The blade will stay sharp two or three times longer than conventional sharpening.
There is no break in period ! (You know the feeling after fresh sharpening your blades bite.)
Your blades will perform the same the first time the second time .............
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24 HOUR SHARPENING WARRANTY !!!
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Skate Sharpening & things you need to know:
Hopefully this article will enlighten and educate parents of hockey players about the importance of a good edge, as well as provide you with the concepts of what makes a good edge and what you should look for when selecting a skate sharpener for your child.
· When should I get my son or daughters skate sharpen?
· How do I know when they are dull?
· Who does a good job sharpening skates?
To answer these questions, I found it helps to educate the parents about the basic concepts of a sharpened skate. First off “the edge” is actually no more than a portion of a circle carved along the bottom of the skate blade. This is often referred to as “the hollow”. The hollow is what actually grips the ice. Common sense might say, the deeper the hollow the better the “bite”. However, in the case of skate sharpening more is not always better. Secondly, the portion of the blade that contacts the ice is important too. This is where “the glide” comes into play. These two factors, the edge and the glide can either help or hurt your child’s game.
What should I expect from a good sharpening?
First and foremost let me say this. I believe Pro-Shops attempt to do a good job when it comes to providing a good, consistent edge. However, I think what most of them are missing is training and the knowledge behind skate sharpening.
As an example, most Pro-Shops sharpen skates using a 3/8”- 7/16” radius. They rarely dress the wheel and don’t finish the job properly. The sad part about this is a 3/8” or 7/16” hollow is too deep for most hockey players. Deep hollow provides too much bite into the ice, forces the skater to work harder and burn more energy. I’ve seen it time and time again, especially in new hockey players that are learning to stop. They try and try to get on the edge but can’t because the skate has too much bite. They fall over, trip up, and in some cases try a different method like using the boards. When you take a look at a hockey stop, it’s nothing more that a slide. The more pressure you put on the edge the shorter the distance to the stop. If you can’t roll onto your edge you can’t stop. The ability to stop or “slide” is a critical part of the game.
When you increase the radius of hollow two things happen.
1. Reduce the bite in the ice,
2. Generate more glide on top of the ice.
When you increase the radius of hollow (9/16” 5/8”), skaters use less energy when making stops and starts and can go faster because they have more glide. When you increase the radius, a skater learns how to use their edges, which in turn will make them better skaters.
One other factor that contributes to the glide is the coarseness of the stone or wheel that cuts the blade. Pro-Shops typically use a fairly course wheel (60grit) when sharpening skates. It takes less time to sharpen a pair of skates and they can move on to the next pair. However, a course wheel will leave hatch marks on the glide portion of the hollow thereby reducing the glide. It might seem like a minute detail, but it really does make a difference. Think about it: if a hockey puck had a rough surface, do you think it would glide as easily on the ice? Probably not, this same concept applies to skates as well. The smoother contact surface creates less friction; it makes the skater go faster.
Because an edge wears out the easiest answer is about every 4-6 hours of ice time. When an edge wears down, the skater has to work harder on the ice. If the edge is gone from a goal post, boards, misuse etc. the skates should be re-sharpened. Never have the sharpener sharpen just one skate. Have both skates done to insure that each blade maintains the same height. In addition, a sharpener should try to make the same number of passes when sharpening each skate.
In the old days, people would rub their fingernail along the edge. If it scraped your fingernail the blade is sharp. WRONG! I can run my fingernail along the backside of a butter knife and scrape my nail but that does not mean I’d skate on them. The proper way to check of a lost edge is to look at the side of the blade under a light. If you see a shiny spot along the edge then the skates should be re-sharpened.
The person or shop that gives you what you want all the time every time. Here are some things you should ask for when you drop off your skates for sharpening:
In addition to quality skate sharpening, having your hockey players skates profiled. It’s the single most important thing you can have done to your child’s skates. Profiling is blade shaping, not sharpening. Skate profiling is a precision system of applying a radius along the length of the blade and a lie based on the individual specifications of each skater. Accurate positioning of the balance point of the skater to the blade provides maximum stability and maneuverability. Skates direct from the factory are inconsistent, and in a majority of cases have the incorrect radius and lie for the individual skater. Once properly profiled, your hockey player will have improvements in:
o Lateral Stability
o Lateral Movement
o Straightway Speed
o Shooting Accuracy
o Passing Accuracy
o Quicker Stops and Starts
o Shorter Radius Turns
o Reduced Muscle Fatigue
o Increased Balance
o Improved Puck Control
Did you know?
Most Junior, College and NHL players have their skates sharpened with a ½” or larger radius. As a matter of fact most of the Red Wings skates are sharpened with a 5/8” radius. Paul Coffey had his skates sharpened using a ¾” radius. Maybe this is why it only takes him five strides to get from one end of the ice to the other?
In conclusion, take your time to learn about skate sharpening. Find a good sharpener and stick with them. It will make all the difference.