Ice Hockey Skates – Sharpenning

How sharp you sharpen your own ice hockey skates and how often are all up to you. You fill find NHL players out there sharpening their ice hockey skates every period and some NHL players who sharpen their ice hockey skates only a few times a year. Most ice hockey players are pretty particular about the way their ice hockey skates are sharpened; so it’s important for you to find someone you trust to sharpen your ice hockey skates on a regular basis. Not every hockey shop in the world you walk into will have an ice hockey skate sharpener who knows what their doing, so you really want to make sure you find someone who can cater to the way you want your ice hockey skates sharpened.As you become a more experienced ice hockey player, the more you will understand about your ice hockey skates blades. You will begin to develop a feel for when your ice hockey skates are dull and when you need to get them sharpened. The way ice hockey skates are sharpened is with a machine that clamps the ice hockey skate to plate and the ice hockey skate blade steel is grinded by a disk that is about the same width as the ice hockey skate blade. A small hollow is left in the ice hockey skate blade. This is how your ice hockey skates end up with an outside and inside edge. Simply put, the deeper the holly is cut the sharper your ice hockey skates will be.

You can also have a chat with your local ice hockey skate sharpener about the differences between a shallow and deep cut hollow. Generally speaking, if your ice hockey skates have a deeper cut into the hollow you will not glide along the ice as easy and fast, however your edges will dig deeper into the ice as you turn, give you more stability for sharper turns. A deeper hollow in your ice hockey skate blades may make it harder to stop as well. It is recommended that if you are a beginning ice hockey player or skater that you sharpen a shallower hollow into your ice hockey skate blades so you will be able to skate and stop easier.

Some things to remember about ice hockey skate sharpening:

  • If you sharpen your ice hockey skates with a more shallow hollow (not as sharp), you will not be able to turn as sharply and hold your edge as easily. A quick turn will give you more risk of falling to the ice. However, you may find that you can glide faster along the ice.
  • If you sharpen your ice hockey skates with a more deep hollow (more sharp), you will not be able to glide along the ice as freely as your ice hockey skate blades will sink into the ice much easier. In some cases, especially if you are a heavier ice hockey player, you will find that it takes more energy to skate with sharper skates.
  • Keep in mind that the how sharp and how deep of a hollow you sharpen into your ice hockey skates can also factor into where you are playing. For example, ice hockey rinks in California where the climate is much warmer outside have more trouble keeping the ice rinks cold compared to ice hockey rinks in Alaska where the climate is much colder. As a result, overall, the California ice hockey rinks have softer ice and the ice hockey rinks in Alaska have much harder ice. Thus, the average ice hockey player in California does not sharpen their ice hockey skates as sharp as they do in Alaska.
  • Goalies generally sharpen their ice hockey goalie skates to be a lot less sharp with a much shallower hollow to allow for easy sliding from side to side. Sharpening a pair of ice hockey goalie skates really is much different, so make sure your skate sharpener knows what he or she is doing.

Also note that ice hockey blades are constructed with lightweight steel that becomes nicked very easily. If while you are skating in your ice hockey skates you feel a certain part of your ice hockey skates sliding out on the ice, chances are you just have a nick in your ice hockey skate blade. You will find in the game of ice hockey that you will get many nicks in your ice hockey skate blades, almost between every sharpening. This is because in this fast, contact sport of ice hockey your ice hockey skates will hit the boards, other ice hockey players’ hockey sticks, the posts of the hockey goals, and many other things. However, this really is no big deal. Taking your ice hockey skates to get sharpened will fix most small nicks in your ice hockey skates blades.

Here are the most common hollows for sharpening ice hockey skates. So, test them all out and figure out what suits your ice hockey skating needs!

  • 1/2″ Shallow hollow, not very sharp
  • 7/16″ A little deeper hollow, pretty average sharpenning
  • 3/8″ Deep hollow, a little sharper than average
  • 5/16″ Very deep hollow, very sharp skates

Ice Hockey Skates and Breaking them in

Ice Hockey skates are just like any piece of sporting equipment. Your ice hockey skates will not feel as comfortable as you would like until you fully break them in, giving the boot of the ice hockey skate a chance to mold, stretch, and soften to your specific foot. During the break in process of your ice hockey skates, you want to make sure you do not lose the support and the protection the ice hockey skates have been constructed to offer you.All of the padding beneath the leather on the inside of your ice hockey skate boot will eventually mold to the unique contours of your foot, however the outside of the boot will not. These different plastics and other hard materials are not made to give. This is what provides the majority of the support in your feet and ankles. Most likely if your feet are experiencing pain or a lack of comfort in places in the boot where you find padding, this is an issue of simply breaking in the skate. Unfortunately, if you are having pains in your feet in places without a lot of padding such as in the toe and arches of your feet, these issues will most likely not be remedied as your break in the skates. When we refer to “breaking in” the ice hockey skates, we are generally talking about the forming of that padding inside the skates mainly around your ankles. However, you will notice the angle support of the ice hockey skates will soften up a little bit so you will have a bit more flexibility and forward lean in your skating. Over time, if you skate on a pair of ice hockey skates long enough you will experience the ankle support breaking down. This is the point where you need to buy new ice hockey skate.

In the above paragraph we discussed the breaking in of the interior padding of the ice hockey skate boot. This padding will eventually mold to your feet as you skate, however there is a better alternative with almost all skates currently manufactured. With most ice hockey skates today, you have the option for thermo-mold-ability, also known as heat-molding and baking your ice hockey skates. Almost all ice hockey shops currently have special ovens they use to heat mold your ice hockey skates right after you purchase them. What happens is they ice hockey skates go in one of these special ovens for a certain amount of time. After the ice hockey skates come out of the oven, you place them on your feet and lace them up for about fifteen minutes. A lot of ice hockey shops have another machine that takes this a step further. Once you have your heated ice hockey skates on your feet you can put your feet in this machine that essentially inflates bags of air around your ice hockey skates. This compresses the areas around your feet, ensuring that your ice hockey skates are firmly pressed up against your feet.

This heat-molding process works great because beneath the leather on the inside of the ice hockey skate boots are a moldable gel. Yes, the gel will eventually mold around your feet as you skate over time due to the heat and friction of your feet and movement. However, by using the heat-molding process, you are essentially speeding up the overall breaking in process, which can take about ten ice hockey sessions.

A lot of ice hockey experts don’t believe in such “fancy” methods. These ice hockey enthusiasts will tell you that the best way of breaking in a pair of ice hockey skates is to simply skate on them. The science of this is quite elementary; the more you use your ice hockey skates, the more flexible and conformed to your foot the ice hockey skate boots will become. If you feel that your ice hockey skates are too big in certain areas on the inside, these issues will most likely not be fixed with simply breaking in your skates. You most likely will need to add padding to the inside of your ice hockey skates. If you have been experimenting with your new pair of ice hockey skates and using different methods to break them in and you can’t get them to feel comfortable, chances are they are just not the right skates for you. Unfortunately, not every ice hockey skate fits every ice hockey player. If you want to play ice hokey to the best of your abilities it is best to find a pair of ice hockey skates that suits your needs for comfort and support. Your ice hockey skating agility will suffer indefinitely if your ice hockey skates do not fit correctly.

Ice Hockey Skate Blades

It is important to factor in the radius of your ice hockey skate blades when attempting to be the best ice hockey skater you can be. What is the ice hockey skate blade? The steel part of the ice hockey skates that your actually ice skate on is considered to be the ice hockey skate blades or steel. Now, what is the radius? The radius of the ice hockey skate blade is the actual part of the steel that touches the ice as you skate. Different ice hockey players have different preferences as far as this goes. Some ice hockey players choose to have a smaller amount of the steel touching the ice at once while others prefer to have a bigger amount of the steel touching the ice. Measuring the ice hockey skate blade radius is quite easy. You simply hold two ice hockey skate blades side by side with the bottoms facing upwards. You measure the area where the two ice hockey blades make contact with each other and you have the radius.When an ice hockey player is first learning to play, it is good for there to be as big of a radius as possible. Usually, about five inches will suffice. Having a larger radius gives you much more stability in your skating. It won’t be until you are an experienced ice hockey player that you will want to start testing out different ice hockey skate blade radiuses. As you become more experienced and start to experiment with different radiuses, you will find that you can make sharper and quicker turns on your edges with a smaller ice hockey skate radius. This would fit the style of an ice hockey player that is lighter and a very agile skater.

This leads us into discussing which ice hockey skate blade radius will work for you, as it depends on your style of play, size, position, etc. You will find that forwards generally want to move around the quicker and with more agility. These ice hockey players, as I mentioned above, will want a shorter ice hockey blade radius. Conversely, defensemen who are usually larger and provide more stability in their style of play require a longer ice hockey skate blade radius. There is definitely not clear cut design for any single ice hockey player and it all comes down to personal preference. Chances are you will eventually find yourself at the point where you are not a beginning ice hockey player, however you have not started trying to find the correct ice hockey blade radius for you. So where do you get started? Simply asking your trusted ice hockey skate sharpener what he or she thinks would be a good ice hockey skate blade radius. There is one problem with this; a lot of skate sharpening is completed by hand and thus is sometimes inconsistent between sharpening. As technology has increased in recent years, ice hockey skate sharpening machines that are controlled by computers have been created to be more consistent, however these are hard to find and haven’t quite caught on yet. Also, make a note that in your conversation with your ice hockey skate sharpener about the ice hockey skate blade radius that this is often referred to as “rockering” the ice hockey skate blade steel.

Ice Hockey Skates – Sizing

When fitting a pair of ice hockey skates, you may be surprised that they run on a different system than your shoes do. It seems almost every ice hockey company has its own sizing system. Do not be alarmed if you wear a size 11 shoe, but you wear a size 9.5 skate. This is a pretty standard scenario in the world of ice hockey skates, as they usually do fit smaller. While we cannot tell you exactly what size ice hockey skate size you will be, we can give you very good idea on where to start. Most ice hockey manufacturers such as CCM, RBK, Nike Bauer, Graf, and Easton manufacture skates to be roughly a 1.5 sizes smaller than your shoe size. So, if you don’t know where to start in fitting your ice hockey skates, this would be the right place to start trying on different pairs. Also, note that Mission Ice Hockey aims at constructing their ice hockey skates to match your shoe size. We call this fitting “true-to-size.” Mission is one of the only companies that uses the true to size fitting method.The most important thing when checking to see if your ice hockey skate fits is to make sure the ice hockey skate boot is the correct length and width to fit comfortably. You will never be an amazing ice hockey player if you cannot be comfortable in your ice hockey skates. So, here are some things to consider when fitting your ice hockey skates:

  • When you try on an ice hockey skate, make sure you are wearing whatever sock you plan to wear when you do indeed play ice hockey.
  • If you are one of the ice hockey players that skates without socks, take a thin nylon sock to try on the ice hockey skates. Usually stores do not like to sell ice hockey skates that other ice hockey players have put their bare feet into.
  • Usually, you cannot exchange a pair of ice hockey skates after you purchase them for a different size ice hockey skate unless you have not sharpenned them or baked them. So basically, once you have used the ice hockey skates, there is no turning back.
  • Your ice hockey skates must fit tightly enough to provide the right support and stability.
  • It is okay to purchase slightly larger ice hockey skates for younger ice hockey players in order to leave growing room, but you must remember that they cannot be too big. This can cause a lot of foot and ankle damage. A good way to figure out the right size for a young ice hockey player is to have them try on the ice hockey skates before they are laced up. Then have them kick their foot as far forward as they can so their toe is touching the front of the ice hockey skate boot. Then ask them to stand up and lean forward slightly so you can see literally how much room is between the back of the ice hockey skate and the back of the young ice hockey player’s foot. This amount should be about the size of a pen. If it is the size of a finger or more, the ice hockey skate is defenitely too big.
  • It is important to make sure an ice hockey skate is the correct length. You should be able to barely graze the front of the ice hockey skate with your toe when they are all laced up.
  • You want to make sure the heel of your foot fits correctly into the pocket of the ice hockey skate boot built for the heel. You don’t want your heel to be sliding up. When the ice hockey skates are laced up, you should have the ability to move your toes slightly while your heel stays firmly in place.
  • In judging the width of your ice hockey skates, there are two important areas to focus on. Make sure your toes sit flat in the ice hockey boot and that they aren’t mashed together. Also make sure the ice hockey skate is not pinching or applying too much pressure to the arch of your foot.
  • You may experience some stretching and molding from the inside of the skate. So, the skates will get more comfortable as you break them in, however remember that certain materials on the outside of the ice hockey skate boot are not meant to adjust such as Kevlar, plastic, graphite, and other composite materials.

As you can see, fitting your ice hockey skates is imparative. You can often find the cheapest prices for ice hockey skates at online hockey stores such as Hockey Giant. This can make it very difficult to find the right ice hockey skate that fits you best. So, you can always go into your local ice hockey shop and find the ice hockey skates you like before you order online. This will save you a lot of hassle and money with online exchange policies.

Ice Hockey Skates – The Most Important Piece Of Ice Hockey Equipment

You can’t play ice hockey without a pair of ice hockey skates. Ice Hockey skates are oen of the most important pieces of your ice hockey equipment and thus you need to make sure they fit properly. The game of ice hockey can still be played when you are not using a lot of pieces of ice hockey equipment; however we suggest that you always keep yourself protected. Keeping this in mind, no matter how unprotected you choose to be there are two things you obviously cannot engage in the game of ice hockey without. These two things would be your hockey stick and your ice hockey skates.There are three main parts that an ice hockey skate is made up of.

  • Boot: This is the main section of the ice hockey skate that your foot sits in. It is normally held tight with a pair of ice hockey laces.
  • Holder: This is the plastic part attached to the bottom of the ice hockey skate that holds the steel. The Ice hockey skate holder is typically is held on with rivets.
  • Steel: The steel is the part of the ice hockey skate that actually touches the ice. It is usually screwed into the plastic holders.

Ice Hockey skates are designed for two different things; they need to transport you around the ice surface as well as protect your feet. The inside of the ice hockey skate boot is usually made with different foams and gel materials surround in some kind of leather-like material. In almost all of the ice hockey skates made today, the gels on the inside are moldable, especially the gel around the ankles. This means that as you skate in and break in the ice hockey skates, the friction and heat from your feet will eventually mold the gel around the curvature of your ankle. There is also an option available for almost all ice hockey skates on the market today from almost all ice hockey companies such as CCM, RBK, Nike Bauer, Graf, Easton, and Mission. This is the option to heat mold your ice hockey skates. The way this works is the skates are heated up in an oven designed for ice hockey skate molding or “baking” and then placed on your feet for about 15 minutes. After this, you leave the ice hockey skates for about 24 hours until the gel fully hardens again. You now have ice hockey skates molded to your feet!

The hardness and the stiffness of the outside of the ice hockey boot will determine how well the ice hockey skate will protect you and your feet from hockey sticks and hockey pucks that make contact with your foot. You will also increase angle support as the stiffness of the ice hockey skate increases. In order for most ice hockey skates to give you the lightweight and support you need, they are built with a mixture of leather and other synthetic materials. This depends a lot on how much you are willing to spend on ice hockey skates. The Steel or “blades” of the skates are usually made with stainless steel. They are shaped on the bottom with a curved or concaved shape cut into them. This is how an ice hockey skate has an “inside” and “outside” edge.

Ice Hockey Equipment – Getting Started

Ice hockey is a great, fast-paced game that anyone can play anywhere there is an ice hockey surface or a frozen pond, and all you need to get started is a hockey stick, an ice hockey puck, and a pair of ice hockey skates. You can get some of your hockey buddies from around the neighborhood and hit up the local ice skating pond for this awesome game of ice hockey. However, once you get into playing organized ice hockey it is wise for you to be as protected as you can be with all of the proper ice hockey equipment. A lack of ice hockey equipment would be pretty foolish.It’s not smart to avoid putting on any part of your ice hockey equipment because you are just playing ice hockey for fun and there is no official contact. A lot of ice hockey’s most serious injuries happen because ice hockey players feel they cannot get hurt in these non-contact ice hockey games that are just for fun and recreation because they are not ready for any kind of physical contact.

You don’t need to have someone else throwing a body check your way to be the one getting injured. You could get hit with an ice hockey puck being shot your way. Another hockey player could fall and their ice hockey skate blade could fly up and make contact with you. You can easily fall on your ice hockey skates or hit the boards at any time. You can find yourself easily bruised, with broken bones, or even torn ligaments if you are not careful with your choice of ice hockey equipment. Realistically, you don’t have much control over the other actions happening in an ice hockey game and you never know when you will be on the receiving end of an injury due to lack of ice hockey equipment.

You don’t want to be using ice hockey equipment that is ten years old if it’s not going to give you the protection you need. If you are going to use a piece of ice hockey equipment, make sure it will provide you with the protection and the padding you need to stay safe. You also want it to fit correctly. You can check out other articles we have on fitting ice hockey equipment. Many ice hockey players’ careers have been put to an early finish because they were not fully protected with the right ice hockey equipment in a game that was purely recreational. It’s your life. Protect yourself with the right ice hockey equipment.

Over recent years the game of ice hockey has evolved immensely and so has the ice hockey equipment we use everyday when we lace up our ice hockey skates and step on the ice hockey rink. Ice hockey equipment is now constructed for the modern day top-notch hockey player. Ice hockey equipment is now made from materials that are extremely strong, as well as lightweight. Materials such as composite, graphite, and Kevlar are used to make today’s ice hockey equipment so strong and light. There has also been great development in the comfort of ice hockey equipment. In addition to all of this, some articles of ice hockey equipment are even safer due to government testing. Ice hockey helmets and ice hockey facemasks, for example, undergo these government tests and are not allowed to be worn in organized hockey without the license of approval.

Most pieces of ice hockey equipment are bigger and stronger than ever before, however they are so much lighter than they ever have been. If you buy the proper ice hockey equipment, you can be fully protected all over your body and thus you can reduce the risk of injury as much as possible.

Ice hockey is definitely one of the most fast and most rough games out there and you need to wear proper ice hockey equipment accordingly. You want to be protected, but you still want to be able to move and have proper flexibility. Remember though that ice hockey equipment is to be worn in order to protect you, not in order to injure another ice hockey player.