We are a small company on a big mission:To enable all people to enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle by providing the highest quality and most innovative designs in assistive walking technology. One step at a time!
Company Overview...SideStix Ventures developed the first and only damper shock absorbentcrutches with attachable tips for a variety of terrains from neighbourhoodstreets to snow covered mountains. Researched, designed and tested “by usersfor users” for over seven years.The story of SideStix goes back to a tragic event in 1973 when a drunk driver hitSarah Doherty while riding her bicycle. Her leg was amputated at the accident.A promising young athlete, she continued to excel in sports through a localadaptive ski program which introduced her to adaptive equipment. Sarahbecame competent in the activities she valued by learning the art of adaptingequipment. In the early 80’s, while ski racing as a member of the US DisabledSki Team, Sarah’s interest in climbing developed and she started adaptingclimbing equipment to pursue this passion. This was the beginning of SideStix .SideStix Ventures was incorporated in 2009 and operates on the Sunshine Coastof British Columbia.SideStix Ventures promotes healthy, active, adventurous exploration of theworld around us, by providing joint protection and crutch tips to suit allconditions, from neighbourhood streets to snow covered mountains.
Our Founders... Sarah and Kerith ~ Gilman’s Point ~ 9:30am, January 11, 2009
Our Founders...Sarah Doherty ~ CEOSarah became the first woman amputee to climb Mt. Rainier without an artificiallimb. The following year using the same specialized climbing crutches, Sarah was thefirst amputee on crutches to climb Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in NorthAmerica.In 2003, after raising three children, Sarah returned to designing adaptive sportsequipment. Together with her partner, Kerith Perreur-Lloyd, an engineer sheinvented and patented “SideStix™”, the first ‘Sports Crutch’ with a damping shockabsorbing system, articulating & rotating feet and interchangeable tips for allterrains. In 2009, SideStix™ was put to the test on the highest mountain in Africa.Much like her signature product, Sarah was clearly “designed to go far”.Sarah is an Occupational Therapist for 30 years who recently left her job to focus fulltime on launching SideStix Ventures. For Sarah, increasing quality of life is a way oflife and giving crutch walkers a safe & enduring alternative to a device that hasn’tchanged since ‘Noah built the Ark’, is the fruition of a lifelong dream.
Our Founders...Kerith Perreur-Lloyd ~ Managing DirectorAn incredibly innovative entrepreneur, Kerith is known for his acute problem solvingskills in mechanical, structural and computer fields. An outdoor junkie who neverleaves his camera, computer or sense of humour at home. Born in Mexico and raisedin the U.K., Kerith spent his early childhood weekends converting a 300 year oldstone barn into a cottage in the Welsh mountains. Following high school, he tookMechanical & Production Engineering at Middlesex University. After a brief time in alarge production company Kerith realized that this was not his “optimalenvironment” and took to the road on a motorbike, touring Europe and Africa.Kerith spent three years as a project engineer in the Cayman Islands, then moved toVancouver, Canada to work for a structural engineering firm. In 1995 Kerith startedhis own engineering firm on the Sunshine Coast. In 2003 Kerith met Sarah and theybecame partners in life and business.Since 2004, Kerith has taken Sarah’s concepts, designed and engineered the SideStixmobility technology and created the manufacturing systems and facility. He plays acritical role in all aspects of the company...and makes a mean cup of coffee!
Core Values... SideStix Ventures is committed to: Quality in product and life Innovation in the design Sustainability in materials and business practices Inspiration in creating new choices for active, healthy living! Empowerment in driving design “by end users for end users”
How SideStix differs from the rest... SideStix crutches have unsurpassed quality and construction. They are the only crutches that have been designed, engineered, manufactured and tested under an extensive range of conditions. Materials have been selected based on their superior performance and reliability for a variety of extreme temperatures, activities and forces. SideStix crutches will support an individual up to 300 lbs. SideStix crutches offer: Joint Protection - Ergonomic and Biomechanically designed damper shock system that reflects the elasticity of tendon, ligaments and fluids between the joints; forearm angles, grip and tips that rotate and articulate like the ball and socket joint. Variety of choices – Attachments - that enhance the quality of daily life and increase participation in an extensive range of outdoor activities. Customization – Modular components - offer the user the ability to interchange different components and separate into a compact system for travelling.
Cutting Edge Products...SideStix are manufactured using high quality materials, including aircraft aluminum &carbon fibre. Our state of the art production facility uses computer controlled lathes &milling machines, to craft a product of the highest quality. Quality construction, limitedlifetime warranty & unparalleled benefits. SideStix come in four models: BoundlessPRO, Boundless, Discovery PRO and Discovery. Features include: •Custom built, to suit your weight & height. • Optional damper shock absorbing system which reflects the elasticity of the joints. •Ergonomic grip supports the dynamic weight- bearing areas of your hand. •The handle can accept a range of grips, including standard bicycle grips & crutch grips. •All crutches include standard Fetterman Tornado Tips • Choice of cuff styles. •Interchangeable tips are available to enable the user to access terrain that up till now has been difficult or impossible.
Cutting Edge Product... SideStix Snowshoes are 8” in diameter and are made from powder coated aircraft aluminum. The decking is PVC coated polyester mesh. The centre spindle includes a stainless steel spike for providing good grip on ice. SideStix Sandshoes are 4” in diameter and are made from powder coated aircraft aluminum. The decking is PVC coated polyester mesh. These tips are also excellent for very muddy, root covered trails, as the centre spindle includes a stainless steel spike for providing good purchase on slippery wood & roots. SideStix Hiking Cleats are replaceable tips, designed to screw into the foot attachment of the SideStix. They consist of 6 carbide cleats per tip, screwed into a rubber & EVA composite sole. They are designed to provide excellent traction on trail surfaces, including wet & slippery wood & ice! SideStix Standard Tips are made from a composite of Vibram outsole & EVA backing.
Cutting Edge Product... SideStix Snowshoe decks are 8″ in diameter and Sidestix Sandshoe decks are 4” in diameter. Manufactured from high grade (6061) aluminum. The decking material is PVC coated polyester mesh. The standard tip sole replacements (2″ diameter), offer a less expensive replacement method for re-soling your SideStix tips. The spindle is manufactured from high grade aircraft aluminum (6061). It has a Vibram sole and 1/4″ stainless steel centre spike, to provide good purchase in crusted snow, or roots & rocks. The cuffs are made of DuPont Zytel plastic and can be customized under heat. Cuffs may be chosen in one of three different styles. The lower tube in aluminum can be chosen in a range of different colors: black, blue or red.
Press Releases...NEW SPORTS CRUTCH OPENS UP A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIESFOR DISABLED AND INJURED ATHLETES- SideStix is the First Shock Absorbent Crutch with Feet for Variety of Terrain -Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (February 2010) – SideStix Ventures Inc is pleased to announce theofficial launch of SideStix – It is the first sports crutch and includes a damper shock absorbing system andinterchangeable feet for walking or climbing on any terrain including ice, sand and snow. This assistivewalking device was created for anyone who has been permanently or temporarily disabled and wants tocontinue to pursue a healthy lifestyle. The SideStix sport crutch minimizes wasted energy and reduces pain anddamage from joint compression.“One of the fundamental principles of rehabilitation through occupational therapy is to increase one’s quality oflife through positive occupation, from life sustaining to recreational.” says Sarah Doherty, Occupational Therapistand Co-Founder and President of SideStix Ventures Inc. “My crutches are an extension of my body so we wantedto develop a crutch that would help me to remain active, stay healthy and most importantly have fun.”The SideStix sport crutch has a shock damper system that reflects the elasticity of tendons, ligaments and fluidsbetween the joints. The ergonomic grip supports the dynamic weight-bearing areas of the hand and the ball andsocket “foot” joint rotates and articulates like a shoulder and ankle joint. This allows the user freedom from sheerforce commonly experienced at the base of the crutch during walking and provides articulation in all directions torotate externally at the shoulder during the swing phase of the gait. The joint also acts like an ankle providingarticulation in all directions.SideStix are custom made and must be ordered online. They will be ready to hit the trails (or the streets) in justtwo weeks. The price of the SideStix Sports crutch starts at $899.99 CDN. For more information about SideStixVentures Inc. or to download images please visit www.sidestix.com.More About SideStix Ventures Inc.SideStix promotes healthy and active exploration of the world by providing joint protection and crutch tips to suitall conditions from urban to wilderness. Originally designed to enable those with permanent disabilities to travellong distances with safety and comfort, SideStix also assists injured athletes in their recovery and rehabilitation,opening up new possibilities for anyone with temporary or permanent mobility issues. The patent pending designcan be modified to any tubular system including walking sticks, canes and walkers. Sarah Doherty, an OccupationalTherapist and former member of the US disabled ski team, created SideStix with her partner in business and life,structural technologist, Kerith Perreur-Lloyd.
One of several online and print articles on Sarah Doherty and SideStix June 2, 2010Going the distance: Amputee develops innovative sports crutchJune 2, 2010 by Lailani MendozaFew people can say they’ve climbed two of the tallest mountain peaks in the world. Sarah Doherty is one ofthem, and she’s done it on one leg.At 13, Doherty lost her leg after she was hit by a drunk driver. While the tragic accident may have taken away alimb, it didn’t take away her spirit.“I was determined that even though I had lost my leg, I would not lose myfreedom,” she said. She walked 720 kilometres on the Camino de Santiago trail in Spain, became the first amputeewithout an artificial limb to climb Mt. Rainier (1984) and the highest peak in North America, Mt. McKinley (1985).Her latest feat was summiting 18,000 feet up Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 2009.As an occupational therapist, Doherty customized her equipment to continue her active lifestyle.This led to the invention of SideStix. Designed by herself and her partner Kerith Perreur-Lloyd, SideStix is the firstmodular sports crutch outfitted with a shock absorption system and attachable feet for a variety of terrains.“I wanted to prevent long-term joint injury and also be able to access places in this world that aren’t accessiblewith crutches,” said Doherty. “I invented something with my partner to allow me to get out to the backwoods, beable to get into the mountains to climb and on the West Coast Trail to hike.”Compared to traditional crutches that put pressure on shoulder joints, SideStix are designed as forearm crutches.Combined with a damper system, they reduce the pressure on the user’s joints by 40 per cent.“When you compress the shock system down, it slowly releases up—similar to the joints in your body,” explainedDoherty. It also has a ball-and-socket foot joint that mimics the movement of the ankle joint, lessening the impactat the base of the crutch tip. It can be customized for different activities with feet attachments forsnowshoeing, sandshoeing and hiking.To make SideStix an innovative product, Doherty goes above and beyond what’s expected in field testing.“One of the best things you could do as a field tester is to push the limits of the product and that’s often pushingyour own personal limits,” she said. She did one field test by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.Although one crutch broke close to the summit, it was a learning experience that further improved the productbefore SideStix was launched earlier this year.Materials like aircraft aluminum and stainless steel make the crutches very durable. “I’m still using my original pair(that was made) seven years ago,” Doherty said.A quick release mechanism for the foot attachment has recently been developed. Michael van der Loos, amechanical engineering associate professor, supervised a team of UBC engineering students with this project.This innovation will allow users to easily exchange feet attachments without the use of any tools.“There are a lot of crutches out there that are great for the regular run-of-the-mill use, but this’ll make it possiblefor people who need a crutch for whatever reason, either an amputation or a sports injury, to get back out doingsports in nature,” said van der Loos. The collaboration with Doherty is great, he added. “Because she’s anamputee herself, she knows intimately the needs of a high performance crutch. The enthusiasm that she has isboth infectious to me as well as to the students.”Where does this attitude and determination come from? “I think if you’ve had something taken away from youand you can return back to an active life, I think you are more grateful,” she said. “And I think that’s gotten me sothat I do appreciate being able to go outdoors more than I think I could have if I hadn’t lost my leg.”To purchase or to learn more, visit www.sidestix.com.
Awards…November 2011SideStix Ventures Inc. was namedthe winner of the councils“Emerging Product” categorywhich recognized small business’in the technology sector whichshow the potential to grow andbecome a permanent fixture inthe local economy. September 2011 SideStix Ventures Inc., announces that it has been awarded not one, but two awards at this year’s MS Society da Vinci Awards Ceremony. The Awards recognized SideStix Forearm crutches as being a leader in innovation in adaptive mobility and transportation technology.February 2011SideStix takes home 2nd place atthe New Ventures BC RegionalCompetition in InnovativeTechnology.
“For users by users”... “Now that it is winter, I am especially thrilled with being able to snowshoe with crutches with snow baskets. That is a huge thing for me. I can’t wait till the firmer snow of spring conditions hits to continue climbing peaks with SideStix..” ~Jon Arnow
“For users by users”...“ I took the SideStix for my first walk thisa.m. I felt very secure on my feet andmuch lighter. I went only about aquarter mile or so, being my first realtrip out of the house. Looking forwardto another ‘excursion’ later today. Isense I will lose very little fitness usingthe SideStix. I see no reason at all not toget out there in all kinds of weather andlook forward to going a little farthereach day. “ Nicolai ~ Geordie Harrower (post kneesurgery)“The Stix are AWESOME! I went for a short hike up the B&K with Mom and had soomuch fun! The studded tips made a HUGE difference! I am looking forward to usingthem everyday.”~Sam RiescoNicolai is 15 years old. He was born without a right leg and pelvis. He is extremelyathletic and participates in soccer, skiing, and mountain climbing withcrutches, and wrestling, volleyball, and kayaking.“SideStix are a very comfortable pair of crutches for Nicolai and really help with thewrist, palm, and forearm discomfort he experiences with other crutches. Please donot underestimate the value proposition of this statement. For everyday use andlong distance hiking/climbing these would be his first choice among his currentcrutch options.”~ Carl Calabria (Nicolai’s father)
“For users by users”... “SideStix changed my life!” ~ Sarah Doherty on the top of Mount McKinley