The dorsal stick was designed and first produced in Wellington, New Zealand in 2005 as a result of years of testing and development.The aim was to provide a high quality alternative to wooden sticks for local underwater hockey players. Players worldwide, now demand a hockey stick that is stronger, more comfortable and requires less maintenance.
Over 10,000 sticks are now in use and played within:
Dorsal Gear is based in Wellington, New Zealand
For all enquires email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dorsal Story
For the past 3 or more decades, many UWH players spent their non-playing time hiding away in bloke sheds, individually and lovingly hand crafting their sticks from wood. This meant that sticks popped up in games with all sorts of styles …anything from meat cleavers to sickle blades. Each had its merit.
The problem? Very time consuming and extremely hard to replicate ones favourite…..(especially when one’s 3 offspring were constantly demanding ‘need another stick dad, and so does my team mate”. So when the whole family took up the sport, the demand for quantity was tiring, along with the constant need for repainting and having to deal with splintered wood and chipping when ones favourite stick passed its use by date. Many Schools’ Nationals players must remember having to disappear quickly behind the outside council foliage to give their sticks yet another coat and somehow dry them before the final – oh those refs were tough!
The challenge? To create a stick that could be identically duplicated, never need touch-ups, would remain legal, float, and most importantly, be able to be modified by individuals for their own needs: more bevel, less bevel, straighter edge, curved edge, grip, no grip, lanyard hold, no hole, lots of texture, little texture etc.
The solution? After many prototypes, late night modifications, lengthy debates, hours of flicking, passing, turning, dummying and chlorine saturation, the Dorsal Gear Design Team (comprising of 5 Hocking family members with a combined playing experience of 77 years, spanning 3 decades) settled on a final design and recipe formulae. It was to have just the right amount of synthetic plastic for strength and durability, and enough natural rubber for flex, grip and texture. So in 2005, the ORIGINAL was born which would become NZ’s first commercially available injection moulded stick. It was based on maximums - maximum length, grip, width so it could be personally and easily modified by the user. What a success!
News of this NZ made stick spread quickly. With such positive feedback, there soon became a demand to provide a variation in design. So the Dorsalgear Design Team returned to the pool, the laboratory, the computer, the workshop and with new packaging, released their second model, The ELITE, for righties AND lefties too.
From supplying ‘just the family and a few club buddies’, the Dorsal UWH sticks are now in use in 20 countries, with over 10,000 in circulation. It can be found in and out of UWH bags from National Representatives at World Championships, through to the bags of budding beginners who take to the water at school’s competitions. You can check it all out at www.dorsalgear.co.nz. We welcome your feedback – you never know what it may lead to.
Dorsalgear Design Team