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2nhockey

Flexing the Stick

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Is it better for a novice hockey player to learn shooting technique with a flexier stick than the player's size and weight would otherwise indicate?

For example if a player is 210 pounds and 6 feet tall, that player would typically use a stick with a flex of maybe 87 to 100, right? Now, assume that same player is fairly new with some experience, but shot technique and ability to flex the stick just aren't there, yet. Should that player drop to, like a 70 flex to learn the feel, or just keep working with the higher flex?

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I'm sure there are lots of varying opinions on this, but for me, I'd say yes to the flexier stick. I actually use a stick flex that's appox 1/3 my weight. I'm 180 and use a 50 flex junior.  

Edited by puckpilot

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Agree that it is personal preference, but I think a lot of people grab sticks that are too stiff and too long for them. I think a more flexible stick helps with shooting, but like everything else with gear, it is trial and error. What you like initially may change as your skills evolve.

A big challenge is that flex numbers are not really consistent. They are ok as a ballpark measurement, but there is a ton of variability between brands. Manufacturers measure flex in different ways, so 70 flex in brand A vs 70 flex in brand B likely will not flex the same. You really need to get the stick in your hands and feel its flex vs. going purely off the number.

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I think it will vary from person to person but, all else being equal, starting with a lower flex is preferable for learning shot form/technique. Once you've grooved your form then consider moving to a stiffer flex.

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Flex for a novice is a trial and error exercise and there is no right answer. The best bet would be to try a mid-range flex at whichever stick the person will be using and then go from there, ie. if we're talking average sized adult male then I would start with an 85 and see how that goes.

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Thanks, fellas.

I picked up a CCM RBZ 260 today with a flex rating that represents a little over 1/3 body weight. Once I cut it, it should be about 40%.

My hope is this stick represents a mid-line' stick for the purposes of getting improved technique. If not, let me know now so I can return it before cutting and taping.

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Did you get that stick on sale? Because I believe that's last year's model. Nothing wrong with that, but this year's model is the RBZ 270. I've been in stores where they have both at the same price. From my understanding, the 270 has had some of the higher end tech trickle down into it.

But honestly, the difference is probably like splitting hairs. So, if it's a hassle don't worry about it. But if it isn't a hassle, new and shiny isn't too bad either. :D

Otherwise, I like that stick. It's one of the sticks I was looking at before I found last years, high-end version at 50% off. 

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Yes, it was on sale so I figured it was last year's (but didn't know).  I gave $45, and if I overpaid for last year's model I'm ok with the loss as long as the stick will perform the function of teaching technique. 

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On 11/3/2016 at 11:17 AM, puckpilot said:

I'm sure there are lots of varying opinions on this, but for me, I'd say yes to the flexier stick. I actually use a stick flex that's appox 1/3 my weight. I'm 180 and use a 50 flex junior.  

You use a junior stick? Not even intermediate? How do you find they hold up? I'm assuming you're an adult, and play in adult leagues?  I play in the Divisions 1, 2 and 3 where I play, and I feel like if I play with an intermediate stick, it'll be destroyed after a game or two.  This sucks, because I'm only 5'6", 150 lbs with my gear on, and I am constantly trying to find whippier sticks, but because I am so short, I always have to cut down senior sticks.  So even if I buy a 75 flex stick, after cutting it down it brings it up to about 81-85.  I would love to try an intermediate stick that can actually get me around 70 flex and not have to cut it down, but I'm worried it'll last me just over the 30 day warranty period and then be destroyed.

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10 hours ago, JAG said:

You use a junior stick? Not even intermediate? How do you find they hold up? I'm assuming you're an adult, and play in adult leagues?  I play in the Divisions 1, 2 and 3 where I play, and I feel like if I play with an intermediate stick, it'll be destroyed after a game or two.  This sucks, because I'm only 5'6", 150 lbs with my gear on, and I am constantly trying to find whippier sticks, but because I am so short, I always have to cut down senior sticks.  So even if I buy a 75 flex stick, after cutting it down it brings it up to about 81-85.  I would love to try an intermediate stick that can actually get me around 70 flex and not have to cut it down, but I'm worried it'll last me just over the 30 day warranty period and then be destroyed.

Yeah, I'm an adult, and play in adult leagues. Over the years, I went from senior to intermediate then down to junior. Intermediate sticks are too tall for me. I'm 5'5". I like 55flex, but once I cut that intermediate it's like a 65-70. Of the intermediate sticks I've used over the years, none lasted me less than 2 years.

I haven't broken a junior stick in the two years I've been using them. I'm a center and there's a fair amount of hacking and whacking, initiating and taking. I think it might help I've always put a strip of hockey tape over the slash zone at the bottom of my sticks. I find it helps me control an opponents stick when I do a stick check. But the side benefit is it helps minimise the nicks that eventually lead to broken sticks. But your millage may very. Because I use my feet as much as my stick to battle for pucks, so that might cut down on the wear and tear too. 

I've leaned into slapshots with 40 and 50 flex junior sticks over and over and none have broken. If you look at how much some of the NHL players flex their sticks on shots, it's way more than I do even with junior sticks. So I think it's within design parameters.

I think I remember seeing a video on youtube where they said a 100 flex stick needed three to four hundred pounds of constant pressure before it snapped. 

If you look at this youtube below video, a guy is doing a review of raven hockey sticks. He's I believe 6' 200lbs and he's cranking shots with a 20 flex stick and it takes a while for him to break it. 

When I was experimenting with going down to intermediate and junior sticks, the first thing I did was go buy a cheap $50 stick to try out before i committed to the idea.  I figured if I didn't like it, it was only $50. But if I did, I could buy a more expensive stick and keep the $50 one as my back up. If you're lucky you might be able to get a last year's model $100 stick at 50% off.

Cheers.

 

 

 

Edited by puckpilot

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All personal prefrence.. Iv'e been playing hockey for 23 years, 5'11",  225lbs and probably have more upper body strength than 95% of all NHL players.. I still use 75-85 flex sticks because i like them flexy..

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On 11/3/2016 at 4:07 PM, chippa13 said:

Flex for a novice is a trial and error exercise and there is no right answer. The best bet would be to try a mid-range flex at whichever stick the person will be using and then go from there, ie. if we're talking average sized adult male then I would start with an 85 and see how that goes.

I always suggest that customers start with a flex that is ~50% of their body weight and adjust from there. It's a good starting point that allows them to tailor to their needs once they start getting a hang of things.

FWIW, I weigh 165 lbs. and use between a 60 and 65 flex (depending on brand and kick point).

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I have heard ~50% of body weight as a guideline, but in practice I would say that should be the max for most. Especially for a novice who most likely does not have the balance nor the technique to get good flex on a shot. Because if your technique is poor and you can't get the shaft to flex there's no difference between 67 flex and 100 flex.

Of course, as you progress as a player and develop better skating and shooting technique, and personal preferences, that guideline goes out the window. But until you get to that point I'd say look for something 35-40% of your body weight. 

Using your example of someone 210 lbs. I would say max flex should be 100-105, but for learning good technique I'd say a 77 flex or 87 flex is probably better suited for them.

 

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On 11/27/2016 at 8:55 AM, DRR said:

I have heard ~50% of body weight as a guideline, but in practice I would say that should be the max for most. Especially for a novice who most likely does not have the balance nor the technique to get good flex on a shot. Because if your technique is poor and you can't get the shaft to flex there's no difference between 67 flex and 100 flex.

Of course, as you progress as a player and develop better skating and shooting technique, and personal preferences, that guideline goes out the window. But until you get to that point I'd say look for something 35-40% of your body weight. 

Using your example of someone 210 lbs. I would say max flex should be 100-105, but for learning good technique I'd say a 77 flex or 87 flex is probably better suited for them.

 

I think pretty much everything you said it spot on.

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12 hours ago, Chadd said:

I think pretty much everything you said it spot on.

 

I'd agree that half body weight or the closest step up/down from there if you want to get the most velocity on your wrist shot.

Example action shot from this past weekend - 16yr old 167lb player, 75 flex Easton CX cut down about 2":

XuZefLL.jpg

 

Edited by colins
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