The Importance of Sharpening Your Skates

Falling on ice is normal. Especially when it’s black ice in the driveway. Of course, I’m not really talking about that kind of ice. Newbies and veterans alike know exactly what I’m referring to. Falling is usually attributed to lack of experience, being off balance, or getting knocked around by an opposing skater. The good news is you can learn to avoid these pitfalls as your skating improves. But there’s one culprit that all the experience in the world can’t help you with - dull skate blades. The forth-coming is a quick guide for knowing the what, where and why of keeping your skates sharp and ready for action.

Why?

Well, even the best skaters can look like bumbling beginners if their skates aren’t sharp. So unless you enjoy falling, you’re gonna need sharp blades to skate well.

When?

The short answer is whenever they feel dull. If you’re having difficulty planting, turning, or doing any moves that are usually easier for you to accomplish, it’s time for a sharpen.

How often do I need to sharpen my skates?

The general consensus I’ve gotten from most players is to get your skates sharpened about every 3 games. But your best bet is to trust your feet. If you’re losing your edge easier than usual, you know what to do. My rule of thumb is when I find myself falling down all over the place without so much as a push, nudge or shove by an opposing player, it’s time.

Can skates ever be too sharp?

Actually, yes. Depending on what you’re using them for (i.e. hockey, figure skating, etc.), it IS possible for your skates to be too sharp. Hockey players typically have their skates sharpened ½” in. Any deeper and you may be digging into the ice a little too much.

Where?

Well, you can’t go to Wal-Mart, that’s for sure. But there should be a few places around that can help you out. Start with the local rink where you usually skate. Also, most “Play It Again Sports” stores do it too, though with varying results. Of course, if you have an “after hours” hockey game (after 9pm), it’s unlikely either of those options will be available. In that case, you can grab a sharpening stone and do some make-shift work of your own. There’s also a product called “Re-Edger”, which is a tool that can really help you in a pinch. It sells for around $15. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isAc-bBoYSM

Lookin’ Sharp

Now that you know some tips on keeping your skates sharp, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to keep your feet squarely under you. So, go get your blades sharpened and let’s do some skating.

Any More Tips?

Do you have any additional tips on skate care? Post ‘em below!

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