Author: Paul Ward
No matter your level of play, it’s important that your gear is both effective in a game scenario as well as comfy to wear or handle. Remember,when you feel good you play good. With this in mind let’s take a look at one of the most important topics for any player, no matter what position or skill level. Today we are talking about the flex and length of your hockey stick.
Let’s start off with length. There are a few factors that play into this; If you are a taller player, you will need a taller stick and vice versa. For the sake of this topic, let’s pretend that everyone is the same height. The ideal length (while on skates) of a stick is parallel to the chin. While this is the “golden standard” of stick length, the real standard can be pretty much whatever feels best within a certain range. Players who like control and keeping the puck closer to their bodies may prefer a shorter stick while defensemen looking for an effective surprise reach and poke check usually go with a longer length. Again, there is wiggle room here but the median range should be from the top of the mouth to the middle of the chest (with skates). Always remember, you can cut as much of the stick off as you want, but you can’t put any length back on unless you want to use a wood or graphite butt. These compromise performance in a one piece stick, so be cautious when cutting your hockey stick
The flex of your hockey stick is extremely important to both your play style and shooting preference. The numbers painted on the stick are representative of the force that it takes to bend or deflect the stick one inch. The force used on the stick is measured in pounds, so a 100 flex stick takes 100 lbs. of pressure to bend the stick 1 inch. Below is a general table for the flex of a stick compared to the weight of a player.
Flex preference varies from player to player. Again, height plays a factor in decision making. A six foot five player with a 65 flex stick is just asking for a snapped twig after a few clappers. Finding a happy balance between whip and control is the key. I suggest feeling out a few different brands, as each brand flex ratio differs slightly. Check out the video below from the Youtube Channel Smarter Every Day.
Being comfortable on the ice, in your element is the name of the game. Your stick is your weapon, and having it custom fit to your own needs is paramount. There are many factors that go into stick fitting. The length and flex of a stick dictate how it will perform when it comes into contact with the puck. The best way to see if you like a certain flex/height variation is by trial and error. So get out there, find a stick that fits you, get a saucy tape job, and don’t forget to #StayTaped.
Have questions or want to submit your own tip? Email Dollartapeclub@gmail.com