Toronto man just came up with invention to fix every Canadian kid's worst nightmare

Canadian kids across the country have recurring nightmares of struggling hunched over a pair of skates trying to tie their laces with hands that are somehow frozen and sweaty at the same time.

But now, an invention from a 29-year-old Toronto man is here to save the day.

TwistLace was invented by Dillon Cappell after playing competitive hockey growing up but developing degenerative back problems later on.

"As I got older, I was tired of straining my back as I bent down to tie my skates, since it takes about roughly five minutes give or take to do so," Cappell tells blogTO.

He was inspired by turn dial boot-tightening systems he had seen in golf, cycling, skiing and snowboarding footwear, and figured he could apply it to hockey skates, filing a patent in March 2020. The patent is now pending in Canada and the United States.

His next step was to reach out to student engineers to help design the project, finally connecting with Alessandro Cunsolo, who runs his own 3D printing business out of his apartment. Cunsolo and Cappell have spent the past two years creating prototypes and testing.

"I felt it was important to work with local, like-minded people and it couldn't have worked out better," says Cappell.

He's even gotten family involved, working with his older brother who owns a box printing company to produce the packaging.

The turn dial system they've developed is detachable and can be applied to any existing hockey skate, and doesn't majorly change the look of skates. The product takes the arduous task of skate-tying from minutes down to just 10 seconds.

TwistLace launched on Jan. 31.

While many people buying the product have been parents who want to get rid of the headache of tying skates for kids and also empower kids to tie skates themselves, it appeals to other people too, and Cappell has been getting orders from around the world.

"Jason, who is an arm amputee, messaged me asking if it's possible to tighten his skates with one hand with my system, and I was proud to say yes," says Cappell.

"I met with Jason and he was so happy with how the product performed in terms of ease, comfortability and speed. Selfishly, this made me feel great as I was able to help someone out in need since he couldn't tie them up himself. He was very inspiring to me."

The TwistLace costs $39.99 and can be ordered via Instagram, or by contacting or 647-402-7716.

Lead photo by

Jackman Chiu

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