While this hot July in Estonia may have everyone headed to the beach, Estonians will soon start thinking about (or maybe dreading) the return of the dark, cold nights of Estonian winters. However, one of the bright spots of the return of colder weather is the onset of hockey season.
Estonian hockey – in a sense – is making its mark globally. At the Sochi Olympics, equipment from Frontier Hockey OÜ, Estonia’s homegrown hockey stick manufacturer, made it to the quarterfinals. It’s the favored brand of Latvian goalkeeper Kristers Gudļevskis. He made an epic 55 saves out of 57 shots to keeps the Latvians in the mix against the eventual champion Canada.
Embassy staffers visited Frontier this week to check out their production line and hear about their growing export business to America. Currently, over 10 percent of their hockey sticks are exported to the United States.
(Photo: U.S. Embassy staffers meet with Mr. Imre Taveter and talk hockey sticks.)
Frontier Hockey specializes in goalie sticks—they produce standard sticks as well— and the company has supplied Gudlevskis, a former player for the Tampa Bay Lightning, as well as Finnish and other European professionals. Company founder, Imre Taveter, grew up playing hockey and loves the sport for its team building qualities and diligent group effort. Mr. Taveter started the company to take advantage of the fine craftsmanship, superior wood, and winter sports traditions found in Estonia. The Pärnu factory churns out thousands of quality hockey sticks throughout the year.
We thank Imre for showing us around the factory and letting us take a couple of shots with the sticks. And we wish him the best of luck as he continues to expand globally, showing the world the quality of Estonian made hockey sticks.
-Post by Will Ziesing