Q: What is the concept behind the stick?
A: The Elevate stick includes a proprietary design known as an offset or a Dual Axis shaft. This design offers a hockey player several benefits to improve their play and increase scoring.
Q: What is the origin of the idea?
A: The founder of Elevate, Andy Oman, has played hockey since he was 4 years old. A few years ago, he came up with the idea for an offset shaft and began making simple prototypes that seemed to provide benefits. In 2014, he began the process to patent his idea and in 2015 began working to make working prototypes.
Q: What is unique about the stick?
A: The Elevate hockey stick features an offset shaft with the top hand about 2.5 inches forward of the blade. This new shaft design is analogous to the shift from straight blades to curved blades in the 1960s and ‘70s.
Q: Does the design increase the likelihood of injury for players?
A: No. The design is created to avoid any sharp or hard transitions. The stick is manufactured to the same specifications as every other stick on the market and has been proven safe through more than six months of use.
Q: How does the stick improve a player’s performance?
A: In general, we believe players benefit across all of the player-stick-puck interactions when using the Elevate stick. These include stick handling, passing, and shooting.
The primary benefits players will notice are:
- Faster shots
- Quicker shot release
- Better accuracy
The Elevate hockey stick provides a player with three types of benefits: ergonomic improvements, mechanical advantages, and better loading and unloading dynamics.
The ergonomic improvements are provided through three main sources:
- The stick “fits” the player better by conforming the stick shape to their body
- The blade is more centered in the player’s stance reducing the left or right-handed bias of a straight-shafted stick
- The player’s hands are naturally positioned in the proper alignment – with the top hand leading the lower hand – for shooting and passing.
Mechanical advantages of the Elevate stick’s Dual Axis shaft provide players with several improvements. The top three benefits from mechanical leverage are:
- Greater puck speed by increasing the “length of the barrel” – the length of time the puck can be held against the blade during shot execution – creating greater acceleration and speed
- More accurate shooting facilitated by the longer shooting “barrel” giving the player greater opportunity to choose their target. However, when a player become proficient using an Elevate stick, they can utilize this longer “barrel” by learning to release the puck early and creating an “element of surprise” advantage over the opposing goalie.
- Quicker shot release by allowing the player to utilize the dual-axis design and execute a quick shot with a short hand “snap” or “twist”.
Better loading and unloading dynamics are generated due to the lower curve creating a “bow effect”. This “bow effect” allows a player to load the Elevate stick more quickly and with less effort than a straight-shafted stick. And, once loaded, the Elevate stick unloads more quickly at the end of the shooting motion to deliver a quicker release.
Q: How has the stick been tested?
A: Three different test methods have been used to evaluate the stick.
- Factory and laboratory testing. The stick has undergone the same safety and durability testing as every other approved stick on the market. This has confirmed the design and the structure of the Elevate stick conforms with all existing safety standards.
- On-ice player testing. The Elevate stick has been tested by more than 50 players in more than 75 player testing sessions. These players have provided valuable feedback regarding the performance of the stick and have greatly informed the design and development. Additionally, this player testing has provided real-world feedback about the safety and durability of the Elevate stick.
- Professional hockey trainer testing. A professional hockey training firm in Canada has provided evaluation feedback as well as testing data to confirm the benefit claims of the Elevate stick.
Q: Is the stick patented?
A: Elevate's stick design is patent pending. The company has several patents in various stages of approval with US and international patent offices.
Q: Is the stick legal?
A: Yes. The stick conforms to the rules of the NHL, NCAA, USA Hockey. We are also currently in discussions with Hockey Canada and the IIHF to receive formal approval for play. Because the off-set shaft is a departure from the traditional hockey stick design we anticipate product evaluations before a full and final approval is given from each organization.
Q: Where are the sticks made?
A: Our stick is manufactured by a leading global manufacturer with over 40 years of carbon fiber experience. They manufacture over 1 million hockey sticks per year for several major brands in the market today.
Q: Who has tested the stick?
A: We have completed three rounds of player testing to date. Our test players are both men and women who have experience at the high school, college, junior, Olympic and professional levels. Feedback from those sessions confirms the benefits of the stick and has helped fine tune the design.
Additionally, we have had a professional hockey training group in Canada testing the stick to provide both quantitative and qualitative evaluations. They have confirmed our results from our player testing and can substantiate our key claims about the stick.
Q: Do you have any player endorsements?
A: Yes. We have received endorsements from several players in our test group. We are protecting that information at this point as it will be part of our marketing campaign at launch.
Q: When will the stick be available for sale?
A: We will be launching a Kickstarter campaign in June 2018 followed by a formal market launch in the fall of 2018.
Q: Does the bend/curve reduce the durability of the stick?
A: No. In fact, our player testing suggests that the curve increases the stick’s durability. We don’t have enough evidence to formally make that claim, but that is what our player testing is indicating. Additionally, there is a theoretical structural reason that supports greater durability. The fibers in the curve are straightened when flexed rather than stretched as the fibers on the forehand edge would be when a traditional stick is flexed.
Q: How is the Elevate stick different from the UB offset (a.k.a. the Hespeler offset, the Ballistik offset)?
A: The UB (Hespeler, Ballistick) offset stick featured an offset blade with the offset a few inches above the blade and the remainder of the shaft was straight. Although the Elevate stick features an offset, the Elevate stick’s offset is an integral part of the full length of the shaft with the top hand forward of both the bottom hand and the blade.
Q: How is the Elevate stick different from the Salming bent stick?
A: Salming, around 2008, introduced a stick that featured a shaft with a single curve that moved the blade forward of the shaft. The Elevate stick features two curves that offset the blade about 2.5" behind the upper end of the shaft and the upper hand forward of the lower hand.