If you're not familiar with the term kick point or how it affects ice and roller hockey sticks, walking into a pro shop probably leaves you puzzled. You'll see that every large scale manufacturer (CCM, True, Bauer, Warrior) has at least two different looking sticks that seem to have the same curve and flex rating. The only thing that is obvious is that the artwork is very different between them.
They have different kick points
The kick point is the term the hockey industry uses to identify where the stick is intended to bend and recoil from with standard pressure applied. Hockey sticks are built with many layers of very thin carbon fiber layered alternately in different directions to provide maximum snap and strength with the fewest materials possible, to keep weight down. How these layers are applied stiffens and softens parts of the shaft in order to manipulate where the stick will perform best. You'll see the kick points highlighted in yellow in the images below.
Mid Kick Point
By default, a complete uniformly constructed stick will bend in the middle when pressure is applied. This is known as a mid-kick stick and is the most common style in use by players from the NHL downward, across the board. They are designed to assist shooters who heavily lean into their shots by maximizing energy transfer to get the most power in a shot while maintaining great accuracy.
Some examples of mid-kick point stick lines out there are the Twig Rogue, CCM Tacks, and Bauer Nexus.
Low Kick Point
The second most popular kick point stick style in use today is low-kick. It's designed to flex at a lower point (Closer to the ice) along the shaft. This lower kick point allows the stick to flex, load, and release slightly faster than a mid-kick design. Also, because of the lower kick point on the shaft, full player weight is not required maximize possible shot speed, therefore it produces slightly less power on each shot than a mid-kick point stick.
Some examples of low-kick stick lines out there are the Twig Dispatch, Warrior Covert, Bauer Vapor, Sher-wood Rekker, and CCM RibCor.
Other Kick Point Styles
Listed above are the two most common styles of kick points in use today. Because of the specialization ability in hockey stick manufacturing, there are a variety of other kick point stick styles out there available that are lesser used and not made by all manufacturers, but they're good to know as they be right for your game.
Mid-Low Kick Point
It's exactly what it sounds like. By positioning the kick point between the mid and low points of the shaft, the stick has a bit quicker load and release than a mid kick model, but is a bit slower than a low kick. Power generated will be more than a low kick, but still lower than a mid kick design.
The Warrior Alpha stick line is a great example of a Mid-low kick point.
High-Mid Kick Point
Again, exactly what it sounds like. The kick point is manufactured between the mid and high point of the shaft. This positioning allows more loadability and maximum energy transfer versus other kick point styles. As with all designs though, in general the more power generated, the slower the load and release, as well as potential for inaccuracy in a shot.
The Bauer Supreme stick line is the most commonly seen version of this build.
Variable Kick Point
The variable kick point hockey stick is designed to change response depending on hand placement along the shaft and where weight is applied. Ideally, it will allow quick release without sacrificing too much shot power.
CCM's is the main manufacturer of this build with their JetSpeed stick line.
Which kick point do you choose?
Really it depends on how you typically play your game and wish your stick to perform.
|More Power||Quick Release|
|Balanced Feel||Shooting Accuracy|
|Performance Versatility||Puck Feel|
|Best for shooting from a variety of positions with power and accuracy.||Best for playing in tight to the net and quick snap/wrist shots|
Be sure to check out the rest of our blog for other great hockey content! And if you haven't already, make sure your next stick is a Twig.