Composite hockey sticks break. Yeah we get it, but do you know why for sure? Did you know it's by design and intentional? Seems crazy, but take a look at this video from a few years back when they walk through how a stick works, how it flexes, and how it will break.

Key Takeaways

  • Composite hockey sticks are intentionally designed to break to maximize performance
  • The flex number is the amount of weight it takes to bend to the hockey stick one inch. So, an 85 flex stick takes 85 pounds of pressure to flex it just one inch.
  • Manufacturers use flex tolerances when constructing a stick. So, your 87 flex could theoretically be anywhere from about 82 to 92 flex depending on the batch it was created with.
  • Loading your stick correctly against the ice creates a dramatic increase in force to apply to the puck rather than just hitting the puck directly.
  • If you're breaking a lot of sticks, you're likely either using too light of a flex or loading the stick inefficiently and putting too much force into the load.
  • If you don't know what flex to use, start with the nearest one that is less than half of your body weight. See how it feels and adjust from there.
  • All composite hockey sticks break down internally from the very first shot taken. They soften on the inside, making them easier to flex and more challenging to get the same performance out of them with each subsequent shot. Elite model sticks will get and maintain the most responsiveness out of all models, but even they will break down and get more "Whippy."
  • The kick point of the stick is where it's intended to flex at to maximize performance. For more information on kick point, see our article here. Hockey stick kick points explained
  • Not in the video, but remember that retail hockey sticks are priced to allow for the company to profit after warranty claims, even though most breaks are not actually manufacturing defects.