Hockey Stick Flex is the term used for the bending of the stick during shooting. When you shoot, your stick will bend as it makes contact with the puck, creating a “hinge-like” effect, and increasing shot power. There are many different flex options to choose from, so this article will help explain some of those options, and help you find out which one is best for you!
What Hockey Stick Flex Should I Use?
When first starting out with the game of Ice Hockey one of the first questions that will come up is “What flex Hockey Stick should I use”? A good place to start when choosing Hockey Stick Flex is to try out a stick with a flex rating that is half of your body weight. For example, if you are 140 pounds, a good place to start would be with a 70-flex stick.
That said, all players will have different preferences based on their primary shot type, ability to use the stick effectively, and so on. Often times, your primary shot of choice will be one factor in determining what flex you want to go with. A player that takes quick wrist shots might opt to go with a lower (than half their body weight) flex stick because they need the stick to flex quicker to fire the puck off faster. A player who takes a lot slapshots might prefer a higher flex stick since they have a little bit more time to load up their stick and get maximum power behind their shots.
Try out different flexes in the shooting room at your local MonkeySports store to get a better idea of which one would work better for you and your play style.
Hockey Stick Flex Chart
The Hockey Stick Flex Chart provided below is a good general starting point when determining what flex hockey stick you should go with. That said it is just a general guideline, so it is always recommended to try out different flexes and heights to determine which option would suit you and your play style the best.
|Age Group||Height||Weight||Stick Flex|
|Tyke (3 - 5)||3'0" - 3'10"||30 - 65 lbs.||20 - 25 flex|
|Youth (5 - 8)||3'6" - 4'8"||40 - 80 lbs.||30 - 40 flex|
|Junior (7 - 12)||4'4" - 5'1"||70 - 110 lbs.||40 - 52 flex|
|Intermediate (11 - 14)||4'11" - 5'8"||95 - 140 lbs.||55 - 70 flex|
|Senior (14+)||5'7" - 6'1"+||150 - 210+ lbs.||75 - 100+ flex|
Hockey Stick Flex Ratings
A good place to start when choosing a Hockey Stick Flex Rating is to choose the flex that matches half of your body weight. If you weigh 160 pounds, start with an 80 flex, and see how you like this option by testing it out in a shooting room. If you weigh 140 pounds, try the same process out with a 70 flex stick.
If you are a newer player, you will want to go with 10 flex than your body weight. So, if you are a new player that weighs 160, try out a 70 flex stick. This will help you develop shot speed because you will be able to better utilize the flex of the stick. The most popular stick flexes for most senior players, regardless of weight, is within the 75 to 90 flex range.
How Does Flex Impact Play?
Hockey Stick Flex is when the stick bends as it hits the ice, just before making contact with the puck. The spring-like effect created here releases the stored energy from the stick into the puck. And utilizing the right Hockey Stick Flex can greatly improve your shot accuracy, power, and efficiency.
Getting an Ice Hockey Stick that is too “whippy”, meaning a flex that is too low for you, can decrease your shot speed due to it not being resistant enough to store power in the shaft. Conversely, an Ice Hockey stick that is too “stiff”, meaning a flex that is too high for you, will make it much harder to bend the stick, therefore not enough bend to actually create power in the first place. Finding the right balance of these two is what you are looking for.
The Most Common Stick Flexes
- Youth: 40 flex
- Junior: 50 flex
- Intermediate: 60 flex
- Senior (regular): 85 flex
- Senior (stiff): 100 flex
The Hockey Stick Flexes listed above are the most common flexes for each age category. Finding the right Hockey Stick Flex takes time, practice, and may not be identical to the ones listed above. Try out different Hockey Stick Flex Ratings and determine which one works best for you and your play style.
More Questions About Hockey Stick Flex
How much flex do you lose when you cut a hockey stick?
Cutting a hockey stick down can affect how the stick feels and plays. Cutting a hockey stick down one inch will add around 3-5 flex. Most Hockey Stick manufacturers like Bauer, CCM, and Warrior add measurements to the back of the stick, at the top, showing what the flex of the stick would equate to depending on how much is cut off.
What flex does Ovechkin use?
- Alex Ovechkin: 80 Flex CCM Hockey Stick
- Auston Matthews: 80 Flex Bauer Hockey Stick
- Connor McDavid: 85 Flex CCM Hockey Stick
- Leon Draisaitl: 95 Flex Warrior Hockey Stick
- Mitch Marner: 85 Flex True Hockey Stick
Recently, we have seen a majority of NHL forwards using lower Hockey Stick Flex Ratings. With the increase in speed of today’s game, forwards are utilizing these lower flex sticks to help them get the puck off their blade as quickly as possible.
Does hockey stick flex affect accuracy?
Yes, Hockey Stick Flex can affect accuracy. Choosing a Hockey Stick with flex rating that is too low can negatively affect accuracy do to too much stress being put on the shaft during shooting. This can give an uncontrolled feel as soon as the blade makes contact with the puck and into the follow through.
A Hockey Stick that has a flex rating that is too high can increase accuracy because there is less energy being transferred into the shaft of the stick. With that said, shots will be less powerful because of the decreased energy transfer.