Regardless of any sport that is played, there will always be special equipment required to ensure that players are set up for not only the highest level of play but also that they are sufficiently protected to guard against any injury.
CanAm Underwater Hockey is one of the companies that is focused specifically on providing gear to players of the sport via an online site that offers everything that one might need for the game. The company was founded by Steven Kars, who still remains the company President. Kars first introduced the company as CanAm Sticks when he began his own playing career in 1990 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario with the underwater hockey team called the Soo Tridents. He made his own line of sticks and began distributing them to teams and players in Canada, the United States and the rest of the world.
When the Soo Tridents lost the primary pool in which they played in 1999 and a new pool was built to replace the demolished one. The newly built facility had a non-slip bottom which impacted underwater hockey play by making the regularly used pucks inefficient on the new surface. Kars then developed a new puck for the game and the Universal Puck was then born. Since he was no longer just distributing sticks, Kars launched his new entity the CanAm Underwater Hockey Gear and has been successful ever since that time. The company has grown tremendously through the underwater hockey world with new products being introduced and updated consistently. They have a global customer base now, selling sticks, pucks and all kinds of other gear to supply underwater hockey teams and are always looking for new ways to improve the technology, education and gear of the game.
Steve Kars continues to play underwater hockey and in the last 23 years has competed on a regional, national and international basis across both Canada and the U.S. He was a member of the University of Illinois Underwater Hockey team in 2001 and that team was declared the USA National Champions, winning the competition in San Jose, California. He was a member of the Montreal Underwater Hockey team in 2012 when the clinched the Canadian Nationals in Cornwall, Ontario. Kars has been a representative of the sport for both Canada and the United States at the World Championships and still enjoys the sport today. In 2002, he played for the Canadian Elite Men’s Team in Calgary, Alberta where they finished sixth and he was a member of the American Elite Men’s Team, finishing eighth in 2004 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Last year, he was at the World Championship event in Eger, Hungary as an official referee, earning a level 3 star ranking as a referee for the sport.
With a degree in Mechanical Engineer from Lake Superior State U, Kars currently lives in Rapid River, Michigan with Rachel, his wife, and Kinzie and Abigail, their twin daughters. Kars still plays UWH with the Soo Tridents as well as in Green Bay, Wisconsin. His company, CanAm Underwater Hockey Gear LLC, is authorized to distribute numerous brands including US Divers, Sprint Aquatics, Innovative Scuba Concepts, Mares, Cressi-Sub, Deep Blue Gear, Kiefer, Omersub, Aqua Sphere/AquaLung, AQA, 6ALAgua, Finis, IST Diving, Trident Dive Systems & Eq Swimwear.