Flex on a hockey stick refers to the amount of bend that occurs when pressure is applied to the stick. It plays a crucial role in a player’s shooting and passing ability. Here are 5 supporting facts about how flex on a hockey stick works:
1. Flex rating: Every hockey stick has a flex rating, which indicates how stiff or flexible the stick is. The flex rating is denoted by a number, such as 75, 85, or 95. Higher flex numbers indicate a more flexible stick.
2. Whip effect: When a player shoots or passes the puck with a flexing stick, the stored energy in the flex is released, leading to a “whip” effect. This effect adds speed and power to the shot or pass, making it more challenging for the goalie or defender to react in time.
3. Loading and unloading: Flex occurs as the player loads energy into the stick by applying pressure during the shot or pass motion. The stick bends, storing potential energy. As the player releases the shot or pass, the stick unloads, transferring the stored energy to the puck.
4. Personal preference: The flex rating that works best for a player depends on their physical attributes and playing style. Players with a heavier and stronger build may prefer a higher flex rating, while smaller players or those looking for quicker, snappier shots may opt for a lower flex rating.
5. Stick material: The material from which the stick is made also affects its flex. Different stick materials, such as carbon fiber or fiberglass, have different properties that influence the flex rating and how the stick reacts when pressure is applied.
1. What flex rating should I choose?
– The ideal flex rating depends on your body weight, strength, and playing style. A general guideline is to choose a flex rating about half your body weight in pounds. Experimenting with different flex ratings can help you find the one that suits you best.
2. Does a higher flex rating mean more power?
– Not necessarily. While a higher flex rating allows for a greater potential energy stored in the stick, it requires more strength to flex the stick fully. If you can’t fully load the stick, you won’t be able to take advantage of the extra power potential.
3. Can I customize the flex rating of my stick?
– No, the flex rating is predetermined by the stick manufacturer during the manufacturing process. However, you can find sticks with different flex ratings to choose the one that suits you best.
4. How can I determine if a stick has the right flex for me?
– One way to gauge if a stick has the right flex for you is by performing a “stick flex test.” To do this, stand on the stick’s blade and try to flex it. If you can achieve a good bend with moderate force, it’s likely the right flex for you.
5. Do professionals have a preference for flex rating?
– Many professional players have varying preferences in flex rating based on their play styles and personal preferences. Some prefer a stiffer stick for better accuracy and a quicker release, while others opt for a more flexible stick to generate more power in their shots.
6. Is stick flex important for beginners?
– Stick flex is important for beginners as it can assist in developing proper shooting and passing techniques. However, beginners should focus more on mastering their fundamentals rather than fixating on the stick flex, as accuracy and technique play a bigger role in shot success initially.
7. Do different positions require different flex ratings?
– The preferred flex rating can vary based on the position played. Defensemen might prefer a stiffer flex for precise passing and accurate shots from the blue line, while forwards may opt for a more flexible stick to generate power on quick-release shots or for deflections near the net.
Flex on a hockey stick is determined by the stick’s flex rating and the material it is made from. It plays a crucial role in adding power and speed to shots and passes by utilizing the stored energy in the stick’s bend. Determining the right flex rating depends on your body size, strength, and personal preference. For beginners, focusing on technique is more important initially, while experienced players often have their preferred flex based on their playing style.