BalancePlus Curling Technology
BalancePlus® has patented a totally new design for the slider sole used on curling shoes. This new design relates to the creation of one or more recesses in the slider or sole. The recesses (generally circular) allow a more balanced delivery and increase the distance of the slide.
Conventionally, the sole of a curling shoe slider is a flat, smooth plate. A slider that extends across the full surface of the sole will tend to become laterally convex due to the pressure exerted by the ball of the foot, and the upward force exerted by the lacing of the shoe. Because of this lateral curving of the sole, the curler tends to slide only on the central portion of the slider. This situation gives rise to lateral instability (wobble), resulting in an unbalanced or a less than stable feeling during the delivery.
In recent years, curlers have been striving to slide farther before releasing the rock. It is known that an increase in the length of a slide may be achieved in three ways:
1/ increase the force with which one pushes from the hack.
2/ increase the thickness of the slider material.
3/ a combination of one and two.
When one increases the force from the hack, the chance of a smooth balanced delivery decreases. The use of a thicker slider results in a reduction of slider flexibility.
By creating a reduced thickness under the portion of the foot that bears the greatest pressure (usually the ball of the foot) BalancePlus® improves balance and slider flexibility. The recess will not allow the portion of the sole under the ball of the foot to come in contact with the ice surface, even when the maximum pressure is exerted. This hole eliminates the convex shape of the slider by redistributing the force imparted by the ball of the foot to points other than those located on the centre line running from the front to the back (i.e. toe to heel) of the slider sole. Because material is removed when this recess is created, the remaining material in the recessed area is very thin, therefore, the slider flexibility is increased.
There is less resistance during the slide due to reduced surface area contact, therefore, a longer sliding distance can be achieved with the same driving force. The same shot can be made with less effort. Even less resistance may be obtained by installing a second depression under the heel. This enables more speed to be obtained using the same effort without increasing slider thickness and losing slider flexibility.
The round hole creates a surface which contracts the ice similar to the running surface of a curling stone. The use of a round hole eliminates drift problems which are caused by other shapes of cut-outs or pieces added to curling shoes. Non-circular shapes must be custom designed for each individual curler, after assessing the sliding foot position during the delivery.
Our technology is being enjoyed by curlers at all levels of ability and age. We are confident that our advancements were an important factor in the winning of:
53 of 62 Olympic Gold Medals
World Championships in 1997,1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
We have also seen improvement at all levels and a reduction in knee and back pain experienced when using our products. So, give BalancePlus® a try, we guarantee you will like it.
TECHNOLOGY ON THE ICE: NOT JUST FOR ELITE CURLERS