Saskatoon invention helping hockey players improve their skating — off the ice |

A invention by a Saskatoon trainer is giving an edge to hockey players near and far.

Kelly Riou has been training athletes for the last 20 years, since before he was a fully qualified kinesiologist.

He’s never been interested in business, but his creativity led to an invention known as DriBlades — a green blade that clips onto hockey skates allowing athletes to do dry-land training in skates.

He came up with DriBlades while working with a drone engineer and retired quarterback.

“Every movement, as you can tell, it’s not easier, it’s just a (level of) accuracy for people that want to dive into their weaknesses,” Riou said.

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DriBlades are giving an edge to some of the best skaters in the world. Stanley Cup champion and Las Vegas Golden Knight Chandler Stephenson has been training in DriBlades since before they were even available to the public.

“Whether it’s a shoulder injury or skating kinetics, my job is to make sure you’re not hurt and then get you good at skating,” Riou said.

Riou said his philosophy has always been about moving properly then adding weights.

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“We were always trying to figure out different ways to implement what it was like to skate and make it game-like,” Stephenson said. “Ever since we kind of came up with it, you can get really down to your stride and attention to detail.”

But it’s not just professionals taking advantage of this Saskatoon-made technology.

“Since using DriBlades, I feel way more comfortable and stronger on my edges on my stride,” Calgary Dinos hockey player Sydney Mercier said.

DriBlades launched in mid-July along with a weighted slider. There are more products in the works that are all designed to put players a stride ahead.

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