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How to Curve a Hockey Stick at Home

By Patrick Cameron

So you've always wanted that wicked curve you see the pros sporting? The type of curve you can slide a quarter under and still have room to spare. Well, you've come to the right place. This article will teach you how to take a fairly lame curve from the factory and turn it into the type of curve you can wrap around the puck.

Heat the blade. The first step in turning that straight, factory curve into a work of art that will widen the eyes of your teammates is to heat it up. Simply go to the stove and crank the heat up on the front burner---the hotter the better. It all depends on how comfortable you are with you oven skills. Once you see the burner turning orange, you know it's time to introduce the stick. This is where you need to be careful. Over-cooking your blade can ruin your brand-new stick and that's a costly mistake. Take your stick and gently slide the blade so that it is floating a couple inches above the hot burner. Keep sliding the blade slowly back and forth over the heat source until you start to hear what sounds like frying bacon. The sound will be subtle. Don't pull the blade too soon. A good 30 seconds of that crackling sound means that the outer coating on the blade is just about ready.

Bend the blade. When you feel you've softened the outer coating enough, it's time to put that quarter or better bend on your blade. You need to find a suitable place to stick the blade so that you can really torque on the thing. It seems that ovens were made for putting better curves on sticks. Because not only do you heat the blade on the burner, the bottom of the stove is the perfect size for sliding a blade under and working on it until it has that curve that will create nothing but jealously with your teammates. So, once you crackled the outer surface for the appropriate amount of time (30 seconds to a minute) take the blade and quickly slide it under the oven, forehand up. Make sure that the blade is over 75 percent under the oven and wedged in there so that it won't move on you. Then start cranking up on the shaft, forming that jaw-dropping curve you've been dreaming about. Once you have the curve where you want it, hold it in place for approximately 60 seconds. This will allow the outer coating to cool and harden so that new curve of yours will hold shape. Be careful that you don't over-crank the curve, as heating the blade tends to weaken the wood or fiber ever so slightly.

Do a top-shelf tape job. Now that you've got that legendary curve, let's talk about how you tape it like an old-school pro. Don't use white tape. Don't use duct tape. The only tape that you should be using to tape your stick is black sticky tape. Too many posers out there use the black tape but they use the cloth stuff, not the black sticky . Black sticky not only sucks tight to the blade (like it was glued on) it has sticky on the outside which means that the puck will hold better than ever to that awesome new curve and your moves just got a million times better. Time to get the foil coach.

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