Portable equipment for active measurements of push-off force and ice friction was developed. The equipment consists of a pair of skates with three measuring elements between the shoe and the skate blade to register force in both fore/aft and normal direction. A portable computer samples the friction force and normal force signals during one or more strokes, calculates the mean coefficient of ice friction, and stores the sampled data in memory. The push-off force and ice friction force were measured. The peak push-off forces reach values of up to 140% of body weight. The magnitude of the coefficient of ice friction varies, depending on the weather conditions and preparatory method, generally between 0.003 and 0.007 when skating the straightaway. During the skating of the curves the coefficient of ice friction is 35% higher, most likely due to the different skating technique in the curves.
H. Jobse, F. Cserep, and J.J. de Koning are with the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, v.d. Boechorststraat 9, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands. R. Schuurhof and A.W. Schreurs are with the Dept. of Mechanical Instrumentation, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 15, 1105 AZ Amsterdam.