Research story: Professor Kelly Lockwood – Graf Canada:
Graf Canada oversees the design and manufacturing of hockey equipment with their immediate focus on the sale of hockey skate boots. Graf Canada seeks to optimize their current boot design by integrating science-based performance components and, at the same time, reducing the potential for injury.
Professor Lockwood’s mission: to develop a skate boot with improved design and function. It’s a project employed with the help of dozens of athlete subjects, as well as NHL veterans Claude Lemieux and Troy Crowder.
The company partnered with Brock University on a project investigating the effect of boot design on stride biomechanics, as it relates to game performance, in a cohort of competitive hockey players. Research subjects were representative of the hockey community spanning the abilities of youth minor league to professional National Hockey League (NHL) players. The goal of the project was to provide proof of concept or a performance metric with regard to the effect of forward flexion on skating mechanics. This was achieved in a two step process; (i) an attachment device was developed for the purpose of the proof of concept research validating the effect of forward flexion, and (ii) a boot prototype was developed by integrating the concept of forward flexion into the boot design.
Lockwood’s research was profiled by the Discovery Channel. Three days of footage was collected at Lockwood’s lab at Brock, where her team analyzes skating mechanics on a skating treadmill with 3D motion analysis, and on the ice at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto.
Kelly Lockwood, centre, skates with Claude Lemieux and Troy Crowder at Toronto's MasterCard Centre.
Project funded by FedDev Ontario Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative