The game of hockey has greatly evolved over the past 10 years and so have hockey sticks. Back in the day, choosing the right stick to you came down to which brand had your curve. These days, kick points are a big highlighting feature to consider when making a purchase so we will be discussing which type of a player should choose low-kick’s and which type of a player should choose mid-kick’s. For those who might not know yet, the kick point of a hockey stick is the location on the shaft that flexes most. Traditionally, hockey sticks had a mid kick point because the shaft had a constant stiffness rating from top to bottom (i.e. wood hockey sticks) but now with advances in composite materials, engineers can stiffen certain places on a hockey stick as well as soften certain parts of the carbon fiber to direct the stick in the desired location to flex. Mid kick hockey sticks flex near dead center between the top of the shaft and the heel of the blade where as low kick hockey sticks flex closer to the heel of the blade rather than the center point of the shaft.
Low-Kick Hockey Sticks
Low-kick hockey sticks are the newest addition to the growing hockey stick market and offer some very unique characteristics that mid-kick hockey sticks were lacking. Popular low-kick’s out today are the Bauer Vapor APX2, the Easton Velocity V9 and V9E, the Reebok RibCor, and the Sherwood Nexon N12. The game of hockey thrives on precious moments that offer precious game-changing opportunities. Low-kick sticks aim to capitalize on these tiny windows of seconds in a game where you need to get a hard shot off as fast as possible. Throughout the course of a game, a player may only get 3 – 4 shot attempts with the most important ones spanning from the tops of the offensive circles to the opposing goalie’s crease. These players are not looking to take a 5 second wind up for a huge booming slap shot because the goalie will have adjusted their angle, reset and have now greatly decreased the player’s scoring chances. Low-kick hockey sticks are for the players who want to get their shot off in as little of time as possible to beat the goalie sliding back from the far post, these players do not tend to aggressively load up their sticks but associate themselves as a “finesse” shooter who is quick to load up a wrist or snap shot.
Mid-Kick Hockey Sticks
Mid-kick is the traditional flex profile, providing supreme power and velocity compared to low-kicks. Popoular mid-kick’s on the market are the Bauer Supreme TotalONE NXG, the Bauer Nexus 1000, the Sherwood True Touch T100 and the Warrior Dynasty AX1. Mid-kick hockey sticks are for the players who aggressively lean or load their sticks, regardless if it’s a wrist shot or a slap shot. The reason why these players will benefit more with a mid-kick is that they will overpower the low-kick point sticks when they load up for a shot, resulting in a fluttering puck with little velocity.
Low Kick vs Mid Kick Performance Analogy
To help you understand the real differences between the low kicks and the mid kicks is to imagine a rubber band that is cut in the middle to make a solid 6” line (no longer a circle) of elastic goodness. Imagine that both ends are mounted down so you can grab the middle of the rubber band without the ends moving. If you were to pull from the middle until you couldn’t pull it harder without breaking it, you fully maxed out your mid kick hockey stick. Let the rubber band go at full max and you’re getting a lot of power but it took awhile to fully max it out. Now if we want to fully max out the 6” rubber band FASTER, we’ll cut 2” off, making it 4” long. Take the 4” low-kick rubber band, mount down both ends like the 6” mid-kick rubber band. Repeat the same process as before, grab it from the center and pull on it until you can’t pull on it any more without breaking it. It’s much quicker to fully max out the 4” low-kick rubber band but when you release it, it’s not going to produce as much power as the 6” mid-kick rubber band.
So comparing the kick points and not the rubber band analogy, mid kicks take longer to fully load but produce more power and velocity while the low kick sticks are much quicker to fully load but produce less power and velocity. The lower the kick point, the quicker the shot release; the higher the kick point, the more shot power you get. If you aggressively load up your stick, the mid-kick’s are going to the best for you while the finesse shooter who doesn’t put a lot of lean into their shots will benefit off of the lightning quick shot release because they don’t need a ton of power for quick wrist and snap shots.