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Flop_N_Pray

A New Way to Determine Stick Length

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Like many others I've noticed that when switching curves just cutting sticks the same length - even if they are the same lie - results in less than optimal shooting power and accuracy and forces you to change mechanics.

Cutting sticks to the same landmark on the body or even same measured length from base of blade to end of shaft fails to take into consideration three important variables: blade length, blade rocker, and curve "sweet spot" for shooting.

I rotate up to six different curves: P91A, P88, PM9, W71, P28, and P92 and through trial and error found a length for each that maximizes my shooting.

Switching between the curves is quite fluid (for me) with only minor adjustments to stickhandling and hand position when receiving passes. 

Here's where it gets wild: my P91A is 2.5" taller than my P28 when stood against a wall, and each stick is anywhere between 1/4" and 1" different from the next closest in length. I set out tonight to figure out how why it works (for me).

I discovered that if I put a puck and my feet in fixed, marked locations, held my hands a fixed distance apart, cupped the blade over so the bottom felt flush (or in the case of the P28 so the toe lie was flush) and located the puck on the sweet spot (close to heel on P91A, up in the toe pocket for P28), my top hand ended up in . . . almost exactly the same spot, both in terms of location in space and amount of wrist roll. I used a mirror to confirm I wasn't cheating with posture adjustments.

This was true on all 6 curves except the PM9 which was a little short / left my top hand further from the body. Coincidentally, I'm least accurate (shooting) with the PM9. Results were the same with chest facing the net and perpendicular.

TL;DR: Consider using a fixed foot, puck, and hand position and seeing where the curve ends up, then adjust length to move the curve into the right spot, rather than chopping every stick at an arbitrary eyebrow/lip/chin/collarbone height.

Edited by Flop_N_Pray

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The real question is, why are you using so many different curves? Maybe I'm old school, but if I pick a curve, I stick with it for an extended period of time. I just did this going from a 92 to a 28. I don't want to be changing back and forth between the two because I feel like I maximize learning and perfecting the curve I'm using. I won't change curves, usually, for an entire season or more if it's working. Just seems like you're spending time readjusting to the stick each time your switch. To each their own, but I am curious to as why you switch between so many.

Edited by darkhors
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3 hours ago, darkhors said:

The real question is, why are you using so many different curves? Maybe I'm old school, but if I pick a curve, I stick with it for an extended period of time. I just did this going from a 92 to a 28. I don't want to be changing back and forth between the two because I feel like I maximize learning and perfecting the curve I'm using. I won't change curves, usually, for an entire season or more if it's working. Just seems like you're spending time readjusting to the stick each time your switch. To each their own, but I am curious to as why you switch between so many.

Fair question. Short answer? I just like to fiddle.

Long answer. Each one is slightly better suited to certain tasks (stickhandling, sauce, flat passing, flip clears, etc). Just depends on my mood, what position I'm playing any given day, and the relative skill level of the game. 

P91A I use for stay at home D or forward if I'm going to do work down in the corners or park in front of the net looking for those trash goals.

P88 or PM9 shooting a lot from the point or if I'm looking to pass first. Also my go to for shinny mostly to keep the puck down.

P28 or P92 I'll pull out if I'm playing wing and looking to shoot first.

W71/P77 I usually just use screwing around at stick and puck but sometimes at D if I'm feeling extra pinchy that day.

Could I probably be better if I stuck to one? Maybe. But not enough to change my level of play at this point. I'm a good C or mediocre B level player at any position and with any curve and have no aspiration to play at a higher level in my mid-30s.

It's the archer not the arrow. If anything I've found that playing different positions with different curves and different mindsets has improved my versatility, creativity, and hockey IQ far more that it hurts any part of my game.

Occasionally I switch shooting hands for a game too and rotate between two skate models. Gotta keep things fresh. But I skate 3-4 times a week and spend 10-20 minutes a day doing dryland stickhandling so YMMV.

To be clear I am not advising that switching curves constantly is a good idea. Just that if you are switching, there may be a better way to find the right length than just standing against the wall and chopping it the same as the other one.

Edited by Flop_N_Pray

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Yeah, I'm definitely on the opposite side of the fiddler at least for hockey 🙂 My OCD keeps me using the same stuff for a while unless I really think it's going to be a game changer for me like the 28 has been. Keep on keeping on 🙂 

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Ultimately I think you have to decide what type of player you are and optimize for that.

Laine - Super long stick and a curve to optimize shooting over everything else.

Ovechkin - Nine iron type huge open toe curve to optimize one timers over everything else.

Crosby - Short stick with almost no curve to optimize puck control close to his body and playmaking over everything else.

 

Pick the curve / length that suits your style. There's no right or wrong answers, just the answer that lets you optimize your game to be the type of player you want to be.

 

colins

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Measuring sticks against the wall isn't accurate as some blade patterns are shorter/longer than others. Measure from the actual base of the blade where it contacts the ice 

I use a p28 and I measure it from the top to the base in the exact same spot on ally sticks and when standing up against the wall they differ slightly in height between brands. 

Edited by Sniper9
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Why not just stick with the P28 it or the p92 it can do everything the other curves can I’ve been using it for years it’s good for passing shooting stickhandling saucers, When you stick with one curve you become good at doing everything with that curve you don’t need to switch patterns to take shots from point or tip pucks or stick handle, I think you’re actually hurting yourself switching from so many curves it’s crazy.

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On 3/10/2020 at 6:55 PM, colins said:

 

Ultimately I think you have to decide what type of player you are and optimize for that.

Laine - Super long stick and a curve to optimize shooting over everything else.

Ovechkin - Nine iron type huge open toe curve to optimize one timers over everything else.

Crosby - Short stick with almost no curve to optimize puck control close to his body and playmaking over everything else.

Pick the curve / length that suits your style. There's no right or wrong answers, just the answer that lets you optimize your game to be the type of player you want to be.

 

I agree with this mostly.

As a shop owner I get access to all retail blades, many custom blades, and a ton of pro stock blades as well. You should first determine what kind of player you are and if you like a longer or shorter length. Then you can narrow down the blade options that work best for you. After doing such you can figure out the best flex profile and flex rating for your style of shooting. There is a lot of trial and error to get this dialed in exactly. Many people don't ever get it dialed in either due to the cost o time involved and just use what works. 

This is why we are starting to see a lot of performance training facilities with high speed cameras being used to help players break down their shot mechanics.

I myself am looking to open a facility in Seattle, WA that will use 8K 240FPS cameras to record players shooting such as the ones they used recently in FIFA. Recording and playing back different shooting scenarios such as wrist, snap, slap, one-time, quick release, chip shots and such. You cannot just focus on one type of shot as there are many variables in games which require layer mechanic adaptation. 

Camera link: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2018/07/06/live-from-the-fifa-world-cup-nhk-8k-production-expands-to-seven-cameras-adds-8k-240fps-hitachi-camera/

I recently dropped from a 75 flex to a 68 flex and moved to a mid-kick stick after looking at some of the footage I took of myself training. Keep in mind I am 180lbs and about 5'10" so technically I should be using a higher flex stick but since I prefer using such a short stick, to my armpit, I cannot leverage the shorter length and stiffer flex properly to load it. 

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You can learn alot by switching around patterns.  I learned to shoot better with a heel wedge because it made me cup the puck and lean on the stick more than a p88 type of curve.

I measure sticks by setting sticks against the wall with blade up and measuring to about the mid heel of the blade.  That minimizes the differences in lie and toe shape.

 

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On 3/10/2020 at 9:55 PM, colins said:

 

Ultimately I think you have to decide what type of player you are and optimize for that.

Laine - Super long stick and a curve to optimize shooting over everything else.

Ovechkin - Nine iron type huge open toe curve to optimize one timers over everything else.

Crosby - Short stick with almost no curve to optimize puck control close to his body and playmaking over everything else.

 

Pick the curve / length that suits your style. There's no right or wrong answers, just the answer that lets you optimize your game to be the type of player you want to be.

 

colins

Ryder optimized shooting with a long P89.

PK Subban hammers one timers with a P91A.

Boeser has an absolute bomb with a P88.

Sakic had arguably the quickest “dual lie” release in NHL history using a Drury

Blake Wheeler averages like 15G-60A a season using a P28.

Tavares has the puck on a string with a P15.

TLDR: Curves aren’t good at things, players are. 

Edited by Cavs019
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21 hours ago, SkateWorksPNW said:

I agree with this mostly.

As a shop owner I get access to all retail blades, many custom blades, and a ton of pro stock blades as well. You should first determine what kind of player you are and if you like a longer or shorter length. Then you can narrow down the blade options that work best for you. After doing such you can figure out the best flex profile and flex rating for your style of shooting. There is a lot of trial and error to get this dialed in exactly. Many people don't ever get it dialed in either due to the cost o time involved and just use what works. 

This is why we are starting to see a lot of performance training facilities with high speed cameras being used to help players break down their shot mechanics.

I myself am looking to open a facility in Seattle, WA that will use 8K 240FPS cameras to record players shooting such as the ones they used recently in FIFA. Recording and playing back different shooting scenarios such as wrist, snap, slap, one-time, quick release, chip shots and such. You cannot just focus on one type of shot as there are many variables in games which require layer mechanic adaptation. 

Camera link: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2018/07/06/live-from-the-fifa-world-cup-nhk-8k-production-expands-to-seven-cameras-adds-8k-240fps-hitachi-camera/

I recently dropped from a 75 flex to a 68 flex and moved to a mid-kick stick after looking at some of the footage I took of myself training. Keep in mind I am 180lbs and about 5'10" so technically I should be using a higher flex stick but since I prefer using such a short stick, to my armpit, I cannot leverage the shorter length and stiffer flex properly to load it. 

Sounds cool.  We worked with a product design company who was developing a new lacrosse stick for a manufacturer and had an area with like 30 high-speed cameras set up.  It was amazing what they could capture from all those angles.

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I just assumed everyone cut different patterns to different lengths. My p28's are different then my P92's. If I try something different, I'll throw my skates to see how the blade lies, then cut wherever my top hand falls.

Edited by stick9

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