Hockey Equipment Archives

Raven Hockey: Game Changing Stick Technology for Youth

I don’t throw around the term “game changer” very often. And I definitely don’t use it lightly! But I believe Raven Hockey sticks to be just that – a GAME CHANGER. Let me explain why.

Crash Course in Stick Flex

In order to understand what makes Raven sticks so special, it’s important to understand how stick flex works. Here are the key points:

  • Every stick made has a number. This number is the “flex.”
  • The higher the number the stiffer the flex.
  • This number is established BEFORE the stick is cut. So an 85 flex stick is only 85 at full length. Once you cut it, that number goes up. For me, my 85 becomes closer to 100 once I chop it down––because I’m short.
  • Your stick flex, POST CUT, should be about HALF your body weight.

Chart Showing Stick Height & Flex Recommendations:

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Typical Youth Sticks

Now let’s take a look at the specs on your typical youth stick. I recently bought new sticks for Tyler and Chase. The sticks were 35 flex PRE CUT, which is already too stiff for both my kids. They were also A LOT longer than they needed to be. So we had to chop quite a bit off, which increased the stiffness even more. By the time all was said and done, I’m guessing we were at about a 50 flex for Tyler, and possibly at 60 flex for Chase. Tyler weighs just over 60 lbs, and Chase weighs just over 50 lbs. So their sticks are way too stiff for their weight!

Enter Raven Hockey

About two weeks ago I came in contact with the guys down at Raven Hockey. It didn’t take long for me to realize these guys were onto something that would literally revolutionize youth stick manufacturing. Raven sticks are built to fit youth heights and weights.

The sticks come in 4 flexes; 20, 30, 40, and 50. The lower flex sticks are shorter, meaning the flex is measured at a shorter starting point. So you aren’t chopping off as much, which means you know you’re closer to it’s true flex, even after you’ve cut it.

They have also made some other adjustments that work really well too, including:

  • Proper starting height: means less to cut––more accurate flex specs
  • Thicker shaft: easier to grip for better puck control
  • 20/30/40/50 flex: less than 50% of body weight AFTER CUT
  • Feel: Proper flex for length
  • Blade: bigger, stiffer, more control

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Our Experience with Raven Sticks

Our Raven sticks arrived early this week. We chopped them, taped them, then put them to the test. Tyler and Chase immediately had a 2-3 mph improvement on their wrist shots, and that has continued to increase as they get used to the feel of the sticks. Their hands seem to have improved as well, especially with Tyler (my 8 year old). We’ve had two on-ice practices with the Raven sticks, and the kids are shooting mini laser beams!

Game Changer

The sticks behave just like a scaled down version of an adult stick, which opens up the door for slap and snap shots. In the past I’ve always recommended players stay away from slap shots until they get older. Even if they can perform the mechanics, they don’t have the strength or weight to make the stick flex properly for them with a conventional youth stick.

This all changes with Raven. With a stick that works properly for the kids’ size, I’ve begun teaching Tyler the slap shot. He’s picking it up pretty quickly, and the stick works like magic for him. You can see in the picture below, the perfect amount of flex. With a slap shot being a possibility now, this opens new avenues in the development of youngsters!

Slap Shot Flex

Conclusion

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m REALLY excited about these sticks, and endorse them 100%. I don’t think I’ll be able to have my kids go back to anything else after seeing their game using Raven sticks. Having functional equipment allows players to develop better. On top of the performance benefits, Raven also offers a 60 Day warrantee on all their sticks. It’s a no-brainer… really!

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Hockey Equipment Tips for Kids

Hockey Equipment Tips for Kids

Hockey is still a young sport here in Salt Lake City, which means we have many first-time hockey parents. While these parents all share a love of the game, and enthusiasm for their kids being involved, many of them are unfamiliar with the finer points of putting on hockey gear.

Over the past few years, I’ve consistently seen equipment issues with improper sizing (sticks too long), improper wearing (skates too loose, elbow pads upside down, etc.), and even non-usage (no cup?!?).

So I felt it could do some good, at the very least in my local organization, to put together a video detailing the key points of how to size and wear every piece of hockey gear, from start to finish. Obviously, this is a broad topic, so I’ve put together a time-stamped “Table of Contents.” This way, if you have questions about a specific piece of equipment, you can fast forward straight to it using the timestamps below. Skates and sticks are the two that do the most damage to your player’s ability to learn the game if you get them wrong. So I’d recommend at least watching those two segments. :

– 1:29 Cup/Jock & Garter
– 3:10 Shin Pads
– 7:33 Socks
– 9:24 Pants
– 11:22 SKATES
– 20:29 Tape & Shoulder Pads
– 23:25 Elbow Pads
– 25:26 Jersey
– 26:35 Helmet & Gloves
– 30:57 STICK

When gear fits properly, the players are able to focus on learning and having fun, rather than being uncomfortable with equipment fitting badly or falling off. With everything in place, your player will be able to develop in a safe, comfortable, and fun environment.

Article Taken from this Month’s Hockey Development Magazine. Click Below to Start Your FREE Trial Today!

Evolution Stick Rack


Declutter Your Training Space with the Evolution Stick Rack

If you’re anything like me, your home training center probably gets cluttered pretty quickly. We’ve got 3 boys, who all play… So we’ve got their sticks, my sticks, plus a few random lacrosse sticks, always out and in the way. Needless to say, the Evolution Stick Rack has been a great product to keep our training center decluttered!

Stick Rack Review - YouTubeDesign
The stick rack features a simple design, that allows for some versatility with the install. Mount it higher up on the wall, and hang your sticks in the stick rack by the knob; or mount it lower, and set the sticks in it like a conventional stick rack. The double-decker design gives you hanging options, keeps your sticks from swinging, and also serve as a shelf for small items such as tape, pucks, and stick wax.

Installation
The mounting process is simple, and took me about 30 seconds. The mounting holes are positioned the same distance apart as standard studs are placed, so you should be able to drive each screw into a stud. The screws are included with the stick rack, so it’s literally, open the box, mount the stick rack, and use it. No trips to the hardware store!

Usability
As I said above, the design and installation are super simple, and the stick rack performs as it’s supposed to. This has been a great addition to my training room, and I definitely recommend picking one up for yours!

 

Green Biscuit Among the Top 20 Products of Walmart’s “On the Shelf” Contest

Green Biscuit Pro

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Olympic 2014 PucksGreen Biscuit has made it to the Top 20 of Walmart’s “On the Shelf” contest. This is awesome news for Green Biscuit and for our game as a whole! I wanted to take a minute and fill you in on how the competition works, what’s already happened, and where it goes from here. Here we go!

On the Shelf
The competition started back in July–Walmart asked people to submit their products. From there, Walmart picked hundreds of products, then the public voted on their favorites until the end of September. The products that had the most public votes made it to the top 20 finalists.

For the competition, Green Biscuit will be debuting three new pucks:

  1. Green Biscuit Pro
  2. The pink “Blush” puck
  3. And a special line of pucks for the 2014 Sochi Olympics that feature country flags in the center. (These ones are so cool!)

The Top 20
The Top 20 products are broken down into categories, and each product has a webisode created as a feature on the contest site. Green Biscuit will be competing in the “Kids Stuff” category, and their webisode will air October 8th.

Voting
After the webisode airs, voting is open for a limited time. Our webisode airs October 8th and voting closes October 11th, 2013. The product with the most votes will move onto the next round. From there, the product that receives the most preorders will win.

How Can We help?
We’re asking the hockey community to help support Green Biscuit in their quest for the “On the Shelf” Championship. There are a few ways we can do this:

  1. Tune in to the Webisode October 8th at https://getontheshelf.walmart.com/
  2. Follow Green Biscuit on their Website, Facebook, and Twitter, to keep updated with reminders on voting
  3. VOTE for Green Biscuit before October 11th, 2013!

The SportScreen



The SportScreen is an Awesome Product to Save Your Garage

Obviously, I do a lot of hockey training from home. So far, things have been great. My kids are improving (and so am I), and the equipment I’ve been working with is holding up great! However, I had one vulnerability in my set-up. I have a wall in the basement with two windows. If I ring the puck off the post just right, it ricochets off and hits the window (it has already happened a few times).

When I heard about SportScreen, I immediately thought it could be an excellent solution for my window issue… I was right!

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sportscreen installationUnboxing the SportScreen:
When you unbox your SportScreen, I recommend opening the instructions and doing a quick inventory. There are quite a few pieces, so make sure you’re not missing anything.

QUICK TIP: The folks down at SportScreen love to stack pieces inside each other. So if you’re missing anything, check inside all the tubes before calling in your missing piece!

After taking inventory, give a quick read through the instructions, decide the mounting style you’re going to use, then have at it!

Installation Process:
Installing the SportScreen took me about 2 hours. The process is pretty straightforward if you follow the instructions. Here’s what I did:

  1. Assemble the header tube. It comes in three pieces. Stick the pieces together, then secure them with the self-tapping screws
  2. Hang the mounting brackets. This will vary depending on what you’re drilling into. For me, I mounted a 2×4 to my basement wall using a stud gun, then attached the brackets to the wood. It’s holding up great!
  3. Insert the header tube. If you’ve spaced the brackets properly, the header tube will slide right into place. Make sure you use the cotter pin to keep it from working it’s way out.
  4. Attach the screen. Hook the screen to the header tube using the velcro paneling that’s attaches to both the screen and the tube.
  5. Set your height stops. Use the wand tool that comes with your SportScreen to set the ascending stop and the descending stop. This will make it so you never have to manually stop it.
  6. Insert rods. Put the heavy, metal rod in the bottom slot, and the lighter, plastic rod in the slot that’s about half-way up the screen. The rods help it to hang properly, and make it so the pucks hit with a “dead bounce.”
  7. Test remote. The remote usually comes programmed for your SportScreen. If, for some reason, yours isn’t, just plug in the SportScreen, and hold down the up button while you hear the 5 beeps. Now your remote is programmed!
  8. Mount your remote holder somewhere convenient.

Usability & Functionality:
Assembly is the hard part (even thought it’s not that hard). Once you’re set up, using the SportScreen is literally as easy as pushing a button. Lower it down when you need to use it, raise it back up when you’re done!

Functionally the SportScreen does EVERYTHING it claims to do, and protects your house, cars, garage door, and windows from flying pucks! It’s also a great targeting system if you decide to use it that way.

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