40, 65, 75, 102, 30...what do these numbers on sticks mean? Well, let's go over the basics of hockey stick flexes and their uses.
So in layman's terms, the flex of a hockey stick means that it takes that amount of pressure exerted onto the stick to flex the stick one inch at it's flex point. It may be easier to take some sample sticks for examples. The Bauer Vapor Flylite senior hockey stick has what is called a low kick point or flex, meaning that the stick bends more at the bottom of the stick. Sticks like these are great for wrist shots and snap shots.
Now sticks like the CCM Super Tacks AS2 have a mid kick point, meaning that it flexes towards the middle of the stick shaft. Sticks like these are great for snap shots and slap shots. Generally defencemen use them but are not limited to that position.
The other type of sticks consist of a high kick point like the Bauer Supreme series. Generally these sticks are tougher and used predominantly by defencemen.
So let's get back to the flex of sticks.
The basic rule about choosing the right flex for you is the player's weight. There is no true rule on this, however the flex should be about half of the weight of the player. So a player that weighs 100 pounds should technically be using a 50 flex stick. But that is just a start.
What position does the player play? Does he/she need a high end stick or something more affordable? Will the stick need to be cut? What types of shots is the player concentrating on? All of these questions will make a difference and help guide you in choosing the right flex.
CUTTING A STICK
Yes, cutting a stick does affect the flex of the stick as it makes it stiffer, while lengthening the stick with a wood or composite extension has the opposite effect. Most manufacturers will have some type of markings on the top back end of the shaft that indicates what fles the stick becomes after cutting it at a specified length.