Why is it better to have flex in a hockey stick?

BY: Andrew Ramert

Flex
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is a measurement of how stiff the hockey stick is. When you take a shot, the pressure you apply with your lower hand causes the hockey stick to bend. This bending is good, up to a point, because it helps accelerate your shot when the stick snaps back. The right flex is one that has the most flex that you can still bend when you shoot


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When a player flexes his hockey stick by taking a shot, it turns the stick into a spring storing energy. When the spring is released, the energy is released and accelerates the puck.
(Acceleration is the change in velocity over time.)
For example, to take a proper slap shot is to have the blade of your stick strike the ice a few inches before the puck. As the stick moves forward in its swing, it contacts the puck and snaps forward from being bent to straight again. This same bending and snapping forward also happens with wrist shots and snaps shots. Generally you want the stiffest flex stick that you can flex completely. If the hockey stick is too stiff then the player won’t be able to bend it and get the extra accelerating effects. If the flex isn’t stiff enough the hockey stick will bend too much and the accuracy of the shot will be off.

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  • Mid flex -
    • Mid flex sticks have a more traditional flex that allows the stick to be loaded from the bottom hand. This gives you a larger loading and a higher velocity release. Wooden sticks have a constant flex that behaves in this manner.======
(Velocity is the rate at whichan object changes its position)

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  • Composite Sticks -
    • Composite sticks are often made to have low kick points on the shaft for a quicker release. The loading of the stick happens sooner since there is less distance for the stick to bend before it whips back and whips the puck forward.======

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  • The most common measurements for stick flex are-
    • Youth = 40 flex
    • Junior = 50 flex
    • Mid or Intermediate flex = 60-75 flex
    • Regular flex = 85 flex
    • Stiff flex = 100 flex
    • Extra stiff = 110 flex

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How is this about Physics? A puck has mass. So does a stick. Both may be moving with a velocity at impact, and both may or may not be accelerating. The stick flexes when it has impact with a puck, this will allow the puck to accelerate at a higher velocity. Energy exchange takes place, and the puck leaves the stick with much more velocity when flexing vrs not flexing.

How Cutting a Stick’s Length Affects its Flex - If you cut too much of the length off of a stick it will increase the flex of the stick. Imagine bending a full length broom stick. Now if you cut that broom stick in half how much force is required to get it to bend the same as the full length stick? A whole lot more that is for sure. This is also what happens when a hockey stick is cut down a big amount.