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How To Choose The Right Hockey Stick

February 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 153

So you decided it is time to buy a new hockey stick and your not sure you are using the correct one. You ask yourself which flex is right for me? What is a kick point? Which curve pattern should I use? All are very legitimate questions and here are some answers.

Probably the most important aspect of selecting a hockey stick is to ensure you are using the proper flex. If your flex is too stiff you wont achieve maximum loading in the shaft, which is how much the shaft will bend and release into the puck during the shot. If the flex is too soft you will lose some accuracy and control and have a hard time feeling the puck.

There are generally 4 different classifications of flex. A light flex (65) is generally used for smaller players who need a lighter and softer shaft to get shots off quick and accurate. A medium flex (75) is for a mid size player who likes to get their shots off a little quicker at the expense of some control. A regular flex (85) is for the average size player who values control and accuracy over a quick release. A stiff flex (100+) is for big strong players who do not get enough control with the softer flexes. Determining what category you fit into is the key to proper stick selection. What can help is deciding if you are a play maker (stiff) or a goal scorer (soft-mid) or some where in between (mid-regular).

The curve of the blade is just as important as the flex of the shaft. The curve determines the trajectory of the shot. With a toe curve the puck will rise quickly and with more speed than a heel curve. A heel curve has a lower trajectory and more force. If you find your shots keep sailing over the net, a heel curve may be best suited. The opposite is true too, if hitting the top corners is tough because you cannot get enough lift on your shot, perhaps a toe curve would help. Trial and error is the only proven method of finding the right curve and don't be afraid to change curves or brands of your stick to achieve the type of shot you want.

Once you figure out the proper flex and the best curve for you, the rest is gravy. Manufacturers continue to improve on the technology that goes into hockey sticks with lighter and more durable sticks as the goal. The average player doesn't care what their stick is made of or where the kick point is. They want the stick to feel good in their hands and the puck to explode off the blade, and the only true way of finding that stick is to test them out.

In my next article, I will be exploring some of the leading sticks on the market today and providing some insight to their performance on the ice. A blog on pro and amateur hockey and the equipment used to play the game. I coach at the minor midget level and follow the sport faithfully. I also tend to have unique views of the game and the gear.

Source: EzineArticles
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