Canadian engineer’s spring-loaded skate tech prevents injury

U of Waterloo engineering alum's shock absorbing blades also increase skaters' speed.

Comments Off on Canadian engineer’s spring-loaded skate tech prevents injury September 11, 2013
Mike McLeod

University of Waterloo Engineering graduate, Jeffrey Azzolin, who developed Bladetech hockey skates. Copyright University of Waterloo. (CNW Group/University of Waterloo)

University of Waterloo Engineering graduate, Jeffrey Azzolin, who developed Bladetech hockey skates. Copyright University of Waterloo. (CNW Group/University of Waterloo)

A University of Waterloo mechanical engineering alum has developed a spring-loaded skate purported to help hockey players skate faster while also reducing stress injuries. When Jeffrey Azzolin’s Bladetech hockey skates contact the ice, springs under the blades absorb the energy that would normally impact a skater’s ankle, shin or knee joint. Alternately, the compressed springs provide a boost when the player pushes off the ice at the end of the stride, especially when starting from a complete stop.

“The spring mechanism reduces the impact on the user’s joints to help prevent joint damage,” says Azzolin, a former recreational hockey player. “It also allows the player to transition smoothly from the flat-footed to the forward-angled stance, which reduces the likelihood of developing shin splits. The skates are important because people don’t take into consideration the impact on your body when you skate three hours a day every day of your life.”

While the development of Azzolin’s Bladetech skates has continued since he graduated in June, a $60,000 Scientists and Engineers in Business fellowship from University of Waterloo has helped Azzolin conduct product testing and launch a company, Bladetech Hockey Inc., to market the technology. Azzolin projects product testing will be completed by year’s end with public sale to begin in the spring of 2014.
http://bladetechhockey.ca