This week’s “This Old Hockey Bag” is a real icon. The Louisville TPS “Rubber Kevlar” stick and shaft were unreal. Sure many companies had a form of grip or tack to their sticks but no one but Louisville used actual rubber.
Normally when you think of rubber, you think squeezable ducks, or rubber bands. Both are super elastic and movable. Well Louisville took this idea to a whole new level. The TPS stick wrapped 360 degrees in rubber. TPS then infused Kevlar into the rubber to add stiffness. Carbonized textured rubber was the official terms used. It did have some amazing grip and at the time, it was released it was a must have for many players. It felt different than any other grip on the market and that was awesome. Iconic actually.
Louisville TPS had long been known to be an innovator in hockey. From goalie to sticks, they were a leader in the hockey world. NHL pros like Messier, Hull, and Lindros were using Louisville TPS. They had awesome protective and goalie equipment. Check the resume of products to hit the market. Just Google: TPS Lockjaw blade. You will understand why they were a leader in the hockey innovation game.
They were bought out by Sherwood-Drolet back in 2003. Many of the TPS technologies shifted into Sherwood’s arsenal. The “Rubber” didn’t make the cut, unfortunately. Personally I had the “Rubber” shaft with a Christian wood blade. I didn’t really love the grip and have always been a fan of clear sticks, so I used it playing roller that summer. It was a great idea, sold like crazy, but just wasn’t for me.
In 2015, we have come a long way with grip on hockey sticks. Terms like Dual grip and grip zones, have become common. If you’re a fan of the old Rubber grip, be sure to check out our grip composite hockey sticks