What Would Be My Payback for Sparx?

The short answer to "What would be my payback for Sparx" is 6 months.  Continue reading to see how I arrive at this figure.

We are grateful for the many questions that arrive in our email inbox each day. One question that we get frequently is “What would be my payback for Sparx?”.

I can confidently say that for most people who already have their Sparx sharpener, cost savings is not why Sparx is so valuable to them. Convenience and improving performance are at the top of the list. Despite this fact, we figured it would be helpful for us to share a payback calculation for a real life Sparx Hockey customer.

Sharpening skates at home saves time and money AND improves player performance. Here's how.

This is a Sparx payback analysis I did for a friend of mine, Len, from Westford, MA.

Here are Len's family stats for their playing time and sharpening preferences:


How many times per week do you (Len) skate in season

How many times per week do you skate in the off-season

How many times per week does your son (16 years old) skate in season

How many times per week does your son skate in the off-season 

How many miles do you drive to your preferred shop for sharpening?

How much do you pay for each sharpening?
$7 per sharpening

Actual (Current) Behavior

How many hours do you skate between skate sharpenings?

How many hours does your son skate between skate sharpenings?


Desired Behavior

How many hours would you like to skate in-between sharpenings?

How many hours would your son like to skate in-between sharpenings?


Here are some of the other assumptions we used in our payback calculations for Len.

Len get’s his son’s skates sharpened 50% of the time with his skates.

Mileage (gas) costs Len $0.15 per mile based on average gas prices today

Len’s considers his time worth at least minimum wage ($10/hr) which is less than what he pays his babysitter.  This $10 at least accounts for and recognizes that time is worth something to Len.

Here is how Len’s skate sharpening adds up over the year.

Len and his son skate 403 times per year and they get approximately 30 sharpenings combined. In order to get their skates sharpened Len drives 940 miles and spends 37 hours per year dealing with these sharpenings. This time commitment represents nearly a full week of work that Len spends dealing with skate sharpening. Based on these calculations, we estimate that Len spends $710 per year getting his families skates sharpened.

When we asked Len about his desired sharpening behavior he indicated that he and his son would prefer to sharpen much more frequently. If Len could sharpen at his desired level they would get 76 sharpenings, driving over 2500 miles per year and taking 100 hours for the trips. This would cost Len $1,918.

Here is how Len’s skate sharpening adds up over the year with Sparx.

With Sparx, Len saves an incredible amount of time and money and he and his son skate with more confidence. Without even considering Len’s desired behavior, Sparx saves Len from driving 940 extra miles per year. The 37 hours he would have spent behind the wheel and standing around in a shop is reduced to 2 hours from the comfort of his own home. The $710 he would have spent on sharpenings is reduced to $60 in supplies for Sparx.

Len will reach the breakeven point for his Sparx purchase in 17 months


If he were to sharpen at his desired rate, his break even on Sparx would be 6 months


I'm happy to report that Len pre-ordered a Sparx sharpener during our Kickstarter campaign and now has his own machine. Len is already on his way to paying off his Sparx purchase. He also recently shared Sparx with his local hockey organization and is now helping them buy one for the club to share.

I hope this post helps others to understand how Sparx can improve a player’s performance while also saving a great deal of time and money.

I will share more of these analyses through the Sparx blog over the coming weeks and months.

If you would like an analysis done for your particular situation, please don't hesitate to contact us at help@sparxhockey.com or leave a comment below. 



Russ Layton
Sparx Hockey