Wireless instrumented klapskates for long-track speed skating

E. van der Kruk*, O. den Braver, Arend L. Schwab, Frans C T van der Helm, H. E J Veeger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the current project, we aim to provide speed skaters with real-time feedback on how to improve their skating performance within an individual stroke. The elite skaters and their coaches wish for a system that determines the mechanical power per stroke. The push-off force of the skater is a crucial variable in this power determination. In this study, we present the construction and calibration of a pair of wireless instrumented klapskates that can continuously and synchronously measure this push-off force in both the lateral direction and normal direction of the skate and the centre of pressure of these forces. The skate consists of a newly designed rigid bridge (0.6 kg), embedding two three-dimensional force sensors (Kistler 9602, Kistler Group, Winterthur, Switzerland), which fits between most individual skate shoes and Maple skate blades. The instrumented klapskates were calibrated on a tensile testing machine, where they proved to be unaffected to temperature conditions and accurate up to an RMS of 42 N (SEM = 1 N) in normal and up to an RMS of 27 N (SEM = 1 N) in lateral direction. Furthermore, the centre of pressure of these forces on the blade was determined up to a mean error of 10.1 mm (SD = 6.9 mm). On-ice measurements showed the possibility of recording with both skates simultaneously and synchronously, straights as well as curves. The option to send data wirelessly and real-time to other devices makes it possible to eventually provide skaters and coaches with visual real-time feedback during practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-281
Number of pages9
JournalSports Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Calibration
  • Force measurements
  • Instrumentation design
  • Real-time feedback
  • Speed skating


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