What can I expect from my Hydro sticks?
Your new Hydro sticks are made from Polyurethane. Yes, you may be able to faintly see a mesh substance inside the stick. This is fibreglass reinforcing to give extra strength and is normal. You may see some tiny bubbles on the surface of your stick. This is a part of the production process and is also perfectly normal. Large bubbles inside the stick can sometimes reduce structural strength and lead to breakage which would be regarded as a manufacturing defect (you will only find this if your stick breaks, and we will replace it for you within the first 3 months of use, where it is certain to become evident). However tiny bubbles are simply part and parcel of the material and production process of the stick. You may see the occasional thin black line in one of your white sticks. This is a hair from our dog Gus. He is a black Lab with a very coarse, strong coat which he spreads wherever he goes, and he tries to help us strengthen our sticks from time to time when he sheds. We believe a Gus hair in a stick to be an omen of good fortune. Remember to name your stick! A good method is to put a ring of tape on the handle and name the tape, as it's hard to write on black material. Or, you can use the option to have us name it for you, which will embed pigment into the plastic so that it can't be removed.
Can my sticks break?
In the first 10 months of continuous sales, we have had 3 sticks break that we know of so far. So yes, it's possible sometimes, but very rarely. We make every effort to use the best materials and processes to make our sticks as strong as we can while keeping that crucial thermoplastic (woodish) type "feel" on the puck. This is why we don't use nylon which is too hard and dead with no "feel" on the puck and poor performance. We are always looking to improve our products, and we encourage customers to take advantage of our 3 month replacement warranty if they have any issues with their sticks.
How long will my sticks or glove last?
This depends exclusively on how you play and where you play. The primary purpose of a glove is to take the punishment so your hand does not, so you will experience wear and tear on a glove over time and if your hand takes a lot of punishment your glove will wear out quicker. If you play on a concrete bottom your gear will wear much faster than on smooth tiles, however smooth tiles also can have sharp edges and make cuts that concrete does not. Sticks will abrade on a rough bottom much faster than on smooth tiles. If you have a stick with a smooth handle the palm and fingers of your glove will last longer, but you will have poorer grip on your stick. Conversely if you have a handle with lots of grip and texture you may wear holes in your palm and finger linings faster but with much better grip and higher performance. Wooden sticks over time typically feather on the edges as the wood fibres break away and this softens the passing edges. Wood can also pick up chips and dents on the passing edges. Typically getting a stick stuck underneath a metal barrier or hitting sharp tiles or tile damage can quickly cause this type of damage. Plastic sticks wear in a similar way without the feathering, but more slowly from constant abrasion on the pool bottom. Abrasion also slowly wears away grip textures. Plastic also picks up cuts and nicks on the passing edges particularly along the top of the bevels. Unfortunately any significant nick in the top of the front passing edge can affect passing consistency, so try to check your sticks often and file smooth any damage... if it's too big a cut to fix it may be time to get a new set of sticks.
Does wearing a glove make me bulletproof?
No unfortunately it does not. The puck is very heavy and there are many players in the game who are very strong, these generate forces that can damage us no matter how much protection we may wear. Wearing a quality glove with padding in the right places reduces as much as possible your chance of injury but it is still possible to hurt your hand. The situations where injury occurs most are when missing a tackle and accidentally punching the puck with your fingers, trying to hit down a pass and getting the pass right on the hand at close range, and getting hit through a hole that has slowly worn in your glove that you didn't know was there. Check and maintain your gear regularly!
How can I take care of my gear?
Sunlight breaks down most things including plastics and silicons, so keep your gear in your bag. UV rays can weaken plastic and gradually turn some white plastics yellow. Try to keep your gearbag out of hot cars which can warp plastics with extreme heat. You can extend the life of your gloves and sticks by rinsing chlorine off after use with fresh water. If you won't be using your gear for a while dry it out thoroughly to prevent mould buildup.
Can I modify, customize or repair my gloves and sticks?
Yes you can. For silicone gloves you can add extra padding according to your preference by using common acetic-cure caulking silicon from a hardware store. You can use the same silicone to fill gaps or holes on a worn glove also. For sticks, you can use a 2-part hardening builders putty to fill in chunks ripped off the edges of your bevels or customize to add contours to your handle for example. You will need to use a black or white paint pen to colour the putty unless you can find products which are sold in black and white. Or, you can ask us to make up exactly what you want and we could do it for you :)