I am 5 feet 6 inches tall and only weigh around 111 pounds, currently I use a Nexus 1N with 77 flex, I wouldn't say I struggle to flex it, it's just hard to flex it while in motion. Should I be in and around the 60-70 range for stick flexes?
The flex of a hockey stick is very dependent on your preferences. For your height and weight, I would say 65-85 flex would be the average. But it also depends on your position. For example, a defenseman will tend to have a stick with more flex since a defenseman tends to take more snapshots then a forward. A forward usually likes to have some whip on a stick to take quick wrist shots.
You should try it for yourself and see what kind of flex, curve, and grip you are more comfortable with. For example, a CCM stick is more round whereas a BAUER stick is more square. Just see what grip you prefer and what type of stick elevates your game the most. Once you have found that out, you should try to stick with the same brand and maybe change your flex as you get stronger.
While shooting is important, you want a stick that maximizes your potential in all aspects.
- offense(stickhandling, passing and receiving, shooting, reach) AND
- defense(poke check, stick lift, pass interception, reach) AND
- faceoffs(if you are taking them).
Additionally, while flex is important, you want a stick that is optimal in all attributes.
- flex/kick point
The cross product of these many variables is indeed large. Budget and time both prohibit trying out every possible combination. Nonetheless, you will do well to try a few sticks that are radically different from each other.
Just stickhandling a hockey ball and testing the flex in the store doesn't cut it though. You want to use one for a few games/practices/scrimmages and try to get used to it. If possible, borrow sticks from friends/teammates.
There is no perfect twig: eventually you are going to want to get as comfortable as you can with the stick you have.
Beyond this, also keep in mind the same stick is going to perform differently depending on:
- your weight, height and strength
- your style of play
- your technique(in shooting, passing, skating, checking)
And OK! Here's some other things to consider if you are looking to snipe:
- What position do you play/expect to play?
- Where on the ice are your shots/scoring chances coming from?
- How comfortable/confident/skilled are you with technique for the different types of shots(snap, slap, wrist, tip, backhand, one-timer)?
- If you are shooting in stride, are you pulling the puck under/behind you before releasing? Keeping it out in front of you?
All THOSE things are going to help you narrow down the best stick for you.
Good luck and keep playing!