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  1. This will be last post here, so no need to reply. I did not come here for validation, people that seek validation lack confidence, I’m not short on confidence - not to be confused with arrogance, which some of you are probably confusing me for being arrogant. This forum is just another door I knock on as I look for an investor. I’m also positive that people that have that type of money usually do not participate on online forums; they have better things to do. So it was mostly maybe someone knows someone who knows someone, or at least maybe there is a small group of dealers that will go in on the project since they are smart enough to realize that we are heading for a big iceberg and that collision is unavoidable, so the more exposure I get the better are the chances. I’m fully away that consumers will not sponsor my project either, I have experience in bringing products to market, so I know the physiology of consumers especially in our industry where it’s not on the consumers, it’s the on the manufacturers and on the dealers that will decide what to carry or not to carry. Consumers in our industry no longer have enough choice where they can decide who stays and who goes. So I take everything that consumers say here with a grain of salt on any subject matter engineering, business strategy, and my designs… For me a good product will overcome many issues with pricing, marketing strategy, longevity, dealer protection or not, over flooding the market… as long as it grows the industry it can withstand a lot of pitfalls. Some one mentioned here that you never know who we have on this forum as far as current or former skate engineers. I will go toe-to-toe with any one even against collection of them on any subject mater related to hockey and skate development. They are as guilty as their executives in creating the mess we are in today. Trying out things in R&D is about knowing what is even worth improving and what is not improving. If CCM decides to bring out an FT1 model without an outsole where you have more torsional flex and lateral flex, and a low cut boot that increases your chances of over pronation and ankle sprain. It has nothing to do with your engineer in China, you have to be smart enough to realize that before you even get to any discussions with them on IP, R&D and mass production. So you can bring as many of them at once and we will discuss subject like: Material property, and the effects of gradual flexural modulus on muscle fatigue vs. non-gradual flexural modulus. And how does geometry come into this equation. We can discuss how introduction of a one –piece boot construction and elimination of a proper heel pocket contributes to conditions like Plantar Fasciitis, and in some cases arthritis. We can discuss how adding grip on the heel portion of the insole contributes to increased risk of heel spur. We can discuss foot correction techniques in a full weight bearing, semi-weigh bearing, and non weight bearing mode, and how “Speed Plate” technology contributes to increased risk of supination and in some cases increased risk of Norton’s Neuroma. We can discuss the effect of a high heel to toe offset boot design on a excessive built up of lactic acid in your legs. We can discuss how shaving weight from a midsole and making it stiffer or elimination of an outsole contributes more to Herniated Disk problems. We can discuss how shaving as much weight as possible from a holder via geometry and making it too stiff contributes to excessive cartilage wear in the knees and hips. We can discus the effects of developing an overly stiff holder based on 220LB+ NHL players and using it in your Junior skates for 8-10 years old that barely weigh 100 lb, and the success rate of them sticking with the sport after one year of playing. I can go on and on for pages on the “Advancements” our engineers made over the years and how we got to this this mess. In the end I will ask them one simple question: “Why do all hockey payers walk the same?” If you look at the way we walk, most of us that played enough years and played often have legs that curve a bit outward from the knee down. A lot of us supinate a bit; some of us also have foot inversion…”Why is that?” If they knew the answer to this question, the skates, the ideology, R&D and the business plan built around it would be completely different. And the outcome would also be different as far as collapse of the industry or growth of the industry. I will go back to my previous statement, If you know too much about too many disciplines but at an entry level, you will fail. If you know too much about one or two disciplines you will fail as well. Bauer and CCM are very good at two things: shaving weight via streamline design and aesthetics, they sure know how to make things pretty. And that’s where it ends. The results always prove that, no matter what is the level of expertise, we are all about results. In our sport it’s about function first, everything else comes secondary, VH proved it with an ugly looking skate that weighs a lot more then Bauer or CCM. At this point it doesn’t matter if you like me or not, if you can poke holes in my designs without actually sitting down and comparing pros and cons of my features with what you have from existing brands, and I haven’t even disclosed the most important parts of my designs. All it matters is I’m the last person that has enough qualifications to give us another bloodline. No one is coming after me; we’ll be past the threshold where it won’t be profitable any more. And I can tell you based on my knowledge of the industry from every angle, existing brands will not shift or change their approach, they are too deep and have developed too much of a tunnel vision, they will go down with the ship. So I’ll keep knocking on more doors. Now we can lock this thread, and you can all go back to your regularly scheduled program with discussions on lace-bite and bunga pads and price points of previous skate model vs. new skate model and the "Improvements they made". Cheers.
  2. My replies are long, because I’m replying to everyone with one reply. The first most important question I would ask here is how confident anyone here that the current engineers at Bauer and CCM, VH are at the top of their game. As I constantly bring up examples of 20 and 30 year old designs and materials being recycled into new designs, and I only mentioned few examples. I haven’t even gone over their full portfolio including the ODIN one project that was a copy of something else that was publicly visible before they came up with it, and this was a project where they were given no restrictions on budget or mass production yet there was no innovation on the boot at all. No one can answer that question, because there is nothing to compare them too. Bauer bought out everybody they could have, to me that’s not an accurate measuring stick when we are looking at their 75% market share. There are many industries where big giant innovative companies are at the top until something new comes a long with disruptive technology. Disruptive does not always mean advanced, it only means it solves problems that exist better. Hockey is very unique; we cannot compare it to any other industry when it comes to product development because of the feel factor and fit factor, we are not electronics, there are only so many materials that work, and there are so many designs that work. I constantly bring it up in my replies. That is why we haven’t seen any progress in the past 5-7 years, and we won’t see anything new. And that is why it’s a lot easier to bring product to the market today then 20 years a go, They have narrowed the gap on materials, production methods and designs that can work and feel good. The only avenue left to explore is very complex geometry applied to the same materials that feel good. This direction would require Bauer, CCM and VH in firing their current engineers and hiring different people with different skill set. And on top of that it would be a different business model with far smaller profit margins after they realize the complexity and cost of manufacturing all these geometric shapes. DarkStar, I’m not fighting with anyone or have personal agenda, I’m fighting for you, for us as an industry which will shrink in 10 years into the size of a Golf industry. For me success in our business is a person that has enough knowledge in many disciplines that are needed for our industry, if that knowledge is too broad he will fail. If that knowledge is too narrow and he only knows only one aspect of the industry, and knows it too well, he will also fail. That’s why guys like Henry Ford and Steve Jobs and Phil Knight build companies that dominate; the person at the top has that balance of knowing just enough disciplines to plan a head and hire the right people with specific skill set. When you have a board of directors there is no one person that has that balance and everybody has different level of ambition they want to achieve on short term and long term. So I don’t need to be a graphic designer to develop a successful product, I don’t need to be a full time engineer to solve a technical problem. I only need to know enough about each discipline where I hire the right person to finalize my vision, my design and my concept. And I have these people on my list that I interact with. My backround is 15 -20 years of playing hockey and not beginner level, I’m not a pro, but my skating ability is at an advanced level so I have a good sense of the “Feel” factor and how materials effect that Feel - you can’t learn this in school. My backround is reverse engineering skates for 15 years and studying these materials and production methods around them, my back round is studying the orthotic industry for 5 years and interacting with prominent orthopedic surgeons on the effects of orthotic design, shoe design and anything else related to plantar surface. Not to mention my own experiments. My back round is interacting with computational engineers and parametric engineers that solve complex geometric problems with algorithms in a matter of hours instead of drawing things at a snails pace in CAD for days or weeks. So when I make a statement about VH Carbon fiber-based skate having a significant long-term effect on the body and possible long-term complication, it’s not something I pulled out of the hat. The talk about energy transfer is as old as electricity. Action equals reaction, the more energy transfer we have the more we also absorb back from that energy, that is why we are far more injury prone today then ever, because the focus is too narrow minded on weight reduction, too much stiffness and simplified production methods. Stiffness must have balance of being able to absorb it back without paying the price for it. Hockey is not a sprint it’s a marathon, if you skate 5 days per week, longevity wins not short term performance. What I do know is we are at a threshold right now where there are still enough dealers out there that can afford to carry another skate model at a $600 price range. Once we pass that threshold where dealers will disappear or diversify into other categories, we already have that happening, no one will even attempt to bring a skate to the market because they will go bankrupt. The only reason I can do its because I know what works, what doesn’t work, what idea and design I can follow with my budget , what idea and design I cannot afford to follow from both cost and time management and on top of that I have factory that sees the future well knows that the industry will collapse in 10 years and they will go down with it, so they are willing to cover a lot of my costs, if not, I would not even attempt this venture. And that is why my rendering are very broad, I cannot afford to show any small improvement publicly that will demise my long term success. The skates we have today work only for 20% of the public, 80% drop out. The fact that we have the same type of player at NHL level proves that theory very well, where we don’t have enough players that skate with fluidity where one motion curves into another motion, we don’t have any agility left. We have the same player that has a short burst of speed in a straight line, then slows down or stops, changes direction and has another burst of speed in a straight line. This is a reflection of skate design and what it allows us to do on the ice from bio-mechanical point of view. And I always go back to Figure skate industry which i always pay attention to as far as what works and what gimmicks they throw away. They are not compromising on anything if it hinders performance and that is why any figure skater can out skate any hockey player with almost half the effort, so all this talk about energy transfer is just talk. And that’s why NHL teams hire figure skating coaches, yet they do not realize that the coach won't solve their problem, only a skate manufacture can do it with the right approach. Cheers.
  3. FOR ENGINEERS: Ok, we have tackled the business side of my project as far as my ideology and my approach to crowd funding, lets tackle the engineering side of my project on a much broader scale. There seems to me a lot of engineers coming out of the wood work with magnifying glasses trying to find any mistakes in my designs or test my level of expertise one the engendering side. Since I can’t respond to each and every one of you individually I will make a general response. I did a quick test by deliberately making an incorrect statement in one of my replies, hoping that since there are so many magnifying glasses out there, there would be more then enough suitors to point out the mistake. Unfortunately it did not happen, but I’m not surprised since if I was participating on an engineering forum, there is a good chance I might be in the same shoes where someone takes me to school as well, although the most likely scenario I would have styed away from commenting unless I was able to back it up. I do not like giving people advice in general unless they seek it or unless it’s a forum where it’s all about advise. One piece of advice I will give to all of our engineers on this forum is not to look at skates not just mine, but any other skate as individual pieces and individual mistakes or flaws in design, but look at it collectively as a one functioning unit. Because of such complexly of fit and function we can never perfect it, we can only sacrifice one thing for another hoping to take one step back and two steps forward. So when most of you raise issues on complex design, complex manufacturing methods that are present in my public presentations, it’s based on the same principle of taking one step back in order to take two steps forward on the overall feel, fit and function of the skate. I will bring up one example, the rest you will have to tackle on your own. Some people complain that the toebox on Bauer skates is too high, too much room up top. This is a prime example of taking one step back and two steps forward. The reason behind it, its not to accommodate many different feet, no one has toes that extend that high, but by making it taller we are changing the angle of the quarter panel that wraps around the toecap edge to a more shallow angle, where as by making the toecap shorter that angle is much steeper. Steeper angle means more concentrated stress around the curve usually around the 3rd and 4th eyelet (from the top), the more concentrated stress in one spot, the more chance it will break down faster in that particular spot, that means we need to add more reinforcement material in that spot, that means more weight, and more importantly also could mean forward flex might be hindered since now we’re flexing through more material this is where a specific “pattern cut” and material uses in that cut can dictate how much forward flex is hindered. So instead of sacrificing on so many factors, an easier solution is to make the toecap taller and avoid adding so many unnecessary steps. In Bauer’s case with Vapor skates, they are also making the instep extremely shallow in order to spread out the stress even more, making things shallow is already going way too far where you take not one but two steps back and then 1.5 step forward. They do not want to add another “pattern cut” on top and add 10 1-20 grams of weight, so they are sacrificing instep volume instead at the expense of extreme lace bite. This is a decision in favor of ideology on marketing the lightest skate possible, decision based on simple design that has fewer steps during production, but all these decisions are not in favor of making the right sacrifices at the correct ratio. In order for us to get closer to a “perfect skate”, we need a design and manufacturing method where we always have enough choice on making one sacrifice in order to gain something better. Bauer and CCM have cornered themselves where they no loner have that flexibility, unless they change their ideology and strategy which has huge financial ramifications. So my approach to design is based on that, and it’s not my personal idea, it’s the most common, most logical and most accepted ideology around the world in any industry, but under very strict rule, Finances. As long as financial aspect of this ideology does not interfere with it then it can be done. In my personal case, I’m not under a large corporate umbrella, do not have large payroll, can live with much smaller profit margins, my final production cost per skate on material cost is not far from Bauer, so that gives me more freedom and flexibility in taking one step back and making two steps forward in the design and development process, while still taking into consideration mass production. So having any further discussion on the engineering side of my skate design or specific skate features and ideology behind it is a useless exercise at this point. @RoverHockey
  4. The information you are asking on full details of final design, development, financial break down, risk assessment, what materials I will use, what specific production methods I will use, how much research I did corresponding with companies that are skilled in specific production methods, based on my specific designs and more importantly these companies already work and have worked with big brands on R&D and skate development including factories in China that work with big brands. This is all private and privileged information that should only be asked by a potential investor who’s looking for equity in return. And I did look for a private investors, knocked on as many doors as I can. Today’s landscape of investors is all software based with minimal risk, high reward. I’m still very open to that idea, and that’s why I made my campaign public in case there is an investor still out there, and that is also why I did not disclose everything 100% publicly so if I do attract a potential investor I still have enough of a leverage in being competitive on intellectual property. I’m fully aware of the market place and that finding 2000 people at $500 at a concept stage is a long shot at best. The most I can hope from crowd funding is to find 300 – 500 dealers that are willing to put up $2k - $3k each if they want to carry a product where customers don’t come back with issues and loose any respect for that dealer for selling them a crappy skate for $1000. We have a lot of these dealers because manufacturers forgot how important they are to our industry. Our dealers (physical store pro shops) are the most priced possession we have, without them we will collapse as an industry, we are not soccer where consumers can shop on their own, we need expertise on fit, feel and everything else in between. Manufacturers do not respect dealers, they are shoving easily made product down their throat and forcing them to take gambles on badly designed skates, with too many models with the same design approach and same fit and overpriced product. It’s a short-term solution. 9 out of 10 people that come to these forums, do not come here in praising how good their skates feel, they come here with issues because they can’t solve them anywhere including the dealer that sold that the skates. The only way to solve it is not to cut corners on design and fit and narrow your focus on fewer models, and grow your business at the rate of the dealer’s demand and not at the rate of your shareholder demand. I know I can bring this project from a concept stage to reality regardless what type of holes you are willing to poke in my presentation, because of the amount of preparation I did over the years on all sides. This has nothing to do with being passionate or not, it has everything to do with being calculated. My private “Pitch Deck” was reviewed by “Industry Insiders” and also very wealthy individuals, some of them know the full process of development and the financial aspect of bringing a high-end skate to the market. There was never a single-issue raised about my presentation from an engineering side or financial side, quite the opposite. Hockey is simply too risky of a business compared to all other options Investors have today. That’s why it might only happen if the risk is spread out among a large group of people. We will never see a person that has both enough capital and enough knowledge on the engineering side to bring a high-end hockey skate to the market. There are too many disciplines a person must have to do that, we are too small of an industry to find that person. That is why a lot of hockey companies got into our business by buying out other existing brands, because it’s usually a business man without an engineering back round so they can only go by proven track record, which sometimes works well in long term, and sometimes it doesn’t. Cheers.
  5. The realty of the situation is that a skate is not a car where you can innovate constantly; a lot of intelligent things have been tried before with a proven track record. They are called “pattern cuts” one of the reasons we can’t come up with new stuff because the stress points are always in the same location, so you cannot reinvent the wheel to much. What you can do is apply new materials and new methods with the same pattern cuts, make few changes and tweak things here or there, all these changes make a significant difference. So the mega air forefoot piece is a reinforcement pattern cut because in this location you have a lot of stress. Part of performance increase is not always to improve things, but not to let things break down too fast. All of my replies here were not aimed at those who actually replied, it was always aimed at the silent type, the one that comes here for advice because of the same issues as every one else has today, and quickly realizes that the advise he is given is based on no merit. And quickly learns that to fix these issues and finding solutions to these problems can only be done with a different approach to design and production method which I disclosed in my crowd funding campaign. I have yet to see anyone challenge my skate from structural point of view regardless if it is an old proven design that we can't improve on or new design that does improve things, which is the most important thing, all other nit picking issues are from people that are amateurs in every sense of the word, so they are looking to grab anything they can based on their IQ level. Dark: Do you actually think I would disclose my full financial break down of my operation, who is doing what, who is my IP lawyer, who is my main engineer who is my accountant, what is my full cost break down, what connections and relationships I have with big box chain stores in which country for future expansion. You already challenged me once by asking me to name few names, and received an appropriate answer. When you are asking all these amateur questions you are not discrediting my operation or me, you are discrediting your lack of understanding of both the engineering side of the business and the business side of the business. I can live without being a permanent participant on this or any other forum, yet the ones that replied with no merit, it seems to me that this is all you have. So I encourage you in continuing doing what you have been doing, which is working on your reputation by grabbing the lowest hanging fruit you can grab. Cheers
  6. KgBeast: I think you might be the only person that knows enough about the engineering part of the skate where most do not realize that hockey skate technology has not progressed in 15 -20 years and will not progress in another 20 years, because of the "Feel" factor and the “Fit” factor. “Fixed ankle pivot is not an anatomically correct movement” Bauer 1S is still using the same materials and process as the day of One90/One95, including internal materials that were even used in old CCM Tacks 652. CCM FT1 and new Tacks are using the same 20 year old Surlyn that was first implemented in Vapor 8, Vapor 10, Vapor XXX all the way up to any Bauer model called “TechMesh” The Nylon Holder is still made from Zytel from the day of Custom+ and will be made from Zytel for the next 20 years by all skate companies because of the “Feel” factor and it’s impact strength. So a lot of the concerns you raise on my skates going through testing , impact, flex, stress testing, 12 moth delivery……have no merit because only a person knowledgeable in the art of developing skates would understand the process and realize that there is no need to reinvent the wheel, all we need is to fix issues that are ideology based not engineering based. My skates are made based on using the same materials with a proven track record on both, flexural modulus, impact strength, longevity, “FeeL” factor but with more tweaks in fixing issues that are not fixed because of company “Ideology” and not their desire to innovate. If I come out with the same skate as Bauer and same holder with no improvement, I would guess most of you would ramp up the criticism by 100% in telling me why would you invest in something identical to current skates. There is a fine line in improvement and radical “Niche” product. I know that line very well including the line of NHL approval on radical inventions so I’m not making anything radical despite what it looks like in my rendering. Companies do not disclose materials that they use, so you are being sucked into thinking you are buying a new technology every two years, in reality you are buying a new graphics package. The difference between a $500 skate and $1000 is the wall thickness of the same material and it’s density, that’s about it. If you start reading Bauer’s recent patents and their new holder, boot …innovations what you will see in the next 5 years is us going backwards to things that were already tried before, so more open cut out holders (CCM Pro Lite) was open cut out concept. You will see Bauer trying to inject foam into the boot to compete with VH more anatomical fit, foam has been used already in skates 20 years a go and has been used in ski industry for many years. They simply do not want to abandon the one –piece construction method and the “Square Box” fit mentality, because it’s cheap and fast method. What you will see is Bauer using older pattern cuts on an overlapping section from 20 year old Micron Mega skates spun of as new invention My challenge is to convince people that I’m not better, but to convince people that no one is better, we have issues with Fit and Feel, where we can’t fix them with advanced materials or advanced manufacturing methods, one company cannot fill that void on it’s own, too much money will go on R&D. That’s why Bauer and now followed by CCM copying their production methods and design strategy developed a plan based on “Square Box” mentality” where as my strategy is more narrow focused, and my improvements are not radical but based on ideology, even the SPR holder has minimal flex where you barely notice it. Extreme innovation will never work on ice, we have major feel issues, a small change always feels like a huge change. Forefoot lock spun off as new invention:
  7. Graf Bump, Bauer bump, it all means the same, which is haglund heel condition. Even though Graf skates have a more pronounced heel pocket, a lot depends on the heel to toe offset of the boot and holder (heel drop) design. The lower the offset the more you’ll need to elevate your heel to get a decent amount of push-off, the higher the offset, for example figure skates, the less you need to elevate your heel. So many factors have to be considered when we are talking about which particular skate model has more effect on haglund heel. Now this is the skate design aspect, we also have to take personal bio-mechanics into consideration We have players with short stride, medium stride, and long stride. If you are Patrick Kane who’s got very short stride, he’s more of a hopper then an actual push-off skater, so very short stride, he needs less heel elevation, and he can also skate in a very stiff skate and tie up the laces all the way up since he’s not extending his leg too much forward, so minimal knee bent. If we look at the NHL, more then 50% of players do not tie up their skates all the way, because they have long strides, they need deeper heel pocket, so they simply can’t tie up the skates, it’s too restrictive on both sides, the lack of decent heel pocket and the front of the boot is too stiff with excessive lace bite from an overly stiff skate. If we look at Junior A, 10 -16 age group this is where you make most of your profits on a mass produced skate, when I’m at the rink I see about 80-90% that do not tie up their skates, and I see a lot of “noodle” legs and way to much wobbling. Where as when I’m at another rink and watching figure skaters of all levels I don’t see noodle legs, because the skates are designed and manufactured differently. As for Marsblade in comparison to my SPR Holder. MarsBlade is a gimmick, the baseline increases in length when you apply weight in the forefoot, so if we used the ice hockey analogy you are skating on 9 foot radius and when you apply pressure it turns into a 13 foot radius which is not the same as combination radius. If we did that technology with an ice skate, you would be scraping your face and the rest of your body parts from the boards. That’s why no one in Roller uses it at a pro level, it’s one trick pony, so it has nothing to do with my design. @RoverHockey
  8. Ok a lot to go through: The holder concept is not the final design, and I’m fully aware of all the torsional and lateral flex issues. Because of potential of Intellectual Property I can’t disclose the final design, the concept is there to show you the direction of the design and the problem that we are solving but not the final design. Cost, my factory agreed to cover 50% of my final tooling, molds… without them stepping up, financially that would not be possible, as 1 million is not considered a big number when it comes to skate development. Complication, there is a threshold on where a complex design is too complex and where it’s not. For example today Car body and chassis are all made as one-piece structure, but with very complex geometry where they are optimizing both weight and structural strength by complicating the process and the final shape. So I’m following the same analogy but I’m taking into consideration mass production and not a hand made skate. Even Bauer and CCM skates have a lot of hand assembly involved in the process, it’s just I have few more parts with more complex geometry that are made separately, but final assembly is the same as current skates. Testing, the company that will do my final stress analysis and testing on the holder has a proven track record in doing product testing in the sports industry, so combination of FEA, 3D printing, Mold Flow, Physical testing is up to the highest standards, in fact they are also involved in Patent Infringement cases as an independent witness when companies get ripped off on R&D or prototyping from other companies. Timing, generally it takes Bauer about 12 -18 months to bring a new line up to the market, now they have a full blown R&D under one roof to do it, but they also have many models to test and develop, and they are also taking into consideration aesthetics which also complicates things and takes longer. I’m not chasing aesthetics as rigorously with my first model, plus I already have a full plan in place on the materials to use, geometry, engineers that I already spoke to, so all my ducks are in order including the factory that has enough capabilities in fast scale from one single size fully functional prototype into all sizes. Bauer does only one prototype as well in size 8D, then the factory scales it, so the process is the same. Fit, many people buy skates online today by taking a gamble if it will fit or not especially when Bauer or CCM brings out a new model. So generally one person takes a gamble shares it with others and it snowballs. Our fit is based on Vapor heel and Supreme forefoot, but with deeper heel pocket and a bit more instep width, so it solves many issues with tight fit. CCM FT1 made a similar combination because many people that fit into a vapor heel complain about forefoot width and shallow instep. Graf, their heel has no room for heel elevation, that’s why for many years we had an expression “Graf Bump”. Graf is also way behind on the boot cut, R&D on new materials, R&D on new holder, so there is nothing in my skate I can compare to Graf. The deep heel pocket is something similar to VH, it’s doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure ot that we need room for heel elevation, this is a known fact for many years. The key is not too much heel elevation unlike speed skating clamp system where we would take a nosedive. So that’s why I have three features combined to work in unison. My project is probably a measuring stick where we are today as in industry. If people are happy with limited choice or they feel Bauer and CCM fills enough void on both function and fit, then the project will get no traction. Based on my understanding of the industry both on design and financial aspect, I feel there is a big void at the same time we are also shrinking in size by having many bankrupt dealers that do not sell anything else besides hockey. So we see a lot of diversification with existing hockey stores into non-hockey categories and employees moving to part time. We also see a lot of big box stores carrying high end skates, because they can take a hit on too much inventory or selling at discount, that means it’s not moving, could be price, could be fit, could be function…many factors contribute to it. I would say the main one is too many models in the line up that are built the same way so the function is the same, the fit is the same, it’s mostly price point, so dealers are stuck in deciding what to carry at what price point. I do not believe we’ll ever find a person that has both money and enough expertise to bring a high-end skate to the market, or even develop a prototype because one would need to find factory first in order to do final assembly of the prototype. So a gamble must be made at some point. I have disclosed as much as I can for people to make that decision on the engineering side, and probably the financial side as well, now it’s up to you as a consumer to decide. Boris @RoverHockey
  9. Please read everything carefully to the very end why it's flexible Boris
  10. I'm starting a new hockey skate development crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo: https://igg.me/at/Rover-Skates http://www.roverhockey.com/ Lets see if we can turn this ship around and shift the industry in the direction of developing skates that actually increase participation. Boris @RoverHockey
  11. This is getting better, The fact that no one understands how patents are developed is understandable to me, this is not the right forum for this discussion; unless you spend enough time on the subject you would not be able grasp the full picture. Filling for patents is costly to begin with, but not because of the filling cost or attorney fees for “Prior Art searches” it’s costly in the ideology that if you don’t spend enough money in hiring the right person with specific skill set to optimize your conceptual design to it’s fullest potential, and actually test it, everything that you worked for, the time, the money you invested in both development, prototyping and IP filling will be wasted because your competitor with an existing structure of R&D will quickly capitalize on your mistake. So to get to the point of having a solid functional prototype and a solid patent requires a lot of money in the first place. It’s the chicken or the egg as I pointed out in my intro. I’ve spend months looking for companies, interacting with these companies on what are they good at and their specific skills, what are they not good at, figuring out who has too broad of a discipline to handle the task and they cater to too many industries, who has too narrow of a discipline on a certain subject matter and they solve problems that are too narrow of a discipline, interacting with people with specific skill set and how would they apply it my conceptual design and how would they solve my specific problems, based on my understanding of the full history of skate designs in the past 20 years and my direction on telling them this line is patented we should avoid that, this line or curve we can use and we can also improve on that as well. As I go back to the QuikHodler weak design and weak patent vs Edge Holder where they quickly capitalized on it. For a anyone that wants to get into development of a skate at the very minimum that person must know the history of what was tried before, what worked, what didn’t work, understand it from both engineering point of view, Patent Filling point of view, cost of production point of view. That’s the bare minimum, and that’s why very few people can do it, it would take years to learn it, which is what I tried to do over the years and not just skates, orthotic industry, shoe industry and anything else that relates to biomechanics and can be applied to the subject matter. Go back to some of my other post on other subjects and focus on the technical aspect, which is what the skate development requires the most. The fact that you are dismissive of Mission Hockey and it’s history where one very smart person started a company and quickly grew it by himself to a point where Bauer had to buy it for 23 million dollars and later implement some of his patents into their newer designs all the way up to 1X inspiration, and the fact that he did not have the firepower of Bauer or full R&D division yet was able to be very competitive, shows your lack of understanding the subject matter from all angles and how old things can impact new things, and how I would take the same approach of not being fixated on having to narrow of a vision and dismiss older things and only focus on things that can be patented while it might not be as good as an old design feature. Regardless what you think of Russian, no one on this planet ever questioned Russians as being poor at engineering or lacking intelligence in advanced product design, development of smart ideas or being very poor at hockey which also is an important element if we are talking about hockey skate development and understanding the game from pure biomechanical point of view. The devil is the details, so I knew I had a big task of convincing people on this forum to go along with it. Details that someone wants to patent in the future are always kept extremely close to the vest, that’s why there confidentiality agreements when an inventor hires a company or an individual for product development. That’s why there are 30 million dollar lawsuits over ideas that were disclosed publicly before they were patented. I am also starting to understand why there is a big Fan club of VH developing here, because of lack of knowledge on the subject matter from all angles. As one successful Venture Capitalist once told me, Boris never cater your strategy towards smart people, always cater to the lowest common denominator, you’ll have a much greater chance of success, I did not listen to him, maybe it was a mistake. Maybe I should have been less honest from the start pretending how I like existing products and their design, and strategy, slowly developing trust on this forum as being part of the club, when in reality being a pretender. When I planted a big tree here I hoped that there will be less people picking the lowest hanging fruit and go for higher ones. With questions more aimed at understanding the dilemma, not my personal one but the dilemma of the industry and why its shrinking, trying to figure out what is in our control and what is out of our control, how to save it from shirking, and how to preserve our sport yet also not being too naïve about the approach of publishing designs on public forums yet figuring out what it would take to make the change. The goal is very simple to create a product that increases participation. Or to be more accurate to create what the Automatic Transmission did for the Auto industry, where people that had money to spend chose not to buy a car and drive because of their poor driving skill level. Only in our case we need a skate that anyone with poor biology and poor technique can still use it, enjoy it and not give up on the sport too early. This can only happen by changing the strategy of how skates are developed from ground up, how they are produced and whom are they catered too as far as target market. This does not mean a cheap skate or an expensive skate, a skate for NHL player or a skate for a beginner, it simply means a skate for a person with weak ankles, that person could fall into any category including NHL, where there are more then enough players that tape their tendon guards because of poor ankle strength and lack of efficient lateral support from the current mass produced skates, and that’s because of production methods that are used are very liming in changing that boot geometry. The production methods are aimed at saving cost and maximizing profits. That means they will only change their strategy if someone else will prove a different business model with at least 20% market share. People hate change, and will always hate change, because very few are brave enough or willing put themselves out there on the line like me, not being afraid to fail, not caring if you get criticized, not being afraid if you get laughed at. We fall into two types of categories, either we fail because we could not find enough people to relate to us, or we go right to the top, there is no in between in playing it safe. So haters will always be haters, because they are not brave enough to take gambles on their own, yet they don’t want others to succeed either because they don’t want to be left behind, it’s all about being part of the club and not being outside the club. So I’m trying to create a new club. Discussing specific skate details is a useless exercise at this point, discussion broader ideas or the business side of skate development; I’m more open to that idea in case there are questions or concerns or even curiosity on the subject matter. Boris P.S. My homeland is Canada, if we go by comfort level metrics.
  12. I apologize (sarcastic remark for 6th graders) I was walking down the hall and was looking for a teachers conference room, and accidentally walked into a room of 6 graders, without realizing I’m clearly in the wrong room. I did not realize that I have to get down to the level of 6 graders while I try to explain why I’m here, what my approach was before I got here, how business ideas and products are developed from ground up on a professional level and more importantly how closely guarded are these specific design ideas, concepts, business strategies and “Pitch Decks”. I only resorted to a public forum because the professional approach and the way people usually go about these things did not work and not because I wasn’t qualified or my plan was weak. So this was a last resort. But I’m not going to give up everything for nothing by actually telling you the full plan, no one on this planet will do that even a 6th grader. As far as asking Bauer guys to comment on VH, the current existing employees like Ivan LeBonte who’s been with Bauer for more then 20 years, Jean Corbeil, I highly doubt they are willing to get down to the level of 6th grader’s and comment on VH and the whole structure even to the people on this forum that know these people personally. If you ask former employees like Ken Covo, Chris Langevin, I also don’t see why they would get down to the level of 6th graders. But if you asked them privately where full confidentiality would be secured with enough trust behind it, they will tell you that I’m 100% correct about VH, and the fact that there are many people that are connected to the industry are not commenting on this topic publicly is a prime example they know I’m right, they also know they can’t get down to the same level as I was forced to get down too. I never had issue with Bauer Engineers they follow a plan from the top, if the plan is wrong they all fail, if the plan or direction of specific design strategy is correct they all succeed. Judging by how Bauer ended up, the plan was wrong because following a Nike strategy in hockey could never and would never work long term. My strategy on this forum is very calculated which is based on Donald Trump strategy, where on the surface everybody hated him and it looked like he’s not going anywhere, but on the inside things are different and there were enough people to believe him without him disclosing an actual plan. The difference is DP did not have an actual plan and did not prepare for 15 years for the outcome and doesn’t know what he’s doing, I did a bit more preparation so I don’t look like a fool if I ever got to a point where I would have a chance to prove myself. Go back and read my intro again but very carefully, and then go with your gut feeling, do I look like a Brooklynite guy who found a factory in china, simply changed a logo and was trying to sell a lipstick on a pig, or do I have more merit. So I hope JR will let me stay a for a bit more and not edit to much of my posts. I'm here not to eliminate the 6th graders, I'm here to see them graduate, this will only happen if few more teachers will step in and back me up. Cheers
  13. JR Please edit as much as you can: First of all I agree with some of your statements that it’s not a good strategy in bashing someone else’s product. I don’t like it when companies do it to each other either, but only under specific circumstances, in my situation I have no money and no existing company, that means the only way I can get anyone’s attention good or bad is to point out the flaws in the current industry, point out the flaws in the designs and strategy, then offer a solution on how my company will offer improvements and more importantly why am I qualified to accomplish this task. Once there is a company I strongly believe that action speak louder then words and the focus has to shift in proving that theory. That’s why I wrote a long introduction, because I already anticipated a lot of the questions that would come up if I simply said “ Hello, I’d like to start a hockey skate company”, so it’s easier not to drag some of the answers over 25 pages. The only reason I went after True is because there is a big fan club of VH here, so it’s cater to the masses approach, and the reason there is a fan club because Bauer and CCM are not doing their job properly which created that fan club. In reality True’s skate division does not concern me at all both short term and long term. Bauer and CCM on the other hand concerns me very much, in Bauer’s case I’m worried on both fronts, they can take an expired patented design and quickly copy it, and they can also take an existing patented design and also copy it while walking the fine line of Patent Infringement, the engineers are as smart as anyone so if you give them direction they’ll execute better then anyone. In CCM case they also have a structure in place to copy anything that is not patented. That’s why I’m steering clear in directing my public discussions on specific engineering problems and solutions. What we all can agree on is without significant funds no one will ever get in to the High-end skate category to stay long enough. So you are not investing in just a guy who desperately wants to get into the skate manufacturing business, you are investing in an idea that there is still an opening for someone to get into a very closed industry and try to impact it’s direction a little bit. So if I fall on my sword, at least it will leave a blue print for the next guy on what to do and what not to do. The number of people on this planet that can design and develop skates can be counted on one hand, so there is less and less people that will be left after me in an already very shrunk industry. This is based on my own 6 month research of going back 20 plus years into reading patents on skates looking at every single inventor that worked for big and small companies, trying to figure out who’s smart who just a tag a long name on the patent, what is their skill set and experience? Then looking at a broader picture of inventors and patents, whom else can I put on this list with specific skill set and apply to hockey skate development and what is their skill set. I did this because I knew if I ever get to the finish line of raising capital the margin for error on execution will be very small, further more when you are pitching a project to a wealthy billionaire or a Venture Capitals that has seen his share of “wantrepreneur” you better have all your shit in order as far as what is the market size, what market share will you grab, how will you penetrate the market with what type of specific designs and business strategies, at what cost, at what timeline, what do you expect from your competitors and who will you hire to overcome all these issues. Not a single person I contacted ever question or raised any concerns about my presentation, quite the opposite, they were impressed by the amount of research and preparation. But hockey business is as risky as an Airline business and all passed on it because my risk assessment was so precise and accurate they simply would prefer other far more attracting ventures. Which brings me to the task at hand, if I could find about 10,000 – 20,000 people (World Wide) that are willing to commit to about 3 years of buying a single pair per year at $500 USD, regardless if anyone else copies my ideas or not, this is where the risks assessment will go down to a single digit number, and we’ll grab enough high end skate market share. The goal is not to eliminate Bauer or CCM from the picture, I don’t think it would be even possible at this stage of the game, the goal is to go back to having 4 companies that own 25% of the market, because even if there was a perfect skate design out there that no one can protect with a patent, we still need to release enough varieties on different combination of width, volume, offset where one company will never be able to cover so many needs even with three different lines. So if I mange to get that many people and raise enough capital, I don’t have to rush or cut corners and get into an immediate rat race where risk assessment becomes very high. Cheers.
  14. Ok, lets put a side all personal issues and only focus on the two most important things: 1) Would you like to see another company enter the high-end skate market? 2) Do you feel I could be that person regardless if you agree with me on any other issue, if you like or don’t like my tone or not, it’s a simple question of skate design and engineering. Steve Jobs was a major prick and hated by many people, but he developed great products. Timing is everything, right now the window is still open for someone to get in and stay in if they know what they are doing on both short term and long term. The trend of shrinking skate companies is also moving in the same direction in Asia. A lot of factories that can produce skates are being bought out by larger corporations or they are diversifying into other categories and reducing their expertise, tooling, molds that relate to skate development and manufacturing. Existing Bauer and CCM factories are also being protected where they don’t really want to deal with anyone else. Right now there are still a few factories left with enough expertise on skate development, manufacturing, tooling, materials…where another company can get in, secure long term partnership and stay in business. If these remaining factories will not find a that type of company to stay in business, they’ll start shirking their operations, tooling, capabilities… That means the only factories that will be left are the ones that produce recreational skates, so even if you have 20 million bucks to spend and partner up with a company that never developed high end skates with enough expertise on R&D, by the time you teach them how to it, and invest in additional machinery, while also trying to release a product and compete with existing “Well Oiled Machines”, the chances of success are very slim, so once this window closes, the choice will be limited for a very long time. Cheers
  15. Perhaps you right, lets call it a boutique, except it was a boutique when it was one owner company, now it’s kind of in no man’s land, which is a boutique ideology with mass scaling approach which is the opposite of boutique and personal customization. IPv6 My credibility has nothing to do with anything, talk to NHL EQs about the quality control of VH skates, talk to NHL players that ditched the skate, talk to experienced people that understand skate manufacturing, understand engineering, and ask their point of view on the design and overall strategy. Then come back here and make an argument where you can back up your point of view. The same way as I did.
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