Make Your Own Equipment

Gloves             Goals               Sticks

Gloves: "Cotton" and Silicone
Material: A thin cotton like glove DONT use cotton as it will decay to easily use a synthetic one, and a tube of silicone sealant.
The Coating
Silicone I use a cheap silicon  made by OCi and sold in "99 cent" and "Dollar" stores.  It is called Kitchen & Bathroom Sealant - 100% silicone rubber.  In about 40 minutes you can take the glove off and set it aside to finish curing.  It is also good in that it can be applied over itself for repairs, etc.  This sealant is white and really works better than some of the more expensive ones that can not be applied over themselves for repairs. 

Caulks Most of those caulks ( DAP Dynaflex 230, clear 50yr tested indoor/outdoor caulk) are thermo set materials. As a rule, the warmer the ambient temperature the sooner and more thoroughly the caulk will cure. Give the tube time to warm up to room temp before beginning application. Hold/set the gloves near a moderate hear source... a bit warmer than room temperature can make a difference. Keep the humidity down if possible too. I have heard that the urethane-based caulks are more durable than silicone or latex.
Preparation: Put a stick in your hand and put it on a table. As you will notice most of the glove surface does not rub against the "pool bottom". Push up against a "puck". As you will notice you will only need to put thick layers on the 2nd joint to just past the 3rd joint. Don't bother coating the palm side of the glove. This will only make it too stiff. You want as much flexabality as possible so you can maneuver the stick in your hand. As you get better you will learn to use the stick with dexterity and not just as a club.

The Silicone
just mixing a little poster paint into the silicone before application will greatly speed the setting process...  don't apply straight from the gun, mix it up with a touch of paint first to get some moisture and maybe air bubbles too.

Put the  glove on over a thin rubber glove such as a dishwashing glove, as the acetic acid will burn your hand after a while. Smear a thin coat of the silicone on to the material. Work it into the fabric using your finger or and old phone card,  popcicle stick or similar is good enough to  push the silicon into the glove material so it is permanently attached to the glove instead of just sitting on it.

Use one thin layer to form the shape of your hand and then take the glove off and finish it without your hand stuck in the thing...  you can put on thicker layers without sitting there all day.

Just coat from the finger tips to just past the 3rd knuckle. Only put the silicone on the sides of the thumb and pinky finger where that side is towards the pool bottom.  Remove the glove and drape it over something so that the fingers and path retain a "gripping" position and the fingers don't flatten. After the first coat has dried apply a thicker coat to the top side of the fingers from the tips to past the 3rd knuckle. Again remove the glove and drape it over something so that the fingers and path retain a "gripping" position and the fingers don't flatten


Sticks (notes from HockeyNet)

Remember, Legal sticks are constrained by the "new" (June 1999) stick rules

Stick Templates:    Template #1        2000 Rene

Base Material

Soft woods: pine and spruce
It is light, making the stick easy to cut and also faster in the water.  The downside of the softwood stick is that it breaks. ALOT. Another thing is that if your pool bottom isn't very smooth, a pine stick will wear down quickly too. The other advantage to softwood is that its relatively cheap. The problem is the soft wood wears out faster but the puck will grip it nicely
Hardwoods: Oak, maple, ash, black cherry, poplar
Hardwood sticks are harder to cut and slower in the water due to their weight. Oak, maple, ash, and my favourite- black cherry are good, hard woods to use. This stuff is more expensive, but your sticks will last much longer. Oak and Maple are so hard that the wood will not feather to make a good gripping surface for the puck.

I've found poplar to be a good strong wood with a light feel and a little easier to cut than oak and maple.  I hit hard and play fast, and my sticks are both OK after 2 years.
I've tried poplar as well and it's not bad, but there is one problem.  The sticks absorb water, a lot of water, and then they sink.  It's hard to believe that water added to wood makes it sink, but it does.  I think that this makes them illegal - aren't sticks meant to float?  They last alright, though.

Some good sources of free wood are:
  • Free construction ply is VERY good wood feathers along the playing edge nicely after an hour or two lasts a long time if you can get quality stuff (good glue) less likely to break than pine (due to lamination). Just ask the site foreman for some off-cuts and he will generally direct you to the rubbish pile and invite you to help yourself sometimes you can get enough to last several seasons.
  • Old skids. Skids can have some good wood in them you might just have to pull them apart to find the good boards.
  • Friends & relatives basements/work rooms. Who knows what you might find.
  • Construction Details
    One thing to watch when making sticks- Following the grain of the wood is crucial to a good stick. Try to make the curves of your stick match the grain of the wood. I remember my first attempt at stick making when after a couple of hours of work someone knocked the well honed tip of my new stick off with a light tap on the table. This is one time when going against the grain isn't creative or eccentric, just a bad idea. I hope this gives you a few ideas.

    I know someone who uses a product called plasti-dip on his sticks. It is a rubbery substance you paint on the shooting edges of your stick. It adds some cushion/grip if that's what you're looking for. I do believe you can get it at Canadian Tire/Home Depot. Its original use is to coat the handles of tools, if you you can't find it & need to find another brand. It does come in black and white. This substance will will wear off after a while so constant re-applications are necessary. That seems to be the downfall of the stuff. As far as legality goes, its just a different type of paint right?

    Any material used on the leading edge will provide better grip.  However in most pools if pieces come off or break off and cause filter problems you run the risk of losing usage of the pool.   Keep this in mind, we had player with a rubber glue on their fins.  During the course of play small pieces starting come off.  We had to stop play and spend 15 minutes cleaning the pool.