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Hockey Stick: Choose the Right One
There is no set in stone, universal rule on what hockey stick to choose. Often the decision boils down to personal preference. However, this article will cover useful rules of thumb and guidelines on how to choose the right stick for your needs.
Right hockey stick length.
When standing straight and your skates on, the tip of the hockey stick should reach between your chin and nose. More accurate length is got by holding the stick in playing stance. The blade should be aligned straight on the ice. If the blade tip rises, the stick is too long. If the "ankle" rises, it's too short.
TIP: You can shorten a composite hockey stick using a hacksaw but it will raise the flex of the stick.
Choosing the right flex value.
- Bigger and heavier players can play with higher flex sticks.
- If you shoot a lot of wrist shots you can choose a stick with a lower flex.
- Your playing position: defense players often use stiffer hockey sticks.
Both the weight and the playing style affect the selection of the flex value. For the stick to function properly it has to bend somewhat at the moment you shoot with it.
Flex 40-50 (junior):
These sticks are usually recommended for ages eight to ten. Playing skills are only just developing at this point and a more "softer" stick makes puck handling easier.
Flex 55-70 (intermediate):
Intermediates are recommended for ages 12 to 14.
Flex 75-80 (senior):
These are the most flexible sticks for adults that give a lot of shooting power by the "spring effect".
Flex 85-90 (senior):
These sticks are the most popular ones and can almost said to be the standard.
Flex 105+ (senior):
The least flexible sticks. You can shoot very hard with these if you have a good technique. Mostly used by defense players.