Skates are a vital part of hockey. The ultra-light thin blade is the only thing connecting its user with the ice surface. For many years, skate design has remained stagnant, or has undergone minor changes. A Canadian company, Bladetech Hockey, is looking to improve the engineering standard of skates. They use a spring loaded skate to give athletes a competitive edge by increasing the contact duration during a stride.
This allows a skater to get more use of the energy they put into each stride. What was once wasted energy can now be translated into increased speed, acceleration and agility. All while reducing the likelihood of common skating-related injuries (such as: knees, ankles, shin splints).
How do they do this? They spring load their blades.
“The spring mechanism compresses and stores impact loads of energy (link), which would otherwise be absorbed by the knee joint (in the cartilage and synovial fluid), and wasted,” according to their website.
Jeffrey Azzolin, President and CEO, found himself asking, “have modern skates reached their design peak?”
With 3d engineering, we don’t think they have.