Need A Goalie
By darren Lowry

.In past issues, Center Ice Magazine has introduced you to innovations that will improve your hockey stick. This time, we’re showing you something that will put that stick to good use.

Rick-O-Shay is a so-called “shooter tutor” that is tied onto the goal take the place of a goalie in case one is not handy.

“The whole idea came about from all those years

of not having a goalie show up,” co-creator Eric Larson said.

Larson said he and his brother tried various methods of taking the place of a goalie growing up, but were unsatisfied with virtually everything.

“We got plywood and cut out holes, but that would get all splintered up and break on occasion,” Larson said. “It would just get weathered. Shots would drop right down, and it was real easy to score on them.”

Thus, Rick-O-Shay was born.

“The basic idea was that if we were going to make something, we wanted to make it as close to a real goalie as possible,” Larson said.

To that end, Larson says after two years of researching and designing, he settled on Rick-O-Shay to be three-dimensional, which is the first of its kind he could find.

The goalie, “Rick”, has wrinkles designed on his jersey and leg pads that virtually ensure that shots will bounce off a different direction.

Larson said he also considered durability when designing Rick-O-Shay.

“If someone is going to pay a little more for it, we wanted it to last.” Larson said. “It’s a really cool type of plastic. Besides it giving great rebounds like that, it’s virtually indestructible. It will not crack or shatter.”

The product’s durability is actually something Larson takes a particular amount of pride in.

“There’s been a lot of skepticism about its strength, but nobody’s been able to damage it,” Larson said. “We’ve tested as good as I could find, high 80s on people with the radar were shooting at it, and they couldn’t damage it. I would welcome anyone to challenge this thing.”

Larson also says the shooting areas were themselves all chosen for a particular reason.

“We embellished like a couple areas of it, but we wanted to get the main shooting targets that typical people always practice with,” Larson said.

There was one shot in particular that they added because of popular demand.

“We decided to take the one hole on the left lower side and move it up above the pad leg, to make it tuck underneath his blocker and above his pad.

Larson decided to give the goalie a glove on the left side, but the question of how to use the glove was a question that took them a while to figure out.

“What would we do with the glove?” Larson asked. “Do we just leave it solid or make out a hole and let it go in? I didn’t like that because it would be like scoring in the back. So we added the glove save. It’s a hoop and net combination.”

The effect is that, like a real game, the play is stopped if the puck ends up in the goalie’s glove.

Rick-O-Shay takes less than five minutes to assemble, and comes with a set of ball and bungees that connect to the net for set-up.

Rick-O-Shay also breaks into two pieces for storage and transportation.

Larson adds that getting pucks from behind Rick is easy as well, as “he” just lifts up enough to allow pucks to slip through the bottom.

“It’s not too hard to fish one out of there.”

While Larson recognizes that there is a bit of sticker shock, he says its durability will save some money in the long run.

“I’ve had people say me they go through 2 shooter-tutors a year. And for not even double the cost, you’re gonna have one that’s gonna last you years down the road.”

Larson adds that he hopes to get the product, which was just released in February, distributed to pro shops and athletic stores to keep buyers from having to pay the shipping cost.

“We’d love to get distribution at The Sports Authority or a Dick’s Sporting Goods down the road,” Larson said.

All in all, Larson believes he has fulfilled his goal in creating a shooting tutor that he set out to create years ago.

“You’re actually looking at a visual target that represents an actual person in net,” Larson said. “We think it’s the best thing for shooting practice on the market for sure.”

Rick-O-Shay is available for $199 in either green or artic blue.

For more information, visit their Web site at www.rick-o-shay.com.

 

 






 
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