Once kids outgrow a hockey stick, it’s normal for parents to buy a bigger size and cut it down to fit their child. Hockey parents and young players have long known doing so can impact the way the feel of the stick and their play.

That’s when three hockey dads decided to step in and fill a void in the market.

“(It’s like) if you were to take a pair of men’s skis and apply them to your 7 year old by cutting off the end of the men’s skis, changing the place of the bindings then saying ‘Ok, go ski on those’,” said Guillermo Salazar, co-founder of Raven Hockey. “The positioning of where the stick is supposed to flex, the stiffness of the stick, obviously the size of the stick, all of those didn’t fit with the players that were playing.”

Raven Hockey sticks offer a better feel for the players’ hand shape and size, their strength as well as their height and weight. The company also colour coded the system to make it easier for parents to know which stick to buy for their kids.

Raven Hockey launched in 2013 and sold about 3,500 sticks that year. In 2017 about 22,000 sticks were sold. They can be found in 170 independent stores across North America, including one each in Norway, Moscow and South Korea.

“We get a lot of support and just accolades,” said Salazar. “If we can make (hockey) a little better and make a player have a better experience, that’s incredible. That makes us happy.”