So which stick flex is right for you?
There is a general formula for determining your flex. This is calculated by dividing your body weight in half. If you weigh 170 pounds, (77 Kilos for us Canadians), you should use around an 85 flex. An 85 flex stick requires 85 pounds of force to bend the stick 1 inch with a full length stick. Seems simple enough, right? However, hockey is a game of preference so, just because you weigh 170 does not mean that you must use an 85 flex. You may find that the 85 is too stiff for you, and there is nothing wrong with using a 75 flex stick. The same goes if you think the 85 flex has too much flex and need something stiffer – after all Phil Kessel used a 70 flex and he’s an NHL pro!
When choosing a stick, before you even leave the store you can estimate what the right flex for you might be. Give your potential stick a good flex, (press down on the shaft with your normal hand position). Make sure you don’t put all of your weight into it or you may actually break or ruin the stick. The staff will probably yell at you if you press too hard. You should be able to flex it 2-3 inches comfortably. This is not the total amount of flex you will be getting. There are many other variables, like, increased weight from your pads, extra height on skates or speed. So, once you are on the ice you may feel like the stick gets more flex than you felt in the store. Once you lean into a slapshot you will get much more than a soft flex in the store. Also, when you are flexing sticks in a store, please be reasonable. If you weigh 250 pounds don’t go trying to lean into a 75 flex stick. Start by using the formula and get as close to your suggested rating as you can. If your suggested rating is between flexes, start with the lower one. If you plan on cutting your stick, “choke up” or hold your top hand lower on the stick to get a better feel for what it will feel like.