From controlling your footwork to landing every jump, your figure skating blades affect your performance in every element out on the ice.
Keeping your blades sharp is a common practice in figure skating, so we're breaking down everything you need to know about sharpening your ice skates in this complete guide!
Why Do Ice Skates Need To Be Sharpened?
Correctly sharpened blades can grip the ice better, so you can stick those landings and make tighter turns with killer precision. A better grip on the ice also stops you from sliding out, which can cause injury if you’re not careful.
How Often Should Figure Skates Be Sharpened?
Most skaters get between 10-20 hours of ice time from each grind. This number also depends on your body weight, experience level and how sharp you prefer your blades to feel.
The best way to test if your ice skates need sharpening is to gently rub the top of your thumbnail down the side of the blade. If your blade is sharp enough, it should scratch the surface of your nail, but if the blade is dull, it won’t leave a mark.
You might also notice a decline in your performance out on the ice that signals your blades are getting dull. If your skates are slipping out from underneath you or you’re getting very little resistance in your stops, this could be a sign to get your skates sharpened.
How Are Figure Skates Sharpened?
If you look at your blades, you’ll see a concave hollow running along the length of the blade. This is the radius of hollow, which can be made deeper or shallower, depending on skater preference.
Sharpening your blades refers to sharpening these two edges on either side of the hollow; this is done by running your blades along a rotating grinding wheel.
What Hollow Should I Sharpen My Figure Skates?
Finding the best hollow for you will depend on personal preference, so have a play around and see what feels best to you on the ice.
If you are a beginner ice skater that isn’t doing advanced edge work or landing jumps just yet, you’ll want to start with a shallower hollow of ⅝". Using this hollow will give you better stability, build confidence, and develop your fundamental skating skills.
For more experienced figure skaters, a deeper grind of ½" is popular, delivering a balance between a sharp feel with more glide and speed.
Are Ice Skates Pre-Sharpened?
Generally, most ice skates do not come from the manufacturer pre-sharpened; plus, the chances that your figure skates come with your exact hollow specifications are relatively slim!
All skates purchased from us come with a free grind, helping you to get the best performance out of your skates.
Where Can I Get My Skates Sharpened?
Our skilled team of Blademaster-trained staff at Willies sharpen your blades to your preference and are on hand to advise if a change in hollow could improve your performance. You can find us at 52a Earlsdon Street, Coventry, CV5 6EJ.
You’ve learned how important it is to keep your skates suitably sharpened; now book your slot for figure skate sharpening while you wait, from £7.50. If you can’t get to us, you can get your hands on custom blades with our handy mail-in service, no matter where you are.