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  "Why can't a skateguard be more like a shoe?"

This is the story of how the
kootsu® was invented.

The process of how the kootsu® skateguard started one day when I was attending (at the time) my 7-year-old daughter's skate lesson at our local skating rink. It was September 2008, and the skating season had just begun. As with most parents, when my daughter's lesson was over, I greeted her at the side of the rink and proceeded to install the 1-piece skateguard on her skates since she could not install it herself. We walked to the benches where we gathered her gear, and removed her skates and exchanged them for her shoes. As we were walking to the exit of the building on the smooth polished floor, I saw another child running towards us with her 1-piece skateguards installed on her skates. I remember thinking at the time "I hope she doesn't slip", and at the same time her mother yelled "Don't run - walk or you will slip!" The little girl did in fact slip, but was quickly caught by her mother before any injuries occurred. As we exited the building, I then noticed that some of the skaters wore their skateguards from home, walking in them like they were shoes. It was at that moment it came to me. Why can't a skateguard be more like a shoe?

If the skateguard had a treaded sole like a shoe, then the little girl who was racing down the smooth floor may not have slipped? If the guard was more like a shoe, maybe we could "slip-it" onto the skateblade so even a child could install it?
On the drive home I could not think of anything else. That night, I quickly drew up some sketches and showed them to my wife to see if my idea sounded crazy. To my astonishment, she actually liked the idea and "got it" right away. The next day, I presented the idea to my brother (who is the co-owner of our design / engineering / mfg firm) and to my surprise, he understood the value of the product right away. From that day, we began to develop the kootsu® skateguard.

Aki Hirano, co-developer of the kootsu® skateguard

Original concept sketch of kootsu®


Scarborough, Ontario, Canada,