Hockey is a fast-paced and highly competitive game and success often requires persistence and the willingness to try something different.
Although the majority of equipment that players use has gone through numerous upgrades, such as the advent of new super-light composite sticks, hockey tape hasn’t changed in the past 100 years.
This is where Richard Findlay, president of Blade Tape, saw an opportunity to provide players something different that gives them the competitive advantage they need.
“I knew there would be risks with starting a business, but I knew that I had a good idea and a great product. I didn’t want to find myself on my death bed wondering ‘what if’,” says Richard.
“Every other product in the game of hockey has completely changed in recent years — everything! Doesn’t it make sense that hockey tape follows this trend? We think so, and so do a half-a-million-plus users worldwide now.”
What started as a mountain bike inner tube, through numerous redesigns has become a state-of-the-art hockey tape alternative that is easy to use and improves player performance with increased puck control and better stick handling.
Although manufacturing began out of a friend’s garage, Blade Tape has now been able to expand and even create jobs in its home community of Richmond, B.C.
“We have two great guys on full-time staff and we’re able to provide them with good-paying jobs,” says Richard. The fact that Blade Tape is made in Canada has certainly helped in taking the product worldwide.
“Being ‘Canadian made’ in hockey means everything, so we make sure we market that,” says Findlay.
Blade Tape can now be found in over 40 countries and on the sticks of many professional and amateur hockey and inline players alike, including ex-Vancouver Canuck and Port McNeill native Willie Mitchell, not to mention being featured on Hockey Night in Canada with Ron MacLean and Kelly Hrudey.
“I think the fact that we have come out of the economic downturn even stronger speaks to the quality of our product,” says Richard. “Once players get Blade Tape on their stick, they can’t help but use it and bring their game up to the next level.”
For more information, visit www.bladetape.ca
This small business profile first appeared in Small Business Profile 2011: A profile of small business in British Columbia. Aussi disponible en français.Other profiles in the series:
- Taking yoga and pilates classes to the workplace
- Sidney firm lights up business world
- Frustration the mother of invention for entrepreneur
- Flexibility, adaptability, results yields steady flow of work
- Vancouver entrepreneurs making the web mobile
- 'Safety, service, reliability' watchwords at Westcoast Helicopters
- Custom sawmill learns importance of patience in winning over customers