When shopping for a Hockey stick, one of the main factors to consider is the Kickpoint or flex profile of a stick.
What is the Kickpoint?
The kick point of a stick is where the stick is designed to flex the most.
Composite Hockey sticks are made up of many layers of thin, stiff, lightweight, durable carbon fibre weaves and various patterns of interlocking carbon fibre sheets.
Without an engineered kickpoint, hockey sticks would be uniformly very stiff, and as a result be poor at flexing and transferring the energy you put into your shot into the puck.
To improve the performance and consistency of composite sticks, kickpoints were created. This enables you to take advantage of the stick’s composite material properties to create bow-like behaviour which transfers more of the energy into the puck for faster shots and quicker releases. The creation of kickpoints also led to more consistency in the flex of a stick and as a result, your shot.
To create a kickpoint, brands will alter the formation of the composite layers along the shaft of the stick to create stiffer and softer zones.
By moving this kickpoint higher or lower on the shaft, the stick will perform differently during different shooting techniques.
Which Kickpoint is best for you?
There are three main flex profiles to consider depending upon your game and shot preference. Each flex profile has the capability to perform in all aspects of the game - but each is designed and engineered to enhance certain styles of play.
Low-Kick Hockey Sticks - Quick Shots
The game of hockey is faster than ever, which limits the space and time you have to take a quality shot on goal. As a result, players have adapted their shooting style for a quicker release.
The low-kick point is engineered to get the puck off the stick as quickly as possible. While the maximum shot speed may not be as high, low-kick sticks offer a lightning quick release for shooters in and around the net. Capitalizing on that short window before the shot can be blocked, or for the goalie to react to the shot.
Mid-Kick Hockey Sticks - Powerful Shots
Mid-kick hockey sticks are designed to provide the maximum velocity on every shot. Players who excel with a mid-kick stick will take an extra split second to shoot in order to beat the goalie with pure speed alone. These players love to set up for big one-time shots or the big wind-up slap shot.
Hybrid/ Variable Kick - Variable Shots
Hybrid or Variable kick hockey sticks provide a balance of a quick shot release and shot power. Because of the speed of today’s game, this flex profile is quickly gaining in popularity for the versatility it provides.