Ice Hockey Skate Profiling: Should you profile your skates? - WILLIES.CO.UK - ICE - INLINE - FIGURE

Ice Hockey Skate Profiling: Should you profile your skates?

Ice Hockey Skate Profiling: Should You Profile Your Skates?

Most players know that you can have your skates sharpened to different hollows, but did you know that you can also change the profile and lie of your blades to suit your play style?

Profiling your skates comes down to a personal choice, so we've answered the most common questions to help you decide whether you should get your hockey skates profiled.

What Is Hockey Skate Profiling?

When you profile your ice hockey skates, you’re essentially shaping your blade steel from heel to toe. There are several different terms for changing the profile of a skate; profile, rocker and contour all refer to the same thing.

Profiling describes the shape of your blade from the side, at the point where it touches the ice. You can make two main changes to your skates through profiling — radius and lie.

By changing the blade shape to fit your individual specifications and preferences, you create the proper ice contact to make the most of your body positioning, skating ability and stride. These adjustments will help you to get the most out of your:

  • Acceleration
  • Transition
  • Speed
  • Stability

Profiling is slightly different from skate sharpening, which changes how your blades dig into the ice. If you have deeper hollows, you put more pressure on the edges of the blade, which digs you further into the ice. Shallow hollows will distribute pressure more evenly, sitting your skates more on top of the ice.

Want to know more about ice hockey skate sharpening? We’ve got the full rundown in our guide here.

Changing The Radius Of Your Skates

Radius refers to the blade curve, which is different from the hollow's radius (describing the depth of the bottom groove in your skate). For example, if your blades had a 9ft radius profile, they would match perfectly with the curve of a 9ft circle.

The smaller the radius on your blades, the more agile your skate, but you'll be less stable and work harder for each stride as a smaller portion of the blade is touching the ice.

On the other hand, the larger your skate radius, the more powerful each stride, but turning becomes more difficult.

Dual-profiled skates can be a happy medium between the two, delivering a more agile front with added stability at the back. Dual profiles with a flat middle are especially popular with defensemen for additional stability during pivoting.

No 'perfect profile' exists for everyone; like most hockey equipment-based decisions, profiling is a personal preference based on playstyle and feel.

Changing The Lie Of Your Skates

Changing the lie of the blade affects the posture of the skater. When a skater stands upright, they should be at the high point of the radius, balanced between falling forward and backward. Most skates come with a very neutral balance point, although some off-the-shelf skates come with a 'forward lean'.

Moving this balance point towards the heel will encourage the ankles and knees to bend, which defencemen traditionally prefer, thanks to smoother pivots. However, if it's too far back, the skater will lean too far forward and risk muscle strain.

Moving the high point towards the toe will force the skater's legs to be more rigid, which delivers better lateral movement and is often preferred by forwards.

If you're interested in changing the lie of your skates, we recommend only the smallest amount of lean to start with, as the changes can be pretty drastic.

How Are Hockey Skates Profiled?

Many different contour machines can change the profile of your blades. At Willies, we use the Prosharp by Bauer system, which gives you pinpoint precision with your blade profiling, every single time.


The Prosharp system tailors the shape, pitch and radius on four areas of your blade to give you a near-custom profile that matches your playstyle:

  1. Under your toes: This part of the blade impacts your acceleration, allowing you to generate momentum quickly during your first three strides.
  2. Ball of your foot: This part of your blade influences your transitions, supporting you through quick on-ice adjustments from pivoting your direction to exploding out of those tight turns.
  3. Arch to the foot of your heel: This is the largest area of your steel and helps you to enhance your top speed. With the largest area of contact with the ice, this zone is engineered to maximise your power through the length of your stride.
  4. Under your heel: This part of your blade is built for stability and improving your balance and control on the rink.

Why ProSharp By Bauer?

Not only do you get more granular control over each area of your hockey blade, but the ProSharp by Bauer system cuts with even pressure along the exact same profile template every single time.

This means you get to enjoy reliable profiling to keep you on top of your game, every time you step out onto the ice.

Should I Get My Hockey Skates Profiled?

Off-the-shelf skates usually come with a single generic radial profile that may be perfect, or may actually hinder your skating — it all depends on the style you prefer to play in.

Profiling ensures that your blades are the same height and shape and that you are optimising your skates for your position and play style.

Depending on your level of play, most players will look to get their skates profiled around three times per year: at the start of the season, during mid-season, and then just before the playoffs.

Profiling your skates comes with a great deal of benefits to your game, including:

  • Faster acceleration with a quicker top speed and take-off
  • Improved agility
  • Better balance and stability
  • Easier transitions
  • Reduced rate of hollow when sharpening — which translates to better efficiency and glide while reducing fatigue.
  • Higher confidence in your skates

What Is The Best Skate Profile For Me?

The decision is entirely up to you. You may feel comfortable with what you are already skating on and not feel the need to change!

If you're unsure or thinking about a change to your hockey skate profile, chat with our expert team to help you find the perfect profile for you.

The ProSharp by Bauer system allows you to choose from three player profiles:

  • Quad XS: If you’re looking for a long, powerful stride that digs into the ice to get the most explosive power, this profile is for you. Quad XS helps you to take off from complete stops and change direction quickly without wasting any power.
  • Zuperior S: Nimble, agile skaters who need that slight forward pitch to play on their toes should try out the Zuperior S profile. This profile creates an aggressive feel for explosive acceleration while staying stable enough for tighter turns.
  • Ellipse XXS: For a blend between power and agility, look no further than this profile. With a balanced curve from toe to heel for a seamless feel, you’ll get greater blade contact through each zone for making the most out of your current ability.

The ProSharp by Bauer system also has two profiles for goalies:

  • Goalie Sam: For enhancing footwork with an aggressive, agile feel to make it easy to cut off angles.
  • Goalie Ellipse: The perfect profile for speeding up your up and down movements by shortening toe contact.

Want to know which Prosharp profile is best for you? Check out more info in the video below:


Can I Change My Skate Profile?

In most cases, yes! You might try out a profile and decide it’s not quite right for you, or want to have a play around with a slightly different profile to get the most out of your game.

As long as your blades are in good condition, you’re able to change your profile!

Skate profiling can level up your hockey game and help you get the best out of your skates. Ready to try out profiling? Visit us in-store or use our handy mail-in service to get your hockey skates profiled.

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