One, two, three broken hockey sticks. We’re two months into the season and already the cost of hockey is mounting. Maybe if parents realized just how much money that could be saving by getting hockey sticks fixed instead of buying new ones, stick repairers like Integral Hockey West Island’s Cristina Frangiosa would be working day and night to satisfy the demand.
Their child has now broken 3 sticks in 2 months. and all of a sudden parents are in the hole $1200, they now have an epiphany, (or a fit) and only THEN will they start to look for other alternatives. Right now this is a challenge we are facing. We are not top of mind yet because for some families they have not gone through this cycle yet., but every one of them will…
– Cristina Frangiosa – Integral Hockey West Island
It’s a weekday lunch hour and Cristina Frangiosa is using it to talk to me about her Integral Hockey franchise which she’s secured for Montreal’s West Island. We talk about hockey sticks being part of a “throw away” society, something most of us don’t want to be a part of. But with hockey sticks, we tend to forget how good we are at thinking before buying, at recycling instead of throwing away. For some reason, hockey needs seem to trump everything else.
Groceries or a New Stick?
With prices that compare to a shopping cart full of groceries, buying a new high-end stick is a priority not all families can afford. Perhaps they might not even know that most broken sticks can be repaired.
But they can.
Don’t throw it away. Keep it in play. That’s Integral Hockey’s motto.
Not all sticks can be repaired, but most shafts and many blades can. To give you an idea of the cost of repair, it won’t cost any more than $60, tax included, to get a shaft repaired, making that stick as good as new.
Better than new.
“When their kid breaks an expensive stick, some people can afford spending $250 or more for a new stick. But there are some people who don’t want to afford an expense like that,” says Frangiosa. “And that’s precisely our market.”
Fixing “at least” the Back Up Hockey Stick
“We tell the parents that there ARE options. Instead of running out to buy a new stick, we tell them to get that break fixed — at a fraction of the cost. Their player can use it, at the very least, as their back-up hockey stick.”
Frangiosa tells me about a couple who showed up at her door with six sticks to fix for their Midget AAA player.
The broken sticks were all high-end sticks, financed with grandma and grandpa’s help. Frangiosa could tell that these sticks cost well over $1,000 when they were new.
With a patent-pending system, Frangiosa was able to fix all six of them for less than it would have cost them to just buy one of them. As for the sticks? The player can’t tell the difference. It has the same feel. It has the same flex. But there is one big difference. Their weak points have been reinforced and it’s doubtful they’ll let their player down — certainly not in that same spot, ever again.
I wonder why more people don’t get their broken sticks fixed. Perhaps it’s because of how emotional the game is. Sticks are loved by the players that use them, maybe with a professional player’s name on them that brings confidence, helping them imagine that with that stick in their hands, they’re playing more like that player. As a parent, you’re rather proud of being able to afford such a wanted tool. Yes, it was expensive, but you can justify your purchase. Maybe that’s what your kid needs to score more, be a scoring leader — or lead the plus/minus stats.
But when that stick breaks, it usually breaks at precisely the wrong time – when there’s a scoring opportunity, letting the player, the team, and the parents in the stands, down. It’s not just broken, it’s a betrayal. Adding insult to injury, broken sticks often cause a puck turnover, or even a goal – and that deepens the hurt that one-loved stick has caused.
Get over it. Realize now that carbon fibre sticks have weak points and when they break, you should save your pieces and get them fixed. You’ll end up with a great stick for your player, save your family money — and delay its inevitable visit to the landfill, where it will stay, forever.
Integral Hockey West Island