When our founder came up with the extraordinary idea for a lateral ski trainer and started the Skier’s Edge Company in 1987, he never imagined that it would sweep through the world of fitness and sports, revolutionizing the way that athletes train. As more and more people began to use the machine, we continued to discover the massive importance of lateral training for many sports, and understand the lack of training machines on the market that would provide this sort of conditioning. Time and again, the Skier’s Edge has proved itself to be an exceptional training tool for athletes of all skill levels and disciplines. So you may have been hearing a lot lately about how the Skier’s Edge is for hockey players. “What? How can that be?“
Well, despite what the name might imply, the Skier’s Edge being used to train for hockey is not a new concept! It’s actually a story that goes back decades. Fueled by the successes of players and coaches, this machine has brought a whole new world of cross-training possibilities for skaters and ice hockey players. So where did it all begin?
Where it all began:
The first big success of the Skier’s Edge in the hockey world happened back in the machine’s youth, in the mid-1990’s, when the head coach of the Boston Bruins acquired a machine and began using it to train his players with agility drills. He would toss them tennis balls as they used the machine hands-free, helping to encourage balance, speed, and coordination.
While the Skier’s Edge wouldn’t be widely recognized as a trainer in the hockey world for many years, there were still a select few elite players who were recognizing its value and reaping the benefits. In 2006, the owner of our company had the honor of traveling to Dallas and personally delivering a Skier’s Edge machine to Claude Lemieux and his NHL team for training.
Hockey comes to the forefront
As the company grew and the engineering of the Skier’s Edge was refined, new employees came into the company who had a background in Hockey, and immediately recognized the value the machine could provide. There are very few hockey trainers on the market today, besides balance boards and stick trainers… nothing that simulates the combination of aerobic effort, agility, and strength that is required to perform on the ice. The Skier’s Edge ticked all those boxes!
Chris, a longtime employee of the company who has helped with the evolution of the machine over the years said: “Ever since I started here (almost 10 years ago) I thought the Skier’s Edge could be used as a hockey trainer. I grew up playing hockey and recognized the Skier’s Edge worked all of the muscles used in a hockey stride and used the same motion . . . I wished I had known about the Skier’s Edge and had one to train on when I was growing up playing hockey.”
Our previous generation of machines, the QS5 and the T5, began to be popular among NHL players thanks in large part to Bill Knowles. With his extensive resume of training professional athletes from many disciplines, Knowles’ endorsement of the Skier’s Edge for cross-training and injury rehab has started a buzz of interest in the world of sports.
The Skier’s Edge used by NHL players
Starting around 2017, the word began to spread, and many NHL players from various teams began incorporating the Skier’s Edge machine into their training regimes, including Tyler Myers. This was the beginning of a widespread interest in and awareness of the benefits of the Skier’s Edge for hockey.
In 2019, the Skier’s Edge released our newest machine design. The QS7 and T7 are our top-of-the-line trainers, completely re-engineered and re-imagined to be more versatile, powerful and easy to use. Several of the upgraded features made the new machine a more effective hockey trainer, including our RPM adjustable platform, which allows for a wide stance that more accurately simulates the motions of skating on the ice. At the recommendation of Bill Knowles, as well as word-of-mouth from hockey players who had purchased previous versions of the Skier’s Edge, we saw a surge of interest from NHL teams in the new machines.
Like no other hockey trainer on the market!
The non-impact, lateral workout is like nothing else on the hockey market today. It is perfect for rehab of injuries in a sport that is so accident-prone. The Skier’s Edge was proving itself more and more to be an effective trainer for the major components of a good hockey game. It strengthens the unique muscle groups used in the lateral motion of skating, as well as simulating the cardiovascular intensity required to perform on the ice. It improves balance and core strength. It can be used for agility drills, as well as stick handling, technique work, and high-intensity interval training.
In December of 2019, after reports of great success from NHL players and teams with the new QS7 and T7 machines, we decided to make an official debut of the Skier’s Edge into the hockey world, to help players of all skill levels take their hockey training to the next level! Instagram posts shared by Jason Demers and the NHL sparked a lot of interest from amateur players in the US and Canada, and we decided to help bring this awesome training tool to the general public!
Your own personal hockey trainer
We began advertising in USA Hockey Magazine, online, and collaborating with owners to help improve the Skier’s Edge as a hockey trainer. In 2020, we began offering hockey-specific packages on our website! These package bundles are designed to save you money and maximize your training, including all the accessories that are best suited to help you improve your hockey game, no matter your skill level!
In the few short months since our official launch into the hockey market, we’ve received great interest and feedback from families and individuals who have purchased the Skier’s Edge for hockey training. Despite what the name might imply, this lateral fitness trainer has grown into so much more than just a ski simulator! We’re currently continuing to refine and improve the Skier’s Edge to become a more effective hockey-specific trainer, and provide all the benefits of an ice rink, right in your home, 365 days a year! The story of the Skier’s Edge has been going on for over 30 years.
But this is just the beginning…