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Am I crazy to consider an intermediate stick?

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Old
11-26-2012, 01:19 PM
  #1
Skraut
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Am I crazy to consider an intermediate stick?

After learning to skate in my mid 30's and playing hockey for a couple of years, I'm beginning to find all the things that I've been doing wrong.

I made the switch from defense to offense, and was having all sorts of issues stickhandling with my sticks. I deliberately went long when I was playing d, because I only touched the puck to make a poke check, and a quick pass to a forward, and I wanted all the reach I could get.

In my last game I tried a shorter stick (one I had previously used for floor hockey, because I thought it was a couple inches too short for me on skates) and I noticed how much better I felt on the ice. Not only could I actually handle pucks at my feet, but I also felt like I was skating much better, because I was forcing myself to be lower to the ice.

I currently have a 2 piece setup. My current shaft is 54" and I'm looking to take it down to 52 or 51. That would obviously increase the flex rating, and despite practicing my shot a lot, I'm still not consistently flexing the stick properly.

My question is, should I even consider grabbing a 50" intermediate shaft, and adding a inch or two plug if necessary? I thought making the stick easier to flex, would help me be more consistent with doing it, or at 6'2" 290, would I just snap it?

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11-26-2012, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skraut View Post
After learning to skate in my mid 30's and playing hockey for a couple of years, I'm beginning to find all the things that I've been doing wrong.

I made the switch from defense to offense, and was having all sorts of issues stickhandling with my sticks. I deliberately went long when I was playing d, because I only touched the puck to make a poke check, and a quick pass to a forward, and I wanted all the reach I could get.

In my last game I tried a shorter stick (one I had previously used for floor hockey, because I thought it was a couple inches too short for me on skates) and I noticed how much better I felt on the ice. Not only could I actually handle pucks at my feet, but I also felt like I was skating much better, because I was forcing myself to be lower to the ice.

I currently have a 2 piece setup. My current shaft is 54" and I'm looking to take it down to 52 or 51. That would obviously increase the flex rating, and despite practicing my shot a lot, I'm still not consistently flexing the stick properly.

My question is, should I even consider grabbing a 50" intermediate shaft, and adding a inch or two plug if necessary? I thought making the stick easier to flex, would help me be more consistent with doing it, or at 6'2" 290, would I just snap it?
Idk at your height and especially weight I would probably stick with a senior... have you tried a 77/75 flex?

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11-26-2012, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Fanned On It View Post
Idk at your height and especially weight I would probably stick with a senior... have you tried a 77/75 flex?
Yeah my current shaft is a 75 senior. I also have an 85 that I struggle with. I was worried that if I cut the 75 down a couple inches, it would be closer to the 85.

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11-26-2012, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Skraut View Post
Yeah my current shaft is a 75 senior. I also have an 85 that I struggle with. I was worried that if I cut the 75 down a couple inches, it would be closer to the 85.
Yeah it probably would... but at 6'2" how much do you actually have to cut the stick down? I'm 6'2" and I only took like not even an inch off my Bauer TotalONE LE 77 flex.

And FWIW I only weigh 160 lbs... so I'm a pretty light guy who's been playing for about 2 years now. I feel like an intermediate (67 flex) with a couple of inches ADDED to it would turn out to be like a 60 flex stick... which would probably kill your shot a bit.

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11-26-2012, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Fanned On It View Post
Yeah it probably would... but at 6'2" how much do you actually have to cut the stick down? I'm 6'2" and I only took like not even an inch off my Bauer TotalONE LE 77 flex.
When I was starting out and went D, I went for the reach, which led me to the the Harrow shafts, as they were 55" long, as opposed to the Bauer's which were 52"

Basically I think I'd be cutting my stick down to about your length.

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Originally Posted by Fanned On It View Post
And FWIW I only weigh 160 lbs... so I'm a pretty light guy who's been playing for about 2 years now. I feel like an intermediate (67 flex) with a couple of inches ADDED to it would turn out to be like a 60 flex stick... which would probably kill your shot a bit.
Good point, Guess I've just been trying to avoid cutting these, even though I know it is what I need to do

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11-26-2012, 04:45 PM
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I am 5-11 170lbs and considering switching to a 65 flex intermediate. Am I crazy too? Wondering if the stick will feel too short.

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11-26-2012, 05:54 PM
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rinkrat22
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another thing to consider when cutting down a 2 piece stick is that different blades (from different manufacturers) may be different lengths not only blade lengths but hosel lenghts as well.

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11-26-2012, 06:22 PM
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Skraut, I know sticks are 100% personal preference but i would think an intermediate stick would be way too whippy for you. Adding an extension to make it a useable length would make it worse.

I would focus on technique rather than going with a lighter flex. Sure, you'll be able to flex an intermediate but you'll still be stuck with whatever back techniques you might have. At your size you should have no problem getting flex out of your stick with the right technique. I'm 5' 9", 155lbs, no impressive muscle and have no problem flexing my 80 flex tapered stick. And I'm not even very good. It's all about the right motions.

Also, I believe you were the one with the shooting pad out back. Don't use the shooting pad as a gauge of whether or not you're flexing your stick properly. It's a lot easier to get flex when you're on the ice and have all that movement.

This is all my opinion, though. In the end just go with your gut. It's always fun to try new sticks, I can't argue that.

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11-27-2012, 09:08 AM
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I have an intermediate 65 flex CCM U+10 Crazy Ovi that I like to use on occasion.

I am 5'9" and weigh about 185lbs. I find that the stick is incredibly whippy, which has its ups and downs. On the up side, there is absolutely no effort involved in flexing the shaft. That said, the power on my shot coming off that stick is a lot more powerful than using my Senior 85 flex Warrior Hitman. Passes are bang on and my accuracy is great.

The downside to using a wet noodle as a hockey stick is that you really can't use it to dig in the corners, which is a large part of my game. It doesn't seem to be the most durable stick in the first place, so I don't know how much longer it will last with me hammering it around a bit.

That may be another point for consideration when buying an intermediate stick, but perhaps thats more of a CCM problem than an "intermediate stick" problem.

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11-27-2012, 11:18 AM
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I just recently made the switch in the opposite direction, going from a 65-67 flex intermediate to a 75-80 flex senior. (I'm 5'8'', 155-160 lbs) The senior stick feels much more comfortable in my hands, I think its the boxier shaft.

However the other huge difference I noticed is catching passes, it is much easier with the stiffer stick. Hard passes would just flex the crap out of the lighter stick and the puck would bounce right off. The other difference I've noticed is that shots don't flutter off the end of my blade as much as they did with the intermediate stick (this could be due to the senior stick being a couple of inches longer).

In the end I think its personal preference, maybe ask a friend if you can use theirs for warm ups or something and see what you think? That's how I realized I needed a senior stick.

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11-27-2012, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skraut View Post
I currently have a 2 piece setup. My current shaft is 54" and I'm looking to take it down to 52 or 51. That would obviously increase the flex rating, and despite practicing my shot a lot, I'm still not consistently flexing the stick properly.

My question is, should I even consider grabbing a 50" intermediate shaft, and adding a inch or two plug if necessary? I thought making the stick easier to flex, would help me be more consistent with doing it, or at 6'2" 290, would I just snap it?
This may sound silly coming from a guy who just switched to 55 flex, but I think an intermediate would be too whippy for someone 6'2. Then again, it depends on the kick point, how long the stick is, and the shots you take. If you wear 14" or larger gloves, the shaft might be too small for you as well.

What stick are you using?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fury81 View Post
I am 5-11 170lbs and considering switching to a 65 flex intermediate. Am I crazy too? Wondering if the stick will feel too short.
Not at all. Most people use sticks that are too stiff.

Like I said, I'm 5'8 and just got a 55 flex Warrior intermediate. SUPER whippy. But seems to add even more zing to my shot. Of course I cut off 5-6" so the stick is at my bottom lip in bare feet.

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11-28-2012, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mgd150 View Post
However the other huge difference I noticed is catching passes, it is much easier with the stiffer stick. Hard passes would just flex the crap out of the lighter stick and the puck would bounce right off.
This is the only "problem" I see with a whipper stick than what you're used to. It can teach you soft hands though, so I am not sure this is really a problem. With a whippier stick you really need to catch a pass softly, you can't just put your blade stiff on the ice. Harder passes simply flex the stick back, and the puck slides under the blade.

Other than that I find whippier sticks better for shooting, especially for wristers and snapshots, you actually feel how you load the stick. On slapshots I find the whippier ones worse, if you really put your weight in the shot, the whippier ones have a softer kick, so they do not shoot the puck as hard.

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11-28-2012, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by izzy3 View Post
This is the only "problem" I see with a whipper stick than what you're used to. It can teach you soft hands though, so I am not sure this is really a problem. With a whippier stick you really need to catch a pass softly, you can't just put your blade stiff on the ice. Harder passes simply flex the stick back, and the puck slides under the blade.
Good point. I also found that the puck tends to go under the blade on hard passes and that I had to accommodate by cushioning the pass a bit differently.

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11-28-2012, 09:29 AM
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That seems too whippy for a man of your stature. Even if you're not very strong, an 85 flex should be plenty whippy for you. I suppose if you're totally off balance and can't take a shot, that whippy stick will allow you to take one in the odd situation, but the amount of things you're sacrificing for that ability to take a shot with ease doesn't feel like a good tradeoff.

I'd also be afraid of breaking that stick if I was your size. Hell, even at my size I'd be afraid of breaking that stick! Sticks are not cheap these days.

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11-28-2012, 09:47 AM
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If you ever get hold of the Bobby & Brett Hull shooting DVD, I believe they are both using Hull's old Easton sticks which were 60 flex. Fun to watch them take all their shots with the huge amount of whip. But the idea is to work with the whip, not just muscle the shot and hope for the best.

Theoretically, if you can control the whippy stick and move up to a stiffer flex, you'd have better control and if you're strong enough add power.

Of course maybe you're like me and you'll just go whippier and whippier. At this rate I'll be in junior sticks in a couple years.

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11-28-2012, 09:51 AM
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I'm small, 5'8", 155lbs. I found that when I went from a 85 senior to a 67 intermediate, I made huge strides in the stick aspects of my game.

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11-28-2012, 10:10 AM
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I find it crazy how sales people push the 70+ flex sticks to 12-13 year olds at the shops. I get funny looks when I'm shopping for sticks in the "kids" section while these kids who couldn't do five pushups and weigh 100 pounds at 5'2 are looking at the same sticks (I'm 5'8 200 pounds).

No wonder there's a bunch of 5'10 beer leaguers with beer guts using 100+ flex sticks...

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11-28-2012, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izzy3 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgd150 View Post
However the other huge difference I noticed is catching passes, it is much easier with the stiffer stick. Hard passes would just flex the crap out of the lighter stick and the puck would bounce right off. The other difference I've noticed is that shots don't flutter off the end of my blade as much as they did with the intermediate stick (this could be due to the senior stick being a couple of inches longer).
This is the only "problem" I see with a whipper stick than what you're used to. It can teach you soft hands though, so I am not sure this is really a problem. With a whippier stick you really need to catch a pass softly, you can't just put your blade stiff on the ice. Harder passes simply flex the stick back, and the puck slides under the blade.
I used to play with a senior 85 flex shaft cut down about 6 inches, but I was barely 5'7" at 155lbs. When I switched to an inter 65 flex cut down 3 inches, the first pass I tried to receive just trampolined off my stick. In time I adjusted to it though and it's no longer an issue, and my shooting and passing have benefitted all around from the lower flex.

As far as the puck sliding under the blade, just keeping the blade vertical on the ice solves that problem, though sometimes it's not possible to get the stick in the ideal position to receive less-than-perfect passes.

Now I weigh around 140lbs and I just ordered a 55 flex shaft because I never felt like I was getting the full whip to work for me from the 65 flex. If I cut the 55 flex down 3 inches, that should leave me with around 65 flex. I can't wait to try that.

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11-28-2012, 03:18 PM
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290 is WAY too big for an intermediate stick. Are you sure you dont need less flex in your sticks?

Not all players shoot in a way that uses the flex of the stick in certain ways. I'd worry more about the shot and shot mechanics rather than stick flex.

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11-28-2012, 03:37 PM
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290 could be high body fat and relatively little strength (no offense OP), but stick flex can be all over the map.

Ovechkin used a 77 flex stick for a while (I'm not sure what he's using now) and is 6'2 230+ and obviously stronger and better at shooting than anyone on this site. So it's not a HUGE stretch to imagine an average joe who likes short, whippy sticks using something with less flex.

But at 6'2 going all the way to intermediate would probably require an extension plug and put it down below 60 flex at length...which is just unbelievably whippy.

Even with my 55 flex stick I chopped off about 5", bringing it probably closer to 70+ flex. Still very whippy relative to the length, but not 60 or below...

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11-28-2012, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinkrat22 View Post
another thing to consider when cutting down a 2 piece stick is that different blades (from different manufacturers) may be different lengths not only blade lengths but hosel lenghts as well.
Yes! I just bought an Easton blade to replace my Warrior blade. Eastons have a longer hosel I didn't notice that at the store.

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11-28-2012, 07:03 PM
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It depends if you know how to shoot properly or not. I know the only two times I tried using intermediate sticks, they both broke really fast. I know Brett Hull and Ovi both use/used really low flexes but you have to understand their sticks break so often and they probably only get a period or two out of them because with that much flexing they will simply get destroyed fast. So unless you're being paid to play or you don't exactly know how to shoot properly I would suggest just buying a 85 flex or higher.

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Old
11-29-2012, 09:55 AM
  #23
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I'd rather break my stick than my joints.

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11-29-2012, 03:36 PM
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mikitas donut
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I like the use the lowest flex possible. I'm barely 5'7" and like to cut my stick to collar bone level. Senior sticks are out of the question for me because I can't flex them at all once they're cut down.

I'm currently using a TPS Red Lite shaft with a Warrior Evo Lidstrom blade. I love and will be sad when it eventually breaks.

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11-29-2012, 04:15 PM
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Maybe you can just get a 1 piece intermediate, the height of those are 57" im pretty sure, and if you like you can shave off 5" or so and have the flex go into the high 70's low 80's if you buy a 65 flex stick.

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