After you have purchased a quality pair of skates that fit properly, the next step is to sharpen the blades. Good skating technique is made easier with sharp skates. Most skating motions are based on one skate pushing against the ice while the other skate glides. Dull skates will slip when pushing-off.
Skate blades are sharpened with a rounded grinding stone that puts a hollow in the blade. The concave shape creates an inside and outside edge. Hockey players seldom glide on both edges. They are constantly stopping, turning and changing directions using one edge or the other. The hollow grind makes it easier for the edges to cut into the ice.
After a pair of skates are sharpened, check to be sure the edges are level. This can be done by holding the skate upside down and placing a coin or metal washer across the blade. The coin should be perpendicular to the blade.
If the edges are not level, the high edge will seem too sharp and the low edge will slip when pushing off. Do the coin test in the middle of the blade and at the front and back of the blade to make sure the center of the stone made contact with the center of the blade the entire length of the blade. If the edges are not level, have the operator resharpen the skates.
How often should skates be sharpened?
As a general guideline, young hockey players need only sharpen their skates once or twice a month if the blades are wiped dry after each use and kept free of nicks. (Always walk on mats to protect your skates or wear skate guards; stay off the cement!)
An easy and inexpensive way to maintain sharp skates is with a small honing stone. Hold the stone flat on the side of the blade. Rub up and down the length of the blade five or six times on each side. This will remove any small nicks on the blade and bring back a sharp edge.
How can you tell when skates are getting dull?
2. Check for large nicks in the blade edges. If they cannot be removed with a honing stone have your skates sharpened.
Remember, good skating technique is made easier when skates are sharp.
Skate sharpening is available at Face Off Sports located at the Ice Box 1800 State Fair Park Grounds, Lincoln NE 68501 ~ (402) 434-2464 and Hat Trick Sports, 2432 N 12th Street, Lincoln NE 68521 ~ (402) 499-5252.