Hydro Uwh News
Age-group worlds has come to an end with some nail-biting finishes... Congratulations to all the teams.
Our next big tournament is the New Zealand Secondary Schools Nationals in Auckland in September. We will be at the tournament with stock of all our gear available and are donating some nice gear for prizes as well, so look for us there. We will also have our first stock of one of our newest designs available there, our Pixie sticks.
These are a revamp of one of the first plastic sticks Liam ever made back in 2008... here's the original with the new for comparison
And here's the finished product...
We're excited about these, they're a great little stick, short, slim and fast but all the angles are 100% true so the pass is awesome, with none of the twist or warped alignment that you can get from handmade sticks. The bevel is a little larger than our standard 8 degrees, it's 10 degrees to give both smaller people who use the stick as it suits their size to get better loft on the puck, and also to help bigger players using it as a small forwards stick get good pop passes to beat defenders.
We're not far away now from adding our Tank gloves to the site, there are a few floating about at this stage and we will have 2 versions available at Schools Nationals, both a fully lined competition glove and a training glove version that boasts the same protection and padding over a thicker un-coated nylon liner similar to the construction of our Robot gloves.
These are the Tank Training Gloves
And these are the Tank Competition Gloves
Drop by the table at Nationals to have a close look and try on some sizes. Good luck to all the teams for their final training sessions before the competition, see you all in Auckland!
All the age-group teams are converging on Spain for their world champs, and we have managed to kit out 4 full NZ squads with our gear. Whatever they do over there, they will look good doing it.
NZ Secondary Schools Nationals, that behemoth of a tournament, is looming around the corner. To celebrate we have just brought in a bunch of sweet wraparound masks.
These are pretty cool, great quality and a great price we've been able to offer too.
As always we have more things on the way in our design production line, something that we very nearly have ready to go and that some of the NZ players in Spain will be sporting are our new rubberised sticks. We have grippy rubber versions of both our standard and 260 Katanas, it's been a lengthy development process and they are now just about ready. Our production process has standardized the thickness of the soft outer material to provide consistent absorption of impacts and dampening of puck bounce and jiggle. Our standard hard plastic textures are the best around for puck control, but this rubberised material adds something next-level to your fine puck skills. We are still experimenting with softer materials to give even better performance and will be aiming to offer varying levels of rubbery grip for those who really like to get a soft touch on the puck. Pretty excited to get these rolling!
We have also got a bunch of useful bits and bobs like snorkels and ties added to our product line, and we will have Big-Bore snorkels available in the next couple of days for those who have switched to the larger-intake type snorkels or who have been waiting to make the switch but lacked the gear!
Good luck to all the young teams in their warmups this week!
It's been pretty busy here for the last couple of weeks, we are providing some subsidized gear for the NZ age-group teams travelling to Spain and all the teams have taken us up with pretty much full-on glove and stick orders... we have kitted them out in a new line of gloves, our Tank model which in the not too distant future will be up on the site and freely available... after the Skelly goes up first, as soon as this NZ gear push finishes we will be able to do that, apologies for those who have had an eye on the Skelly and have been waiting! While both the Skelly and the Tank are made with the same technique, the Skelly is aimed more at maximum flexibility while the Tank is a little bulkier with slightly broader padding.
Here are some of our gloves leaving our shores to do underwater battle in Spain in a week or so...
We have also just added a couple of new products, some nice sturdy masks and a shipment of Najade upside-down face fins.
Wombats! I've sent a couple over to Jason in Western Australia to have a play with and see if any Aussies like the new wombat stick I put together based on the tried-and-true Aussie elite mens bat... Decades of dominance can't be wrong right? In the meantime I've had a good chance to practice with them myself and quite like them... great passes, off the front and back edges, and feels amazing when you crunch someone with a big solid hit using a stick with this much weight behind it. I also totally understand why I've seen so many of the best aussie players use so many flat passes over the years... this type of stick pretty much requires that kind of passing style exclusively, as there is so much surface area that turning the wrist overly through the pass will slow you down and just isn't as effective. Some interest in Turkey with this design and we have a tester set on the way over to France, so if you'd like to try one in Europe and Fonteney will let you into their training session, track down Arnaud and ask him to try one out.
...the Wombat is the one in the middle!
It's been all go here at Hydro, setting up our new workshop (and our house!) here in Wellington, lots of design work on new products and improving existing products, churning out some orders, and trying to make sure the dog gets enough exercise when it's pretty cold outside. To say nothing of hilarious new words and games from our wee toddler.
We have a bunch of sticks heading over to the USA and our mate Dave from Canam, so if you are hitting any US competitions soon look for Dave and the Canam shop to see our newest stuff. He will have a few advance examples of our new skeleton gloves which are nearing the end of their development and nearly ready to go on the site, just adding a few touches. The skellys are designed for performance, comfort and mobility, we're just trying to add as much durability as we can in high-wear areas (thumb and fingertips etc) before we launch. Here are a few advance pics.
There are some Skelly prototypes around as advance versions for people really keen to get their hands on them early, email in if this is you and we can do the same for you. One of these we sent last week to Western Australia for Mitch from the Aussie U23 team, and I also sent a special request of a glove for Arny, the legendary Aussie forward and recent Aussie mens coach. Here's a pic of the 2 gloves, one for Mitch, our standard Skelly prototype in a lovely Aussie green and gold, and a special request from Arny, a glove "that you can scrunch up in the palm of your hand". I'm not sure if I put too much padding on it... we will see how he finds it. It's incredibly thin, basically protecting against abrasion only. I saw Arny playing with a super thin glove like this in 2009 for the Barbarians at the Trans-tasmans in Melbourne... yes he played elite mens grade with some of the heaviest hitters in the game in the water (Andre Zylstra, Herve Thaurus, Rob Tinkler)... the motto, float like a butterfly sting like a bee.
New Jolt Sticks! Dave at Canam will have a bunch of our new Jolt sticks, and I have just posted them up on our website for sale. These are based on Jolyon Van Daalen's sticks, he's old-school through and through and loves his wooden sticks but I've given him an alternative in case he ever finds himself out of black and white paint. Basically they give an amazing right-side flick and chase, for fading around backs on the right wing, Jolyon's speciality. It's the angle of the handle, further forward than our standard straightish handle angle for most NZ sticks, that allows the quicker pass to the right. Nice hook on this stick too, and for people possibly with the occasional thumb injury the handle of this stick is great for that, really strong hammer-handle grip as opposed to the more adjustable knife-handle style of our Katanas. Doing our best to provide for all the different tastes out there! Here are some pics... These are in the product section of the site now and available to order.
NZ Tournaments... We have been to Nth Island Champs, Central Schools qualifying here and Northern schools qualifying has just been as well... very compressed calendar this year here in NZ as we try to fit everything in before the rep agegroup teams head over to Spain for the agegroup world champs in August, super excited for those guys! Should be fun.
Engineers moved the motorway on-ramp directly into the river in Wellington this week. Nah not really, but you would have thought so.
Continuing our migration south, the mobile Hydro workshop crammed into the back of a van and drove from Gisborne to Wellington.
Good times and 8 hour drives!
Managed to drench Benson in the morning before he had to go to work, helping me unload before the heavens really opened and let us have it... Got out of town just in time to catch some juicy floods and made it through just before all the roads in and out were officially cut-off.
Pretty funny scenes! We could have played hockey on the motorway.
A good thing our moving workshop wasn't drowned, because we have been putting the finishing touches on our new Skelly gloves and they are looking good!
Once we are setup with our workshop fully operational we will be rolling these out onto the website.
Tomorrow we begin our journey down the north island of New Zealand, stopping for a few weeks in beautiful Gisbourne before ending up finally at our destination, Wellington.
We will be using temporary workstations and workshops on the way. Should be a good challenge!
Hi underwater hockey players!
We are excited to be opening our web sales today, we have some great products to offer in our starting range and have a bunch more that will be up and available shortly as well, so please keep an eye on the site and updates to see the new arrivals as they are added to the range.
I hope google translate can do a good job for our friends in countries that don't speak english! And for all our english speaking friends I will try to keep my Kiwi slang to a minimum.
We are constantly adding sizes to our products to cater for as many players as we can... please get in touch if we haven't yet got a size for you and let us know. We are happy to consider requests for sizes and for products as well, if you need it and you think we can help then contact us and we will do our best to help.
Danni and I are not part-time, we have set aside our other work and jobs to make sure we have the time to be fully committed to getting Hydro off the ground. We stand behind all our products and are constantly looking to improve both products and processes, so if you have any feedback on our gear we would love to hear it and if you have any questions or issues about anything regarding our products please let us know and we will work to answer any questions or fix any issues as soon as we can.