Jacob Robinson, Brigham Young University
Figure skating is a competitive sport that requires athletes to practice up to 5 days a week year round performing 50 to 100 jumps per day. This results in high, repetitive impact forces on the skater’s body which may lead to overuse injuries. While the negative effects of figure skating are well documented, the cause of these injuries is still unclear because the complexity of artistic figure skating limits current instrumentation from accurately measuring impact forces. This project has sought to fill this void by developing a force measurement system that will allow the figure skater to perform their jumps without any hindrance while accurately measuring the magnitude of the impact forces in the vertical and horizontal directions. Using strain gauges attached to the stanchions of the ice skate combined with a data collection system that attaches to the bottom of the boot, we have developed a prototype that accurately measures the forces produced in the ice skate. This will lead to a fully developed ice skate measurement system which will be used by researchers to investigate the impact forces generated in figure skating jumps and landings.