Enterprise Europe Network

Novel quick release foot strap for water sports

Country of origin:
External Id: 
Last update
Expiration date


Partner keyword: 
Sports and Leisure
Other medical/health related (not elsewhere classified)
Other leisure and recreational products and services
Other research and experimental development on natural sciences and engineering
Other human health activities


A Singapore hospital has developed an innovative ‘Quick-release foot strap'. This technology helps prevent serious injuries to the ankle, knee and feet of sailors during competitive sailing and rowing sporting events. The hospital is interested in establishing license agreements or research cooperation agreements with SMEs of all sizes or healthcare research institutions.



Innovations in boat design, general increase in athleticism and entertainment value of Olympics and other international water sports have resulted in high-speed boating and sailing. While this increases the competitiveness and makes the sport exciting to watch, high speed sailing can make the bot unstable, resulting in collisions, capsizing and pose danger to the sailors. One imminent danger to the sailors is the stress put on the joints of the lower extremities – the knees, ankles and feet.

Currently, sailors use rigid foot straps that tether the sailors firmly to the boat. However, when the boat and the sailors are subjected to enormous deceleration forces that are common at high speeds, the rigid braces cause the sailors to be brutally flung forward. This can naturally cause significant injuries to the sailors' feet. A novel product, Quick-release foot strap, has been developed by the Singapore hospital to address the specific challenges elaborated above.

Unlike traditional rigid foot straps, this new method harnesses the same forces, and passes them on in a controlled manner. Thus, when the sailors are subjected to rapid deceleration, the strap is powered by the sailors' momentum, and enables the slow and gentle release of the feet from the strap. This foot strap when used in competitive high performance boats, specifically the 49er and 49er FX, significantly reduces injuries in sailors. This foot strap can be introduced in varied types of boats (e.g. the Olympic catamaran class, the Nacra 17) and boards (e.g. kitesurfing boards, windsurfing boards, wakeboarding boards).

The hospital is interested in establishing license agreements and research cooperation agreements with partner from the healthcare industry, such as an SME of any size to commercialise the technology, or with a research institute for further R&D.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
Compared to commercially available rigid type foot straps that firmly hold the sailors' feet to the boat, the new Quick-release foot strap releases the sailors from the strap when it is subjected to a certain degree of torque. Hence, when the boat is subjected to rapid deceleration forces during collisions or high-speed races, the sailors are not subjected to grievous injuries to their lower extremity joints.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Prototype available for demonstration

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The Singapore hospital seeks to work with SMEs of all sizes or research/healthcare institutions in a licensing or research cooperation agreement partnership. The partner sought could be a healthcare institution or healthcare technologies provider. - Under a licensing agreement: The partner can license the technology to offer as a product or service to their customers. 0- Under a research cooperation agreement: The partner can undertake joint development with the Singapore hospital to offer to introduce new products to targeted markets/segments.