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How big should skate blades be?

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Old
12-17-2011, 11:39 PM
  #1
Joey Moss
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How big should skate blades be?

So I have had a problem for a while now where I'm finding I fall down a lot when I try to take a sharp turn and I'm wondering if it has to do with the size of the skate blade? I'm positive my skates are sharp enough and I shouldn't be falling because of dull skates but I think it could be because when I'm turning my skates are actually touching the ice and that causes me to fall.

Just wondering if my theory is completely ridiculous or I actually do have a problem here.. The blade is just over 1 cm on my skates.

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12-18-2011, 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Moss View Post
So I have had a problem for a while now where I'm finding I fall down a lot when I try to take a sharp turn and I'm wondering if it has to do with the size of the skate blade? I'm positive my skates are sharp enough and I shouldn't be falling because of dull skates but I think it could be because when I'm turning my skates are actually touching the ice and that causes me to fall.

Just wondering if my theory is completely ridiculous or I actually do have a problem here.. The blade is just over 1 cm on my skates.
the first thing that comes to mind is that your were fit properly for your skates. if yes, then look into profiling. if you're not familiar with it, go to a local hockey shop that has a good reputation for skate work and talk to them about it. they should help you figure out what might work for you. in the meantime, here's some info to start with: http://noicingsports.com/skate_radius_profiling.html

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12-18-2011, 05:22 AM
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you should still have plenty of blade. it may be to use a more sharper radius on your skates. or as the last poster said, get them aligned to your feet

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12-18-2011, 10:07 AM
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If your skates fit properly it's likely the radius. Having them profiled from 11' to 9' or from 9' to 7' takes material off the toe and heel allowing you to take tighter turns at the expense of possibly some top end speed.

Did you recently get new skates? What kind?

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12-18-2011, 11:07 AM
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AIREAYE
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Can you rule out skating technique before looking at your gear?

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12-19-2011, 12:13 PM
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It is possible that the side of your boot is contacting the ice if you're leaning too much. It could be one or a combinatin of several reasons. Maybe you got into the habit of leaning more than normal, and now that you're blade is worn enough after multiple sharpenings, you've reached a point where the boot is starting to contact the ice. Add to that that you're boot may have softened a bit over time so it now leans more than your foot does when you turn. But like AIREAYE is suggesting, this might all be solved by correcting skating technique. Start with concentrating on leaning your skates a bit less when you turn.

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12-19-2011, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Moss View Post
So I have had a problem for a while now where I'm finding I fall down a lot when I try to take a sharp turn and I'm wondering if it has to do with the size of the skate blade? I'm positive my skates are sharp enough and I shouldn't be falling because of dull skates but I think it could be because when I'm turning my skates are actually touching the ice and that causes me to fall.

Just wondering if my theory is completely ridiculous or I actually do have a problem here.. The blade is just over 1 cm on my skates.
How much over 1 cm? Just measured my skates, they reasonably new and still have tonnes of steel left, and the blades go about 1.3 cm sticking out the bottom of the holder. What brand/make of skates do you wear, what size are your skates, and what size shoes do you wear? It sounds like you have a decent amount of steel, that's almost certainly not the problem, but if your skates fit poorly that'll really hold your skating back in pretty much all regards, including turning.

If your skates fit decently, I'd be 99% sure that your main problem is simply technique, not equipment. Simply put, you probably need to improve your edgework, especially your outside edges, which are weak for a lot of skaters. These drills are GREAT for improving your edgework, especially the scissor skating drill:


Master these drills in the order they're presented, except for the 1-footed skating drill, I'd leave that one until last, as it's fairly difficult.

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12-19-2011, 05:15 PM
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Make sure the sharpening your getting is also level as that can cause you to loose and edge if it extreme enough.

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12-20-2011, 02:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
If your skates fit properly it's likely the radius. Having them profiled from 11' to 9' or from 9' to 7' takes material off the toe and heel allowing you to take tighter turns at the expense of possibly some top end speed.

Did you recently get new skates? What kind?
I'll definitely consider that next time I go into the skate shop. Yea, I got new skates in September, they're Bauer One 100's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponder View Post
How much over 1 cm? Just measured my skates, they reasonably new and still have tonnes of steel left, and the blades go about 1.3 cm sticking out the bottom of the holder. What brand/make of skates do you wear, what size are your skates, and what size shoes do you wear? It sounds like you have a decent amount of steel, that's almost certainly not the problem, but if your skates fit poorly that'll really hold your skating back in pretty much all regards, including turning.

If your skates fit decently, I'd be 99% sure that your main problem is simply technique, not equipment. Simply put, you probably need to improve your edgework, especially your outside edges, which are weak for a lot of skaters. These drills are GREAT for improving your edgework, especially the scissor skating drill:


Master these drills in the order they're presented, except for the 1-footed skating drill, I'd leave that one until last, as it's fairly difficult.
It was about 1.2 cm from the holder. I wear size 9 skates and I wear size 11 shoes. When I bought the skates I got this insol that pushed my toes back and my skates fit very nicely so I don't think that's the problem.

I've been playing for 17 years now and I've never really had much of a problem with staying on my feet aside from the past two years now but I'll definitely look into these drills as well as the radius.

Appreciate the help!

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12-20-2011, 02:50 AM
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Is it only happening when turning sharp? anything else? no problems skating backwards or going from skating forward to backwards? Next time you get them sharpened, tell them the specific position you play and make sure they sharpen the skates to that particular position. A lot of people don't realize it but this makes a big difference.

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12-20-2011, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Man Bear Pig View Post
Is it only happening when turning sharp? anything else? no problems skating backwards or going from skating forward to backwards? Next time you get them sharpened, tell them the specific position you play and make sure they sharpen the skates to that particular position. A lot of people don't realize it but this makes a big difference.
I don't have any problems skating backwards or pivoting. I like my skates done very sharp and I notice sometimes I don't get them like that. I can't seem to find a place in Edmonton to do my skates consistently well but I live with it.

I also use one of those things that helps with edges on your skates. It's basically like two stones split apart and the blade goes in the middle, you just run it down the blade. I completely forget what it's called but I have heard it's not good for the blade. Can anyone confirm this if they know what I'm talking about?

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12-20-2011, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Moss View Post
I don't have any problems skating backwards or pivoting. I like my skates done very sharp and I notice sometimes I don't get them like that. I can't seem to find a place in Edmonton to do my skates consistently well but I live with it.

I also use one of those things that helps with edges on your skates. It's basically like two stones split apart and the blade goes in the middle, you just run it down the blade. I completely forget what it's called but I have heard it's not good for the blade. Can anyone confirm this if they know what I'm talking about?
in edmonton, go to pro skate service, they are gems with skates and the only people i trust to sharpen my blades,

as for the sweet stick (vstick) they can be very good for edges, problem is most people over use them and kill their edges. the trick to them, i find, it one pass, to to heel and with medium pressure, any more and you will turn your edges inward.

when you go to proskate, as them to flat grind your skates and have them start the edges bread new, that will eliminate the problem of your edges being uneven.

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12-20-2011, 10:05 AM
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Do you still have your old skates? If so bring them and the new ones into the shop and have them match the profile radius.

When you get new skates, the toe and heel are fairly squared off. As they get sharpened, usually a bit more material is taken off there until it's very rounded.

I'm guessing since you've been playing for so long and it's a recent problem that you just got adapted to the radius of your old skates. And now there's extra material at the toe and heel which is causing you to catch an edge on your turns.

Personally, I used Bauer skates for four years before getting Grafs. Bauer skates have a 9' radius. My Grafs had a longer runner and an 11' radius. I had a huge issue losing edges on transitions and turns. Once I had them profiled to a 9' radius the problems went away completely.

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12-20-2011, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Moss View Post

I've been playing for 17 years now and I've never really had much of a problem with staying on my feet aside from the past two years now but I'll definitely look into these drills as well as the radius.

Appreciate the help!
I'm a little lost here. You've been having this problem for 2 years? And you just got new skates and it's still happening? If so, it's clearly not your skates, it's technique. No way to tell what's possibly causing it unless you tell us more about how/when it is happening. Early in the turn? Late? During a crossover or a straight turn? Inside or outside foot?

I'd be really surprised if your boot was touching the ice before you're losing your edge.

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12-20-2011, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Personally, I used Bauer skates for four years before getting Grafs. Bauer skates have a 9' radius. My Grafs had a longer runner and an 11' radius. I had a huge issue losing edges on transitions and turns. Once I had them profiled to a 9' radius the problems went away completely.
Had the same experience with new blades in my Grafs, except rather than losing my edge the skates just plain wouldn't turn at all. Amazing how much difference there is between an 11' radius and a 9' radius.

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12-20-2011, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Stickmata View Post
Had the same experience with new blades in my Grafs, except rather than losing my edge the skates just plain wouldn't turn at all. Amazing how much difference there is between an 11' radius and a 9' radius.
About two feet

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12-20-2011, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Moss View Post
I'll definitely consider that next time I go into the skate shop. Yea, I got new skates in September, they're Bauer One 100's.

It was about 1.2 cm from the holder. I wear size 9 skates and I wear size 11 shoes. When I bought the skates I got this insol that pushed my toes back and my skates fit very nicely so I don't think that's the problem.

I've been playing for 17 years now and I've never really had much of a problem with staying on my feet aside from the past two years now but I'll definitely look into these drills as well as the radius.

Appreciate the help!
You're more experienced than I thought, and you've got high end skates that I'm guessing fit well (the length sounds about right at the very least). As for the thickness of your blades, 1.2 cm is plenty of steel, your boot shouldn't be "bottoming out," it's gotta be more of a technique issue, combined with getting used to your new skates.

Often when moving to new skates, it can take a bit to adjust to the new radius, but I disagree with other posters that say you should have the toes and heels rounded off. Were you on Bauer skates before? If so, the radius on the skates should be fine for you, but there would just be more steel on the toe and heel than you're used to, because repeated sharpening tend to turn your steel into "banana blades" over time. Is it right to assume that your previous skates were pretty old, and the steel really worn down?

Instead of matching your worn down steel, though, I'd suggest just continuing to skate on it as is, since you'll adjust pretty quickly (assuming you were previously on a 9' radius, most companies come stock with a 9' radius, Graf are an exception with their 11' radius). The extra steel at the heel and toe on new blades is there for a reason, it gives you greater stability, and better speed, as you have more blade to push off with throughout your stride. It's worth it to just adjust IMO, it doesn't take long, more pain than it's worth to get the blades profiled, especially if you're turning nice new steel into banana blades.

But yeah, I'd work on those drills too, a lot of skaters (even pretty experienced skaters) don't realize how much they're compensating when skating instead of just truly being fully comfortable on any of their 4 edges. I know my skating improved significantly when I really mastered these drills, even though I was already an experienced skater at the time. The key to really sharp, 2 footed turns is to be totally comfortable on both your inside and outside edges.

How were your sharp turns on your old skates? Could you turn "on a dime", with fairly equal pressure on both skates, and with both skates tracking smoothly with no slippage/jitters?


Last edited by ponder: 12-20-2011 at 12:22 PM.
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12-20-2011, 12:13 PM
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Me personally, I'd rather profile the skates and lose maybe 6 months of steel and be comfortable than try to adjust and lose agility on my skates for 6 months. Steel's cheap.

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12-20-2011, 12:27 PM
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Me personally, I'd rather profile the skates and lose maybe 6 months of steel and be comfortable than try to adjust and lose agility on my skates for 6 months. Steel's cheap.
I think getting your steel profiled from an 11' radius to the more traditional 9' radius makes perfect sense, but getting a 9' radius profiled into banana blades is just reinforcing poor technique. When you skate on banana blades you lose significant power and stability. If he was previously on a 9' radius, just a worn down one, he should be able to adapt to a "fresh" 9' radius pretty quickly. Personally when I've gone from worn down steel to new steel (with both being a 9' radius originally) it takes more like 2-5 skates to adapt than 6 months, it's a pretty quick process.

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12-20-2011, 02:30 PM
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in edmonton, go to pro skate service, they are gems with skates and the only people i trust to sharpen my blades,

as for the sweet stick (vstick) they can be very good for edges, problem is most people over use them and kill their edges. the trick to them, i find, it one pass, to to heel and with medium pressure, any more and you will turn your edges inward.

when you go to proskate, as them to flat grind your skates and have them start the edges bread new, that will eliminate the problem of your edges being uneven.
Alright I'll give that a try. And I think the vstick could be apart of this problem. I think I do overuse it because I put pretty good pressure on it and I swipe it about 2-3 times per skate.

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12-20-2011, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Do you still have your old skates? If so bring them and the new ones into the shop and have them match the profile radius.

When you get new skates, the toe and heel are fairly squared off. As they get sharpened, usually a bit more material is taken off there until it's very rounded.

I'm guessing since you've been playing for so long and it's a recent problem that you just got adapted to the radius of your old skates. And now there's extra material at the toe and heel which is causing you to catch an edge on your turns.

Personally, I used Bauer skates for four years before getting Grafs. Bauer skates have a 9' radius. My Grafs had a longer runner and an 11' radius. I had a huge issue losing edges on transitions and turns. Once I had them profiled to a 9' radius the problems went away completely.
Well last year I used Bauer X:30's so they probably have the same radius. Do you think I should look into moving to a 7' radius then?

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12-20-2011, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Stickmata View Post
I'm a little lost here. You've been having this problem for 2 years? And you just got new skates and it's still happening? If so, it's clearly not your skates, it's technique. No way to tell what's possibly causing it unless you tell us more about how/when it is happening. Early in the turn? Late? During a crossover or a straight turn? Inside or outside foot?

I'd be really surprised if your boot was touching the ice before you're losing your edge.
Could be. I find it's happening right as I attempt to turn without even making a crossover and I'm pretty sure it's the inside foot when I turn for the most part.

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12-20-2011, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ponder View Post
You're more experienced than I thought, and you've got high end skates that I'm guessing fit well (the length sounds about right at the very least). As for the thickness of your blades, 1.2 cm is plenty of steel, your boot shouldn't be "bottoming out," it's gotta be more of a technique issue, combined with getting used to your new skates.

Often when moving to new skates, it can take a bit to adjust to the new radius, but I disagree with other posters that say you should have the toes and heels rounded off. Were you on Bauer skates before? If so, the radius on the skates should be fine for you, but there would just be more steel on the toe and heel than you're used to, because repeated sharpening tend to turn your steel into "banana blades" over time. Is it right to assume that your previous skates were pretty old, and the steel really worn down?

Instead of matching your worn down steel, though, I'd suggest just continuing to skate on it as is, since you'll adjust pretty quickly (assuming you were previously on a 9' radius, most companies come stock with a 9' radius, Graf are an exception with their 11' radius). The extra steel at the heel and toe on new blades is there for a reason, it gives you greater stability, and better speed, as you have more blade to push off with throughout your stride. It's worth it to just adjust IMO, it doesn't take long, more pain than it's worth to get the blades profiled, especially if you're turning nice new steel into banana blades.

But yeah, I'd work on those drills too, a lot of skaters (even pretty experienced skaters) don't realize how much they're compensating when skating instead of just truly being fully comfortable on any of their 4 edges. I know my skating improved significantly when I really mastered these drills, even though I was already an experienced skater at the time. The key to really sharp, 2 footed turns is to be totally comfortable on both your inside and outside edges.

How were your sharp turns on your old skates? Could you turn "on a dime", with fairly equal pressure on both skates, and with both skates tracking smoothly with no slippage/jitters?
I was using Bauer's before.

I think it's safe to assume the steel was getting worn out because I had actually gotten a new blade put in later in the season and it felt great. The blade must have been at least 1.5 cm so that's why I brought up the measurements of the steel.

I think I will work on those drills though because I've never really done anything like that to work on my edge work. It could help out.

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12-20-2011, 02:49 PM
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The sweet stick definitely will screw up your edges. I tried it once. I was falling down anything I wasn't moving straight ahead. Never again. When you sharpen skates, the outside of the steel is supposed to be flat. When you use that stick, the outside angles inward. You don't have a stable edge.

Here's what I'd do. Get your skates sharpened and if you want more bite, get a deeper hollow (like 3/8" if you use 1/2" now). And throw the stick in the trash

If you need a stone, get a Miracle Stone. It's a real, solid honing stone and cheap. Get two of them at once in case you lose one. The only thing you need it for is to smooth the outside of the steel in case of nicks.

Honestly I think that would fix it 100% from what you have described.

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12-20-2011, 03:04 PM
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Joey Moss
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
The sweet stick definitely will screw up your edges. I tried it once. I was falling down anything I wasn't moving straight ahead. Never again. When you sharpen skates, the outside of the steel is supposed to be flat. When you use that stick, the outside angles inward. You don't have a stable edge.

Here's what I'd do. Get your skates sharpened and if you want more bite, get a deeper hollow (like 3/8" if you use 1/2" now). And throw the stick in the trash

If you need a stone, get a Miracle Stone. It's a real, solid honing stone and cheap. Get two of them at once in case you lose one. The only thing you need it for is to smooth the outside of the steel in case of nicks.

Honestly I think that would fix it 100% from what you have described.
Sounds great, thanks for the help.

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