New York Hockey Journal - August 2016 - 30
NYHJ SKATE GUIDE
analytics come to skate fitting
By Tim Rappleye
n its seemingly relentless ambition to put a stranglehold on the
hockey equipment marketplace, Bauer has wheeled out a hat
trick of skate options for the 2016-17 season, using familiar skate
names to accommodate specific foot-types.
The Vapor, nearly ubiquitous in high-end youth hockey circles,
is now designated specifically for players with low insteps and low
metatarsal bones. The Supreme, Bauer's iconic brand for over three
generations, is now designated to cater to players with a medium foot
profile, and individuals needing a deep heel pocket with high insteps
need to shop for a Nexus.
Bauer's brain trust is trying to wipe out the old notion of shopping
different skate brands for different sized feet: Graf for the low wide
flat foot, CCM for high and narrow and so on. But the next manifestation from Bauer's vigorous research and development team will not be
in the company's skate, but a revolutionary fitting system.
"We're currently investing in a new fitting platform and system,
that will be hopefully fully functional in the next 12 months," said
senior manager John Davidson from Bauer's headquarters in Exeter,
N.H. "A lot of that will take in a lot of analytics and diagnostics of the
foot profile to have a better match within the skate profile. Again,
that's still a good 12 months out."
Davidson is careful not to reveal the systems in which Bauer intends to implement all that tech, but he made a point of spilling that
Bauer is currently training fitting specialists to implement the science
- field reps who will revolutionize the process of fitting and buying
skates. "If you go into a hockey retail location today, the tools that
are available to provide the right fit is very primitive," said Davidson.
"There's a greater need for technology to provide those analytics in
order for the player to perform better."
Sending out a small army of fitting specialists to implement
21st-century tech is the latest example of Bauer's penchant for big
risk/big reward movements. A year ago, Bauer unveiled personalized
Own the Moment stores, with more to follow. This year it has rolled
out skates in three size models, which according to Bauer's R&D labs,
will accommodate 95 percent of all hockey feet. And next year, Bauer
brings hockey's favorite buzzword to skate fitting - analytics -
with a team to help execute.
The only potential threat to Bauer now is overreach.
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30 NEw YORK HOCKEY JOURNAL August 2016
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of New York Hockey Journal - August 2016
NEHJ August 2016
Our Starting Lineup
Around the Region
Bruins Beat: Ryan Donato
NHL New England
NHL New England Digital Directory
BONUS: Comm Ave Charity Classic gallery
NEHJ Skate Guide: Brand Loyalty
NEHJ Skate Guide: Sharpening 101
NEHJ Skate Guide: Buyer's Guide
Prep/High School Guide
NEHJ TV EPISODES
The Goalie Guru
The Hockey Mom
Summer Camp Directory
Hangin' Out With …
New York Hockey Journal - August 2016
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