Hockey Stick Flex Guide

player using a hockey stick with flex

Hockey is a quick-paced and physical sport that requires equipment suited to enhance your skills. Having the proper length of a hockey stick is important but so is using a hockey stick with the right amount of flex. Many new hockey players and parents have questions about hockey flex, so our SCHEELS Hockey Experts broke down everything you need to know. From what the flex number means to which hockey stick flex you should use, our hockey stick flex guide will help you find the best hockey stick flex for you or your player. 

What Is Hockey Stick Flex?

Hockey stick flex is simply how much the stick bends when it comes in contact with pressure when shooting. The amount that the stick flexes impacts how the stick feels during play. 

What Does the Hockey Stick Flex Number Mean?

Hockey stick flex is noted by a number on the stick’s shaft. These numbers can range anywhere from 30 to 110. To find the flex of a hockey stick, manufacturers use a machine to determine how much pressure it takes for the hockey stick to bend one inch. Thus, if a hockey stick is noted as a flex of 50, it takes 50 pounds of force to bend the stick one inch. The higher the hockey stick flex number the stiffer the stick will feel.

What Hockey Stick Flex Should I Use?

a player skating with a hockey stick

Many new hockey players (and parents) wonder what hockey stick flex they should use. Ultimately, this comes down to feel and personal preference, but a good starting point when finding the right flex is dividing the player’s body weight by two. For example, if the player weighs 160 pounds, they should start with an 80 flex hockey stick.

Hockey Stick Flex Chart

Below is a detailed hockey stick flex chart to help guide you through which flex may be right for your level of hockey. 

Youth30—42Mites/SquirtsIntroduction to a composite hockey stick
Junior50—52Squirts/PeeweeAges 8—12, Improve puck velocity and release time
Intermediate60—75Peewee/BantamPlayers with smaller hands, can't use Senior dimension stick but need the longer blade for control
Senior75—77High School & UpPlayer seeking maximum energy loading, softest flex available in this shaft dimension
Senior85—87High School & UpMost popular flex rating, ideal for quick release
Senior100—112High School & UpIdeal for a player with a wide range of shots

How Does Flex Affect Hockey Sticks?

player shooting a puck into the goal

The flex of a hockey stick influences the power and control you have in your shot. If you’re feeling out of control, you may be using a hockey stick with a flex that’s too low. On the other hand, if you don’t feel like you have enough power within your shot, you may be using a stick with too high of a flex.

What Is the Kick Point of a Hockey Stick?

With the developing technology of composite sticks, players can now choose what kick point they prefer in their hockey stick. The kick point of a hockey stick is where it flexes. There are three different kick point options to choose from—low kick, mid kick, and high kick.

  • Low kick: The flex happens at the bottom third of the shaft allowing for quick wrist shots closer to the goalie.
  • Mid kick: This type of kick is the most common at all levels. This flex happens at the middle part of the shaft and is perfect for the player who wants a balance between quick wrist shots and powerful slap shots.
  • High kick: The flex happens near the top third of the shaft and is all about power. Typically, defenders use the high kick option as it allows for players to load up for powerful slap shots.

The position you play can influence what type of kick you prefer in your hockey stick. Forwards tend to lean towards a low or mid kick since they take a lot more wrist shots, while defenders lean towards a high kick because they shoot more slap shots from a distance and have plenty of time to gain power.

Does Cutting the Hockey Stick Change the Flex?

Yes, cutting the hockey stick will change the flex. For every one inch you cut, the flex of your hockey stick will increase between three to five. This means that when you cut your hockey stick, it’ll become stiffer.

When choosing your hockey stick flex, it’s important to know that it’s all about personal preference and how the stick feels while you play. It’s always a good idea to try out a few different hockey stick flexes and brands to find the perfect fit for your playing style. Now that you know more about hockey stick flex and finding the right hockey stick flex for you, you’re ready to start finding a new stick for the upcoming season. You can start by checking our top picks for hockey sticks this year or stop into your local SCHEELS to speak with a Hockey Expert.