What Does Hockey Stick Flex Mean? | Discover Hockey (2023)

Have you ever noticed when buying a new hockey stickthat eachone has a number on it, such as 75, 85 or 100. This is what is known as the flex of the stick, and it basically indicates how much the stick will bend. What is not intuitive is that a higher flex number indicates that the stick is less flexible, while a lower flex number indicates the opposite.

How do they come up with that number? The flex number indicates how many pounds of force are required to bend (or deflect, to be really scientific) the stick one inch. So, it should take 100 pounds of force to bend a stick marked as 100 flex exactly one inch in the centre. CCM/Reebok also includes a metric equivalent flex on their sticks. A 100 may be dual marked as 100/45, which equates to 45 kilograms of force required to deflect the stick 2.54 centimetres…which is one inch. This is what is known as a “soft” metrification – when the metrification is simply a conversion of the Imperial units, so they don’t appear to make any sense on their own. If they truly wanted to measure stick flex in metric units, they’d likely measure how much flex was required to deflect the stick 2 centimetres or some other rounded number.

So which stick flex should you use? An easy trick is to take your weight (in pounds, and you are only fooling yourself if you lie) and divide that by two. So let’s pretend that I weigh 200 pounds. I should use a 100/102 flex stick following this logic. And that is what I use, so fancy that. Ultimately, this is a matter of personal preference. Someuse a 75/77 flex, but that doesn’t mean that they weigh 150 pounds. There are other reasons to choose a specific flex. A lower flex, being more “whippy” is a better choice for someone that wants to be able to put a lot a load on the stick for quick wrist shots. In this case, the lower flex will help because the quickness of release is more important than how hard the shot is. Acentre may want something more in the middle, since their stick may take more of a beating and a lower flex stick is ultimately less durable because it takes more stress. Defenders generally want a stiffer stick because those will transfer more energy on slapshots, making them harder. You have to determine the maximum stick flex that you can actually bend, because this determines how much energy transfer you can harness. If you are a defender with an 85 flex but can’t adequately bend it, your slapshots will only have the force of your swing behind them. In that case you’d be better off going with a lower flex stick because that will allow you to maximize your shot potential from the point.

(Video) Stick Flex its Meaning and Importance

What Does Hockey Stick Flex Mean? | Discover Hockey (1)

Another major factor for how the flex can affect your shot is how much you cut the stick down. You may have seen the marks on the stick near the end that show what the flex will increase to if you cut it there. The reason that it makes the stick stiffer is similar to how any type of lever works. The stiffness of the material used obviously doesn’t change, but rather the overall length is the variable factor in this case. In physics this is explained using Hooke’s law, with the spring constant representing the stick flex. The main variables in the equation for the spring constant are the force applied and the distance between the two supports (the stick length).

While you don’t see them much anymore, a see-saw (or teeter-totter) used to be a playground staple that taught children about mechanical advantage and leverage. If sit a kid on one end of the see-saw, it is much easier to push down at the opposite end to lift them. The close to thecentre that you push, the harder that it becomes. That is why you can sit closer to thecentre if you are heavier than the other kid to find the balance point. Cutting two inches off of a 75/77 flex stick will make it feel like an 85 flex stick, for example. Every bit cut off will increase this feeling.

(Video) Hockey 101: Choosing The Proper Stick Flex

If a wooden extension is glued in, the original flex of a cut stick can be restored or a stick can be made stiffer. This is because the increased length will increase the spring constant, which results in a higher effective flex. However, the glued joint will be a weak spot so you don’t want to make the extension too long.

What kind of flex do the pros use? There is a much larger variety than you may expect. Also, players are prone to changing sticks and flex more often throughout the season, with many lowering their flex as the season goes on. For example, Danny Briere often starts the season with a stiffer stick, such as a 90 flex, only to end up with a 75 flex by the end of the season. With that all said, the majority of NHL players use a stick with flex in the 85-100 range.

Forwards tend to use a lower flex. Some players with a notable low flex are Johnny Gaudreau with a 55 flex and Phil Kessel with a 65 flex. You can see just how much bend these players get out of their stick when they shoot. There are quite a few forwards that use sticks in the 65-75 range. Alexander Ovechkin is 230 pounds and uses a 79 flex stick, which is probably a big reason for his one-timer. Sidney Crosby uses a 100 flex stick, higher than you may imagine for a skilled player. In his case this may have some advantages as a stiffer stick can be better in face-offs, and flex really doesn’t factor heavily into backhand shooting. Patrick Kane uses an unusually stiff stick for his size at 102-105.

(Video) How to Activate Your Stick's Flex

Defenders almost universally use higher flex sticks. Zdeno Chara, at 6-9 and 256 pounds, uses a 150-160 flex stick regularly, twice as stiff as Ovechkin. Dustin Byfuglien and Shea Weber use 122 flex sticks, but Weber increases this to 130 flex for the hardest shot competitions.

What Does Hockey Stick Flex Mean? | Discover Hockey (2)

We take for granted the consistency that the composite sticks provide. The stick flex is accurate and you can buy the same stick at different times and know how they will perform. Wooden sticks were a different story. Wooden sticks also had flex ratings, but instead of these being engineered into the stick as it was being made, they were assigned based on how the stick would flex after the stick was made. Players would often have to buy large lots and find their “gamers”, akin to how baseball players presently deal with wooden bats. The kick point of wooden sticks (where the primary bend and transfer of energy occurs) was much higher on wooden sticks. They would tend to flex in thecentre and whip from there, whereas composite sticks kick closer to the blade. More power is delivered the lower the kick point is.

(Video) How to choose the flex and curve of a hockey stick

When going to buy your sticks, keep in mind that senior sticks are generally only going to be available in flex numbers 75/77, 85/87, 95 and 100/102 regularly, with other stiffer values sometimes in stock. If you want or need less than 75/77, you will have to consider using an intermediate stick unless you can find pro stock in that value. Intermediate sticks tend to be shorter and typically have a 65/67 flex. Below that are junior sticks, where 55 flex is usually the highest. It is acceptable to flex the stick by holding one hand on top and the other in the centre. See how hard it is to get that one inch of deflection and find the stick that seems right. Don’t put all your body weight on the stick or try to bend it too aggressively in the store. A small bend will give you enough idea. Lastly, keep in mind which type of player you are. You’re most likely to score with a quick shot, followed by an accurate shot, with hard shots being the least likely to score. Is your game better with power or placement?

But in the end, the best way to find out is to head to your local hockey shop and get someone that works there to help you find the perfect flex. Some even have areas where you can try the sticks out and see what works best for you!

And if you’re thinking of taking that stick and learning how to play hockey this winter, and end up on a real hockey team, you should sign up for our Winter Discover Hockey programs here. Spots are limited and will sell out!

(Video) Choosing FLEX for a hockey stick, its NOT weight!!

FAQs

What should my flex be on my hockey stick? ›

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.

Should I use 75 or 85 Flex? ›

Intermediate = 50 to 70 flex (typically for ages 13 - 17, weight 110 to 150 lbs) Senior soft/regular = 75 to 90 flex (typically for ages 14 and up, weight 150 to 180 lbs) Senior regular/stiff = 85 to 102 flex (typically for ages 16 and up, weight 170 to 205 lbs)

Is a higher flex more bendy? ›

“Increasing the flex” actually means making the stick less flexible, as a higher flex number indicates greater force required to make the stick bend.

Is more flex better in a hockey stick? ›

A stiffer flex stick will help you win puck battles along the boards and faceoffs, and if you're blasting shots from the point you'll create more power. Less hockey stick flex increases your feel, better for sending and receiving passes, controlling the puck and getting off shots quickly and precisely.

Does hockey stick flex matter? ›

The simple answer is yes, a shorter stick will feel stiffer and will perform more similarly to a stick with a higher flex number. A longer stick will feel softer and will perform more like a stick with a lower flex number.

What is 75 flex in a hockey stick? ›

A flex rating is based on how many pounds of pressure it takes to bend the stick 1 inch (i.e. 75 pounds of pressure = a 75 flex stick).

What Flex is good for beginners? ›

The regular shaft is perfect for the golfer with around 90mph of swing speed. Most average golfers and beginners enjoy the regular flex shaft.

What flex do most Nhlers use? ›

With that all said, the majority of NHL players use a stick with flex in the 85-100 range. Forwards tend to use a lower flex. Some players with a notable low flex are Johnny Gaudreau with a 55 flex and Phil Kessel with a 65 flex. You can see just how much bend these players get out of their stick when they shoot.

What is the best curve for a hockey stick? ›

A moderate curve depth (1/2”) is the most popular and will help improve puck control, improve the ability to lift the puck easier (compared to slight), all while still having a good backhand. A deep curve depth will provide the most control thanks to the blade being able to really cup the puck.

Is my hockey stick too stiff? ›

If off the ice you find that you can't bend it at least 1 inch you may need a lighter flexing stick. Also if you take slap shots and don't feel your stick flex this is another sign that you need a lower flex.

How does the flex of a hockey stick affect the shot? ›

The higher the flex number, the stiffer the hockey stick. Flex has a lot to do with how fast a player's slap shot is. In the act of making a slap shot, the player will scrape the blade on the ice a few inches behind the puck.

Do all pros use stiff flex? ›

90% of the top 100 PGA Tour pros use extra stiff or Tour extra stiff flex shafts in their driver. As a whole pro players of woods, hybrids and utility irons again use extra stiff or Tour extra stiff shafts with stiff and stiff+ flex shafts only being more used in irons and wedges.

What stick did Gretzky use? ›

The movement was started by none other than Wayne Gretzky who signed an endorsement deal to use an HXP 5100 aluminum shafted stick made by Easton. The late 80's saw initial use of aluminum shafted sticks, but it was Wayne Gretzky who made them popular in the early 90's.

What is a good hockey stick flex for a 13 year old? ›

Hockey Stick Length and Flex Sizing Chart
Age GroupHeightRecommended Shaft Flex
Junior (7-13)4'4" - 5'1"50/55 Flex
Intermediate (11-14)4'11" - 5'4"60 Flex
Intermediate (12-14)5'2" - 5'8"65/70 Flex (Light Flex)
Senior (14+)5'5" - 5'10"75/80 Flex (Mid Flex)
5 more rows
Feb 17, 2017

What stick curve should I use? ›

If you really like to stick handle a lot or you are a beginner you should try a mid curve or a mid-toe curve. (Like the P88) they give you the most comfort stick handling as well as shooting forehand and back hand. You will also have the most accuracy. If you like to snipe corners you want a mid-toe to toe curve.

What does P28 mean on a hockey stick? ›

Most noticeably stars like Ovechkin, Doughty or Getzlaf are using what has become known as the Open Toe (P28 in most brands) pattern. Just like everything else in hockey when people see success they try to emulate it, and elite players have flocked to the open toe.

Is 80 flex too soft? ›

Typically the softest-flexing quality boot for men is about a 90 flex and for women is 75 to 80. Intermediate skiers require a slightly stiffer boot to transfer energy quickly from the boot to the ski, but still soft enough to allow them some forward flex. Often the flex for guys will be 100 to 110 and women 80 to 90.

Is a 95 flex stiff? ›

Now more flex does not mean a higher number flex, as a 95 flex stick is stiffer than an 85 flex stick. The lower the number the more flex a stick will have.

Who uses 65 flex in the NHL? ›

As one of the league's smallest players, Gaudreau's specs are dramatically different than the average NHLer's. In a league full of big men using stiff sticks, Gaudreau uses the opposite - an intermediate 58" stick with 65 flex.

Do I need a stiff shaft or Flex? ›

In general, golfers with a fast swing should use a stiff shaft and slowed swings should use a regular flex shaft. To check your swing speed a shot tracking device will be the most accurate method. Based on your swing speeds here are our recommendations: 80-95 mph swing speeds should use regular shafts.

How do I know if I need a stiff or regular shaft? ›

What's the difference between regular and stiff shafts? A stiff shaft is firmer and harder to bend than a regular shaft, and so more often than not, they're also heavier in weight. As a rough rule of thumb, the more speed you generate, the stiffer your shafts should be.

Is 110 flex too stiff? ›

A very stiff flex is a great option for taller, heavier or aggressive advanced to expert skiers who require a high level of responsiveness to deliver precise performance. Recreational boots top-out at around 110 flex for women and 130 flex for men, and beyond that, the range goes into racing models.

What Flex is Ovechkin stick? ›

Here's a closer look at the stick specs of Washington Capitals captain, Alex Ovechkin! It's actually a Jetspeed FT3 underneath that Super Tacks AS2 Pro graphic! He uses his infamous toe curve that opens up near the toe. He also uses a higher flex than many may think, with all of his sticks ranging from 95-105 flex.

How do you pick a hockey stick? ›

Rule of thumb: Start with a flex that's half your body weight and adjust from there. Height: Standing in your stocking feet, toe of the blade on the floor and between your feet, stick parallel to your body, the butt of the shaft should reach your nose — no higher than your brow, for sure, no lower than your chin.

What curve is p92 Bauer? ›

CURVES EQUIVALENCES
BAUERCCMVERBERO
P92 / P92MP29V92
P88P88V88
PM9P14V90
P28P28V28
9 more rows

How much curve is allowed on a hockey stick? ›

The curvature of the blade of the stick shall be restricted in such a way that the distance of a perpendicular line measured from a straight line drawn from any point at the heel to the end of the blade to the point of maximum curvature shall not exceed three-quarter of an inch (¾”).

What is the best hockey stick for beginners? ›

3 Best Beginner Hockey Sticks for Adults in 2022 (With Pictures)
  • Best Overall: Warrior QRE 10 Silver Grip Senior Hockey Stick.
  • Runner-Up: CCM Jetspeed FT4 Pro Grip Senior Hockey Stick.
  • Best Budget: Bauer Vapor X Grip Senior Hockey Stick.
  • Sources.

Is a lighter hockey stick better? ›

This is up to personal preference. Some players prefer lighter sticks because they are easier to handle and move around on the ice. Others choose a stick with more weight because it helps to build up strength while using it and can be tougher for opponents to lift off the ice.

What is the hardest shot in hockey? ›

The NHL's record for fastest shot is held by Zdeno Chara, whose 108.8 mph (175.5 km/h) during the NHL All-Star Game's Skills Competition in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on 29 January 2012.

Is 65 flex good? ›

The intermediate flex will usually fall between the junior and senior flexes as well. The average for an intermediate stick is a flex rating of 60 or 65.

What position should my Flex be? ›

The top flex players in fantasy football are the players that rack up the most points from the running back and wide receiver positions.

How do I know if my flex shaft is correct? ›

"L" is the most flexible shaft and "X" is the stiffest shaft:
  1. "L" denotes "ladies flex"
  2. "A" or "M" denotes "senior flex" (might also be designated "AM" or "A/M," or "Senior")
  3. "R" denotes "regular flex"
  4. "S" denotes "stiff flex" (might also be designated "Firm")
May 28, 2019

What should my shaft flex be? ›

If you're between 97 and 104 mph with the driver, you need a stiff flex. If you're between 84 and 96 mph, regular is going to be best for you. This is the swing speed rage of most amateur golfers. Between 72 and 83 mph with the driver signifies you need to be hitting senior flex.

Videos

1. ​​​What Is Hockey Stick Flex And Why Does It Matter? | Hockey Stick Flex and Why | Hockey Shots
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2. Flexing the stick - Wristshot, Slapshot and Snapshot - Complete Shot video 5
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3. 5 things EVERY hockey player should know about sticks before buying
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4. Blind Hockey Stick Kick Point Test ! - Does stick flex matter?
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5. What Does Carbon Mean In A Hockey Stick? | Hockey Sticks | Carbon Hockey Sticks | Total-Hockey
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6. IS IT TRASH? - 20 FLEX HOCKEY STICK
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