Friday, 19 May 2017

Bauer Supreme Total One NXG Review

The two most popular sports today, football (soccer) and basketball, require a small amount of gear. Mostly, they will just require a uniform, shoes, and a bit of protective gear (shin guards for football and mouthpiece for basketball). The same cannot be said for ice hockey. Ice hockey players should have full body armor, hockey stick, helmet and the venerable skates.

Hockey players and enthusiasts aim to have the best equipment available so that they could compete well. That being said, every hockey player should scrutinize each part of the gear that they are getting. With a lot of gear comes a lot of responsibility and one faulty part of the whole can mean failure in the rink.

One of the most identifiable items known in the hockey world is the skates that are used by players themselves to move around the rink and towards victory for their team. Skates, specifically hockey skates, are one of the most essential parts of the gear as your mobility depends on the skates that you’re wearing.

There are many types and brands of hockey skates around the world. It may be intimidating, especially for novices, because there are too many choices out there. As the saying goes, too many choices paralyze us. This paralysis of analysis is usually remedied by seeking out the trusted brands of ice hockey skates. Bauer Hockey is one of the trusted brands in the market right now. They have been serving the interest of ice hockey players since 1927. Its longevity is a testament to the enduring confidence of their consumers with respect to their products. One of their products is the Bauer Supreme Total One NXG.

Why buy the Bauer Supreme Total One NXG?

For the material and fitBauer_Supreme_Total_One_NXG_1

As any ice hockey player/enthusiast knows, baking is a natural part of the process in fitting skates. For the unaware, skates are put inside an “oven” to be heated and fitted afterwards. Baking is done to soften the skate thereby making it easier to be molded. This results in to a better fit.

The Bauer Supreme Total One NXG is made up of composite materials. This means that baking would be easier as the material chosen is optimal for such operation. Better baking conditions mean that this one of a kind product will have better fitting with any player/enthusiast. Also, the Bauer Supreme Total One NXG is shaped to mimic the dimensions of the feet, thereby making it more fit for its wearers. The guys at Bauer call this the Curv™.

The twin features regarding the material being used ensure that the fit is optimal, boosting the performance of nay hockey player that is wearing the Bauer Supreme Total One NXG


For being lightweight and flexible

The Bauer Supreme Total One NXG is touted to be lightweight. Advance in the design, such as the patented flexible tendon guard, enables the Bauer Supreme Total One NXG to shed off some unnecessary weight and be flexible amidst the rigors of the rink. Even the runner, the metal part that touches the ice inside the rink, is lightweight. The runner is composed of high-grade aluminum, which is a lightweight metal. Also, the composite material used all throughout this product cements its lightweight reputation without sacrificing durability. As you can observe, Bauer likes to use materials that are light weight.

Ice Hockey is a demanding game. This, in turn, demands a lot from the athletes that plays the sports. While in the rink, hockey players are always expected to make split second decisions all throughout the game. This entails flexibility, and Bauer Supreme Total One NXG gives its users the edge because it gives flexibility.


For the Agility

All the advantages mentioned above will tend to produce the next advantage that will be discussed; AGILITY. Agility is an essential advantage to be had in hockey game. To score, you must outrun (or outskate) defenders in order to shoot the puck inside the goal. Likewise, defenders must keep up with the forays of any attacker in order to defend the goal.

As mentioned above, Bauer Supreme Total One NXG’s lightweight nature ensures agility for its wearers. The composite nature extends to the outsole, which results into more power directed to the ice, making each stride a forceful one and enhancing the agility of this already fast skate.
The Bauer Supreme Total One NXG is a masterpiece to behold. The technology used producing the different materials used are fused together in a way that they are in harmony with each other. As mentioned above, this hockey skate puts a premium on fit/comfort, agility, flexibility and quality.

How much does it cost?

About the only thing you could complain about the Bauer Supreme Total One NXG is the price. Some had commented that its asking price may be too much. One website pegged the price at 360 US dollars (494 Canadian dollars). There was even one website that listed the price at a whopping 849 US dollars!

The price may be too steep for some but you should not skimp on quality gear. If you want an excellent performance the rink, you can consider the Bauer Supreme Total One NXG as a possible candidate.

Where can I buy the Bauer Supreme Total One NXG?

It’s quite easy to buy the Total One if you live within the USA and Canada. Bauer Hockey Stores are spread throughout the two countries. If you’re unsure about the location of the nearest Bauer Hockey Stores, go to and use the store locator built in the website.

You can also acquire the Bauer Supreme Total One NXG through online shopping but going to a physical stores is till your best bet because you can see the actual product firsthand and the solicit the advice of the store staff. This advice will matter more for first time buyers. Online stores like Total Hockey, Perani’s World and Sporting Goods have the Total One NXG as part of their stocks.

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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Simple Guide to Fitting Any Skates 2017

width chart for sktesA Simple Guide to Fitting Skates

Hockey Skates are a tricky proposition, especially for first-time buyers, because finding the right fit could be hard. Unlike simple shoes where you’ll just look at the shoe size, skates have more characteristics to take note of.

Of course you’ll have to take note of the skate’s size but you’ll also have to take note of the skate’s depth/arch, the width and your own weight. The skate that you should be choosing should satisfy each of the measurements listed above or you might incur buyer’s remorse. Also note that skate brands may differ in their measurements.

Also, be wary of sellers who try to convince you to buy the first pair of skate that you put on for fitting. As noted above, skate fitting is complex and will take time. Getting a great pair of fitting skates is essential if you plan on using your skates for longer than a few months. The next step is learning how to sharpen your skates.

Different ways to test the Fit 

Although skate fitting itself is a bit complex in terms of measurements, there are some simple shortcuts to test the fit.

Pen/Pencil Fitting Test ruler being used to measure size

Put on the skates (not necessarily both) but leave the laces untied. Uncover the socks by pulling up the part of shoes underneath the laces (this is called the tongue).

Place a pen or pencil above and between perpendicular eyelets (the holes where the laces go through, essentially balancing it. The skate is considered ill-fitting if the pen in question touches your foot (the instep). This means that the skates are too shallow for you. The skate maybe deemed a good fit if the pen is well balanced and does not touch your foot.

Toe and Stance Test 

Familiarity of the athletic (Hockey) stance is essential with this test. In athletic stance, your knees are bended forward and your body is leaning forward. Lace up your skates and try to feel if your toes are touching the front part of the skates. Optimal fit means that your toes aren’t touching the front part whilst in athletic pose.

To check further, try standing up while still wearing stakes. Optimal fit means your toes are just brushing the front part of the shoes.

Deviation from the aforementioned conditions in this particular test may deem the skates being tested as unfit.

spacing inside the skate

Stiffness Test a man squeezing the back of a skate to make sure it fits

The general rule is that stiff skates are good ones. The stiffness supports the ankle thereby avoiding ankle and other related injuries. Testing the stiffness of a pair is pretty simple, just give your skate a squeeze (making this test virtually the easiest one of the batch discussed here). Avoid skates that give in rather easily when squeezed.

Very stiff skates are usually recommended for experienced skaters. Novices should avoid the stiff ones and try to purchase less stiff ones because they may not be able to break the skates. Failure to do so may impair there performance. However, novices should still avoid skates that have little to no stiffness because the shoes will not be able to support the ankles.

It is worth noting that different brands have different standards of stiffness (like sizes) built in to their boots. Some brands or types might be better suited for seasoned skaters while some are better suited for novices or first timers.

Finger-at-the-back Test another test to test the size of your skates

This is another test that will enable the buyer to determine the fit of the skates at hand. To be more specific, this kind of test will determine if the skates have the right ankle size. While the first test (pen/pencil test) entails the laces being untied, this test will start with the tightening up of the laces. Wear it like you’re going to an actual hockey game. Lean forward so that there will be a bit of gap at the back of the shoes. Put a finger or two inside the gap and try to reach the heel inside. Placing two fingers all the way inside means the skate is a bit loose and is an ill-fit. Using a pair of loose skates may cause injuries, highlighting the importance of this test.

You don’t have to do all the tests listed here but doing more than one (plus the tips given by the local skates’ seller) will help.

Breaking In

Just like in a car where you ride for a couple of thousand kilometers, you also need to wear the pair of skates to shake it up. Blisters and other discomforts are normal for the first few tries but that will go away after the tenth tries or so.

Baking is usually a shortcut to this but almost all skaters with a new pair will undergo this “break-in” period. The break in period is actually like baking, where the mold of your foot is being impressed on the skates for better fitting (baking being the faster method). 

Baking and Skates?

The two words above may not make sense but ask any skater (hockey) and they will tell you that baking skates is a usual occurrence. Please take note that this is only true for the high-end products. Baking in this sense is done so that your skates will be molded to fit your foot/feet. You will be asked to wear the pair after heating it inside the “oven”.

You can try to bake your skates at home but it would be better to bake it in the shops. Skates ovens are specialized and not the usual oven that you see around. Doing it on your own increases the risk of destroying your pair of skates. You don’t want to burn your pair to crisp.

Online or Offline

There are so many choices, brands and methods to obtain skates. As such, this could be a bit intimidating especially for first time buyers or novices. While online buying seems more convenient, first time buyers would be better served by going to physical stores where sellers could give out advice and choose the skates best suited for you. Also, you could check the product (skates) on a firsthand basis.

Finding won’t be a problem provided there is an actual hockey store near you. Just go online and type “hockey store” or “skates store” and the internet will handle the rest. Common names are Source for Sports, Pro Hockey Life (both found in Canada) and Total Hockey (found in USA).

The only con for choosing this route is that you’ll have to go to the physical stores as opposed to the convenience of online shops. For online shops, common names are Hockey Monkey, Pure Hockey, and Pro Hockey Life (online).

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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Graf Skate Review 2017 – What are the Best Graf Skates?

If you actually searched for Graf skates then you’re probably a pretty hardcore hockey player or maybe you just like the buy the top of the line gear; which is exactly what Graf is.

A quick web search about Graf Skates won’t reveal that much for a few reasons. First, they are based in Switzerland and don’t really sell to the US market. Second, their primary market is professional and NHL teams who are looking for the highest quality skates.  Graf doesn’t really promote itself online and doesn’t even sell on Amazon really.

Graf skates are for sure second to none. They are extremely well crafted and last a lifetime. Think of them as the samurai sword of hockey skates.  Many hours go into each skate and they aren’t mass produced in some Chinese factory.

I’d suggest Graf skates for anyone who:

  1. want a pair of skates they can literally use forever
  2. professional player or aspiring to be one
  3. wants a pair of skates designed for serious explosive power.

Grafs are definitely more expensive than your typical pair of skates, but like I mentioned if you want superb quality, design and especially blades than I’d seriously advise you to get a pair.

I’ve personally had a pair of the GRAF G735 Overload for five years and use them three times a week with no issues.

So in this article I’m going to break down my top five choices for Graf skates to help you decide which one is best for your skating ability/goals/budget.

Here is the sizing chart for their senior skates.

diagram showing the sizing chart for senior Graf Skates

Best Top of the Line – GRAF PEAKSPEED PK7700 SENIOR (Good white skate for serious athletic performancefor Wide Feet)

Yes, they are expensive but these are actually the go-to skates of nearly a quarter of the NHL teams right now (according to Graf). The PK 770 is made of composite material that is locked into place. It’s extra light which mean it offers extremely fast acceleration.

The runner uses titanium non-coated plates. These plates allow for 10 foot radius meaning aggressive stop, turns and cuts are enhanced by the design.

Some of Advantages:

  • Flex Fit Collar for enhanced agility
  • Double stich Ankle Support
  • Anti-bacterial lining
  • Titanium Runners
  • Comes with a holder and replacement runners
  • Top Cap is steel plated for direct puck contact
  • The arch is moldable with a brushed microfiber interior for great comfort.
  • Extremely lightweight
  • 6 Month warranty

If you can afford it the PK7700 is the top of the line skate used by a lot of pros. I’d recommend this Graf skate for anyone looking for serious performance, agility and long-term durability.

GRAF G735 OVERLOAD SENIOR ICE HOCKEY SKATES (Runner black skates with a neon green topUp)

Ok, so the last one. The G735 are a great final choice if the ones above didn’t suit you. As a senior skate this is one that can definitely be used for a lifetime. If you’re an old geezer like myself these skates offer a really beautiful fit. For anyone who knows the feeling you get when you try on a pair of skates and just know they fit perfectly – these are the ones.

I think that has to due with the quality interior stitches and the way the heel is designed. Just the right blend of composite materials to make the G735 great for wide feet, novices and also experts.

This is also very much so a performance pair of skates. The microfiber quarter panels allow you to utilize serious power in each stride.


  • Anatomically correct interior design hat offers 3d Liner to keep your foot from moving
  • Tongue support to keep it from moving
  • Lace design keeps it from moving around
  • Texalite Outsole provides some great power transfer and rigidity throughout the skate
  • Laser Cut Stainless Runners

Best Value Junior Skates – GRAF PEAKSPEED PK2200 JUNIOR black skates with titanium runners and a nice heel design SKATES

The PK2200 is the cheaper, more affordable and junior sized skate version of the 7700. It has a lot of the same design features as its big brother with some toned down specs and modifications. The biggest difference between the two is the stitching and the blade quality (from my opinion).

These are a also a good pair of skates to get for novice athletes or someone who isn’t looking for the extreme performance provided by the PK7700.

I got my son a pair of these two years ago and he has used them since. They are a quality pair of skates at a very reasonable price. Again we see a high standard in Swiss skate design.

  • Advantages:
  • Multi Layer Quarter Panel for high level performance.
  • Optimized Fit (fairly snug)
  • Stainless steel runner
  • Toe protection for direct impact
  • Anti microbial
  • Moldable Arch Support
  • Replacement Runner

Here is the sizing chart for all junior models. 

chart showing the sizing chart for graf junior models

GRAF PEAKSPEED PK4400 (Best Mid Range Option) Graf skates for junior hockey players

These are a step between the PK2200 and the 7700. I choose this one second as they are a bit pricey but they provide a lot more performance and support for more seasoned athletes.  The blade design is higher quality and its designed to be lightweight yet strong.

The one feature of this skate I really liked is the heel lock design which maximizes speed and allows for a really tight fit.  This model also uses a titanium nano-coated runner so the blade quality is exceptional.

Full disclosure – I haven’t purchased this pair yet, but speaking with a few people who own them I know they are a quality choice.


  • Heel Lock for max speed.
  • Asymmetrical design stop the shifting of the tongue so it stays in place all game.
  • Flex Fit Collar giving better range of motion
  • Replacement Runner
  • 6 Month Warranty
  • Protection on toe area.
  • Stay Dry Liner
  • Moldable Arch Design

That’s it those are all your picks. There are more Graf skates to choose from, however, those are the ones I’ve used and recommend.

It’s important to remember with a product like Graf you’re getting skates that will last a lifetime so the amount of money you will have to spend initially isn’t much when you break it down in a per year basis.

Also another point I should mention because of the titanium skate design I haven’t had to sharpen my skates that much over the last 3-4 years which definitely ads up itself and could easily equate to the original price.

Let me know if you guys have any questions and I’ll be glad to help.

The post Graf Skate Review 2017 – What are the Best Graf Skates? appeared first on Skates HQ.


Monday, 1 May 2017

Shake Sharpening 101

So there is a good chance if you’re reading this that you’re actually fairly new to hockey skating.  Or perhaps you have been skating for years and just want to know more about sharpening your skates.  Either way the goal of this post is to be a novice’s guide to everything you need to know about skating.

My goal is to:

  1. Help you understand when is a good time to actually sharpen your skates.
  2. How the process of sharpening works
  3. Discuss some of the problems that might occur when you sharpen your skates

The Basics of Skate Sharpening


A skate blade is sharpened by making an extremely perfect rounded area called a “valley”. This area is located at the bottom of the blade which gives skaters control over the ice.

If you want to see what I’m talking about just take a quick look at the underside of your skates and you can see that on each individual blade there are multiple edges; not just one.  Each area has a middle area that is hollowed-out.

This area is actually where your skates are sharpened and it’s done by utilizing a grinding wheel used to mold the bladegrinding wheel or in some instances – a finishing wheel.  The grinding wheel is further separated in two separate pieces which form a semicircular. As you run the skate blade across this circular area in a parallel motion you can basically “carve” or sharpen the blade with the same rounded shape.

Skates are secured down with a device known as “jig”. A jig makes sure the skate doesn’t move and the blade remains horizontal. From there the blade is sharpened around ten times until both edges are sharp.

This hollow area is also referred to as the “radius of the hollow”. This area is range from 1/4 of an inch to 1 1/2. The majority of players will opt for a hallow that is roughly 3/8 inch or 5/8. This is all skate sharpening is really, making sure the hallow is razor sharp.

Generally speaking the larger the radius, the more shallow the hollow of the blade is. Another of understanding radius is to think of it as a wheel.  A larger wheel will tend to be slightly flatter than a smaller wheel.  This difference is the old that the wheel will leave on your skates.

This valley is the hollow, or more precisely the “radius of hollow.”

Radius of Skates – How They Affect Sharpening

how does a blade hollow workThe radius of hollow can be varied from ¼-inch to 1 ½-inch, however most players will chose a hollow between 3/8-inch and 5/8-inch. Radius of hollow is the most important aspect of skate sharpening to understand. It’s really pretty simple. The bigger the radius, the shallower the hollow on the blade will be. Picture the radius as a wheel. A bigger wheel is going to be closer to flat than a small wheel. That is the impression the wheel leaves on your skate blade.

The depth of hollow changes the feel of the skates on the ice. A deep hollow such as 3/8-inch will give significant “bite” on the edges at the cost of glide. A shallower hollow like 5/8-inch will allow better glide with some loss of edge bite. Thus, if you’re tripping over your edges and landing on your head, the hollow you are using is likely too deep. If your skates are skidding wildly out of control, you probably need to go deeper on your hollow.

Custom Sharpening Options

Having a hollow of a different depth really changes the feel of your skates.  For example, a deeper hollow like 3/8inch will give a larger “bite” when gliding; meaning you’ll get more power but slightly more friction.  A shallow hollow like 5/8 makes for smoother movement but with a loss of power.

If that seems a bit convoluted think of this, if you’re constantly falling down and tripping over your skate edges than it’s a good chance the hollow is  little too deep. Contrary to that, if you’re skating like a maniac without the ability to stop properly, the hollow probably needs to be a bit deeper.

image showing a sizing chart for skates and how to sharpen them

The above diagram gives you a little bit of insight into how these custom changes can affect your skating ability.  In either case, don’t worry as any profession skate sharpener will know exactly what to do.


I’ll add another picture below which gives another visual representation of how the hollow can affect skate sharpening. If you’re unsure of what to use I’d suggest just going with a 5/8, especially for kids.

How to Pick the Perfect Hollow

Let’s just review the above concepts one more time to make sure you got it.

Small Radius Hollow (usually 3/8)

  • Less Energy = More Friction
  • Top Speed is not as high
  • A little bit extra effort is required to skate
  • Great for lighter players
  • Great movement on the ice.
  • Faster turns, stops and explosive movements.

Large Radius Hollow (usually 5/8)

  1. Uses your energy better
  2. Less tiring
  3. Great for new players and kids
  4. Faster speed
  5. Diminished turns and stops

Common Mistakes When Sharpening

There are some issues that can come up when your sharpen your skates. These should be addressed quickly as they can lower the reliability of your gear. The solution for any of these problems is to just get your skates resharpened 🙂

 Alignment Issues

  • An easy way to tell if this is a problem is to look down the length of your blade and check if one side or area is higher than the other. Basically it should be even with no side coming up higher than the other.
  • If one side is taller than the other that’s due to the fact that your grinder didn’t align the wheel well enough when sharpening. Best solution is to resharpen.

image showing some common mistakes when sharpening blades

Not Sharpened Well Enough

  • If your skates are cross-grounded but still not entirely hollowed, skates will have a slight bite in multiple directions. Again the issue with this is basically that the sharpener didn’t spend enough time on the finishing wheel and the edge is not properly set.
  • If you hold your blade up to the light and move it around you can notice two thin lines that run parallel to the edges. These lines differ in color to the rest of the blade.
  • If you can see this on only one edge as opposed to both that’s an indication that your blades were entirely sharpened and there may be some issues.

Too Much Cross Grinding

When you take new skates to get sharpened or even to remove rust you often take them to for cross-grinding.  So remember when we talked about the finishing wheel and the jig that holds your skates horizontally. Well, in cross grinding your skate is being held vertically.  The reasoning for this is in cross grinding a much more vigorous shaping of the blade is taking place.

Cross grinding allows an older blade to be “reset” the blade to being completely flat on the bottom of the hollow. This in turn allows it to be better aligned when traditional skate sharpening takes place on a finishing wheel.

One thing to note – if your skate shop is doing a cross grind every time you take your skates in be wary. This is slightly harmful to the overall lifetime of your skates and they will probably only last you about 1/3 as long as they should.  I’d suggest doing this for the new skates but not every time.


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Thursday, 27 April 2017

What are the differences between hockey skates and figure skates

You’ve watched ice hockey players excelling at their sport and plenty of figure skaters also enjoying what they do. Do these two types of skaters use similar skates? Are they interchangeable? What are the differences between skates used for figure skating and skates used for hockey skating? There are all common questions. Of course, these types of boots aren’t the same; but for the average person, spotting specific distinctions might be tough. Let’s look at a few of them now.

Figure Skates vs. Hockey Skates:

• Blade Differences: The blade on a figure skate comes with toe picks, (a jagged design with teeth) in front, which help with spinning and jumping out on the ice. These blades are typically heavier and longer than the blade of a hockey skate. Figure skating blades are often mounted separately onto the boot, while you can find the hockey skating blades riveted into the base of the boot.

Figure skating blades don’t come in one single type and can vary a lot depending on their purpose. There are, for instance, tapered blades which are thinner at the back and thicker toward the front, and side-honed variations which are thinner in the middle and thicker at the edges. There are also parabolic blades with smaller middles and wider ends for extra stability.

• Materials used for Each Type: Boots used for figure skating are most often crafted from leather and cost more than boots for hockey skating. You can find crafted hockey skating boots in plastic or synthetic leather materials, and also in nylon. Figure skating boots are often designed with the look and style in mind, while hockey boots might focus more on utility.

• The Range of Mobility Offered: Hockey skates usually come with molded plastic on the shoe, which provides protection but restricts mobility in some ways compared with figure skates, which need to be more flexible. Figure skates are built to accommodate many types of motion and in some cases, dance moves. Crafted from synthetic materials, some figure skating boots have a lining added for extra strength and are lighter in weight than leather. These are easier to break in than leather boots, as well, which can take a while to get used to, just like leather shoes.

• Ankle Supports: Many boots designed for figure skating have ankle hinges for lateral support and added flexibility. Figure skating boots usually have lower backs, allowing the skater for more freedom of movement, such as deep knee bends.

• General Levels of Comfort: Boots for hockey skating typically offer a lot more comfort than figure skating or ice dancing boots.

As you can see, there are many differences between each boot type, and they also look quite distinct from each other. The blades of hockey skates are meant to facilitate quick stops and overall speed. Created for different reasons and ranges of mobility, so don’t expect both blades and boots to be very similar, apart from the fact that both are used to skate on ice.

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Can You Use Hockey Skates as Figure Skates

There are a few different reasons why you might want to try using hockey skates as figure skates. Perhaps you thought hockey was your sport and found out it wasn’t, and would like to switch hobbies. Maybe one of your children has an interest in figure skating, and you want to know if your other kid’s old hockey skates will work for this.

Hockey skates and figure skates are different from each other in a few key ways, including blade shape and boot composition. Within each type of boot, there are many variations and categories. Figure skates can work for ice dancing, synchronized skating, or freestyle maneuvers. Ice dancing skate boots might have lower cuts at the top. Hockey skates, on the other hand, are designed to suit goalies, defensemen, and forwards, each requiring different features.

These subtle distinctions allow each type of skate to be well-suited for the needs of its respective sport. Knowing these differences will help you find the perfect skate for your needs. Let’s start by covering the differences between hockey skates and figure skates, then see whether you can use one for the other.

Differences in Functionality:

• Figure Skate Features: Figure skates have gently curved blades, supportive leather boots fit for knee bends, and toe picks. These qualities help facilitate the spins, jumps, and sweeping curve moves that the sport involves.

• Hockey Skate Features: Hockey skates come with blades that are shorter and have steeper curves. The boots are typically crafted from plastic or other rigid, synthetic material and don’t come with toe picks. Hockey skates usually have a back heel guard to protect the Achilles tendon from injury, unlike the softer figure skate design. Built for ease of turning and speed, these have the ability to stop fast out on the ice.

Using Hockey Skates as Figure Skates:

The Bottom Line.Basic dance moves may be possible with hockey skates, but even navigating the ice is very different from one boot type to another. Although you would be able to do some simple figure skating moves using hockey skates, though, more advanced spins and jumps are unlikely due to the absence of a toe pick. So for your initial lessons or attempts at figure skating, the boot doesn’t matter as much, but as you advance, an appropiately suited choice is necessary.

New to Skating? What you should Know:

If you’re a first-time skater, it’s advised to begin using figure skates instead of hockey skates. This reason is because the figure skating blade is more equipped for spreading your weight evenly and fostering proper balance. New skaters might be tempted to use the skate’s toe p ick improperly, but this should never be used to stop or push off. Due to the steeper curves in the blades, hockey skates aren’t safe for first-timers, except those who are already comfortable using inline-style roller skates. Since the weight distribution between these two boot types is similar, it’s easier to get used to hockey skates from inline skates.

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How Often Should Hockey Skates Be Sharpened

A logical question to ask yourself, as a hockey player, is how often you need to sharpen your skate blades. The short answer is that it varies from skater to skater. Every hockey player is different, and the frequency of sharpening required relies on how often you use the skates and the skating ability level of the player.

In general, most hockey players lose up to 10 percent of their skates’ edge for every hour they spend skating. In other words, after 10 hours of average game, they may need sharpening. Pros, on the other hand, may use up to 60 percent of their edges, because of how powerful their strides are. Some require sharpening before each and every game or practice. Others need to sharpen their skates before each period.

Estimations of How Often to Sharpen Hockey Skates:

Take into account your personal style of skating when deciding how often to grind, but use these general guidelines to help you choose. Based on averages of skating for one hour each week, here are the following estimates:

• Beginner: As a beginner skater who is only shuffling on the ice, they shouldn’t need sharpening more than twice in one season.

• Intermediate: As the skater begins to use the blade edges to dig deeper into the ice more often, they may need to be sharpened up to four times in one season.

• Advanced: For hockey players who are gaining advancement or skating up to two games each week, blades should be sharpened every five games or so.

Of course, every hockey player is different, meaning that they can handle varying degrees of blade dullness. One method for telling whether blades need sharpening is feeling them (with caution, of course). To do this, just run your fingertip along the edge, width-wise, (since length-wise can cause injury). Ideally, you will feel two edges. Do this both before sharpening and after, so you get familiar with the difference.

The Sharper, the Better?

Some believe that sharpening blades as much as you can allow them to last longer, but this is a myth. At times, when the blade is too sharp, stopping becomes more difficult. New skaters may be struggling with making snow or scraping, and more sharpened skates can add to this problem.

Other Ways to Tell It’s time to Sharpen your Skates:

• Visual Cues: The First and most obvious method for telling that your blades need sharpening is seeing if any nicks are visible along the blades. You can also look out for rounded blade edges, a clear signal that sharpening is required.

• Feeling: As you get better at skating and hockey, you’ll eventually be able to feel when your blades need to grind. You will notice that the skates are losing their grip.

A basic, simple rule to go by is every five hours you spend skating. However, that’s a general figure and not meant to be a strict guideline. Personal preference plays a role, so sharpen your

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