It is said necessity is the mother of invention. For two hockey dads, the reality of that need hit them square in the face – or rather, the nose – every time they stepped into their kid’s locker room.
“Once you get into the dressing room, that’s where the business is done,” Peter Konidas said. “It’s bad before the game but after the game, when they come off the ice, it’s really bad. Even when we’re getting undressed and the team next to us is getting dressed, it’s crazy.”
The rank scent of hockey gear year was too much to bear. Konidas, who is also a hockey coach, decided to take action. He started working with his friend Demetrius Bazos to develop a product that would battle the stench.
“About a year and a half ago we just said, ‘We’ve got to do something about this because it was just really bad… we’ve got to do something that’s environmentally friendly, that really works and that everyone can use.'”
GearHalo ActivPODs were created, tested and are in the process of getting a patent.
The pods – which resemble little bean bags – contain silver thread and natural oils. Konidas says they kill odour-causing bacteria, reduce moisture and leave sports gear smelling fresh.
“It works on contact,” Konidas explained. “So, for example, in a skate, we’d put the pods – one in each of the skates – and… it takes the moisture out of the skate itself and on contact it kills the bacteria that’s built up inside the skate.”
Watch below: A couple of Edmonton dads think they may have found the solution to stinky hockey bags. Kent Morrison sits down with Demetrius Bazos, the co-founder of GearHalo ActivPODS, to learn more.
While the pods were necessitated by hockey stank, they can be used for all sports.
“My daughter dances and just last week we were driving home from dance and she was in the front seat and had her shoes there and the smell from the shoes was so bad,” Konidas said. “We had to pull over and I said, ‘Honey, we’ve got to put these in the back of the truck. This is terrible.’
“When we got home, I put a pod in each of the shoes and by the morning [the smell] was all gone. My daughter said, ‘Dad, this really works.'”
Konidas and Bazos want to encourage kids to get into sports, not put off by the foul smells.
READ MORE: 5 things you need to know about bacteria
“I don’t think going out to sports you should be thinking, ‘This place smells really bad because of all the gear.’ I think it’s a really positive thing for our kids… so it needs to be healthier too.”
The next step for GearHalo is production and the creators are hoping members of the community will be interested in backing the project. They’ve started an IndieGogo account with a goal of $20,000.
“It’s not just about the funding aspect; it’s about the large crowdfunding community,” Konidas said. “When you don’t have places to sell it at the beginning, it’s not just about making the product and getting the patents; it’s about getting it out there and people knowing about it.”