SKATE SHARPENING 101: PART 1
Now is the perfect time to zero in your sharpening!
How should YOU get your skates sharpened?
A deep, or aggressive radius of hollow (*) will provide you with tighter stops and turns, but you will work harder in straight line skating and may be slower overall.
A shallow, or less aggressive radius of hollow will yield softer turns and stops, but you will expend less effort skating and will likely achieve better straight line speed due to decreased resistance.
So which is right for me?
There are several factors, your weight, strength and playing style, the position you play, your skate blades profile (#) and the temperature and hardness of the ice.
The smartest way to figure it out is to experiment with different sharpenings. A good rule of thumb is to use the most shallow radius of hollow that gives you acceptable turning and stopping. Most recreational players and a fair amount of higher level skaters are using the wrong sharpening (mostly too deep/ aggressive).
At Pilgrim Skating Arena Pro Shop we can provide you with all sharpening radiuses, including the Blackstone Flat Bottom V. You will be assured of a sharp and level pair of skates to work with as you get dialed in for the coming season.
Our staff has been factory trained and we are proud to have worked with many NHL, AHL and Division 1 college players to help them achieve their potential.
We hope to see you soon!
* The sharpening Radius Of Hollow is the depth between the inside and outside edges of your skate blades. Examples of deeper hollows would be 3/8” through 1/2”. Common shallow hollows are 9/16” through 11/16”. Many NHL players skate on 7/8” and up through 1 ¼ inches.
# The Profile Radius refers to the contour of your skate blade as viewed from the side. More on that in our next article!
SKATE SHARPENING 101: PART 2
There are not a lot of guarantees in life. But I can guarantee, with absolute certainty, three things right here:
1. Day Follows Night
2. Water is wet
3. Your kids (or your) skate blade will only break, or become hopelessly dull or damaged when there is no way to rectify the situation. At best you might be able to roll the dice at whatever shop you can find open and hope for a decent sharpening.
That's where skate manufacturers are making your hockey life a little easier. Bauer skates have come with easily replaceable blades for quite some time now, and CCM has jumped into the fray with their new XS line of holders and blades. Dull, damaged or outright busted, just pull a trigger or turn a knob, drop in a new set and your back in the game!
Wait, you DON'T have a second set of blades? Well, no reason to panic. We're going to talk about the options out there for replacement steel, both OEM and aftermarket.
Most manufacturers market blades for their skates. CCM has stopped supporting their SB 4.0 and their E Pro offerings for awhile now. They may begin to market blades again with their recent acquisition of Quebec's STEP steel line of skate blades. There are a lot of original CCM blades still around, and all the major aftermarket manufacturers have the entire CCM line covered. At Pilgrim we have a mix of CCM, STEP and Bladetech replacement steel. There are some problems getting original CCM steel, but we always try to have a set of blades from someone on hand if you need them.
Bauer is a bit trickier. Bauer has very zealously defended their patent on the TUUK Edge holder (the one with the trigger) AND the design of the blade that fits into it. Recently STEP steel lost a multi-national civil lawsuit and had to stop making ANY blades that fit Bauer Edge holders. Before the dust settled on that court proceeding, Bauer lined up another aftermarket skate blade company, Tydan, in their sights and they were forced to stop offering products for Bauer as well.
At Pilgrim, we have a mix of aftermarket offerings as well as most of the Bauer replacement blades in styles LS2, LS3 and LS5. (We'll talk more about the differences between Bauer and CCM blade lines in another article.)
Bottom line, if you or your skater play on the road at tournaments, or if missing a game because of an equipment issue is just too much to bear, you need another set of blades. Wanna try out a different profile but afraid that if you really hate it, you’re stuck? Not with a second pair in your bag. A spare set also comes in handy if you can't make it in to get your skates sharpened. Just pop in a fresh pair and off you go!
Stop into the Pilgrim Skating Arena Pro Shop and check out our selection. You got questions? We got answers. A surprising number of them are actually correct!