Chris Davidson-Adams; Howies in the Pros
We sat down with long-time Howies fan Chris Davidson-Adams to find out why he trusts Howies for his players. If you don't recognize the name, Chris is the Head Equipment Manager for the Vegas Golden Knights. Read on to hear what he had to say...
Tell us about how you got started in professional hockey:
While I was playing JV hockey in high school, my assistant coach was a security guard at the arena where the Grand Rapids Griffins (at that time in the IHL) play. The Griffins’ Equipment Manager was looking for some kids to volunteer to fill water bottles, clean the visiting room, and just help out in any other way. After starting with the Griffins, I accepted a job in 2000 to be an assistant Equipment Manager with the Houston Aeros.
Do you remember your first time using Howies?
I do! After a year in Houston, I was back as an assistant in Grand Rapids and Brad “Dogg” Thompson started using Howies. I met Howie himself and heard about his venture into starting this great hockey tape company. I really admired how he cared about product quality, but also was heavily invested in customer service and making sure he was making our jobs easier. Ever since, when I was a Head Equipment Manager, I was using Howies.
What’s a normal game day look like for you?
Alarm goes off at 5AM, head to the rink and start sharpening skates and prepping for our morning skate at our practice facility in Summerlin. After practice, my assistants and I move skate, sticks, and goalie equipment back over to T-Mobile Arena. I’ll hang back and take care of some more skates, ordering supplies, and anything else that needs to be done. I’ll have some lunch and then head over to T-Mobile to do all of our final prepping for the game. After the game, we put all the gear in a truck to take back to the practice facility. We’ll make sure the locker room is straightened up and cleaned – ready for the next game. Our assistant John makes sure the visitors are taken care of – helping them pack up and get to the airport. So overall, a lot of moving parts throughout the night, and I have a great staff that helps everything go smoothly.
What’s the best part of being an Equipment Manager that people may not think of?
The people. Not just the players, but the management, facility managers, marketing, coaching staff, scouts, travel coordinators, etc. – there’s just great people involved in hockey. I love picking their brain and discussing every aspect of the game.
Worst part of the job?
Definitely being away from family. Whether it’s missing my wife or kid’s birthdays or missing certain events, it’s just a crazy schedule. Luckily these days we have FaceTime and ways to stay in contact which makes things a little easier, but it’s still the hardest part of the job.
What’s your favorite moment of your career?
Easy. Being named Head Equipment Manager for the Vegas Golden Knights. I try to pride myself in hard work, always trying to avoid complacency. I’ve made it a point throughout my career to reinvent myself and get better. When the team was announced and I got this job, it was years of hard work paying off and an achievement that I’m incredibly proud of.
Why do you use Howies?
I look for certain things when I’m ordering equipment or dealing with companies. Obviously I need the best product, that goes without saying, but customer service is huge for me. As a business, I like that I don’t ever have to worry about my Howies order. You tell me when it’s going to arrive – and that’s what happens. With all the moving parts in a locker room, it’s just one less thing I have to worry about. It makes it even easier that the players love your product. Twenty years after first seeing the tape in Grand Rapids, you guys haven’t changed your core principles and still offer great products and outstanding service.