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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How Do I Make Hockey Skates Tighter

There are a lot of different reasons why you might want to make your hockey skates feel lighter than figure skates. Perhaps you’re dealing with shin splints or your hockey skates are cumbersome and clunky, and find that this is standing in the way of your performance. Hockey is a sport that relies a lot on speed and agility, so feeling light on your feet is an absolute must for excelling at the game. The issue of a heavy-feeling hockey skate could have to do with the natural weight of the skate or could be related to an error in your technique and wasted energy. At times, it’s a combination of these factors.
Let’s look at some changes you can implement to make your skates either feel lighter or physically reduce their weight. If you try each of these tips, you will eventually figure out why your skates are feeling too heavy and be able to prevent this problem in the future.

Try Changing Out the Wheels:

If you find that you are having a hard time lifting your legs even after doing some basic warm up exercises, you might benefit from switching out your wheels to something lighter. Do some research to find out which brand to go.

Using Metal Plates in the Skates:

Another option is trying out metal plates. Although this does sound heavier at first glance, it can help you more efficiently transmit your strength to the ground. It would give your legs a break and allow them to feel lighter.

Get Enough Protein for Muscle Recovery:

What you’re dealing with may have more to do with nutrition than physical aspects of your skates. When your skates feel heavy, it can be a sign that you need more protein to rebuild your muscles, as these get ripped when you train for hockey. Try a protein drink or powder both before and after you skate and see if it makes a difference over time.

Waterproofing your Boots:

You can also try waterproofing your hockey skating boots a few times, including the laces. Too much water soaking into your boot can cause them to feel heavier as you practice, even if you don’t notice this initially.

How to Adjust the Skate’s Hardware:

When you’ve made all of the suggested changes above and still find that your boot is too heavy, it’s safe to assume that it’s related to the actual boot materials and the hardware of the skate. To investigate this throughly, you might have to disassemble it. Take a look at the only implements of your skate, including the anchors and screws holding the runner on. If made from steel, they can be removed and replaced with aluminum or titanium substitutes, both of which are light and durable.
You might need to try a combination of these tips until you find what works for you. You may also find that going with a different brand of boots is best. Either way, don’t give up until you

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