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Designed to be used at home, the Sparx Skate Sharpener gives hockey players an automated way to sharpen at the professional level
Designed to be used at home, the Sparx Skate Sharpener gives hockey players an automated way to sharpen at the professional level
365 backers pledged $176,420 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$176,420

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The Sparx Skate Sharpener is the first true in-home skate sharpening solution for hockey players. Comparable to a desktop printer in size and appearance, this automated piece of precision equipment empowers individuals to produce professional quality edges with the push of a button.

Through creativity and inventive thinking, the Sparx team has totally reinvented the process of sharpening skates. Over two years of contemplating, calculating, designing, and building has led to this innovative design that is easy to use and produces a perfect edge every time.

Operating the Sparx Sharpener

The Sparx Skate Sharpener has been designed with ease of use in mind. To sharpen a skate using Sparx, the user performs 3 easy steps:

Safe & Clean

Sparx was built with the consumer in mind. As hockey players and parents we knew that Sparx needed to be clean and safe. We wanted the owners of Sparx to be equally comfortable using Sparx in their their kitchen or laundry room as they would be in their garage or basement.

The Sparx patent-pending Slot Guards prevent accidental access to any moving parts inside the sharpener. The Sparx sharpener also has sensors which ensure that all access points remain closed-off during operation.

In The News

Here are a few of the places we've been seen around the internet
Here are a few of the places we've been seen around the internet

Click the HowToHockey.com logo above to see an in depth video review of the Sparx Sharpener!

User Feedback

The Sparx Sharpener has been tested by over 200 skaters including youth, collegiate, Olympian, and NHL level players. Some of the most elite and particular skaters in the world have tried Sparx and have testified to its accuracy and precision.

Validation from professional hockey players and instructors shows that even the most elite skaters in the world feel that Sparx produces an accurate sharpening.  The motivation for building Sparx was however to bring this level of performance and quality in sharpening to families allowing them to control their sharpening schedule at home.  Because of this goal, we also brought the Sparx sharpener to the youth and High School levels to get customer feedback.

We began at home. In October 2014 Sparx was used to sharpen the skates of 35 high level youth hockey players prior to a power skating and skills clinic.

Here are just a few the comments we received from our youth evaluators:

A recent trip to Stillwater, MN gave us the opportunity to show Sparx to their Varsity and JV high school teams. Again, the feedback was resoundingly positive.

Components of the Sparx Skate Sharpener

The Sparx Skate Sharpener is a state-of-the-art, automated skate sharpener that delivers a consistent, precision sharpening. Sparx achieves its quality and repeatability through several innovative design features.

The Grinding Ring

At the heart of the Sparx Skate Sharpener is a 40mm (approximately 1.5 inch) diameter grinding wheel which we call the Sparx Grinding Ring. The Grinding Ring is the component inside the machine that shapes the Skate’s blade into a concave profile so that the skater can glide easily across the ice while also being able to stop and make turns. Grinding rings are specified by the shape of their convex profile and will be available from Sparx Hockey in 1/16" radius increments from 3/8” ROH (Radius of Hollow) to 1 ½” ROH. Each Sparx Grinding Ring will sharpen, on average, between 30 and 50 pairs of skates before the Grinding Ring needs to be replaced. Additional grinding profiles, such as flat bottom versions, are currently being developed by Sparx Hockey

Mechanics

The sharpener’s mechanics are anchored by the skate clamp. Providing a consistent and even edge during sharpening requires that the grinding tool is centered on the skate blade and that each skate is consistently located directly over the tool. One of the greatest challenges in skate sharpening is keeping that perfect alignment even when skate blades vary in thickness. Most existing skate sharpening machines require difficult and time consuming adjustments when moving from one type of skate to another (e.g. player to goalie or even sometimes player to player). The Sparx Skate Sharpener has a patent pending skate clamp design that eliminates this issue by centering the skate in the same location every time. The Sparx sharpener will always deliver a precision sharpening on the skate blade, regardless of skate type or blade thickness. Also critical to the mechanics of the sharpener is the Carriage. The Carriage is the component inside of Sparx Sharpener that moves the Grinding Ring across the skate blade. The Carriage is also responsible for applying consistent pressure between the Grinding Ring and the skate blade throughout the sharpening process. A consistent translation speed, Grinding Ring RPM, and interface pressure insures that whatever profile (a.k.a. rocker) might be present on a blade is preserved from the first sharpening to the hundredth and beyond. It also insures a silky smooth finish that increases speed by eliminating the drag resulting from a less than perfect finish.

Electronics

Control of the sharpener is handled by custom electronics developed specifically for the Sparx Sharpener. The internal printed circuit board contains a microprocessor that continuously controls and monitors the sharpening operation. A simplified user interface allows Sparx to be one-button easy. The sharpener defaults to three cycles (six Grinding Ring passes over the blade) and the user can optionally add cycles to remove more significant damage to the skate blade. The microprocessor also monitors a set of safety switches.

Maintenance

Alignment System

Perhaps the most innovative aspect of the Sparx Sharpener design is the patent-pending alignment system.  Alignment of the Sparx Sharpener is typically performed once when the machine is first set up and then checked over time to insure that the system hasn’t drifted.  Unlike existing skate sharpening machines, Sparx doesn’t require a skate to be sharpened to confirm and adjust the alignment.  There is also no need to realign the machine when swapping out Grinding Rings or sharpening skates with different blade thicknesses.  It has been our experience that Sparx will maintain perfect alignment for hundreds of sharpenings. Customers, be it home owners or pro skate sharpeners, will enjoy the “set it and forget it” nature of the Sparx Sharpening System. Shown below is a graphical representation of the Sparx Alignment process.

 HEPA Filtration System

The Sparx Sharpener is equipped with an integrated dust handling system. Any dust created during the sharpening process is deposited into the removable dust tray or captured in a HEPA filter in the rear of the unit. Replacement filters will be available for order on the Sparx website.

Specifications

The Team

 Apparel Rewards

 Timeline

Risks and challenges

We've been working diligently to ensure a high quality and timely delivery of the first production run of the Sparx Skate Sharpener. As with any innovative product, we might experience unexpected challenges as we head into full production. We have taken careful measures to minimize the potential for any unanticipated problems.

Contract Manufacturer
The chosen Contract Manufacturer (CM) can make or break a project timeline. Luckily for us, we have chosen to work with a CM that our team members have over 5 years of experience working with. Our CM has a world renowned reputation for producing high quality consumer products.

Component Supply
Any international supply chain can be unpredictable. To help avoid any delays due to the lack of available parts, we have already begun pre-ordering components so we have the parts on hand ahead of the time when they are needed for assembly.

Scaling
We have planned for rapid growth and have a solid plan in place to respond to above-plan demand for the Sparx Skate Sharpener. Our Contract Manufacturer has a history of meeting the demands of some of the most successful and popular consumer products in history.

Shipping from Suppliers
Unanticipated delays in shipping parts or materials can occur. While we have taken proactive measures to prevent manufacturing delays due to shipping challenges, there are some things we cannot control. To mitigate these risks we will be partnering with professional Freight Forwarders and Customs Brokers to ensure the product is properly set up to facilitate clearance and expedite importing.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    THE LADY BYNG REWARD
    For sportsmanlike conduct in supporting Sparx Hockey we'll list your name on our website's wall of thanks. We'll also keep you updated on all things Sparx Hockey related.

    Your support at this level means you have contributed to the development of the biggest innovation in ice hockey since the Zamboni.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    THE SPARX T
    A stylish Sparx branded T-shirt. With this Reward you will also have your name added to our website's Wall of Thanks and we'll keep you updated on all things Sparx Hockey related.

    *FREE Shipping

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    17 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    REPLACEMENT GRINDING RING
    Replacement Grinding Ring for Sparx Skate Sharpener. Select from 20 different radius of hollow (ROH) profiles. Each Ring will sharpen 35 to 50 pairs of skates on average.

    Recommended Grinding Ring is 5/8" for most players. We will contact you to confirm your desired Grinding Ring prior to shipping your Sparx Sharpener.

    *FREE Shipping to Continental USA

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    SPARX HAT TRICK
    A wicked cool Sparx baseball hat + Sparx T + Your name will be added to our website's Wall of Thanks and we'll keep you updated on all things Sparx Hockey related.

    *FREE Shipping

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    11 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $79 or more About $79

    SPARX FLEECE
    Celly in an awesome Sparx Fleece!

    *FREE Shipping to Continental USA

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    12 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $199 or more About $199

    SPARX TRAVEL CASE
    A ruggedized travel case to protect your investment. High-quality, impact resistant, polypropylene exterior.

    (Retail value $249)

    *Shipping additional & paid separately. Due to the size of the carton for this item, we will contact you prior to shipment to collect exact freight cost based on your location and desired shipping method.

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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $499 or more About $499

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL - SPARX SKATE SHARPENER

    Included in this reward level:
    - Sparx Sharpener
    - Grinding Ring*
    - Alignment Tool
    (Retail value $599)

    *Recommended Grinding Ring is 5/8" for most players. We will contact you to confirm your desired Grinding Ring prior to shipping your Sparx Sharpener.

    **Shipping $25 to continental USA, Shipping additional & paid separately for International Orders. We will contact you prior to shipment to collect exact freight cost based on your location and desired shipping method.

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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $549 or more About $549

    LATE EARLY BIRD SPECIAL - SPARX SKATE SHARPENER

    Included in this reward level:
    - Sparx Sharpener
    - Grinding Ring*
    - Alignment Tool
    (Retail value $599)

    *Recommended Grinding Ring is 5/8" for most players. We will contact you to confirm your desired Grinding Ring prior to shipping your Sparx Sharpener.

    **Shipping $25 to continental USA, Shipping additional & paid separately for International Orders. We will contact you prior to shipment to collect exact freight cost based on your location and desired shipping method.

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $599 or more About $599

    SPARX SKATE SHARPENER

    Included in this reward level:
    - Sparx Sharpener
    - Grinding Ring*
    - Alignment Tool
    (Retail value $599)

    *Recommended Grinding Ring is 5/8" for most players. We will contact you to confirm your desired Grinding Ring prior to shipping your Sparx Sharpener.

    **Shipping $25 to continental USA, Shipping additional & paid separately for International Orders. We will contact you prior to shipment to collect exact freight cost based on your location and desired shipping method.

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    Limited 115 backers
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    Pledge $699 or more About $699

    SPARX HALL OF FAME EDITION
    One of the first 25 production Sparx Sharpeners. A true collectors item.

    Included in this reward level:
    - Sparx Sharpener, Serial Number 1 - 25
    - Grinding Ring*
    - Alignment Tool
    (Retail value $599)

    *Recommended Grinding Ring is 5/8" for most players. We will contact you to confirm your desired Grinding Ring prior to shipping your Sparx Sharpener.

    **Shipping $25 to continental USA, Shipping additional & paid separately for International Orders. We will contact you prior to shipment to collect exact freight cost based on your location and desired shipping method.

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,700 or more About $2,700

    SPARX CEO SIGNATURE REWARD*

    Founder and CEO of Sparx Hockey will travel to your home town to hand-deliver your Reward (FREE SHIPPING).

    In addition, we'll rent ice at your local rink for a Sparx demo (and maybe some pickup hockey). This reward level also includes the Sparx Fleece and "Hat Trick" Rewards. Invite all your friends to join us at the rink!

    *All effort will be made to schedule trip as soon as your Sparx Sharpener is available. We will obviously need to coordinate yours, ours, and the rink's schedule. Timing of the trip is subject to these constraints.

    Included in this reward level:
    - Sparx Sharpener
    - Grinding Ring**
    - Alignment Tool
    (Retail value $599)

    **Recommended Grinding Ring is 5/8" for most players. We will contact you to confirm your desired Grinding Ring prior to shipping your Sparx Sharpener.

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Funding period

- (45 days)