There's really no sugar coating it. Playing the game of hockey has never been so expensive, and slowly, families will be priced out of competing.
In the last decade, hockey has climbed up the ladder and has become one of, if not the most expensive team sport on the planet. Apart from the registration and ice fees, the number one culprit is undoubtedly the soaring cost of equipment.
Without question, equipment continues to evolve with performance and player safety acting as the primary drivers of innovation. But what’s been lost is the quality and product longevity that should have remained a focal point throughout.
You don’t have to look too far for examples.
The most fundamental tool a hockey player relies on is their hockey stick, and over the years, with every giant leap in performance, the hockey stick has only become more brittle and unreliable. Combine a lack of quality with rising costs and we have ourselves a pretty significant problem on our hands.
The question is; how can an elite, composite hockey stick that is so prone to breakage possibly be worth its current price tag?
The answer, at least from our perspective, is that it isn’t.
The most popular brands in hockey have fallen prey to the economic allure of the hockey stick markup game. For players who don’t mind purchasing multiple elite hockey sticks a season, the reality shouldn’t be too hard to swallow. But for the average player, this is a real tough one.
Big brands purchase 'premium' composite hockey sticks in bulk from overseas at approximately $30-40 USD per stick (with all the flashy decals and brand power included).
The sticks are marked up in ludicrous fashion (upwards of 150% the manufacturing cost), distributed to re-sellers who inevitably end up handcuffed by excessive inventory, and then, finally, purchased by players expecting, at the very least, to get a few solid games out of their twigs to justify the investment.
But, it doesn’t take long for a bare composite to lose its POP. And from experience, we can tell you that it doesn’t take much longer than that for the stick to totally succumb to micro-fracturing before blowing up catastrophically just in time for that slap shot from the point.
You’re probably asking yourself, why don’t players just buy cheaper sticks instead?
Well, high performing products are quite difficult to find, and that can’t be disputed. The truth is, top end composite hockey sticks significantly outperform cheaper alternatives (in terms of shooting mechanics, handling and overall feel). When you experience top end balance and POP, you simply can’t go back.
Making matters worse is the fact that a monopoly on stick production has resulted in a small collection of hockey brand powerhouses, making it difficult for smaller companies to come in and potentially shake up the market with improved products – and, perhaps, force the big brands to actually head back to the drawing board to continue the innovation process.
We like to think that we’ve solved these problems, as complex as they may be.
COLT Hockey sticks are designed and nano-plated in Canada -- manufacturing product with the performance characteristics found in elite composites, while boasting the strength and durability found in sticks of generations past.
We license the Nanovate technology platform from a leading nano-crystalline materials R&D firm located just outside Toronto.
Our process isn’t cheap, and we recognize that.
But the the reality is that the cost of the COLT actually goes in to the manufacturing of the product itself. And we’re proud of our commitment to directly retailing COLTs to players online, cutting out the middlemen and the re sellers, and ensuring that our hockey stick remains affordable both short and long term.
We sacrifice the exorbitant profit margins that big brands now expect to provide players with sticks worth the price tag – sticks that last three times longer than what players have grown accustomed to, with the same feel and performance we all crave.
We do it because we’re hockey players and we’re tired of watching the game slowly drift out of reach.
Your hockey stick is the most fundamental piece of equipment you will ever need to enjoy the game to its fullest. But you shouldn’t have to buy multiple sticks a season to accomplish that goal.
It’s as simple as that.