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What can you tell me about skate sharpening and rockering?

Skate Sharpening: This is an individual matter…. For example, I have coached pro players who will go games without sharpening their skates and likewise, I have coached players who sharpen them between periods…

With that said, there are a couple of rules that you may want to follow… If you or your child is having trouble with stopping… then the skates are probably too sharp. A skate that is too sharp can certainly hurt a players ability to stop because before you stop, you need to slide and that is easier with a duller skate.

Likewise, if you or your child is sliding all over the ice or your skates are coming out from under you when you turn, etc. than it is probable that you need your skates sharpened (by the way, we find that the turning problems, while it is easy to blame the skates, generally comes from a technique problem in the turn).

I also am asked frequently about what hollow to get on the skate… unfortunately, there is no universal answer except to say that you should try a couple of different hollows, see which you like the best and then stick with it… and also try to stay with the person at the hockey shop who does the sharpening that you like the best.

Rockering: Many feel that rockering the skate (rounding the blade so that less blade touches the ice) canhelp with turning, quickness, etc. and that rockering the skate towards the front or the back of the blade is also important for the same reasons. Again, this is an individual preference and many players and hockey shop pros rely on it.

The positives may be a little more quickness, agility and possibly, quicker turns, etc…. while the downsides are, the less blade touching the ice, the less thrust into the ice that blade will provide, and this can hurt top speed and the ability to glide to cover distance (speedskaters use longer blades simply to go faster, for example)… but again find what works for you and then stick with it.