During one of the last games of the season N broke his stick, which was less than a year old. While it's a bummer to break your stick, especially a fairly new one, I'm glad that he had a backup, and I was not completely enamored with either stick (not that my opinion means anything). Unlike his dad, N is not a complainer and was fine with his main stick, saying as much on many occasions. It did, however, have a few shortcomings that naturally tweaked at his dad's OCD. First, a little background.
N was using a killer Easton stick that I got on clearance (of course) online and it worked really well for him. It was an intermediate stick that was a little long way back when so a friend cut it down to size, though in my opinion he cut too much, being a believer in short sticks. N used it last season but this season it was a little short for him, so we put an extension on it and also got him a new one. I didn't have a lot of time and it's good to hold the stick and get a feel for it, so I went to Stateline, whose selection can be limited at times, and bought one that was mid-range in terms of price. I cannot for the life of me spend over $200 on a hockey stick, despite my OCD for the sport and the gear. The one I got him was good but not great, and I think many other people felt the same way because everywhere I looked people were using the same stick - a few of his teammates, and the guys in my adult league. Clearly we all had the same thing in mind, which is sort of embarrassing, but what are you going to do? I was willing to get him yet another stick and then he could use the new/old stick as a backup. I would then take his old/old backup stick and use it, since my stick is a complete piece of junk. I realize how confusing and neurotic this all sounds, but N slammed on the brakes and told me to lighten up - his stick was fine, despite my misgivings. What a sensible kid.
He was fine was his new stick and I have to say he did well with it, despite my neurotic reservations. He used it for most of his games and in the penultimate game of the year, he broke it. It got caught in a crack in the boards and snapped. Now for the reasons I mentioned earlier, I was not heartbroken about this development. Besides, sports equipment breaks, it's part of playing the game. AND, he said he thought the stick was getting a little short for him... why didn't he say something earlier? Probably better that he didn't because if I'd heard that earlier in the year I would have definitely gotten him a new stick. He still had his backup stick for the final game of the year, though that one was even shorter, even with the extension.
Now at his final game one of his teammates let him use his backup, which is an adult sized stick, which is longer and has a higher flex, i.e., it's stiffer. These are all good things, and he looked good shooting with it. He also said he liked the feel of the adult stick, and it had the extra length he was looking for. Well, you can imagine how happy this made dad, because it meant a new project for his OCD - find your son a new stick.
I have the criteria, I just need to find something that is within a reasonable price range. I have a few leads and I hope at least one or two will work out. We shall see.
Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to N. Kreger for the pic.