Managing Your Hockey Equipment: Choosing The Right Stick Flex

Greg CaggianoSenior Writer IMarch 31, 2010

The flex of a hockey stick is very important, because it is a measure of how stiff the shaft of a stick is. The shaft is the straight part of the stick that stretches all the way down to the blade. When a hockey player makes thrusting motions with his stick, he needs the shaft to have the correct flex.

The worst thing in the world is for a hockey player to wake up the morning after a game, thinking about the night before, when his wrist shot deflated before it could even get to the net. The amount of flex in your stick can help determine how good of a player you will be.

Below are five surefire ways for you to choose the right flex:

1) Make sure to check the sides of every stick. There should be a number indicating the flex. If you see any unnatural markings, you should put the stick down immediately. The higher the flex, the more flexible the shaft will be.

2) Buy a stick based on your skill level. Beginners should start with cheap, but heavier sticks. Remember, they break easily and a catastrophe can occur if one breaks mid game. You can never have too much protection, so start out with a heavier stick.

3) Know what kind of benefits you want from your stick. Are you only playing for self-gratification? Or are you a team player, wanting everyone to share in the pleasure of playing a successful game? If you have a harder shot, go with a bigger flex, because an unstable shaft is a recipe for disaster.

4) Understand that all flexes can sometimes backfire. Some break more easily than others. There will be times where you can play all night long without it breaking, but sometimes, you just won’t have it in you, and it will go soft down low and break.

5) In order to test before buying, grip the stick at the top of the shaft with both hands, tightly. Then slowly put more pressure on it. Avoid intense thrusting motions because if the stick breaks, there will be a mess, and you will be paying for damaged goods.

But remember; buying a stick is based on your comfort level. Never allow yourself to be pressured into buying one that you just don’t want to. It can be a lot of fun, but it can also be very dangerous.

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