Choosing the correct length field hockey stick

Discussion in 'Which stick? (includes Stick Reviews)' started by RAGE Custom Works, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. RAGE Custom Works

    RAGE Custom Works FHF Newbie

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    Making sure that your stick is the correct length is much more important than the amount of carbon content in the stick, since the former could potentially lead to serious back problems.

    But what we see is that a lot of players are unsure about the length they should be using and if you search online there isn't a lot of good information about the topic.

    So we decided to create a comprehensive Size Chart and hopefully put the “correct length” debate finally to rest...

    Here is the link to the post https://www.ragecustom.com/our-blog/the-real-field-hockey-stick-sizing-guide/

    We would love to further improve the article based on your feedback :)
     
    #1 RAGE Custom Works, Feb 13, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
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  2. Waxxxed

    Waxxxed FHF All Time Great

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    Interesting.

    I'm 6'2, and use a 37.
    Specifically buy 37.5 and lop off half an inch.

    I think it boils down to personal preference.

    Trying to say what length depending on height is like trying to pick a bow based on position.

    Old fashioned.
     
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  3. BossFHockey

    BossFHockey FHF All Time Great

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    This would be quite a list for all of them....
    Although that being said I'm 6'3 with a long back and built like a Sunday league rugby player (Fully Admitting To it ) I use a 37.5 but I also have back problems so I don't think you can throw away a rough guide as old fashioned.
    I know people in some European leagues only use 36, reece I think only sell 36, I also know some one who is 5'10 who uses 40 inch stick for extra reach.

    I'm not saying it isn't personal preference but I think as a rough guide this isn't bad as you make out, that said I do think the scale is a bit off


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    #3 BossFHockey, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  4. sanabas

    sanabas FHF All Time Great

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    The article simply reads like slagging off retailers & manufacturers who mostly have 36.5 & 37.5 sticks for seniors. That they say to use a 36 or 37 because that's what they want to sell. Followed by a chart that suggests adults should actually use a range from around 34 to 40 inches, which coincidentally you happen to sell.

    And I disagree strongly with the table. It tells me I should use a 39 or 39.5. I'm a fat bloke who isn't particularly flexible, but I still use a 37.5, can comfortably hit with a 36.5 but wouldn't want to play a game with one, and while I can use a 38.5, I find it a little awkward. Once you're an adult, it is very much personal preference.

    The fact Jamie Dwyer is 5'8" and uses a 37.5 is basically irrelevant on its own. That's a sample size of 1. If you took, say, the entire aussie men's & women's squads, listed their heights and their stick lengths, and they corresponded to your chart, then you might have the beginnings of an argument. But I bet they don't correspond. I bet most of the women who are 5'5" and under use a longer stick than your chart says is correct. I bet most of the men who are 5'11" or taller use one that is shorter. I know that's certainly the case for many of the high level rep players here, including some ex-internationals. I feel like the junior lengths are out of whack too, but that's just as likely to be me having the height of kids wrong.

    In fact, I've just watched the bit of video you linked to. Interviewer asks if most of the guys would use something longer, e.g. 38.5, 39.5, seeing as how most are taller than Jamie Dwyer is. And he says himself that the majority of the Europeans use 36.5, that of the 18 guys there at what I assume is an aussie training session, he estimates 14 use 37.5, 2 use 38, 2 use 36.5. And most of those guys are taller than him, some 4 or 6 or more inches taller. His guess might be wrong, but his guess is more than half the guys in an australian squad are using sticks you say are too short for them.

    I don't think it's an informative article at all. I think it's simply advertising/propaganda for your wide range of stick lengths. I think presenting it as a definitive list is damaging misinformation for newer players or parents who don't know any better, that leads to things like the parent of a 14 year old girl in her first season of hockey coming in to the shop saying the 37.5 she got is too short, based purely on terrible advice from a coach who should know better.

    My own table for adults/teenagers buying a senior quality stick would read:
    under 5'6" - 36.5, unless you really want a long stick for some reason, or you're particularly short and find a 36.5 too long. And while senior sticks generally don't come shorter than 36.5, apart from the odd entry-level model like the Gryphon Cobra which has a 35, I'd expect any decent retailer to be willing to cut down a stick for a short player who wants a high end stick.

    5'6" to 6" - you'll almost certainly be happy with a 36.5 or 37.5, again unless you really want a short/long stick for some reason.

    over 6' - 37.5, unless you really want something short (and I know a couple who do use a 36.5 at that height) or you're particularly tall and want a 38.5+

    To make a table for juniors I'd actually need to measure some juniors. But if they walk into a store there should be a range of junior sticks from 24 to 35, and they can find one that fits, presuming the retailer knows what they're talking about.

    So while it's great that you offer such a wide range, offer senior quality sticks from 28 right up to 41, I think your 'real & accurate size chart' is wrong, it is giving bad advice.
     
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  5. RAGE Custom Works

    RAGE Custom Works FHF Newbie

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    Thank you for your comment and we are glad that you found the article interesting.

    We are a field hockey customization service, so personal preference is basically our entire business model ;)

    I am not sure how you discovered that 37" was the right length for you, I'd imagine that growing up like most players you experimented with the 2 available lengths and got used to playing with a 37". I also don't know if you have ever had the opportunity to try a length above 37.5"?

    In the post we do mention that “its whatever feels comfortable to you” (although there is a risk of having back problems if you use too short a stick for your height Reference Link) we added a screenshot underneath showing that brands just do not offer Senior Sticks in other lengths, so there really is no option even if you wanted it.

    [​IMG]

    Wouldn't it be easier for people if they could go to their local brick & mortar retailer and try out all the different lengths to REALLY BE SURE which length is most comfortable for them?

    With the system that we are trying to introduce people would have the option to try different lengths and develop their technique on the length that is most comfortable for them. To this end we are already in talks with some brick & mortar retailers.

    So lastly and just to clarify, we are not the ones that came up with the US or the Dutch method of determining the correct length of the field hockey stick but if you AGREE with the Method, it can't be based on random choice or personal whim, there needs to be some reason or system. Also we are not the only ones with a Size Chart, every brand or retailer has some kind of information about that:

    [​IMG]

    Ours just happens to have a logical/mathematical progression.

    https://airtable.com/shrF2mQRdiVqDE1cL

    In case you DON'T AGREE with the Method and suggest that its all about personal preference and what feels comfortable... fair enough... Why the arbitrary 36.5 & 37.5? You should have the option to try all lengths to make that decision.

    And not have to cut the stick yourself... You can order a 37" directly from us ;)
     
  6. Jake Harvey

    Jake Harvey FHF Legend

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    Am I the only one that sees the hypocrisy in this article...? Hmm
     
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  7. Waxxxed

    Waxxxed FHF All Time Great

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    Good points.

    I was using a 37.5 for a while, then tried a 36.5 and was smitten.

    Then when trimming down a 37.5 (Sachin Nano Pro, for reference) I came up short, and had no time to fix it before the fast approaching game.
    During which I discovered the bliss of 37.

    Like Hannah Montana, I was getting the best of both worlds.

    Have tried a few longer sticks, 38s 39s, but they're heinous inventions.
     
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  8. RAGE Custom Works

    RAGE Custom Works FHF Newbie

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    @sanabas Thank you for your detailed comment, it's good to have different points of view and we respect yours :)

    We are a business and yes we are promoting our Unique Value Proposition, which we have worked very had to make possible. Having said that, what we are offering is real options and tangible benefits unlike some brands that bring out new graphics and gimmicky technical terms every year, calling it innovation. We feel the field hockey industry can do so much better and we are happy to be among the few that are trying to disrupt the market.

    The blog post is actually targeting the status quo. To be fair to traditional retailers this kind of Just In Time Manufacturing techniques, new supply chain models and e-commerce solutions haven't been around for very long and we actually WANT to work with brick & mortar stores and can have them set up in 3 weeks without the need for them to carry any actual stock. That's actually going to be good for retailers... And our first pilot setup in New Zealand will be up & running in a few weeks.

    What the article talks about is 2 things that I have mentioned in my reply above as well.

    Either you AGREE with the Method(s) and if you do, you can't have an arbitrary Size Chart, it needs to follow a logical progression.

    OR

    You DON'T AGREE with the Method(s) and say that its all about personal preference and what feels comfortable, then you at the very least need to give players the chance to actually try different length sticks and let them decide for themselves what is comfortable.

    Once you have gotten used to something, its pretty difficult to unlearn, so it would obviously require some work to change your technique although if you are happy with the length, its entirely your call. Also factoring in player's weight etc. along with the height would make the equation quite complex ;)

    We do mention "The reference chart is based on our 50+ years of manufacturing experience for international players, 100s of custom sticks and The Method we said we all agree on". We just used Jamie to make a point and keep things simple.

    BUT you are absolutely right about international players playing with 36.5 & 37.5 and that's something we address in the article as well. A lot of people will argue that the “majority of senior players play with 36.5 or 37.5 & so should youbut that's because even international players growing up did not have the option to GET USED to other lengths, they just weren't available. Once they do become international stars, brands will make them any 'length' stick they want and we just want to do the same for everyone :)

    There are a lot of "Opinions" about this topic and you have every right to give your opinions. We won't question your opinions and you have strongly worded ones at that ;) "isn't informative at all", "damaging misinformation for newer players or parents who don't know any better", "based purely on terrible advice from a coach who should know better", "My own table for adults/teenagers buying a senior quality stick", "5'6" to 6" - you'll almost certainly be happy with a 36.5 or 37.5", "presuming the retailer knows what they're talking about" and "your 'real & accurate size chart' is wrong, it is giving bad advice."

    So hopefully people will read your opinions & read the article at https://www.ragecustom.com/our-blog/the-real-field-hockey-stick-sizing-guide/ to make their own judgement :)
     
    #8 RAGE Custom Works, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  9. RAGE Custom Works

    RAGE Custom Works FHF Newbie

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    Care to elaborate?

    We love FHF for being the best resource on the internet for having detailed discussions about field hockey.

    Our intent is not be all defensive and just retaliate to every critical point of view. We actually do want advice that can help us make the article better, so please do contribute :)
     
  10. Jake Harvey

    Jake Harvey FHF Legend

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    I like the premise of the article, and trying to put a size guide to your companies different sizes of sticks is a good idea. What I meant by smelling a bit of hypocrisy is that you go on and on about brands giving size guides that only compare to their own sticks, e.g. making only 36-37.5 sticks, and then go on to give a size guide referring to your brand of sticks. Get rid of the top half of the article, particularly the bits about other size guides, and just use your own, referring to your own sticks. Then, for me, it makes sense. Currently it just sounds very whiny for most of it, if you see what I mean?
     
  11. RAGE Custom Works

    RAGE Custom Works FHF Newbie

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    I completley get what you are trying to say... Would the same purpose be served if we removed the Availability and Available on columns from the size chart itself?

    And just kept a few lines at the very end about what we offer?
     
  12. Jake Harvey

    Jake Harvey FHF Legend

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    Honestly yeah that would make a difference, but obviously I'm just one man, and one opinion. But I agree yes that would serve the same purpose. I don't know what others think?
     
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  13. LuluGoalie

    LuluGoalie FHF Top Player

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    I'm a keeper with very little field experience, but I'd have to say while it's handy to have a rough guide on what size stick is probably the best fit (like what @sanabas suggested) it definitely does come down to personal preference. I'm 5'3 and use a 36.5 both in goals and on field. I find anything longer in goals gets in the way of my kit. For reference I acquired a 38.5 keepers stick which although the extra reach was handy, particularly for indoor, the extra length was cumbersome. I've also used shorter sticks while I've let a junior or two try my stick and simply found it too short and lacking reach. I understand that's probably irrelevant in this conversation but I figured I'd bring it up anyway and see what comes of it. But on field (admittedly mostly coaching and a bit of mucking around here and there) I use the same 36.5 field stick I use in goals. It just feels right, that's all I can say. Again, I've lent my stick to juniors for them to try, and had a go with theirs. They'd be around a 35.5 which is what your chart suggests I should be using. While it's certainly possible that others of my height would want a 35.5 stick, I don't. It's too short for me and I find I'm quite hunched and struggle to get my hits bang on (well, as bang on as they can be with my keepers skill ;)). On the other hand, I've borrowed a friend's 37.5 to warm up a keeper pre-match, so basically running through my whole fieldy skill set. The first thought that crossed my mind (completely forgetting she used a 37.5) was how weird it felt. Then I remembered her stick was an inch longer. And I struggled to adjust and kept hitting the turf. Another example is one of my teammates, a striker, who'd be around 5'1. Your chart suggests she should be using a 34.5. She uses a 37.5, longer than me even though I'm taller. Its what she finds comfortable, and she chose that length, switching from the 36.5 she used to use. Another teammate who can play pretty much anywhere (but usually defence/mid) also uses a 37.5 stick. I'm not exactly sure how tall she is, but it's a good few inches taller than both me and my other teammate (I'd guess maybe 5'7? Only a guess though). While I'd be very interested in seeing tests done with a large group of players using the length you recommend for their height, particularly if it's a change from their usual, I don't think you can simply say "you're this height so you get this length stick". While it's also personal preference, different people have different body proportions (e.g. long legs/arms/torse for their height) which will effect what size stick they're more comfortable with. Long story short, a guide is handy, particularly for newcomers, but different players have their own preferences and can't be locked into purely height-based stick sizes. However I do love that you offer senior sticks in a massive range of sizes :)
     
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  14. sanabas

    sanabas FHF All Time Great

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    It'd much more effectively target the status quo without claiming to have the definitive right answer at the end. To me, the blog isn't 'hey, look at the status quo, this stuff doesn't make sense'. It's 'hey, look at the status quo, this stuff doesn't make sense, but WE have the right answer, most of you use the WRONG stick length, and you need to buy the length shown on this chart, and the only practical place to buy it is from us.'

    I will cheerfully offer various opinions about that if you start a thread on it, or want me to start sidetracking this one. But I don't see how it's relevant to telling people what length stick they should be using.

    I think the method is a reasonable starting point, especially for junior sticks. I think it's more about personal preference once fully grown, and I think most people are going to find a 38.5 (or longer) stick somewhat awkward to use, even if they're taller than average.

    I also think it's quite hard to give players the chance to actually try different length sticks if you're a brick & mortar store with no need to carry any actual stock. I think if you carry no stock, and you have this supposedly definitive size chart to work from, you're more likely to be telling people they want a particular length stick.

    Personal experience says players get used to a 1" change in stick length, or a change in bow shape, quite quickly. Wouldn't want to do it mid tournament, and the first couple of sessions, whether game or training, with new stick are likely to feature a few miscues. But after half a dozen training sessions I'd expect players to be accustomed to their new style of stick without a problem.

    You use a picture of Jamie Dwyer to 'make a point & keep things simple', but only because his personal choice happens to correspond to the conclusion you're trying to reach. You also say 'One more thing that you should know… the pro-athletes actually take stick lengths very seriously because of the potential of chronic back pain or injury.' but you neglect to mention that the majority of these pro athletes, as the audio that comes with your picture of Jamie Dwyer explicitly mentions, don't follow your definitive list.

    You're completely correct, professional players, particularly ones getting sticks made to their specifications, can use any length they want. They also put in a heap of work, certainly have the skills & time to work on their technique, get used to a different length stick. If they were getting overuse injuries, back pain, from using the wrong stick length (as opposed to back pain from poor technique as you see in some juniors and lower level players) then they'd change their stick length. But they don't.

    I think it's quite dishonest & disingenuous to cherry pick the picture that fits your conclusion, to imply that professional players are going to use the lengths your chart shows. You even have a caption saying 'According to this size chart found on a reputable brand's website, Jamie Dwyer is playing with the wrong length stick. :eek:' Which is again very disingenuous, because as we've seen, according to the size chart found on your own reputable brand's website, half the kookaburras team are playing with the wrong length stick. :eek: As @Jake Harvey mentions, it is hypocritical to be talking about what these other reputable brands are doing wrong while you're doing the exact same thing.

    I still find the table at the end to be damaging misinformation. And if the actual purpose is to challenge the status quo, I think the table of misinformation takes away from that purpose. I assume you've simply taken a particular starting point and then just added/subtracted 1 inch of stick for every 3 inches of height to generate your table, rather than actually using a particular method and measuring actual people. I'm 6'3, if I use one of the measurement methods you show I get the answer that even my 37.5 is a bit too long. If I use the other, I get an answer of about 38.5. So even if you generated your chart using 'The Method we said we all agree on', it's still wrong, because you didn't even bother to measure a bunch of people using those two methods, just extrapolated from a single point.

    I think what you're doing in your blog post is exactly what you criticise other brands for doing.
     
    #14 sanabas, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  15. Willowsacorns

    Willowsacorns FHF Legend

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    There has always been a rule of thumb applied to junior stick sizing - anyone who has coached juniors and has had to find a spare stick knows that. As they progress this extends to get used to a larger stick mainly due to the lack of "real" sticks for juniors. As teens and adults you then choose what feels right based in a whole host of factors (price, availability, brand, bow, length, etc etc)

    I am vertically challenged yet use a 37.5 and know many others that are the same. I also know many others that are much taller but use a 36.5. This is not wrong.

    To suggest any of this is about medical science and preventing back pain is rubbish. You are simply trying to sell your equipment - and there is nothing wrong with that.
     
  16. JBarron24

    JBarron24 FHF Top Player

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    Agree with this 100%, you can apply science but it only forms the basis as far as I'm concerned, I stand at about 5'5"-5'6" but was never confident or comfortable hitting the ball until I got a 37.5" stick about 14 months ago. I would never have considered buying a stick longer than what the charts suggest because of the cost but the ability to go to a fairly local retailer and try a longer stick gave me the confidence to buy a stick I was comfortable with that science argues I shouldn't be (it's helped greatly with my back issues too).

    I think the onus is on online retailers, I know businesses need to make money but the way some of them undercut more traditional shops gives incentives for the consumer to go and try a stick in a shop, then go & buy it online for £30-40 less thus eventually leading to a closure of the shop without which the consumer would likely not have tried a different size stick.

    Rather than bashing retailers/other brands, would it not be better for RAGE to work with retailers to provide a wide range of different size sticks for people to try and then buy through the retailer if they enjoy using it are comfortable, yes RAGE Custom Works might not make as much short term profit this way, but building a good rapport with retailers and customers can help lead to greater long term success for the brand...
     
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  17. AbuSaahilHockey

    AbuSaahilHockey FHF Reserve Player

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    I've been struggling a lot over the past two seasons with lower back tightness and pain. I've also been considering using a longer stick. However, I never really put the two together. It does actually make a lot of sense. I currently use a 36.5 but I've been considering a longer stick, mainly just to aid in drag flicking and tackling reach.

    I think I've been a little too stubborn and always just worried I'd be uncomfortable with a longer stick. So I've been unwilling to spend on something I'd be unsatisfied with - but I've obviously grown a lot since I started hockey at the age of 14. I reckon I'm going to take the leap and try a longer one the next chance I get. I'll refer back to the guide when that time comes.

    Cheers @RAGE Custom Works
     
    #17 AbuSaahilHockey, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
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  18. RAGE Custom Works

    RAGE Custom Works FHF Newbie

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    Thank you so much for your comment... We started this thread with the express purpose of starting a discussion that would help us improve the article.

    You raise some very good points... different people have different body proportions (e.g. long legs/arms/torse for their height) which will effect what size stick they're more comfortable with.... In terms of creating an algorithm that can very closely estimate the correct stick length for each individual taking into account all variables like the ones you mention & more, still requires an initial data set that follows a certain logical progression. I think a height based one is a good start and its something that we can build upon by adding or subtracting weightage points for different variables.

    Having said that, until we have a tested & working algorithm I agree with your point... I don't think you can simply say "you're this height so you get this length stick"... and so over the weekend we will be reviewing the language of the post to further clarify things and make it clear that we as a company don't have a bias either way. We are simply stating that if you follow the US Method of Determining the correct stick length here is an extensive size chart based on that and if you want to personally try out different sticks to find which length is best for you, we are working with retailers to give you an option to be able to try out from huge range of sizes :)
     
    #18 RAGE Custom Works, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  19. Willowsacorns

    Willowsacorns FHF Legend

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    Are you saying that you intend to ask retailers to hold sticks in every conceivable length, weight, bow and composition so people can find their own personally modified and practically perfect stick?

    Good luck with that.
     
  20. RAGE Custom Works

    RAGE Custom Works FHF Newbie

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    @sanabas thank you for a healthy discussion and I promise that we will continue ;) but as per your input and of others we will be changing the language of the post somewhat as I have mentioned in my previous comment. Obviously there will be some things that we will continue to disagree on but it would be perhaps better to continue our discussion then :)

    I just wanted to clarify one thing, which may of interest to and answer @JBarron24 and @Willowsacorns as well. I did not share this information before as it will come across as too much of a sales pitch & sidetrack the discussion but since it has been brought up a few times, here goes...

    We strongly believe that for us to truly succeed we need local brick & mortar stores as partners. We want to empower local stores by giving them more options & so they can leverage our supply chain and manufacturing competencies to their benefit.

    Like I mentioned we have already started working with a retailer in New Zealand for the first pilot deployment. I can't go into too much detail but in a nutshell, they will designate a space in their store with a touch screen panel through which walk-in customers can access www.ragecustom.com and design/order our available products. There will be a few racks holding a cross-section of plain samples which will include sticks, promotional items, sportswear and other customizable products that we do/are launching soon. The walk-in customers will be able to touch, feel & test the products as well as see samples of customized products to get an idea of the possibilities. A helper will assist customers with finalizing the designs/orders and they will be delivered directly or can be picked up in-store in 15 days or less.

    So when I said they won't need to carry actual stock, I should have also mentioned that they will have samples at hand distributed across available mould shapes, compositions, lengths & weights.

    As you can imagine the stores will get a profit margin for the sales they make in store but going a step further any visitor that comes through their website or by scanning a QR code will also be tracked and the store will get a profit margin for any resulting sale.

    Lastly the store will also be able to whip up their own range of different products through us at bulk discounted rates, so they can have unique products that the customer can't get anywhere else.

    RAGE Hockey www.ragehockey.com will be doing something similar but I won't go into that for now.

    I hope that this clarifies things about how this is actually going to be good for retailers. So if you know any retailers, please do ask them to get in touch :)
     
    #20 RAGE Custom Works, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017

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