Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble

Skate Mod

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Feedback


Everything posted by Skate Mod

  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.
  16. Since my arrival to this forum I created some controversy, I will share some of my bio so things are more clear. I’m not a rep, never worked in the hockey industry in my life, also not a pro player, I could keep up with pros in a shinny game (well 5 years a go before a spine injury) now I just skate once a month for testing purposes. But if you are from Toronto area it doesn’t say much, we have thousands that can keep up with the pros in a non-contact shinny game. The advantage is in testing, I don’t have to guess if it’s my lack of ability or it’s the design of a skate. That’s why they always start testing skates on pro players first, to take out the guesswork. In the past 15 years as I skated 3-5 times per week I conducted many experiments and reverse engineered skates to a point where I know most of the materials that are used today and were used previously, who makes them, most production methods and all intellectual property (IP) that was ever filled by all major skate brands and even smaller guys with crazy skate ideas. Reading patents is not that hard, but the key is understanding it from an engineering point of view and being able to tell what is smart and logical IP and skate design, what is dumb and useless IP filing where its lateral improvement just to be different and not better. Thousands of people file patents each day in all kinds of categories based on what they think would work without actual tests so a lot of it based on pure drawings, which is almost useless unless it’s something where computer simulation on the design can be 100% accurate. In the past two years I’ve put together two projects: (Insert an NHL Team name) Lab, this was a proposal for one individual NHL team to invest in their own hockey skate development, based on Formula 1 principle by breaking the “Even field of competition” rule, where money is no object, mass production is not an issue, lets develop the most advanced hockey skate ever made in order to win the Stanley Cup. I did a lot of preparation and research for the project by interacting with people that have much higher skill set then your typical industrial designers that work in our industry, so solving issues related to hockey skate design would have been an easier task for them since they work in industries with far more complex problems and get paid much higher salaries as well and most importantly there was no issue with mass production to deal with so we can really go crazy on complex designs that would be impossible or too expensive to produce on mass scale. It was aimed at an NHL owner who’s not a big fan of the Salary Cap and wanted to win by any means necessary. I knew it was a long shot, since there are many issues with this type of approach. I’m sure all of you can come up with your own list why it would never work. I had solutions to every problem that would come up for short-term success only; long term there would be too many issues where it could spill into the same thing as Formula 1 where the battle among teams on how much each team can spend on innovation still continues. This type of project would require a Jerry Jones or Robert Craft type of owner that walks the fine line of competitive advantage and is willing to spend any amount to win. We don’t have that type of owner in NHL, so all the teams I talked to passed on the project. A couple of owners were in, but their GM’s were not in, GM’s are in survival mode all the time, so it’s understandable. The second project I put together is a start up of a hockey skate company via traditional manufacturing all made in Asia, very similar approach to Mission Hockey, so no focus on full blown custom division and full R&D division (way too costly as a start up), but a lot of emphasis on Intellectual Property filling, not just skates, but other categories as well, because without smart IP no one can survive in our industry for more then 3-4 years as far as high end category goes and significant market share. Mission had very smart IP, they lacked full time engineering on weight optimization and full time material resourcing, because of lack of a full-blown R&D division and time management. So their skates always had good design implementation but were never fully optimized to its max potential yet they still made a big dent in the industry. My skate would be made with similar strategy, which is to fill a loophole that is present today, where the high-end model is engineered for NHL guys yet at consumer level it’s too stiff of a skate for most people to use and the overall ideology on design, production methods and direction even for lower end models is still based on designs and strategy that works for NHL players. It’s always better to release a skate that more consumers can use since this is where most of the revenue comes in, yet it has to be decent enough to be used in NHL as well. The only way to grab both markets with one single design is it would have to break down much faster at the NHL level. Something along the lines of old 8090 model on the stiffness factor, where it broke down very quick at a pro level, there were still enough NHL players using it and it was soft enough for consumers to enjoy it for one season. My skate would retail around $500 but would be built from components that are usually present on high end models, as far as outsole, midsole, liner, tongue… We all know without NHL players using it no one will buy anything, so this dilemma is always there for manufacturers as far as where to allocate resources and who’s more important. Mission had a good balance of not catering too much to NHL players yet still had enough players using their skates while they also grabbed a big market share at a consumer level, that’s only because of smart skate designs and overall approach of what is worth pursuing from both time management and resource allocation and what is not worth it. So I had two design strategies based on how much a potential investor is willing to put up in the beginning: 1) Radical concept ideas tried during first stages of prototyping, if they worked well then it would require more complex production method, more money for production molds, more IP filling, but also competing with Bauer and CCM right away with a better skate yet at a better price point because I can afford to make less then a large corporation with huge overhead and big payrolls. 2) Since some ideas were radical, if during prototyping it did not work 100% to my satisfaction, or too costly to produce, then switch gears and release a safer model, with more traditional design ideas using some smart expired skate IPs that everybody forgot about with some tweaks and improvements on these ideas and still compete with Bauer and CCM but very quietly, not too much advertising, no approach to NHL players, just staying in the back round based on word of mouth strategy and slowly trying to sell 20,000 pairs per year, specially in Europe where it’s far less noticeable, until I generate enough money to go back to Radical design ideas, since most of the stumbling blocks with radical designs are usually in mass production and cost of mass production and not the actual prototypes. Creating a better skate as a prototype even though is very challenging, is doable. Mass production is where the handcuffs get really tight and a lot of creative ideas die, because of cost of tooling or complexity of molds or long production periods per each skate. So a large corporation with large payroll that needs high returns can’t innovate the same way as a smaller private company can with one owner unless they are happy with small returns or 100% confident that they can overcharge and increase their market size. If not which is the case with hockey that means they might drop a lot of complex design and ideas in favor of more simplified and cheaper production methods geared towards extremely large production volumes. Where as I can live with higher cost of molds, slower production methods, smaller volumes as long as the skate is a superior design and has some protection via IP filling just to be 10% better. I pitched that project to everybody from the hockey industry and outside as well, also knew it was a long shot since not that many people would invest 4-5 million dollars in a plan on a piece of paper. This start up project also got no traction, there were interested parties but only if I had prototypes and IP filling which could be in the range of $300,000 - $500,000 to get to that point if we’re going for more radical ideas right from the start. It’s safe to say if I had a functional prototype and IP, finding investors would not be an issue at all. This is why no one can penetrate the high end skate market, wealthy enough people don’t know about skate engineering to understand it or put together the right team in place and focus on specific designs, so they usually buy existing companies without any clue what to do next. Where as poor guys like me don’t have the money to get to a stage where wealthy people would give it a much closer look. Fast-forward to today, no more people left to pitch my project too. I’m currently doing preparation for a crowd-funding project, where the goal would be “Pay It Forward” type approach, so people would invest in a skate (just on paper no actual prototype) knowing that the first version they’ll get for $500 might not be that good unless I raise 5 million dollars without disclosing actual specific skate designs publicly which is unlikely. If I could not find investors privately with a full plan that explains all the engineering parts and current flaws in the industry, I’m not convinced a more slimmed down public version would accomplish better results. So the most likely scenario I can hope for is probably finding 1000 people and raising $500,000, that means I would have to use some existing Asian factory molds and tooling based of their cheaper models, that means a lot less improvements can be done on the first model, so the skate they’ll get will not be worth the $500 they would pay for it. But they’ll help push the company forward. They are practically investing in an idea of having another company enter the space so there is more verity for the next generation. And the charity aspect would have to continue after the end of the campaign as well convincing people to buy my skates for $500 so I can generate enough revenue for better versions and more complex designs. The overall goal is not just to built a successful skate company, but to shake up the skate industry upside down and focus their direction into skate designs that actually make us skate better and less focus on skates that are super light, are cheap and easy to mass produce but create so many issues where it even forced NHL players into wearing something like a hobby skate made by VH with zero engineering behind it. All of today’s mass produced skates are too simplified in design and production methods so we lost a lot of people because of that strategy. These people simply gave up on the sport too early either from cost, or lack of good boot design that works for people with poor ability to hold edges and learn quick enough to stick with it for long term. We need to make a skate for people with weak ankle strength that will never develop good ankle strength because of their biology, we don’t have that at the moment, so we’re loosing a lot of people. VH is kind of following that skate design model of very anatomical shape, but without any expertise on overall skate design, material property, geometry or mass production. It’s a hobby at best and will stay that way. Bauer or CCM won’t change their strategy unless someone takes at least 20% of retail market share from them, then they’ll try to buy them out first since it’s cheaper and less painful and no need to restructure the whole process of R&D and production methods which might be more costly then buying someone out. Crowdfunding business model is far more risky at being copied since I have to disclose enough information where people would believe that I could come up with something better without an actual prototype or too many details on specific design. It’s not how I wanted to go about things, since I know how fast Bauer can capitalize on “light bulb ideas”, case and point the QuikBlade Holder was copied and became an Edge holder because Rick (the inventor) did not optimize the design well enough and sat on one single mold size trying to find investors or skate manufacturers to buy it, so he was left in the dust very quickly. But at this stage of my life I’m a bit arrogant where even if I go publicly, which I’m already doing by posting on this forum, I think I can still produce a better skate then Bauer even with all of their R&D expertise, if only I had sufficient funds. And it’s not because I think I’m smarter the them, it’s because my approach is not based on pure 100% Intellectual Property or nothing else, it’s based on making the best possible skate, so that means combing old ideas that we simply can’t improve on, adding new ideas where we can improve, not simplifying things too much to save cost and not worrying about releasing skates that can only be patented 100% from all angles of the design, just enough IP to have only 10% advantage is more then enough to be successful at retail. If Scott Van Horne has gotten that far without any knowledge on hockey skate engineering or scaling production, I think I can go much further. So my goal in my crowd funding presentation would be to publicly expose a lot of flaws in current skate designs, expose flaws in production methods, their cost of production and every other flaw in their strategy on how and why we got to this point of a big drop in hockey participation from young people…. Some of these issues (not all) are purely from skate design and financial strategy build around specific skate design or to be more precise lack of understanding skate design at an executive level and flawed business strategy around these designs. Which is why both Bauer and CCM were sold in the past year and dropped their company value by at least half, and their value will drop by another half in the next 5 years. What they don’t realize is they are all in the same boat, if participation goes down because of their highly competitive nature to beat each other up, all of them will go down with the same ship. The biggest advantage we have today is in the past 20 years Bauer and Easton spend so much money and time in trying out ideas, material combos, designs going into many different directions without any real focus from the top…. they really did everybody a favor in narrowing down what works in the skate design and what doesn’t. So starting out today for a new comer like me is so much easier and cheaper then 20 years a go. I can simply go back to any skate past or present where I liked something about it from an engineering point of view or liked how certain material felt when you flex the boot, I can look at their IP to see what is covered what is not covered, what is expired what is too close and not worth copying, and simply start working on improvements right away without wasting millions in getting to a starting position and figuring out what thickness I should start with, where to get that material, what density I should start with. All these tiny details in figuring out millimeters and tens of millimeters could cost millions of dollars if the company has no knowledge on the engineering side. That’s why CCM sits and waits, then reverse engineers Bauer skates so no wasted cost on Prototyping too much. This works well for CCM only because there is no real third competitor on mass production scale, if there was one, they would be diluted very quickly since they have no real innovation strategy, their rise to fame is purely based on elimination of Easton and Mission from the market place, the same way as VH is getting any traction, it’s simply something different then Bauer. So CCM;s strategy is if Bauer makes a stiff skate, lets make a softer skate, they are simply following a strategy of lets be different rather then lets be better. So at this point anyone with 5 million bucks can come in and shove CCM a side by simply trying out old ideas with newer materials and small improvements, which is what they have been doing all this time. I hope now you understand my view of True/VH, because of my understanding of the skate industry from inside out from every angle. So taking them seriously would be a real disservice. Without a skate with production numbers of 50,000+ pairs per year at a consumer level since there is no real revenue in catering to pro players, it’s a hobby and will stay a hobby, and judging by the funky color schemes they are now offering just to keep a lid on a failed business model, is prime example where it’s going to end up, on Etsy. No one starts a skate company backwards by making a skate first, starting to produce it in small numbers then figuring out a long the way how to mass produce it without any compromises on the design, it has to be done at it’s earliest stages as early as you start to draw the design on paper and figuring out if this design is even worth prototyping or not. The irony is True has a decent marketing team, established dealer network, R&D location in USA (stick based) not sure what it actually looks like from an engineering point of view – could be a hobby shop. So they do have a lot of components in place, and enough resources where if a team of 2-3 guys was assembled specifically for skate development only, as long as there is proper long term vision and expertise on engineering part of the skate, they could give a serious run for the top spot or at least take over CCM’s share and compete with the big boys on long term basis via normal way of traditionally built skate via mass production. But given the lack of understanding of the industry from an engineering point of view and overall misguided direction on hockey in general they bought VH, and rumor has it tried to buy other brands before VH, so the goal was lets just get in, we’ll worry about long term strategy afterwards, which never works in a long run. Warrior is slowly learning this as well since now True is taking some of their market share. The only thing good that came out of VH is they slowly opened the door for consumers not to get fixated too much on the weight of the skate and it’s aesthetics which is a good strategy when the main goal is to focus on improving skate functionally without any compromises in design. But if no one else will hold that torch with at least 20% market share on long-term basis, the industry won’t shift in its direction. My plan was the same, put a side weight and aesthetics and focus on pure function and feel of the skate, so it works on both sides, extreme anatomical fit and function, and it works for someone that plays 5 times per week without long term complications. Only then worry about shaving weight and aesthetics but only if it doesn’t compromise on the functionally or the fit of the skate. Understating materials property, it’s impact on both skate design and human body over a long run is critical, which is what I tried to do in the past 15 years in learning and teaching my body to understand how one material feels vs. another material. A Hockey skate is as much about feel as about science, because we could have two different materials with very similar mechanical properties that would show similar results during testing, but once we make a skate out of it with different geometry, one would feel good and one would feel awkward, this is where no R&D or any advanced engineer can really offer any input. And this is why Bauer goes overboard with over engineering every two years, and then dials it back while loosing long-term participants at a consumer level along the way. A lot of high end skates from Bauer today still have some internal materials that were used 20 years a go, that’s because newer lighter stuff just doesn’t feel as good or won’t bond or wont mold properly under low temps, so the goal is always to push new stuff on people to see if they will adopt or not. Judging by the drop of participation we’re not adopting to newer, lighter and much stiffer materials as well as they projected and I’m not even talking about VH carbon fiber here, I’m talking about much softer materials present in High end models. As far as my skate mods, it’s half ass, I’m breaking the most important rule of skate engineering, which is reducing lateral strength in favor of more forward flex, it’s mostly aimed at 10-16 year olds that want a high end skate, but can’t flex it, since they are not 200lb it won’t break laterally as fast as a pro player would break it, so no pro player and no real focus on pro players either. There is only so much that can be done to an existing skate that is not engineered properly, so I’m squeezing as much as I can out of it, which is about 10 % - 15% improvement I welcome all criticism, including personal attacks :-) Cheers.
  17. Vet88, it all goes back to my original statement R&D they are pushing it because at a high level skates break down much faster then at a consumer level, so they over engineer on purpose to test how much adaption is there from pro players, if they go too far they dial it down in the next model. Without proper and intelligent R&D process you wont find that fine line where to push it. At this point comparing True's R&D to Bauer is comparing a 12 year old boxing against an adult heavy weight. Technology is never built for a superior athlete go back to manual transmission vs automatic, it's built to take an average athlete and move him or her to a much higher level. This is where smart R&D is critical.
  18. I apologize I did not realize that post count is the main deciding factor on level of expertise. And Yes I stand behind my statement 100% not only Scott, so is anyone one else from the speed skating industry has no clue about what works in hockey and what doesn’t. Because the speed skating industry is build on Hobby approach, Olympic athletes use guys that build skates in their small shops with almost zero R&D. There is no money in speed skating industry at a high level and there is no low level, so no one will invest millions of dollars in R&D without any returns, for this reason it’s a hobby approach with exception of Bont that started in the 70’s. Everybody else copied Bont and their ideas including Scott, so I repeat he has zero knowledge on skate engineering, skate development or R&D when it comes to hockey. Jeff if you want to get personal, you don’t know me, but I know you, you have zero credibility in my book because I saw you skate once and this told me everything I need to know about your level of expertise. To give proper advice you must be able to relate to the person you are giving advise too because hockey is as much about feel as science, so if you call yourself an expert with high post count, you must be at least at a decent skating level to test any technology that comes your way and formulate an intelligent opinion. If you sit in your office and formulate opinions based on this guy came in liked it and this guy came in didn’t like it, you are not an expert you are a “Poll Conductor”. For some reason you are still unable to put forward an engineering argument for True skate and why it is better. At the risk of very cheesy self promotion click on my profile then click on my webpage and read in the section of “ Skate Fit vs. Skate Function”. You will understand why things the way they are.
  19. Goalies do not skate, they need more anatomical boot then players because of different bio-mechanics. The number of players that try the skate does increase key word here is "Try" NHL players can afford to try anything, give them one or two years skating 5 days per week on rigid carbon fiber and then come back we'll see how many still skate without complications. NHL ice is softer then most rinks, take that into consideration when the biggest target market for hockey is 12-16 year old that don't skate on soft ice nor weigh 200+ lb. If you can prove to me from an engineering point of view how is True skate different from Kor, MLX, Mako and what makes it more unique or better then I'll listen.
  20. Parksey, 1S is the most upright boot on the market, but the heel to toe offset is the same on all Bauer skates, because they cut all of their boot patterns based on that holder offset. If True cut their pattern based on Tuuk Edge - most likely not anymore and had the same boot height, boot pitch and volume, it would feel the same, if not then it will mess up the angles on the boot pitch, in most cases more aggressive thus you’re on your toes, superfeet adds even more aggressiveness. If you have proper tools, you can cut a hole in the heel of your superfeet so you sit lower on your heel. First skate with a Bauer insole inside the VH and see how it feels. If VH upper is much deeper then 1S which does look deeper then you’re still on your toes because nothing is holding you in upright position, unless that upper eyelets are cut back to the same depth as 1S. Nothing can be done to it, once a pattern is cut you can’t stretch the boot anymore into a different pitch angle, if you add front lifts to be more upright you’ll change your heel to toe offset and it will screw things up even more. Same with the eyelets it would be difficult to shift the volume by ¼” and not rip apart that section. Flip12… you have a lot to learn on skate engineering and bio-mechanics before making ridiculous statements. Graf initially was engineered by a speed skater not a hockey player, with one goal in mind speed. Graf went out of business because of aggressive boot pitch, low cut boot, soft boot and lack of understanding what works in hockey, they dominated because at the time no one knew too much what works in hockey. Players are injured today because they are fixated on speed and nothing else with 13-foot profiles and flat spots; those that skate on smaller radius and no flat spot are less prone to injury.
  21. You will never find this combo in a retail version. The lower the flex point the more concentrated stress point, so more chance of breakage. Same with a blade, softer blade will crack fast, for this reason no one would release a stick that would bankrupt the company from warranty claims. At a pro level you'll need a true once-piece (not fused) to get a lower kick point. Custom order only probably Warrior is best company to ask for a batch of 6-12, and then you're looking at breaking each one within one or two weeks. Retail sticks are all "Ping" feel, we went from thick blades to thinner blades, since they can't compromise on wall thickness of a blade too much, foam core thickness was lowered. Without custom, your choice is to look for older pro stock blades on ebay and guess if they are soft or not, yet the kick point is not that low on a blade / shaft combo even tapered blade. Or start looking for a pro player that uses this combo, few years back when LA won their cups, they had lots of players use softer blades you can even hear it when they pass it, that's if you have a good sound system at home, it was mostly Easton stuff, who knows what they have now. So I'd start with LA guys from that roster.
  22. Last time I checked Kor, MLX, Mako are buried, I think there is a free spot reserved for VH in the same cemetery. Innovation and new fresh ideas is always a good thing, hockey is too advanced of an industry for hobby type approach.
  23. Without knowing what type of Bauer skates you use, holder type and if you tie up your laces all the way up or not. Few things to look at: You are now using a speed skating boot for hockey, so if you're not a 230lb with very thick legs and feet, you are fighting too much stiffness in all the wrong places. If the stiff boot forced you not to tie up your laces all the way up, no resistance at the top so nothing holding your foot in the upright position, that means your body weight is too much on your toes (ball of you feet), this puts more stress on your shins and it's very unnatural position so don't expect it to go away with more playing time. Lower cut boot, if True is lower cut then your Bauer - same thing not enough resistance at the top, too much weight on the front section of your foot. Arch, if the slope of the arch in the True skate is lower so less contact with your plantar surface, this effects blood flow and stretching effect on your plantar fascia, that means it effects all your other leg muscles including your Achilles heel all teh way to your back, neck.... If that arch is too high, same thing you can't push through it, the foot is not stretching properly, same issues will occur, there is a small threshold where it works perfectly all other situations it works against you regardless of the skate model you use, it's all about matching your plantar surface geometry to the skate midsole geometry.
  24. The biggest problem we have in our industry is the speed skating industry is our little brother that always wants to join our club. Speed skating industry is tiny in comparison to hockey as far as inventing a product and making enough money on it. So every year there is always a newer invention that is pushed on the hockey industry in trying to make a go of it where the focus is always on speed more speed more glide and more speed. Hockey is not about speed it never was and never will be, because we have a limited box size, speed kills in our industry, that’s why very few super fast guys have long and prosperous careers in NHL. Hockey is about agility, agility equals – longevity, we have sudden directional changes, that creates an inconsistent playing field, so any product that is aimed at increasing only one aspect of the game at the expense of the other would not be consistent enough over a long period of time. That is why speed skating industry and its inventions never worked in our industry. If we look at the tests they did, no one skates like that in real life in a straight line with perfect angles, all these “Fixture” tests are always in one direction so no turning, stopping or any agility testing is done at different angles, it would be impossible to create such a precise test. So this loophole is always explored, if we can’t disproof it that means it’s good for us. NHL and it’s EQM can afford to invest in custom sharpening equipment if they saw a significant advantage to this technology, in fact they don’t need to invest, they can afford to discard each blade after each period and never resort to any sharpening at all.
  • Create New...