Do you know that feeling when you get a new stick that you found with an attractive low price-tag. From outside, the stick looks perfectly fine, but when you release that slapshot of yours, the blade gives up and the stick starts to twist. And now you realize the reason behind that cheap price tag.
Torsional rigidity. A word that is not heard commonly in hockey world, is more important than you might think. A force that keeps your stick from twisting when you pass or receive the puck, shoot a hard slapshot or a wicked wrist shot. The problem seems to occur especially with low flex sticks. And that’s why some players connect low flex sticks with twisting. A commonly known problem for players who like to use low flex sticks.
Now, why should you use a low flex stick. The answer is wrist shots. The game of hockey is getting faster and faster, and the shooting style has also changed. You don’t have so much time to start loading a slapshot, as opponents will quickly get between them. The magic word is quick release. When the flex is low, you can shoot from hard angles and the release can be extremely quick. The stick becomes a whip that surprises the goalies and defenders a like. But low flex sticks that don’t twist are not easy to come by, at least for adult players.
Almost every hockey stick you see are built with the same thought in mind, but with completely different methods. This might come as surprise, but there are no “real” one-piece sticks. The blade and the shaft is built separately, and then connected to each other’s with different styles. Different manufacturers have tackled this problem with different methods and hide the connection with mask and make up. The way the blade is connected to the shaft affects the torsional rigidity. PAMA Hockey stick blade connection can be seen easily, as the masking has been left away. In this patented way, the shaft goes inside the blade, and prevents it from twisting. Giving it a better torsional rigidity.
The other way to increase torsional rigidity is the shaft. In PAMA Hockey sticks, the carbon fiber is spinned around the sticks, making it stronger (also patented 😉). Now, we can make very low flex sticks that don’t twist at all. The stick flex can get extremely low, but we have found the sweet spot at 55 flexes.
Now, next time you think about getting a new hockey stick, don’t go for the 110 flex models. Try the 65 and 75 flex models, but be sure to get a stick that has it’s torsional rigidity sorted out, so you don’t have to watch the puck fly over the boards. You might be surprised what kind of wrist shots you are able to pull off.