Saturday, 9 November 2013

Equipment Watch: Boa Hockey

The store to the left may look abandoned as the cars and building are covered in snow, but that's what happens in Roseau, Minnesota in the winter! Heck, the store is so close to Canada we might as well just adopt them! In any case, I'm here to take a look at Boa Hockey, a brand-new hockey stick manufacturer that is starting to make inroads in their home state of Minnesota and elsewhere. While they aren't in the NHL yet, they may be getting closer with every stick produced!

It's amazing to think that Boa Hockey got started because of a former hockey equipment manufacturer. According to Boa's website, they purchased the facility from Christian Hockey! As per Boa, "Christian Hockey recently sold the rights to their name, however, did not sell the factory. Boa Hockey purchased the plant in April, 2012. Boa continues the Christian tradition of manufacturing the finest wooden hockey sticks in the world". Not bad, right? Christian always produced quality hockey gear, so kudos for Boa Hockey in buying a factory that knows how to do things right.

The key with Boa Hockey isn't that they mass-produce the same stick over and over. Sure, they have their own proprietary stick designs - and we'll look at those below - but they actually will build you a stick with your custom blade and graphics! In other words, if you tell them you like a certain blade - a Warrior Widow Gionta, for example - they will construct a stick with that blade in wood! How cool is that?

One of their featured products is a goalie stick featuring a "Curtis Curve". What is this "Curtis Curve", you ask? Well, according to Boa Hockey, "[t]he Curtis Curve's handle is notched into the center of the paddle, has a slight curve in the grip area and a curve at the top portion of the handle", making it easier for goalies to hold and far more ergonomic. I've seen other sticks like this, but they are few and far between. The key is that Boa Hockey is the only company that is manufacturing the Curtis Curve right now amongst all stick-makers!

The one thing that absolutely drew me to Boa Hockey is that their prices are entirely reasonable for the services they provide. For example, their Venom hockey sticks are all under $50 and offer a wide assortment of options on their sticks. The Pro Series sticks are also below $50 for all nine models, and the custom-built sticks will run you no more than $64. That's a pretty fair deal to get the exact blade you want on your stick, no?

I know that graphite and carbon-fiber are all the rage due to their ultralight features, but I'm a wood stick guy myself. People can tell me about the flex and the kick that the pucks gets off the blade of a composite, but I like a wood stick. There's something about shooting and puck-handling with one that I can't seem to get with a composite stick. Call me old-fashioned, but it feels right.

I'm working on trying to get a few comments from Boa Hockey, so there will be an update on Boa Hockey soon. I have to say that I'm very impressed with Boa Hockey's pricing and skills when it comes to their manufacturing. Hopefully these features will get them a little more recognition and, perhaps one day soon, into the NHL!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Will S said...

Have to get my next goalie stick there. Have a couple straight wood goalie sticks left for the rare times I play in goal (prefer straight goal sticks - I catch left and shoot right when I have to shoot), but Boa looks my best option when I have to replace them.

There was a guy that made wood goalie sticks a few years back under the name Northville, but don't think he's making them anymore.

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