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Skate Mod

ROVER HOCKEY SKATES PROJECT

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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

Edited by Skate Mod

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Howdy,

37 minutes ago, shooter27 said:

How are these things sized? Similar to traditional skates or more like sneakers/dress shoes?

Somewhere it said it was the traditional 1.5 sizes under shoe size.

I'm not going to be a backer, but some of that certainly sounds interesting.  Good luck getting off the ground.

I don't expect you're willing to share, but it would be interesting to see how you're making the holder flex under the ball of the foot as regards how the steel is mounted.

 

Mark

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22 minutes ago, marka said:

Howdy,

Somewhere it said it was the traditional 1.5 sizes under shoe size.

I'm not going to be a backer, but some of that certainly sounds interesting.  Good luck getting off the ground.

I don't expect you're willing to share, but it would be interesting to see how you're making the holder flex under the ball of the foot as regards how the steel is mounted.

 

Mark

Can't remember the name. There is a blade holder that is three main  pieces.  Part connected to the boot, a blad carrier, the blade.  Then there are smaller internal parts.  The carrier floats on a spring.  Maybe this is what they are going to use .

maybe this will spark your memory the company making the holder started with a in line hockey hockey holder.

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1 hour ago, Playmakersedge said:

Can't remember the name. There is a blade holder that is three main  pieces.  Part connected to the boot, a blad carrier, the blade.  Then there are smaller internal parts.  The carrier floats on a spring.  Maybe this is what they are going to use .

maybe this will spark your memory the company making the holder started with a in line hockey hockey holder.

I think your thinking of Mars blades.

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I'm going to be critical as it raises some questions. 

Firstly it says it makes skate construction more complex, but why? 

Secondly there seems to be only one fit. I know from personal experience that people's feet vary greatly. My stock Bauer Supreme's fit beautifully, but several friends get foot pain. My previous Vapor's did not fit. 

The text is incredibly long winded, it really takes a lot of effort to read, and I can't see what these offer me over similarly priced mainstream skates. There is a lot of risk. What if the fit is not good, what if they do not last etc. And they are expensive. 

The Marsblade offer was tempting because it was supported by some respected coaches who had tried prototypes. I see nothing like that for your product. 

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It looks like the blade and holder do something similar to the mars blades.  But this blade appears to float in the groove.  The zigzag part they are using as the spring action.  I'm speculating that within that zigzag is the only place the blade is fixed to the holder  . They are using the groove in the holder for lateral strength .   As they are rendered they Will work for a very short time. They are asking too much of the holder laterally a little movement will expand the groove.  The zigzag, for that too be the point of movement and the fixture point will result in the plastics getting over cycled then softening and becoming week 

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That comes down to longevity. A product needs to be tested by putting through accelerated aging e.g. an automated device to flex the blade and holder through the equivalent of its intended lifetime. 

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I took the time to read through everything on the crowdfunding page. 

Just a friendly constructive tip. It would be wise to have a marketing type person proof read your stuff. There were some grammatical errors and some stuff that could have explained better.

I think you have a good idea. I’m just not sure there is a market. Also, I think you may be over complicating the manufacturing process. From what I can tell, given the options and variations available to players, the entire boot will need to be handmade from scratch. This will lead to long lead times and require meticulous quality control. Not to mention the inventory nightmare you are opening yourself up to by stocking all those different materials.

The holder, I’d scrap that and make it players choice. Bauer’s tuuk is essentially the industry standard. It’s stood the test of time, people trust it. CCM has made decent strides, but are still way behind. 

Personally, I’d do one or the other not both. Maybe partner with Marsblade and use their holder. You’ve got 15 months until delivery. That’s not much time considering you need to qualify every part and every process then test it. 

Best of luck!

Edited by stick9
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Some interesting ideas, however, to me, there are a lot of questions regarding feasibility, longevity, manufacturability, etc. These appear to quite challenging to manufacture in scale. As a bit of advice, I would recommend providing more information on why you are confident that you will actually be able to produce these.

I do completely agree with the analysis of the problem of balancing lateral stiffness with forward flexion.

Good luck!

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I think the boot takes a lot after Graf 704/705. Nothing wrong with that, those were awesome in heel support and lock department as the intent if those is. I like the multipiece design to create that tight 3d wrap which can be done with composite molding yes, but I am think the intent here is also using different materials for different areas to further address "stiff where in needs to be stiff, but flexible where it can be flexible" thing. Asymmetric tongue design to take care of twisting is cool. So far the above and the fit profile is very similar to Graf PeakSpeed line ( plus the metatarsal guard). The holder is where you lost me. That toebox flex, and zig-zag will work as described up until you add the blade. Once the blade is in, it will block the zig-zag just like a splint immobilizes a fractured bone in a limb. This in turn will defeat the toecap flex. Plus this will put the blade under stress. I do not see here anything resembling Marsblade as Marsblade put the articulation above the blade plane, not across it. This here calls for a blade with a hinge point (which is probably not a good plan). Perhaps you can go with a completely flexible blade, something like a chain of interconnected blade-links. I am not sure with the obsession over making the front of the skate articulating. It is beneficial while walking to the rink, but once on the ice... Easier to squat? I get Marsblade, they are to give you on-demand forward pitch, which is very helpful in skating. Flexible toes... I just do not see it.

On the bigger picture, I do not see the market niche here. Looks like you are straight competing with existing establishment. You are basically offering a Graf boot which is a niche market, but Graf is still in that niche, and they do make custom skates as well, and their skates are as strong on the abuse as the best of them. The zig-zag holder is definitely a niche product, but you need to spend more time on design. More importantly, prototype that, make sure the holder works. Even then you'd have to find a case why this is better than Marsblade. That is peanuts and hardly worth investing $1M in it. If you want something real, you have to think pass the fixing small problems the skates had since they used to be made out of bones, you need to think of a new concept, new way of skating on ice. Perhaps you should dabble in freestyle skating and see where that will take you. You get their interest, you get your 💰. That is where you see all skate gimmicks that were ever devised. They are the ones that should be more open to new ideas and concepts and are likely to find any advantage in the product no matter how small and insignificant it might be.

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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

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1 hour ago, Kgbeast said:

What's "Graf bump"?

I had Bauer bumps (Haglunds deformities); switched to Graf 705's and they went down by more than 50%! Bauer was the wrong skate for me, but still, I find Graf's heels to fit me nicely. That and their ankle lock padding allows enough heel lift (I'd guess it's 1-2mm max?) without heel slip...if the model's heel fits the user's ok.

Edited by flip12

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23 minutes ago, flip12 said:

I had Bauer bumps (Haglunds deformities); switched to Graf 705's and they went down by more than 50%! Bauer was the wrong skate for me, but still, I find Graf's heels to fit me nicely. That and their ankle lock padding allows enough heel lift (I'd guess it's 1-2mm max?) without heel slip...if the model's heel fits the user's ok.

I know about Bauer bumps, just curious what is the "Graf bump". From what you are saying it is more of a "Graf bump not"

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15 hours ago, Kgbeast said:

I know about Bauer bumps, just curious what is the "Graf bump". From what you are saying it is more of a "Graf bump not"

I think it's the same thing. It's one of those antiquated terms that people use and you immediately know they are out of touch. You'll get haglunds or similar problems in any skates don't fit properly and cause rubbing. I have Ultra Wheels Bumps from buying oversized inline skates and playing every day after school. 

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In our shop I have noticed over the last few years that elite travel players replace their top end skate less and less. The skates last longer so why replace them. Good luck getting that end of the market(which is the guts of your product)to jump in the deep end on unknown product. 

 

Puckskin, Brooklynite.....who else am I missing. 

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3 hours ago, DarkStar50 said:

In our shop I have noticed over the last few years that elite travel players replace their top end skate less and less. The skates last longer so why replace them. Good luck getting that end of the market(which is the guts of your product)to jump in the deep end on unknown product. 

 

Puckskin, Brooklynite.....who else am I missing. 

Kynetyk, Combat(? but I think they're still around)

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