SMOLEN – GENERATION
It all began in Krynica in 1950. Krynica Hockey Association won 1st “Polish Championship” title in a hockey competition. The Krynica team consisted of such players as Jeżak, Nowak, Zieliński and Csorich. And the latter suggested that Bronisław Smoleń, a wheell wright at Męcina, made some hockey sticks which were difficult to obtain in those years. Mr. Smoleń, a master among wheelwrights and carpenters in the area, answered the player’s request and soon the first “Krynica” hockey sticks became known throughout Poland. Through his persistance and perfection at work Mr. Smoleń’s produce was up to the best world standards.
After some time Mr. Smoleń moved his hockey stick house to Męcina – his birthplace. In the basement of his newly built house he started a carpenter’s workshop to produce hockey sticks on a large scale. Year by year the Smoleń Hockey Stick House gained a well – deserved recognition both in Poland and abroad. Hockey teams from many countries in Europe and America have visited Poland and players such as Bill & Grant Warwick from Canada, as well as world champions Charlamow & Pietrow from the former USSR have spoken highly about hockey sticks produced in Poland.
Although the Polish team landed in group “B” the memorable World Hockey Championships held in Katowice in 1976 showed not only the strength of the Polish hockey team that beat the USSR team 6:4 but also that Poland produced excellent hockey sticks.
Such notable players as Csorich, Lewacki, Zieliński, Pociecha, Ziętara, Kurek, Zabawa, Jobczyk, Obłój, Piecko, Kokoszka, Stopczyk, Gruth, Kosyl, Tkacz, Puzio, Klisiak and Czerkawski used Smoleń sticks. Those were glorious times for Polish hockey, when Poland played on equal terms against Sweden, Finland and Italy.
Since 1992, after Bronisław Smoleń senior’s death, the firm has been run by Bronisław Smoleń junior, who has improved production to meet the competition from his overseas counterparts. Recent years have shown, however, a decline in Polish hockey which manifests itself in the limited number of players and hockey rinks all over the country.
At the present time we produce the highest quality composite hockey sticks, which still compete with the best. Let us hope that the company SMOLEŃ with 65 years of tradition will remain among the best in the world.