Product review: The HockeyTULPosted: October 20, 2011
A few weeks ago I blogged about the hockey emergency kit. You know, that stuff you have stashed in your bag or car in case someone breaks/loses/needs something and can’t play. My fabulous readers (that would be y’all) had a couple suggestions via comments and email but the best one came from Phil Simeon of Northern Freeze Hockey. Phil suggested I check out the HockeyTUL, which he said is an extremely nifty thing. Bill from the HockeyTUL was following our conversation on Twitter and offered to send me a couple HockeyTULs to try out. So enough with the backstory. Let’s get down to the testing!
What is the HockeyTUL? The HockeyTUL is the Swiss Army knife of hockey accessories. It has multiple attachments that swing out to perform those jobs you didn’t even know you needed to perform until it was too late. The inventors are three hockey playersthat got tired of carrying around the extra toolkit of screwdrivers, scissors, etc. and came up with this all-in-one gadget. The model Bill sent me comes with a carry pouch that also holds a skate stone and a few extra helmet screws. This deluxe model retails for $24.99. You can get just the HockeyTUL without the extra stuff for $19.99. The three hockey players in my house put the HockeyTUL in our bags and waited for an opportunity to use it. It didn’t take long. The first day, the 16U player lent it to her teammate to tighten a visor screw. The Midget used it to cut hockey tape. I used it to open a post-game beverage. (Yes, it has one of those attachments.) Everyone in the locker room thought it was really cool, too, and that’s always a good thing.
Stand out One of the things I like best about the HockeyTUL is the vivid yellow pouch. I often find myself rummaging through my bag hunting for stuff and the bright yellow color really stands out and makes it easy to find. The pouch has a belt loop on the back so you could strap it on a belt or fasten it to an equipment bag. It’s made of a durable duck cloth.
Tighten up now The two screwdriver heads (Philips and flat head) are the things that we used the most. There’s no excuse for losing a helmet screw with this because it’s so easy to tighten them before you go out on the ice. Just pull out the blade and give a few turns. It feels sturdy and substantial so you can get some torque without worrying about breaking off the screwdriver head. It also works great on the blade housing screws. Cut me some slackThe other really handy thing is the little scissor blades. My kids used the scissors to cut hockey tape, having never mastered the art of tearing it, but there are a million things you could use them for. They are pretty small, so you aren’t going to cut through a phone book or anything, but if you need to trim a frayed skate lace or cut open a snack package, it will easily handle the job. Caveat-it’s much easier to cut tape if you have straight angle access to the cut point. My son said he had some trouble but I didn’t have any trouble at all.
Get frizzy with it Speaking of a laces, have you ever had your lace lose its tip and had to coax the frayed, frizzy end through the eyehole, all the while cursing yourself for not remembering to get new laces? Yeah, the HockeyTUL can help you with that. Flip out the plier attachment and grab that uncooperative lace and pull it through. No trouble at all. Save your fingers If you like your skates tied super tight but don’t have the finger strength to do it, use the hook attachment on the HockeyTUL. This might make your young player more self-sufficient in the dressing room and save the coach the trouble of having to tie a dozen pair of skates. The HockeyTUL also has a tiny little tweezer and pick that pop out. Haven’t found a use for those yet but give me time. The skate stone is a handy thing to have also, and it stores right in the carrying pouch, along with some extra helmet screws. OVERALL RATING:
We give the HockeyTUL a Trophy Mom highly recommended rating, and not just for hockey players. It’s a great tool to stick in the trainer’s bag, would be a fabulous gift for the hockey player or coach in the family, or any other sports players. Even the softball coach could use this. I also think it’s a pretty good value at $24.99 for the deluxe model that includes the carrying pouch, skate stone and extra hardware. The only negative I see if that everyone liked it so much that it might get “borrowed” and not returned. I was disappointed that I couldn’t find this at my usual U.S. hockey supplier yet, but Bill, one of the founders of the HockeyTUL, tells me there are some retail outlets including Total Hockey and Johnny Macs, with more coming soon. But you can order them online and they will even make a fundraiser program for your association and offer other promotional ideas. By the way, if you’re on Twitter, I highly recommend you follow Phil (@NFHockey). He has relevant, helpful content and is a super nice guy. The HockeyTUL is on Twitter also (@HockeyTUL).