Flex on a hockey stick refers to the total amount of force needed to bend a hockey stick. Sticks with a higher flex are more difficult to bend while sticks with a lower flex are easier to bend.
Scientifically speaking the flex number on a stick refers to the amount of pressure in pounds that needs to be applied in order to bend the stick one inch. This means if a stick has a flex of 100, 100 pounds of pressure must be applied to the stick in order to bend it one inch.
It is also important to know that high flex means that a stick is stiffer and low flex means that a stick will bend easily. Many hockey players mix these terms up and ask for a high flex stick when they actually want a stick that bends easily.
How To Choose Your Flex In Hockey?
Choosing the flex of your stick in hockey can be a confusing process. This section of our article is going to break down some key facts you can take into consideration when choosing your next hockey stick.
Rule Of Thumb
One common rule of thumb that is used to determine the flex of stick a player should have is based on the weight of the player.
Taking a player’s weight and dividing it by two is a common method used to determine what flex a player should use with their hockey stick.
Whether or not you think you are strong the majority of your ability to bend a stick is based on the weight you put on it. For this reason, larger players are going to find it much easier to bend a stick with a high flex.
Though this rule of thumb is not the only thing you should take into account when choosing a stick’s flex. Instead, this is just a quick and easy way you can determine the flex based on your weight.
Style Of Player
Another factor that goes into choosing the flex of your stick is the style of player that you are. Based on what you do in the game the flex you are going to require is going to change.
If you are often trying to dig out pucks along the boards having a stiffer stick with a high flex is going to help your game. When trying to battle for pucks along the boards a stick that bends easier is going to be less effective.
If you often take snapshots and wrist shots you are going to find low flex sticks that are easier to bend are going to be a better fit for your game. This is because the increased flex of these sticks makes it easier to generate power these shots.
For those players that prefer to take slapshots a high flex stick is going to be your best option. The higher the flex of a stick the more power you are able to generate on a slapshot.
This is why you will often find that the largest and strongest defensemen are the players on the ice with the highest flex sticks.
Length Of Stick
Another factor that plays into the flex of your stick is the length. As a stick gets shorter the flex increases meaning it requires more strength to bend.
When you buy a stick from a store the flex on the stick is going to be accurate regardless of the length of the stick. But if you decide to cut down your stick the flex will change.
Taking off only two inches of a hockey stick can increase the flex rating anywhere from 5-10 pounds.