We were first introduced to the Marsblade more than a year ago. The concept was extremely attractive for us living in the United Kingdom where ice time is rare and expensive. It was fantastic to learn that Marsblade was based in Europe which meant getting our hands on a set would be far easier than our usual situations having to ship across the Atlantic.
Marsblade is an off-ice training tool that allows the player to simulate the movements and balance points of skating on ice.
Off ice training has always been a big passion of mine and when I played I always search for a better way to train during the summer. Traditional inlines was never an option for me since I didn’t like the feel of them. One summer I started doing a lot of balance training and instantly noticed a huge improvement on my on ice performance. To make the training even better I realized that the imbalance should be placed in an inline chassis. This way I could challenge the stabilizing muscles in the exact right movement patterns.
The most obvious benefit is that the technology gives a more ice like feel but there are many more. It is designed to make it a bit harder than skating on ice to challenge the stabilizing muscles and force the skater to get deeper in the skating position and thereby improving their skating technique. At first, many players find it a bit hard, which they are supposed to since it’s only by challenging yourself you’ll improve. However, only after a while skating on them they have found the proper balance and improved their technique. With the traditional inlines you have a long stable contact surface making you able to “cheat”, and put your balance point wherever you like, without loosing your balance. This gives the skater bad habits, one of them is that players get used to lean forward a lot. When you then start ice skating you feel like you have very poor balance and that you fall forward. With Marsblade your weaknesses is exposed. As soon as you cheat and not use a proper skating technique you will notice this. That way your body gets constant feedback on when you do right and when you do wrong. So after skating on Marsblade you have learned to bend you knees and push off from the centre of the foot for a powerful stride. Instead of having a hard time going back to the ice after a summer of inline skating, many think that it’s easier to start ice skating again and that they have improved their skating stride and efficiency. Another positive effect is that players have experienced less groin problems than they usually have when they go back onto the ice.
How does Marsblade work?
The patented FLOW MOTION TECHNOLOGY is designed to enable a natural and smooth movement pattern, thereby improving performance and optimizing comfort while skating. The technology is based on a split chassis with a rounded upper chassis rocking against a flat bottom one. When the weight shifts forward or backward, the chassis follows the movement, giving the skater the best of both worlds: a longer stride and optimum maneuverability. A combination of these two key features enables higher speed, quicker turns and a smoother ride. The rocking motion can be adjusted and customized according to one’s skating level or preference.
MARSBLADE is the first training tool that truly offers an ice-like feel without actually skating on ice. The unique rocking motion simulates the rounded shape of the ice hockey blade, allowing skaters to use the same agile movement pattern as in ice skating. By activating the same muscle groups used for ice skating, MARSBLADE helps skaters prepare for the upcoming season, prevent injuries and become overall better ice hockey players.
How does Marsblade feel?
We’ve seen previous generations of rocking chassis. This did make me questions what would make Marsblade any different.
Being an ice hockey player and only and occasionally using inline put me a in great position to form an honest opinion on how they performed. The reason I rarely use in lines is purely because of how distinctively different they feel from ice. As soon as a put on the Marsblade I noticed the difference, it takes a while to adjust to the movement of the chassis. This leaves you feeling extremely off balance for the first few moments you skate in them. After about 30 to 40 minutes of use the familiarity began to set in. My striding, turning and transition no longer felt so alien. There is no avoiding it, because of the differences between the Marsblade chassis and a traditional chassis, there will be some adjusting time. Once that is over, Marsblade feel fantastic!
No product is without its negatives. Marsblade however only has a few.
1. You’ll need to have Marsblade attached to your skates by a Pro Shop or somebody with extensive experience in riveting skates. This isn’t something you can quickly do from home by yourself. We hope to see Marsblade create a simple method for players that live in countries without hockey stores.
2. This is a full conversation from ice blades to inline, so you’ll need a spare pair of skates to use for this.
3. It would be great to see a greater range of wheels from Marsblade for different surfaces. Keeping in mind you can simply use other branded wheels.
Pick up a pair
Thinking about buying some. Visit Marsblade.com and use coupon code “hockeytutorial” for 20% off and FREE shipping for a limited time. Don’t miss out!