Good Skate Sharpening

Consistency is the key to good skate sharpening, skate blades which have been poorly maintained are harder to sharpen and do not perform well.

The life span of a poorly sharpened skate blade can be less than half that of blades sharpened and maintained properly.A good profile and proper radius (depth of hollow) allows the skates to work with the skater.

Skating on the ice not in the ice. A clean accurate radius will produce equal bite angles, improving a skater’s confidence in the blades and reduces body compensations.

If the blades are poor quality steel, rusted, or have been overheated by a bad sharpening, they are considered to be weak. Weak edges wear down quickly and are prone to breaking off leaving behind a false edge.

Some skate sharpeners try to solve this problem by sharpening with a deeper radius, but this only compounds the problem.The deeper hollow gives the skater an edge, but the skate will control the skater and we all know the number one factor in skating is SKATER CONTROL.

Skate

Check your edges after each skate. It's easier to have them sharpened after you skate rather than remembering right before you skate.

  1. Keep your skates dry. Not only the blades (especially non-stainless steel) but the boots as well. Remove them from your bag so they dry completely before your next skate. Wet skates deteriorate quicker, are heavier to skate in and SMELL really bad for your favorite skate sharpener! NOK OUT will solve the smell problem and sanitize the skate as well.
  2. Also, if the foot beds in your skates are removable take those out too. This will reduce the chance of your skate rivets from rusting.
  3. Check the eyelets in the boot, especially around the ankle flex area, these get the most pressure and are usually the first to become damaged. The next are those closer to the toe, these are prone to damage from other skates.

Tips for tying and untying your skates

  1. When untying your laces, remove the laces from the top 3 or 4 eyelets. It's easier to pull your foot out, and easier to put in the next time you skate. Plus you'll find your foot is more comfortable in your boot.
  2. When you're tying laces, before making a bow, wrap the laces twice, not once. This way when you make your bow your laces won't loosen up and they'll stay tight.
  3. If your laces are frayed at the ends or anywhere on the lace - BUY NEW ONES!
  4. Do not wrap your laces or tape around your skate boot. This restricts forward knee bend and will force your heel forward and put you on the toe of your blade, rather than the main skating portion of your blade.

Checking your edges

  1. Skates loose anywhere from 15-25% of the efficiency of the edge for each hour on the ice. So it's best to think about having your skates sharpened around the 4th skate.
  2. Consider using a Super Stick to maintain your efficiency between sharpening. If used properly this is a great tool to bring back that extra grip before a game or practice. Remember, a Super Stick is a maintenance tool, not a sharpening tool. If you have lost an edge the Super Stick will not fix it.
  3. Do not use your thumb nail to check how sharp your skates are. This means nothing. However, to check for a lost edge, hold the skate upside down in a light and look down the blade. If you see a "flat" or "shiny" spot longer than 1/8" of an inch they should be re-sharpened.

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