My first shaft was made of Aluminum. A Silver and Black Easton made popular by Wayne Gretzky. At the time I had no preference of sticks, but when my parents gifted that to me, as a Gretzky fan and hockey nerd I was in love.
After school I would run home, grab my skates and stick, and head a block over to my uncles house where I kept my net. His street had the smoothly paved alley. I scored hundreds of Game 7 overtime goals on that rickety plastic net. I loved it so much I left the house in middle of the '94 Game 7 Stanley Cup final to go and play. Luckily for me, I missed watching the Rangers beat Vancouver. I would always rather play than watch!
I'm reminded of these times now, with most people stuck at home due to the virus, the rinks and leagues closed, school out.. We're seeing hockey kids everywhere in the backyard and street with ball or a Green Biscuit and spending hours using their body and imagination!
That's where I found my real love of hockey.
The local outdoor games still have a few people using the Aluminum shafts. They don't seem to break down as much as I wish they'd disappear from the game! I respect their frugality and comfort with them, but it makes me cringe, thinking of how heavy and stiff they are compared to new composite products. Lots of us don't wear pads in our outdoor games and taking a whack from one of those to a bare shin is quite memorable.
Company after company has been ceasing production of shafts making them harder to find. Right now True is the only mainstream hockey company making great shafts anymore. Their shaft is very popular, The True A6.0 Shaft is available in 75, 85 and 95 flex with Grip. It's super light, packs a bunch and is quite affordable.
Our Outdoor Hockey Shafts:
We made our CTC Weston Shaft in Silver and Black as a throwback to the Kings/Greztky era. It's the only Low-Kick flex shaft we know of on the market. We made it in 70, 85 and 90 Flex with Grip and Non-Grip options. Made with a blend of Carbon fibre and fibreglass.
Now you get the style of the 90's with the modern tech! Faster hands and less bleeding shins too! I've been using it for a few months. Took some time to figure out the low kick but now I love the pop I get on quick shots and passes. A few chips in the shiny silver paint but holding up very nicely!
Grip or No Grip?
Grip has become the norm these days, it's almost impossible to find any high quality composite sticks without it. I know there is a group of players that still prefers the feel of a slippery, non-grip shaft, myself included.
We originally created the CTC Standard Shaft to fill that gap and offer a wider range of options. It was available in 55, 65, 75, 85, 95 and 105 Flex with Grip and Non-Grip options. Super-light 18k Carbon fiber. Mid-Kick flex Profile.
Senior shafts with lower Flex?
I dropped from an 85 and am now shuffling between 65 and 75 flex and feel like I can get a bit more zip out of my passes and shots(still muffins).
Most sizes are currently sold out and some of the early users are already looking for more! We are working on a redesign of the shaft graphics and hope to restock by the end of 2020.
From working in the shop and changing hundreds of ABS blades for customers we realized most people were not using and ideal flex Flex in their shaft. Plenty of customers, under 5'7" would be using a 110 Flex stick that had like 10" cut off of it. That would make the stick like 150+ Flex. Insane! We thought these players would get more power from their stick if they were actually able to flex the shaft.
The CTC Standard uses different lengths of shafts to better suit the players.
All flexes are Sr Shaft Dimensions and will fit a full size Sr blade.
Finding Jr and Tapered blades is getting harder so we wanted it to maximize the options available for blades.
ABS Replacement Blades:
Most of the big guys are still making ABS Blades.
CCM still has their CCM Ultimate ABS Blade (which isn't the same as the old, super popular 1k / 4k /10k)
They are all solid and each have their own unique construction. The shortfall is that besides the Sher-wood, which has 2 curves available, they all use the same curve. Generally a "Sakic" pattern.
What's wrong with that? Well, most players using ABS blades are playing with a ball. The Sakic pattern is 'open faced', which means the blade twists in the middle, aimed to help players raise shots. Raising the ball is not as challenging as a puck, and with the open face, we always found it much harder to control.
I think the Closed face curves are the best for hockey with a ball. A more consistent curve with less variability in loft and twist we believe leads to more accurate shots and passes.
So, we decided to make 2 curve options with a closed face. The Bao curve, is aimed at playmakers. Very little curve on this one. Easy to handle on the backhand and make accurate passes. Will resemble a PM9 curve.
The Straker curve has a deeper curve, but still closed face. Better for players who are shooting more and like an easier toe drags. Close to P88 pattern
We also have the Scholcz curve, which has an open face. Just to please those who can handle the twist and like their shots to get up in a hurry. That's like a Sakic or P92.
For playing on smooth or indoor surfaces. The CTC Crossover ABS Blade is lightweight but strong with hosel reinforcements. 1 layer of fibreglass on the forehand and backhand over an ABS core with wood insert.
Made with the old school Koho and CCM ABS blades in mind. We missed them so much we went on a quest to bring them back. Customers have been loving these, we think they turned out great. Highly recommend trying them out
For a rougher surface, the CTC Strong ABS Blade is made with 2 layers of wood and fibreglass reinforcement on the forehand and backhand. The result is a very stiff and beefy ABS Blade that we believe will wear down slower than any of the others.
A bit heavier than the Crossover, but better value for the roughest courts and streets.
Both blades are made in the 3 curves: Straker, Bao and Scholcz
Our plan is to keep providing high quality products that are always available to keep the outdoor games affordable and fun!
Wanna chat shafts n blades? Have any questions? Ready to order? Send me a message!