading time and lower flexing position afforded by a low kick stick.
Mid kick sticks are designed for power. If you’re quarterbacking a powerplay and want to let loose some bombs from the point, a mid kick stick is best for you. As suggested by the name, these sticks load closer to the middle of the shaft, concentrating more power in the middle of the stick. These sticks won’t feature a lightning quick release, but in the hands of players who can generate a lot of power, they’re still potent goal scoring tools. The only pure mid kick stick left on the market is the CCM Super Tacks.
These sticks offer the best of both worlds to players who want to master every part of their offensive game. They flex based on where the player places their bottom hand, so someone using a variable kick stick can adapt on the fly based on what their needs are. Need a low kick to rip a quick shot in tight? No problem. A mid kick to bury a one timer on the power play? You can do that with a variable kick stick.
With an understanding of both flex and kick point, you can really hone in on a stick that fits with your size and style of play. Finding the right stick can make a huge difference in a key moment of the game, so choose carefully with the help from our experts! Find your next stick from us either in store or online today! If you still have questions about anything else hockey stick related, you can check out our broad guide to choosing the right hockey stick by clicking here.