Blade Tape Is An Awesome Idea!
For those of you who haven’t heard about BladeTape, the following article is from a personal conversation on Saturday May 5, 2007 with the founder and president, Richard Findlay.
What Is BladeTape?
BladeTape is an alternative to traditional cloth hockey tape. It is a self adhesive rubber application that repels snow and ice to offer better control of the puck than traditional cloth tape used on the hockey sticks. It has been patented and tested to be durable for about 12 ice sessions, but some have claimed that it can be used substantially longer.
The BladeTape Story
I just had a telephone conversation with Richard Findlay, the self-described co-inventor of BladeTape and the President of, the Vancouver based parent company, Blade Pro Products Inc.
Let me tell you, this is one awesome guy! Not only did he develop a great product that, in my opinion, will take the hockey market by storm he also stood by his idea for a decade while trying to get just the right product to market. That is dedication my friends.
While speaking with Richard, he told me the story of how BladeTape really started 10 years ago using a mountain bike tire inner tube as a sleeve over the blade of his stick. That idea, while effective, never really took off due to some patent issues but Richard never gave up!
What really brought the idea back to life for Findlay, a landscape architect by trade, was a recent comment made by a teammate on his recreational hockey team about the blade of his new composite stick being too lively to catch a pass.
This trait, that is common among composite sticks, immediately made Richard’s idea more marketable. You see, not only is the BladeTape more durable and more resistant to the ice and snow buildup that renders traditional cloth tape almost useless, it provides an extra absorption/cushioning factor that makes us “non-pros” more adept at catching passes and handling the puck.
Findlay redesigned his original with the help of a special laser cutting tool that his local printer used along with a PSA adhesive from 3M. These features made the production and application of the BladeTape feasible. He also purchased the patent rights to a similar product from another inventor in the United States, the reason Findlay now describes BladeTape as a co-invention, letting Blade Pro Products Inc. safely proceed into the marketplace.
In my conversation with Richard, he was extremely thankful and frequently mentioned how thrilled he was that his dream was coming true. He exuded passion for his business and couldn’t express enough thanks to Ron MacLean and Kelley Hrudey for pitching his product on a Hockey Night In Canada segment during the playoffs. Findlay was also elated to have such NHL stars as Willie Mitchell, Danny Markov, and Matt Cooke use his product in the inaugural launch season, largely due to minority shareholder, Brian Burke’s influence. “We’re hoping for more players to try it out next season”, says Findlay.
About The Company: Blade Pro Products Inc.
Blade Pro Products is majority owned by Findlay and partially owned by two of his friends, Scott and Tim. The other minority shareholder is none other than Anaheim General Manager, Brian Burke who Findlay happened to run into in Vancouver…talk about being at the right place at the right time!
Being late to the market last season, Findlay says the company is going to hit full stride this summer with their marketing efforts in preparation for next season.
Blade Pro Products currently has the capacity to produce 5000 BladeTape units per day, but have yet to hit that level of demand. They are currently developing other products as well. My favorite of the products he mentioned was Get-A-Grip, a protector for the top and the toe of the blade that will help to prevent the chipping that frequently occurs from wear and tear during games. That is a personal pet peeve of mine and I can’t wait to get my hands on that product!
Where Is BladeTape Sold?
BladeTape is currently being distributed by the tape and hockey products company,Lowry’s in Western Canada and can be purchased at many local hockey pro shops, with more to be added in 2007.
Check the Blade Tape website for locations. Blade Tape is also available in a variety of colors and custom team colors should be available for next season.
The suggested retail price is $9.99/pair (front and back of stick)
BladeTape can also be purchased from the company webstore for $10.00 CDN.