What is one of the most frequently asked question at any hockey stick retailer in the United States? Every sales associate at every hockey equipment retailer can answer this one, “What is the kick point on this stick?” To the average hockey parent every stick looks the same. Even some seasoned veterans can be confused by the variation of sticks on the market today. Before explaining the differences between them understand first that there are three different types of kick points; low-kick, mid-kick, and custom kick. To the readers already confused, sit tight help is on the way.
There is one telltale sign of a mid-kick stick. Pay attention to the shaft of the stick where it connects to the blade. If an obvious taper cannot be seen, more often than not, a mid-kick stick has been located. What does this mean to have a mid-kick stick? Well, typically this is a stick where most of the energy during a shot is going to be stored just before the puck is released. These kick points are very popular amongst shooters with a heavy shot or defenseman who utilize their slap shot. The benefit of using a mid-kick stick is energy transfer. Square shafts maximize the amount of contact with the shooters hand helping to increase the energy transferred to the stick and ultimately the puck.
As previously mentioned, paying attention to where the shaft meets the stick can be a pretty good indication of the type of kick point on a stick. Low-kick sticks typically have a tapered shaft connecting to the blade. The purpose of this is to focus energy in a lower and more concentrated portion of the stick. Technology in these sticks has come a long way since their inception. Sticks with a low-kick point are ideal for shooters who need to have a quick release. Stereotypically these shooters are forwards. Wingers and centers have a need to disguise their shot until the last possible second and then shooting as quickly as possible to catch the goalie off guard. The narrow housel, or bottom of the shaft, focuses the energy closer to the blade allowing for a quicker and more effortless release.
Essentially these sticks are designed to flex, or load energy, wherever the bottom hand is placed. These sticks have been referred to as “sniper’s sticks” because they help to control accuracy a bit better than the two previously mentioned.
So how can the right stick be determined? That is entirely dependent on the player. The best way to identify which kick point will work best is just to simply try each one. Everyone has his or her own preference.