What’s the best stick flex? Sorry, there’s no right or wrong answer. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing what flex works best for you. As a general rule sticks range in flex from 34 (high), to 25 (low). Flex is determined by now much the shaft bends under 300 newtons of force. For example, if it bends 32 millimeters, it’s considered a 32 flex (sometimes referred to as 3.2 if the company uses centimeters instead). This is the standard set by IFF, so all brands use the same universal system. It’s also important to take the length of the stick into consideration. If the stick is longer you can get more leverage, so you’d want it to be a bit lower flex to compensate.
There seems to be this idea that the best flex is as stiff as possible, and that only bad players use high flex sticks. The truth is it’s all preference. If you’re more of a passer than a shooter then using an extremely low flex stick doesn’t make any sense. By the same token, if you’re a pure shooter then you want a lower flex stick. Just make sure that you don’t choose a stick that is too rigid, though. If you find that you can’t put any bend in it when you shoot, then you’re not getting any use out of it and should choose a higher flex.
The advantage of a high flex stick is that you “feel” the ball better. You also receive passes a bit more easily because the stick absorbs the energy of the ball as you receive it. For shooting, it’s easier to bend, but you do lose some power and accuracy because it has more whip. With lower flex sticks it’s almost exactly the opposite. You can’t feel the ball as well when you’re running with it, and it’s harder to bend, but you get more shooting power and accuracy from your shots.
One final thought, be wary if you shorten your stick. Once I took a 103cm stick, which had a flex of 26, and cut it down to 96cm (the length I use). It was only after I played with it that I realized I had inadvertantly made the flex even more stiff because I had less leverage. This resulted in my forearms being on fire the next morning from trying too hard to bend the stick.