February 20th, 2007, 12:22 AM #1
Skate Sharpening and hollows etc
I know this has been posted numerous times, but can someone post some info on skate sharpening and the different hollows etc. and what people think are good for beginners etc. Any help would be appreciated.
Mods, do you think we can get a sticky on this one for the top of the page so it does not get lost. Thanks
February 20th, 2007, 09:24 AM #2
For hockey (not counting goalies), the most common are usually 3/8", 1/2", and 5/8". For a beginner, I'd probably say 1/2" - a lot of times, if you don't specify, that's what you'll get anyway.
3/8" is good for better maneuvering, cutting turns, etc. You may lose some speed with it (though for lighter people, 3/8" is good because you get a little more grip into the ice). 5/8" is a shallower hollow - good to get some more speed going, but less grip on the ice, so your turns might not be as sharp.
Another issue is the softness/hardness of the ice. The more advanced player will notice the difference in edges and ice condition more, of course. But generally, people take a more shallow hollow on the softer ice.
Last thing - depending on how often you skate and sharpen them, you'll eventually need new steel blades. These are usually about $20 a piece, give or take a bit. Don't let them get too low!
I'd add this: I've seen a lot of recreational hockey players who get their skates sharpened on a monthly (or even less often basis) because it's "too sharp." This develops bad skating habits and not making the best use of your edges. A couple of skates to get used to the feel of fresh edges (meaning sharpening them every 2-3 skates early on) might be the best bet, just to force yourself to get accustomed to that feeling.
I used to get a 3/8" hollow, but have been going 1/2" lately (for some reason, since I got here in Ohio, I've felt more comfortable with 1/2"). I'll probably try out the 3/8" again after I get new blades put on.
Here's a good site:
(this mentions 1" hollow - probably for speed skaters would be my guess)
February 20th, 2007, 09:29 AM #3
The shallow hollow will be easier to stop with then a deeper hollow depending on the hardness of the ice..
February 20th, 2007, 10:23 AM #4
Wheres JR when we really need him?
February 20th, 2007, 02:55 PM #5
Great info b.b.orr!
I like the 1/2 inch hollow which is what most sharpeners are cut for.
It's a good idea to write your preference on the bottom of the skate (1/2", 3/8", 5/8", etc.) with a sharpie felt pen so the guy sharpening the skates will know, especially if you drop them off to be picked up later.
there's my 2 cents.
February 20th, 2007, 03:48 PM #6
I like a freshly sharpened 1/2". When I had competent people doing my skates I sometimes did 7/16", especially if thought I wouldn't get them sharpened for a while. I felt like I couldn't stop if I did 3/8". Never saw a reason to try larger than 1/2".
February 21st, 2007, 10:53 AM #7
FYI - most modern style goalies run 3/8"-1/2"
I have a friend that goes 1/4". I run 1/2"
Player skates, 3/4" at my size I chop a bit too much at anything deeper. Though if I do outside edge skating drills, I do well at a deeper hollow, worse in a shallow. My regular power turning does pretty well at 3/4"
Last edited by Leatherface; February 21st, 2007 at 10:55 AM.
February 21st, 2007, 11:02 AM #8
With my age & skill, my choice of a shallow 3/4" hollow is all about stopping reliably and avoiding joint injuries .... the skating faster part? Well, that's a hopeless pipedream.
Originally Posted by VisionQuest
March 12th, 2007, 03:39 PM #9
Can you explain Countouring and Profiling please? What are the differences, do they work?
Last edited by pkd88; March 12th, 2007 at 03:43 PM.
April 25th, 2007, 12:36 PM #10
Sorry for the late response. Sticky-ied threads are evidently less visible in my consciousness.
Originally Posted by pkd88
Contouring is simply cutting the blades to take out any manufacturing variances that leaves the left & right skates non-identical when you take them out of the box. You might think of it as the equivalent of Lasik surgery for skates. It is completely independent of what hollow, radius, or lie you choose (or accept by default).
I'm not sure if this is the strict definition of Profiling, but I'll take a guess that it is when you choose to have your skates cut with a non-default radius & lie (everybody understands hollow, but many players are never informed about the options for tweaking their radius and lie).