Firm to launch home version

After four years of research and development, Sport Specific International of Calgary is poised to launch a home version of its skating simulator, SkateMaster Home Model.SkateMaster is a scaled-down version of The Skating Machine, a lateral motion and aerobic exercise machine...

After four years of research and development, Sport Specific International of Calgary is poised to launch a home version of its skating simulator, SkateMaster Home Model.

SkateMaster is a scaled-down version of The Skating Machine, a lateral motion and aerobic exercise machine that Sport Specific developed for therapeutic use in the rehabilitation of sports injuries.

Sports Specific has also developed a third model of the machine – an upgraded version of the Home Model – for placement in exercise gyms.

Earlier this month, Sport Specific signed a comprehensive agreement with Weider Health and Fitness, awarding the California-based firm worldwide rights to make, market and distribute the SkateMaster Home Model to household consumers.

Bicycles

In 1992, North Americans spent in the neighborhood of $1.4 billion on aerobic exercise machines.

The main aerobic exercise machines on the market are stationary bicycles, stair climbers, treadmills and cross-country skiing simulators.

Gerry Kendall, president of Sport Specific, says he expects SkateMaster will fare well in the marketplace since it is the only aerobic exercise machine that works the lower lateral muscles.

All of the other exercise machines available to consumers involve body movements that are either horizontal or vertical.

Kendall adds that since most sports require their participants to engage in extensive lateral movement, lateral exercise machines would appear to have considerable sales potential.

Under the terms of the agreement with Weider, SkateMaster will be sold via direct response tv spots and conventional wholesale distribution to retailers.

Kendall says the deal with Weider, which is a $700-million company with interests in publishing, fitness equipment, nutritional foods and supplements, means SkateMaster will receive ‘first-class distribution and marketing.’

The Skating Machine was developed by Ted Green, coach of the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League.

While Sport Specific is hoping SkateMaster, which retails for $499, will benefit from being the first lateral exercise machine on the market, it also believes the fact that the device simulates skating will be a huge plus.

Kendall says that in the last four years, buoyed by the growing popularity of in-line skating, the number of Americans who skate has risen from one million to 10 million.

It is expected more women than men will buy the product, since lateral exercise of the lower body firms the muscles in the thighs, hips and buttocks – parts of the body, Kendall says, women are keenly interested in exercising for cosmetic reasons.

Direct-response tv advertising for SkateMaster begins mid-November.