PROJECT: YOUTH ICE
This ten-day sponsored project with the Adidas Future’s Team was a study into the next generation of protective gear in youth ice hockey. Looking directly at the biodegradable and defensive properties of TPU and PU, we created a new system of padding that slims down the previously bulky padding system, reduces the barrier to entry for many hesitant players, and allows for a timely breakdown of material as they hit a new growing range.
CREATING A NEW
PADDING SYSTEM FOR THE FUTURE OF ICE HOCKEY
Ice hockey is speeding up and attracting leaner & lighter players, but it's still as dangerous as ever. This high impact sport will need to adapt its bulky padding to favor quicker, lighter, and more agile players. Our goal was to encourage the growth of the player, both physically and skillfully, while keeping in mind the fun of youth sports.
DESIGNED WITH THE FUTURE IN MIND:
- For both boys & girls
- From ages 5 to 13
- For Forward & Defense
- Designed for growth spurts
For many lifelong players, loyalty and preference in padding start at a young age. Partly due to superstition and comfort, a player might remain in the same padding from early high school through college and even into the NHL.
My partner and I explored ways to create different levels of padding through various processes. We then came back to the drawing board to discuss how to change the way we think about protecting our athlete.
DID I HURT YOU YET?
My partner and I took time to learn the limits of the material we were provided with. During our exploration, we learned that TPU can be molded into a hard shell and padded with PU between layers. This discovery allowed us to explore different levels of protection.
Taking inspiration from nature's armor - exoskeletons, my partner and I developed several possible padding formations to best protect our athletes. We identified key areas to cover and maximized flexibility.
This suit has three levels of padding for key areas on the body. Targeted ridging on the shoulder will disperse sheer force and lessen the impact of blows.
We boiled down the manufacturing of the padding system into five simple processes.
1. Laser cutting will allow more pieces to be cut
2. Sonic welding will eliminate the need for sewing
3. Heat press will bond TPU layers
4. Vacuum form creates different levels of padding
5.Glue will adhere to the padding to the suit
Fuller Padding Coverage
More Range of Mobility
Back Zipper Opening
3 Levels of Padding
Base Layer Grows with Athlete (For 3 Years until TPU begins to Degrade)
Neck Branding Will Show Under Jersey
Material is taken from Adidas surplus fabric. PU & TPU are biodegradable and will breakdown after 3-5 years. TPU has special properties that create durable hard shells that can be supported with PU.
Color is inspired by children's comic books. These bright colors are worn under their uniforms and serve as their super-suit and a reminder of the power they hold.