My partners, Mark and Randy, and I were discussing recently what we wanted Reboot Hockey to be about. Not from an ideological perspective, but just in-terms of what services we wanted to provide. All three of us are gigantic hockey enthusiasts, and we had to narrow our area of focus just a bit. This is my version of a mission statement.
I will let Mark and Randy state their own perspectives, but here’s mine:
I have worked in a variety of fields, and I’ve learned that I have two skills that I take with me to every venture:
1) I have a talent for Creative Problem Solving
2) I have a talent for Organizing the Right People
As I have written elsewhere innumerable times, I am a Hockey Player first and foremost. The seeds of Reboot Hockey, for me, were planted when I started encountering problems with my own equipment and level of play after moving to Coastal Carolina. Here are a few examples:
I have deformed, hideous feet from years of play. One of my more-pressing issues as a player (which inspired me to write the article, “How to Optimize Your Hockey Skates“) has been to find a skate that fits me properly. My fitting issues went well beyond anyone in the local community, and even stumped a few former AHL equipment managers.
Finally, after months and months of frustration, I started coming up with my own concept for a skate. Due to the bone protrusions on my foot, I basically need the top of the skate, around the eyelet rings, to wrap my foot like a traditional leather boot. However, as a former college hockey player, I also need professional-level performance and reactivity from the bottom half of the boot.
This has led me to come up with a concept that I am calling a “Jack Boot”. I will have pictures and a review up as soon as the project is complete. My point is that, as the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” I needed a skate that both fits and performs, and in my travels I have yet to find one.
In short, I had to come up with a Creative Solution for my own skate problem, since my awkward fitting request went beyond any pro-shop veteran I came into contact with. This led me to coming up with my own idea for a skate, which in-turn led me to the concept of optimizing hockey equipment.
Similarly, I went through a period in which I was having a hard time finding a hockey stick that allowed me to get the most from my ability. What I ended up doing was trying a bunch of hockey sticks, learning the pros and cons of each, and eventually compiling all of that information in an article called “Choosing an Ideal Hockey Stick“. That article is now the top search on both Yahoo and Google. About 150 people per day, from all over the world, check out the article.
This proves to me that there are a great number of people like Mark, Randy, and I who are interested in getting the most out of their hockey gear, as well as getting the most bang for their respective bucks when making hockey-related purchases. This realization led the three of us to come up with the foundation for Reboot Hockey.
As I wrote above, I also have a skill for organizing the right people for a given project. Similar to how a manager puts a hockey team together, I like to think I have an eye for good people and how their respective skills can help the group as a whole.
I was fortunate enough to meet Mark and Randy, two other long-time players who have a similar interest in optimizing their hockey equipment. Mark is the ultimate hockey guru, specializing in advanced customization and obscure/rare equipment. His creative approach to customizing equipment exceeds my own. Randy owns and operates a successful business, and shares our passion for both equipment optimization and the game itself. Randy provides invaluable experience and insight as we begin this project.
I believe between the three of us, we can provide a great service to the amateur Hockey community. All three of us are passionate and sincere about helping other players solve their own equipment problems, as well as helping players find equipment – whether retail or custom – that allows them to play to their potential.
I also believe that the Hockey community, though very tight-knit, is large enough to accommodate a great number of perspectives. There are Hockey businesses and websites dedicated to teaching players fundamentals, such as Jeremy Rupke’s outstanding How To Hockey. There are Pro Shops and small businesses all over North America dedicated to helping players get the most out of their equipment. There are numerous websites that provide hockey equipment reviews free-of-charge in the interest of full disclosure for prospective buyers.
My vision for Reboot Hockey is to create a group that allows for a little bit of everything. This is why the three of us will be providing the most-accurate Equipment and Gear Reviews that we possibly can, which we are currently calling Reboot Honest Hockey Reviews. Mark, Randy, and I are all players first-and-foremost, and like anyone else we are always trying new equipment in the interest of better fit, better value, and optimal on-ice performance.
In the pursuit of optimal performance, the three of us have gotten into personal equipment modifications because there’s simply no one else in the area to do them. We live in Coastal Carolina, and while there is a surprising demand and passion for the sport itself, the region does not provide the variety of Pro Shops and so forth that we are all accustomed to (we’re all from the Northeast).
This has led us to doing our own customizations. Mark customized his own skates by doing an outstanding holder swap on his Bauer One100s. I am currently doing a similar customization in the interest of getting a pair of skates to fit my misshapen feet. We are interested in both aesthetic and functional customizations – anything that allows a given player to enjoy the game more. We hope to eventually provide a comprehensive group of hockey services. In the mean time, we continue to look for innovative ways to customize equipment, again in the interest of optimal performance.
Finally, each as players with personal experience reaching the 20-year mark, the three of us have ideas and insights in how to play, promote, and teach the game. I have already written a number of articles on the subject, such as my article on Basic Hockey Positioning, and a goal of mine is to be able to write about and teach the sport on a full-time basis. Reboot Hockey, in my view, is a forum from which I can share my insights from and passion for the game.
I hope you will join us as we continue to learn and teach the game. Follow us on Twitter (@RebootHockey), Like our Facebook Page, and keep revisiting this blog for updates. We are in the process of moving everything over to our website, where we aim to provide a forum for those who love the game to talk about and solve any equipment issues.
Thanks for your support,
Creative Director, Reboot Hockey