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Making your own gear?

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Old
06-18-2012, 03:47 PM
  #1
michaelshu
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Making your own gear?

Has anyone ever tried this? They are basically EPP Foams, High density foams & Plastic Inserts, right?

I can get access to some small furniture/bags/shoes factories, production cost & labor in my country is cheaper than China. I'm planning on making some to help my campaign in developing ice hockey in my country. Hopefully I can provide simple, effective & affordable gears.

Any pointers?

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06-19-2012, 01:01 AM
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IDuck
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do a lot of research...i know a lot in here will say "never mess with safety gear" but if you can make gear that PROTECTS the same as gear you buy but do it at a fraction of the price i not only say good for you but could go a long way for what your trying to do...again just make sure you do your research and make it to the same specs....if you do it, post some pics would love to see finished products and you never know, you may have a money maker if you do it right

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06-19-2012, 09:48 AM
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Jarick
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Check out down low shoulder pads. That's kind of some insight as to how they were made.

But for the gear, unless you're making some pretty crappy stuff, it'd be next to impossible to duplicate the quality and protection of good gear.

It might be cheaper or easier in the long run to try and commission an SMU product, although you'd need to have some serious cash ready.

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06-19-2012, 09:56 AM
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Hmm no i'm trying to duplicate those top protections, yeah it'd be impossible. The only thing i'm confident is the quality of stitching and materials.

It's like this, getting gears is expensive here and i keep getting problems with people who wanted to try but cannot afford gears.

So I was thinking maybe we could make something very basic, especially for kids. Not great/top-end quality protection but definitely not crappy ones.

As for money making, i don't think it's gonna work (at least for now).. just not enough customers. In fact for the time being me and my teammates are planning on using our own money to supply this, our goal for now is just so people can play and hopefully spread hockey.

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06-19-2012, 10:28 AM
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AIREAYE
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Nope, unless you have a plan to acquire a good volume of different nylons, foam densities, plastics, strapping, binding and fasteners. Mess around with old gear, it takes a long long time and a large amount of resources for even a smaller independent manufacturer to even come up with a prototype product for distribution. Trust me on this one. Unless of course, you want to go full into it and make a basic line of gear, but then again, now you must think about how to make money.

Designing and manufacturing gear isn't as glamorous or easy as people think. There are input costs and lines of communication/distribution you must setup, not to mention marketing, legal etc.etc.

What you want to do sounds a lot like what Howitzer wants to do : http://howitzerhockey.com/

If you're serious about getting into the biz, you need some basic experience...give them a call?

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06-19-2012, 10:29 AM
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Have you ever thought of asking for donations from Ontario? 3 years ago, one store I know of sent enough used equipment for an entire league down to Atlanta area. it was a 2nd hand store that got overstocked and needed to clear inventory. they donated the equipment for taxable donation certificate. Might be way to accomplish the same goal without all the safety/insurance issues.
Email some play it again sports head offices and such, you may get lucky.
Hope this helps, as I would love to see more kids playing a great game, and getting some exercise, which is huge problem for our overweight and lazy youth.

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06-19-2012, 10:43 AM
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That Howitzer stuff looks good. Ever used them?

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06-19-2012, 11:11 AM
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Nope, I do like what they're doing though. Don't know how successful they are regarding margins and what their goals are but at least they're different.

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06-19-2012, 11:14 AM
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It is cool. If they could split the difference between lower prices from direct sales yet diverting some funds to growing hockey and still put out a good product, I'd support them. Or try to anyway.

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06-19-2012, 11:58 AM
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questforhockey, I could ask for donations, but what are the chances of them wanting to send it over to my country?

AIRAYE, I can acquire those materials in a low bundle with a good price.. and yeah I understand it needs fiddling around but I dunno.. I'm kind of an optimistic guy, at worst I could probably just stitch some plastics into a high density foam.. at least they won't get bruises right? lol

Seriously though, materials and labor cost here is way low than US/Canada. I mean most items are manufactured in SE Asia anyway. I can get a 40x40 (8mm thickness) EPP Foam for about $3 and this is a retail price, it'll be lower if i get them directly from distributors.

The one thing I am most concerned is like you said... experience. We only have a handful of old gears to mess with. Oh, thanks for the howitzer link, I should ask them some pointers too.

I'm pretty optimistic about shin guards, shoulder pads, and elbow pads. They're basically like making shoes with plastic covers.

Sticks and skates are on a whole different level though, I agree this will be impossible. That's why i've already gotten the rink to provide around 20 composite sticks from China, and 20 wooden ones. They also bought 40 pairs of hockey rental skates (they're okay but not great). Not much, but hey it's a start.

Thanks for the feedback, guys

PS: some examples of Chinese made gears:
http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/33...=10&t=12&cids=
http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/57...ce_Hockey.html
http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/54...ey_Gloves.html


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06-19-2012, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AIREAYE View Post
Nope, unless you have a plan to acquire a good volume of different nylons, foam densities, plastics, strapping, binding and fasteners. Mess around with old gear, it takes a long long time and a large amount of resources for even a smaller independent manufacturer to even come up with a prototype product for distribution. Trust me on this one. ...

Designing and manufacturing gear isn't as glamorous or easy as people think. There are input costs and lines of communication/distribution you must setup, not to mention marketing, legal etc.etc.
#1
I've had a lot of years in active sportwear, none of which was a 'technical' as hockey protective gear.
A huge undertaking, and with the years of experience these manufacturers have. And they make mistakes regularly.

I would suggest expending your efforts in other directions

a. fund raising so you CAN buy equipment, especially for any youth development.
b. creating contacts with existing manufacturers who might be amenable to selling you 'closeout' goods they have. It would seem you have a distinct advantage in not being in a major hockey market (or even minor...). And if you can convince them of your purpose and that these goods not find their way onto ebay; the manufacturer can unload inventory without having the effect that closeout goods have on their regular marketplace...

You may end up with a broad range of equipment type, and prolly some holes in the sizes; but Duct tape and velcro can fix all...

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06-19-2012, 05:14 PM
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Yes, it takes years of nonstop development to put something acceptable to sell.

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06-19-2012, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldfart View Post
#1
I've had a lot of years in active sportwear, none of which was a 'technical' as hockey protective gear.
A huge undertaking, and with the years of experience these manufacturers have. And they make mistakes regularly.

I would suggest expending your efforts in other directions

a. fund raising so you CAN buy equipment, especially for any youth development.
b. creating contacts with existing manufacturers who might be amenable to selling you 'closeout' goods they have. It would seem you have a distinct advantage in not being in a major hockey market (or even minor...). And if you can convince them of your purpose and that these goods not find their way onto ebay; the manufacturer can unload inventory without having the effect that closeout goods have on their regular marketplace...

You may end up with a broad range of equipment type, and prolly some holes in the sizes; but Duct tape and velcro can fix all...
a. Is more on the almost-impossible side (since I've tried many times), mainly due to our culture and different ways of thinking.
b. Well, the way you said it makes it sound possible. Have you done something like this before?

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06-19-2012, 10:38 PM
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oldfart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelshu View Post
a. Is more on the almost-impossible side (since I've tried many times), mainly due to our culture and different ways of thinking.
b. Well, the way you said it makes it sound possible. Have you done something like this before?
yes, I have sold product from companies I ran to 'public service' organizations at ridiculous prices - especially the stuff I had lots of. I always made sure it was good product. There is a level of pride on the manufacturer's part which plays into these deals also.

There are a lot of factors which enter into this type of deal. A recognized, somewhat structured organization is an important part of the buyer side. And the state of any company's inventory is always a key, and the state of the current and projected consumer market, state of the retailer network... anyway you get the idea.
I worked mainly before the internet and email was broad, so personal contacts were very important - eye to eye. So things might work a bit differently on the comm side.

Other option is to go direct to the big retailers... They all have odd-lot stuff and even with ebay and online stores, some stuff tends to hang around.
And if you're not starting with large quantities then going to a large retailer might be an easy course.
If you're not really choosy on the mix of stuff - and more towards a
size range mix, a retailer might work with some real discounts on stuff hanging around and getting shop worn.
some online retailers have some real low prices on stuff, well below retail. Likely some of it doesn't move much. An offer for 20 prs of elbow pads, mixed-their choice, may get you some further price drop. Same for other gear...
don;t know... but 'back in the day' I got a lot of varied 'offers', some of which actually fit our needs...

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06-20-2012, 09:26 AM
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AIREAYE
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You'd better be prepared to travel and meet them face-to-face too. The hockey gear industry is still quite traditional; an old-boys club.

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06-20-2012, 12:23 PM
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michaelshu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldfart View Post
yes, I have sold product from companies I ran to 'public service' organizations at ridiculous prices - especially the stuff I had lots of. I always made sure it was good product. There is a level of pride on the manufacturer's part which plays into these deals also.

There are a lot of factors which enter into this type of deal. A recognized, somewhat structured organization is an important part of the buyer side. And the state of any company's inventory is always a key, and the state of the current and projected consumer market, state of the retailer network... anyway you get the idea.
I worked mainly before the internet and email was broad, so personal contacts were very important - eye to eye. So things might work a bit differently on the comm side.

Other option is to go direct to the big retailers... They all have odd-lot stuff and even with ebay and online stores, some stuff tends to hang around.
And if you're not starting with large quantities then going to a large retailer might be an easy course.
If you're not really choosy on the mix of stuff - and more towards a
size range mix, a retailer might work with some real discounts on stuff hanging around and getting shop worn.
some online retailers have some real low prices on stuff, well below retail. Likely some of it doesn't move much. An offer for 20 prs of elbow pads, mixed-their choice, may get you some further price drop. Same for other gear...
don;t know... but 'back in the day' I got a lot of varied 'offers', some of which actually fit our needs...
Cool! I didn't know those kind of practice still works over there. I thought it only works in my primitive country lol

Thank you so much! Hfboards is an awesome place, glad i found it

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