CHOOSING YOUR STICK: KICKPOINT
With many models of hockey sticks available at different price points, it is hard to determine which stick will best suit your type of play. The most important component to consider while selecting your stick is its kickpoint location on the shaft, which indicates the highest flexibility zone. There are generally 2 types of kickpoints; low kickpoint and mid kickpoint.
A low kickpoint stick construction will allow better puck control. With its flex zone proximity to the blade, it maximizes the feeling of the puck. Moreover, it optimizes quick release shots by faster recoil. Peripheral goal scorers and playmakers will usually prefer low kickpoint sticks.
A mid kickpoint stick construction amplifies power of shots. Since the motion is loaded higher on the shaft, it drives more energy transfer towards the release. However, the stick unloads slightly slower because of the flex zone being further to the blade. Defensemen taking slap shots or long-range one-timer snipers will prefer this technology.
Manufacturers usually separate their stick models into 2 series; one for low-kick point sticks and one for mid-kick point sticks.
Bauer Vapor Sticks: Low kickpoint (i.e. Bauer Vapor 1X)
Bauer Supreme Sticks: Mid kickpoint (i.e. Bauer Supreme TotalONE MX3)
Bauer Nexus Sticks: Mid kickpoint (i.e. Bauer Nexus 8000)
CCM RBZ Superfast: Custom kickpoint* (see below) (i.e. CCM RBZ Superfast)
CCM RibCor Sticks: Low kickpoint (i.e. CCM RibCor 40K)
CCM Tacks Sticks: Mid kickpoint (i.e. CCM Tacks)
Easton Velocity Sticks: Low kickpoint (i.e. Easton Velocity V9E)
Easton Synergy Sticks: Mid kickpoint (i.e. Easton Synergy HTX)
Sher-Wood Rekker Sticks: Low kickpoint (i.e. Sher-Wood Rekker EK15)
Sher-Wood TrueTouch Sticks: Mid kickpoint (i.e. Sher-Wood T120)
Warrior Covert Sticks: Low kickpoint (i.e. Warrior Covert QR1)
Warrior Dynasty Sticks: Mid kickpoint (i.e. Warrior Dynasty AX1 LT)
Notable NHL players using low kickpoint sticks are Patrick Kane (Bauer Vapor 1X), Sydney Crosby (Reebok RibCor) or Max Pacioretty (Warrior Covert QR1).
Notable NHL players using mid kickpoint sticks are Alex Ovechkin (Bauer TotalONE NXG/MX3), Zdeno Chara (Warrior Dynasty AX1 LT) or PK Subban (Easton Stealth/Velocity).
With technology evolving rapidly, we witnessed an interesting innovation TaylorMade Golf carried into the CCM RBZ line of sticks. In opposition to a specific flex zone in the shaft, the CCM RBZ sticks offer a custom kickpoint. Following the expertise TaylorMade developed in golf drivers, the kickpoint will move in correlation to the lower hand placement. A higher hand positioning for deking and quick release shots will transfer the flex zone to the bottom of the shaft, enhancing quick release and puck feeling. In opposition, a lower positioning for slap shots and one-timers will result in a higher flex profile, increasing shot power. The custom kickpoint maximizes every situation of the game and adapts instantaneously.
In a sports era where every detail can make a huge difference, choosing the best hockey stick that suits your player type is key.