When you walk into a Pure Hockey and see the amount of sticks we usually have in stock, we admit it can be overwhelming for someone who isn’t well-versed in HOCKEY GEAR. In some cases, there are thousands of sticks in stock, so it’s not easy for the casual player or parent. That said, we enlisted our store manager up in Dover, NH, to take the mystery out of it for you. Here’s their clear and concise take on how to choose the right flex:
The most important factor to consider when choosing the flex for a stick is weight. More so than height, the weight of the player using the stick makes the biggest difference in the player’s ability to flex the stick and get off a better shot. Height can be factored into determining the proper flex, but primarily only for tall adults that fall right in the middle of two flex options. For example, a 190 pound player should generally use a regular senior flex. However, if the 190 pound player is 6’6” he might want to use a stiff flex because of the amount of leverage he can get on his stick.
Another thing about flex to keep in mind when shopping for a new stick is that the flex rating that manufacturers put on the sticks is not based on a universal scale. For example, what reebok considers an 85 flex might feel distinctly different than what Warrior considers an 85 flex to be.
All composite sticks can be cut shorter or have an extension put in to make them longer. This, however, changes the flex of the stick. The longer the stick is made, the softer it becomes. Conversely, the shorter a stick is cut, the stiffer it becomes. As a general rule, for every inch added to a stick subtract five from the flex scale, and for every inch cut off a stick add five to the scale. Factor the amount cut off or added to a stick when determining the proper flex.
Generally speaking, flex ratings correspond to player weight as such:
Youth (Approximately 30 flex) 0-60lbs
Junior (Approximately 50 Flex) 60-100lbs
Intermediate (60-70 flex) 100-150lbs
Senior Mid (Approximately 75 flex) 150-170lbs
Senior Regular (Approximately 85 flex) 170-200lbs
Senior Stiff (Approximately 100 flex) 200+ lbs
One last tip: when feeling the flexibility of a stick in the store, DO NOT push down on the stick with your bottom hand. No one shoots like that on the ice, and this does not help you determine if the stick is the right flex for you. Instead, put your top hand where it will be after you cut it, lock your elbow on your bottom arm, and pull the top of the stick towards your body. This simulates the shooting motion on the ice, and is a better way to determine if the stick is the proper flexibility for you.
Hope this helps! Let us know your thoughts anytime!