The first thing you need to know is that composite hockey sticks shafts are manufactured from a number of woven fibres which are coated in resin, wrapped in a mould, and baked in an oven. Once complete the stick is removed from the mould (leaving a hollow middle), the blade is inserted into the shaft (cheaper model sticks), then cooled, painted, and lacquered to provide the custom outer finish.
How it was established
In 2004, the SRS brand was created by Edgewater industries, which have been engineering, and manufacturing epoxy systems and other chemical products for over 30 years. The company (based out of Spring Lake Michigan) claims to have directed their epoxy expertise in this direction out of a passion for hockey as well as being driven to find a solution for the broken hockey shaft. Edgewater devoted company resources towards the research and design of a product that would effectively repair the shaft of a composite hockey stick.
HockeyStickMan uses the SRS model of internal shaft repair (other systems have come in place since but we still believe SRS to be the best, but it has to be done correctly), here is the process:
1 – Cut off damage
2 – Install shaft-lock grooves™ (a process used to prepare the interior wall of the shaft)
3 – The two pieces of shaft are aligned in a custom manufactured clamp, and then a specially designed Styrofoam piece is lodged in the bottom section of the shaft (approx. 1.5 inches down). A carbon fiber Aircore sleeve™ (which is approx. 3 inches in length comprised of 2 layers of carbon fiber surrounding a foam centre) is then inserted into the hollow of the bottom piece of the stick until it reaches the Styrofoam. The top section of the stick is placed over the Aircore Sleeve, re-aligned, clamped together, and taped (to deter epoxy leakage).
4 – Resin and Hardener are then mixed together and poured down the inside of the shaft, effectively filling up the foam centre of the AirCore piece and conforming to the shaft lock grooves in a junior, intermediate, or senior shafts. Thus, concealing the stick with an internal fix leaving minimal visual disturbance to the external shaft profile.
5 – The stick undergoes a 72 hour curing period in a temperate room until hardened.
6 – Once hardened it is necessary to then ‘Snap the Stick’,which requires the technician to vigorously flex the stick until the internal repair has broken away from the inner shaft and is floating freely within the hollow while the carbon fiber grips into the shaft-lock grooves. This allows the stick to maintain the flex, kick-point, and performance integrity.
From the HockeyStickMan standpoint
After working with the 2010 Olympic Games I left my job as Program Manager for BC Hockey, and Peter retired from a 30 year career in composite material (Lafarge) to establish this business. We believe in the product as well as how important it is to offer top end composite sticks at a reduced price to the hockey parent, rec league player, and even Junior and College level teams.
Together with SRS we have successfully repaired over 30,000 sticks since established in 2011 and stand behind it with a 35 day guarantee. While we admit not all of our repairs have worked, we are currently operating at a 1 in 100 warranty rate.
We get consistently positive feedback on the on-ice performance of our sticks and best of all the customers keep coming back!
While the process of repair isn’t overly difficult, it is important to have the right setup, in the proper conditions, and every stick done by a professional technician to ensure accuracy. Some dealers of the SRS system fail to do so, therefore produce an inferior product.