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Broken hockey sticks now thing of the past

 

Busted composite hockey sticks are one of the worst nightmares of parents and sports organizations alike.

 

Mar 21, 2006 12:18 AM by: Sudbury.com Staff

BY SCOTT HUNTER HADDOW

scott@northernlife.ca

 

Busted composite hockey sticks are one of the worst nightmares of parents and sports organizations alike.

 

Scott Westphall and his father have opened a new business that fixes broken hockey sticks.

At upwards of $300 per stick, it's easy to see why parents cringe every time their son or daughter breaks the blade or shaft of a composite stick.

 

With wooden sticks fading, composite sticks have become the staple weapon of choice for hockey sharpshooters of all ages.

 

Gary Westphall and his son, Scott, 16, are out to wake parents and hockey organizations from their stick nightmares.

 

The pair has opened Sudbury's first Stick Fix business. Sticks can now be repaired so they are as good as new, if not better.

 

Stick Fix is a Calgary-based business with 22 franchises located across North America.

 

Stick Fix uses a secret "baking" process to repair broken sticks to their original strength and balance, thereby ensuring even the most fickle hockey player will be satisfied.

 

Gary came across Stick Fix by accident.

 

"I was flicking through the channels on the television one night and they were doing a story on Stick Fix," said Gary. "They had Vancouver Canucks' star Markus Naslund taking shots with repaired sticks and he couldn't believe how good they were. I was impressed and I wanted to know more."

 

As he watched, a light went off in Gary's head.

 

Gary's son plays competitive hockey and loves to use composite sticks. Being a rugged player, Scott broke many sticks over the years, costing Gary plenty of money in the process.

 

"I had been wondering if there was something that could be done because paying $200 to $300 a stick gets expensive in a hurry," said Gary. "After seeing the show, I called the station and asked them for the phone number for Stick Fix."

 

A few calls later, and Gary and his son were on the Stick Fix bandwagon. The pair headed out to Calgary, met the owner and received 60 hours of intensive training.

 

Now they have set up the business in their garage, and are waiting for broken sticks to fix.

 

"Other systems use plugs and that can be a long process," said Gary. "Stick Fix is quicker and more efficient. We can have a stick, as good as new, back to the customer within 24 hours. Even quicker if it's a rush job."

 

Stick Fix can repair any one or two-piece composite, graphite stick, regardless of how damaged the stick is.

 

"Just bring us as much as the stick as possible and we will fix it," said Gary. "We realign the stick to ensure balance and strength. We can also make two-piece sticks into one-piece sticks. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to repair a stick, but we recommend giving us 24 hours."

 

Scott has been a more than valuable complement to the new business.

 

The 16-year-old plays AA hockey, and sees many kids break their sticks all the time.

"I had all my busted sticks repaired with Stick Fix, and there's no difference at all," said Scott. "It felt the same as a new stick, only it was cheaper. I had no problems at all using the repaired sticks."

 

Gary is hoping the new business will help lift the burden off parents' and hockey organizations' wallets.

 

"This will save people a lot of money," said Gary.

 

Stick Fix can also repair goalie sticks, composite baseball bats, lacrosse sticks, canoes fishing rods and more.

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