Both figure skaters and hockey players do a lot of ice skating each day. Ice skating is also a very popular way of enjoying some family time, exercising or tuning your skill on the ice. Using well sharpened blades is important both for amateurs and professionals, since it gives you the ability to make turns easier, while having more control. In some cases, people will sharpen their blades with the help of a skate sharpener, while in others, they might ask an expert to prepare the blades.
The rate at which you sharpen skates will depend on a number of factors, from the ice’s texture to the amount of time you spend skating. If you’re just skating casually, maybe twice each week, you should use a skate sharpener on them maybe once every two months. If you skate four or five times each week, you should sharpen them once every couple of weeks.
With a dull blade, you will just slide over the ice, without feeling secure. If you want to test a blade and its sharpness, you should run your fingernail over its edge. If the nail gets a cut from the blade, then it is sharp enough. If the blade slides without scratching the nail, you should get it through a skate sharpener.
Ideally, you should go to a pro to sharpen your skates. If you want to do it yourself, you can buy a skate sharpener kit, designed especially for certain types of different skates. You can use stones that are hand held, if you want just to do some touchups near the edges. If you want something more advanced, you can do with a skate sharpener that has Teflon strips.
If you’re not used with them, you might find these skate sharpener machines difficult to use. They usually work by doing hollow grinding on the center, carving it, while sharpening the edges. When the hollow is deep, you will see that the edges will be too sharp. If you don’t have properly sharpened skate, your control when you’re on the ice will suffer.
If you’re looking for a skate sharpening professional, you should give stores that are specialized in sporting goods a shot. Sometimes they have staff that is trained and able to look at your blades, to find any imperfections. If you notice that your blades don’t improve after they sharpened them, go to another store. Usually, when you see a store that has many customers, it’s a good indication that they known their job well.
When you finally find someone that does skate sharpening properly, don’t go to another one. Since skate sharpener machines have some differences between them, using the same one insures that there is less metal removed when you resharpen a blade, so your investment in it is secured.
With newly sharpened skates, many people expect to have a period of adjustment. This is obvious when you feel that your skates feel a bit grabby, with their edges catching and finding it difficult to stop. In many cases, people with freshly sharpened skates will drag their skates or they will do other things, trying to make the skates duller and easier to skate with.
The truth is that if the skate is sharpened properly, you shouldn’t need a period of adjustment and the blade shouldn’t be grabby.