For people who ice skate, it is important that the blades are sharp. Sharp blades allow the skates to get traction on the ice for pushing off, turning, stopping, jumping, and spinning. Whether you play hockey or figure skate, you need to make sure that your skates are sharpened because you will start slipping and lose some of your control over your movement if they become dull. Continue reading to learn how to tell if ice skates need sharpening.
Notice If You Start Slipping When You Skate
One of the most important reasons to make sure your blades are sharp is that you will start slipping when they become dull. If you are a figure skater, you will find that it is hard to land your jumps. You might think you are having a bad day because you will fall on jumps that you normally land. If you notice this happening, you might need to sharpen your skates so that they have the ability to grab the ice when you land.
You might also find that you are slipping around turns and you are unable to have the control you need for skating. If you are slipping around turns and having trouble controlling your skates on the ice, it is very likely that it is time to have your blades sharpened.
Create a Blade Sharpening Schedule
Creating a blade sharpening schedule is a great way to make sure that you always know when your skates need to be sharpened. Generally speaking, you will need to sharpen your skates after 30 to 50 hours of skating time. The number varies according to the type of skating you do. An advanced figure skater who is using deep edges and working on double jumps will need to sharpen the blades more frequently than a skater who is taking lessons a few times a week.
Skaters who skate every day for a few hours will need to sharpen their blades every three to four weeks. You can choose a time of the month, such as the first or the fifteenth, and put it down on your calendar. This way, you will never find yourself skating on dull blades. If you skate three days a week, you will probably need to sharpen your skates every three months or so. When you keep this on your calendar, you will remember to get your skates sharpened on time.
Ask the Pro at Your Rink
Most ice skating rinks have a professional in the shop who sharpens the blades. In addition, a lot of coaches sharpen blades for skaters at the rink. If you aren’t sure whether your skates need to be sharpened, you can ask the professional, and this person will be able to tell you when they need to be sharpened. They will want to know what level skater you are and what you are working on. The higher level skaters need a greater level of precision when they skate, and sharper blades make it possible to land difficult double and triple jumps.
If you are a recreational skater who skates for fun, you may not need to sharpen your blades very often at all. It will be more difficult to know how many hours you have skated on your skates if you don’t have a regular skating schedule, so you might need to use this method to find out when they are dull. No matter what kind of skater you are, the professional who sharpens skates will be able to tell you when it is time to get them sharpened.
Keeping your skates sharpened is particularly important for advanced skaters who are playing hockey or figure skating. Sharp blades allow you to use deep edges, and they give you the traction and grip you need to land jumps, make turns, and do different moves on the ice. Follow one of these methods to ensure that your skates are sharp when you need them to be.