Canadian engineer’s spring-loaded skate tech prevents injury
Mike McLeodGeneral engineering hockey Innovation product design University of Waterloo
U of Waterloo engineering alum's shock absorbing blades also increase skaters' speed.
“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.