WHAT IS SKATE SHARPENING?
Skate Sharpening can easily be defined as the process of shaping the blade of an ice skate with a grinding machine to create two edges that are sharp, smooth and level. When an ice skate is used on the ice, the blade can become dull or lose its edge, which can negatively affect the skater’s performance and increase the risk of injury.
In the past, skate sharpening was typically performed by professionals who had the necessary equipment and expertise to ensure that the blade was sharpened correctly and evenly. But today, with the automated skate sharpening, more and more people are now able to get pro-level skate sharpening with the push of a button.
WHY IS SKATE SHARPENING IMPORTANT?
Hockey players – and figure skaters - should sharpen their skates for a variety of reasons, including:
Improved performance: Properly sharpened skates provide better grip and control on the ice, allowing skaters to make quick cuts and turns, and move faster with more agility.
Better balance: Properly sharpened skates help skaters maintain their balance on the ice, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.
More effective stops: Skates with properly sharpened edges allow skaters to stop more effectively, which is important for changing direction, avoiding opponents, and making plays.
Better energy efficiency: Skates that are properly sharpened require less effort to move across the ice, which helps skaters conserve energy and stay on the ice longer.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU SHARPEN?
As a general guideline, hockey players and figure skaters should sharpen their skates approximately every 3-4 hours of ice time. For an average player during the season, that means you should be sharpening your skates at least once a week for optimal performance.
However, the frequency of sharpening depends on many factors such as the skater’s weight, skating style and the condition of the ice. If the skater is having difficulty maintaining control or balance on the ice, it may be time to get their skates sharpened, regardless of how many hours the skater has been on ice.
Ultimately, it’s up to the individual skater to determine how often to sharpen their skates based on individual needs and preferences. Our in-depth research has proven that a skater with consistently sharp skates out-performs the player who infrequently sharpens their skates.
It is important to understand that these recommendations are guidelines. In order to play at your best, you should not wait to sharpen your skates. Proper maintenance of your skate blades is key to on-ice performance. Before every skate, you should check your edges for any damage or dullness. You can damage steel simply by stepping on something in the locker room or hitting your blades against the boards or goal posts – any blemish in the blade can cause a decrease in performance when skating.