Author Topic: Skate Sharpening  (Read 275 times)

RisingErin

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Skate Sharpening
« on: June 20, 2019, 04:08:17 PM »
I got new skates about 5 weeks ago and I was told that they were pre sharpened, I skate for around an hour a week, how do I know when I need to get them sharpened and can you still skate on unsharpened/ blunt blades? Thanks.

Also were would be the best place to get them sharpened, my closest rink is Basingstoke, but the shop rarely seems to be open, my parents live near Swindon is there someplace near there I can get them done.

Leif

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Re: Skate Sharpening
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2019, 06:50:04 PM »
The two best places near(ish) Basingstoke rink are Everglides at Gosport and Skate Station near Bisley/Woking.

As regards sharpening, how often you sharpen depends on the amount of wear you subject them too, the depth of hollow and personal taste. Many people say every 20 hours or so. However, deeper hollows wear more quickly, and more energetic skaters will wear them more. I know a very good skater who sharpens them every six months, whilst skating 1-2 hours a week. I like newly sharpened blades, and give mine a single pass of the grinding wheel before every session (I have my own machine). I used to sharpen them every two weeks, which meant writing off a morning to drive to the shop.

I used to know when they needed a sharpen as I would start to slide sideways unexpectedly. I guess as you become proficient at skating, you learn to recognise when the blades start to lose their grip on the ice.

Crackers

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Re: Skate Sharpening
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2019, 10:52:01 PM »
I got new skates about 5 weeks ago and I was told that they were pre sharpened, I skate for around an hour a week, how do I know when I need to get them sharpened and can you still skate on unsharpened/ blunt blades? Thanks.

Also were would be the best place to get them sharpened, my closest rink is Basingstoke, but the shop rarely seems to be open, my parents live near Swindon is there someplace near there I can get them done.
All Star Hockey in Swindon is where my 2 get their skates sharpened.  They don't use an automatic machine and keep the blade profile.  They also have jigs to sharpen the Matrix & Paramount blades (the ones in the aluminium holders).
They do have some funny opening hours though.

spinZZ

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Re: Skate Sharpening
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2019, 10:19:39 PM »
I got new skates about 5 weeks ago and I was told that they were pre sharpened, I skate for around an hour a week, how do I know when I need to get them sharpened and can you still skate on unsharpened/ blunt blades? Thanks.

Also were would be the best place to get them sharpened, my closest rink is Basingstoke, but the shop rarely seems to be open, my parents live near Swindon is there someplace near there I can get them done.
It's hard for a beginner to tell whether skating difficulties are due to problems with the equipment (such as dull blades) or poor technique.  If you have a friendly skate tech or coach, have her line up three blades for you with three different stages of sharpness:  (1) freshly sharpened, (2) ready for sharpening, but not overly dull, and (3) overdue for sharpening, overly dull.  Have her show you how to feel the blades carefully with your fingertips to note the differences.  You want a sharpening when they've reached stage (2); don't wait until stage (3).

Once you've mastered certain steps, you can tell when a blade needs sharpening, because you'll get blade slippage (on steps that you normally do well).  For me the most sensitive maneuver is entering a forward scratch spin.   Assuming you haven't damaged your blades (e.g., by walking on concrete), degradation is gradual.  You can continue skating, just not as well.

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: Skate Sharpening
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2019, 01:39:38 PM »
Mine last around 25 hours.  They are not super blunt after that time, so probably at spinZZs stage 2.

WednesdayMarch

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Re: Skate Sharpening
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2019, 09:29:59 AM »
Get them sharpened.  New blades always need a grind.  Even when the shop says, "They're already sharp," they usually need a decent grind.
Returned to the ice in Sept 2017 after a major leg injury in 1999. Skating in Graf Dance boots and MK Dance blades. It's still a bit slippery...

RisingErin

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Re: Skate Sharpening
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2019, 08:45:51 PM »
Can I just turn up to get them sharpened or do most places have a waiting list? Also, do I need to know the depth of the hollow or do places have a standard hollow?

Leif

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Re: Skate Sharpening
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2019, 10:20:53 PM »
Can I just turn up to get them sharpened or do most places have a waiting list? Also, do I need to know the depth of the hollow or do places have a standard hollow?

Usually you just turn up and they sharpen them while you wait. I once had a half hour wait at my local shop as they were busy, but usually it was ten minutes at most. If you don’t know your hollow, ask their advice. A reputable shop will give you a sensible hollow, and note down what it is for future reference. As you get better, you’ll be able to decide for yourself. But it’s best for now to keep to a consistent hollow, so you get used to it, hockey skates usually get a 1/2” or 5/8” if you ask for a ‘standard’ grind, no idea about figures.

spinZZ

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Re: Skate Sharpening
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2019, 11:04:58 PM »
Can I just turn up to get them sharpened or do most places have a waiting list? Also, do I need to know the depth of the hollow or do places have a standard hollow?
It's best for you to specify the radius of hollow (ROH) that you want, rather than leaving it to the sharpener.  For figure skates, the typical range is 5/16" - 5/8".  The most common are 7/16" and 1/2".  For a beginner, you'll probably be OK with either one.  If you're on the light weight side, go with 7/16"; if you're on the heavy weight side, go with 1/2".  When you get more advanced, a coach can make recommendations for any change.

Crackers

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Re: Skate Sharpening
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2019, 11:17:54 PM »
It's best for you to specify the radius of hollow (ROH) that you want, rather than leaving it to the sharpener.  For figure skates, the typical range is 5/16" - 5/8".  The most common are 7/16" and 1/2".  For a beginner, you'll probably be OK with either one.  If you're on the light weight side, go with 7/16"; if you're on the heavy weight side, go with 1/2".  When you get more advanced, a coach can make recommendations for any change.
SpinZZ gives some good advice here.

I cannot say about other skaters, but my 2 are both a free skate test away from completing NISA 2, learning Axel & double jumps and skate on 7/16" hollow (when they were working through Skate UK levels they were on 1/2" hollow).
They also both checked with their coach that it was appropriate and that they were ready before changing their hollow.

All Star Hockey in Swindon will sharpen skates while you wait for £6. They can match the hollow already on your blade if you are not sure and they are careful (there are a lot of skaters here that will not go anywhere else for a sharpen).