A logical question to ask yourself, as a hockey player, is how often you need to sharpen your skate blades. The short answer is that it varies from skater to skater. Every hockey player is different, and the frequency of sharpening required relies on how often you use the skates and the skating ability level of the player.
In general, most hockey players lose up to 10 percent of their skates’ edge for every hour they spend skating. In other words, after 10 hours of average game, they may need sharpening. Pros, on the other hand, may use up to 60 percent of their edges, because of how powerful their strides are. Some require sharpening before each and every game or practice. Others need to sharpen their skates before each period.
The quality of skates is also a big factor in how often you’ll need to sharpen them. Choosing high quality equipment that doesn’t wear our quick can save you a lot of money over the years.
Estimations of How Often to Sharpen Hockey Skates:
Take into account your personal style of skating when deciding how often to grind, but use these general guidelines to help you choose. Based on averages of skating for one hour each week, here are the following estimates:
• Beginner: As a beginner skater who is only shuffling on the ice, they shouldn’t need sharpening more than twice in one season.
• Intermediate: As the skater begins to use the blade edges to dig deeper into the ice more often, they may need to be sharpened up to four times in one season.
• Advanced: For hockey players who are gaining advancement or skating up to two games each week, blades should be sharpened every five games or so.
Check out this video talking skate care.
Of course, every hockey player is different, meaning that they can handle varying degrees of blade dullness. One method for telling whether blades need sharpening is feeling them (with caution, of course). To do this, just run your fingertip along the edge, width-wise, (since length-wise can cause injury). Ideally, you will feel two edges. Do this both before sharpening and after, so you get familiar with the difference.
The Sharper, the Better?
Some believe that sharpening blades as much as you can allow them to last longer, but this is a myth. At times, when the blade is too sharp, stopping becomes more difficult. New skaters may be struggling with making snow or scraping, and more sharpened skates can add to this problem.
Other Ways to Tell It’s time to Sharpen your Skates:
• Visual Cues: The First and most obvious method for telling that your blades need sharpening is seeing if any nicks are visible along the blades. You can also look out for rounded blade edges, a clear signal that sharpening is required.
• Feeling: As you get better at skating and hockey, you’ll eventually be able to feel when your blades need to grind. You will notice that the skates are losing their grip.
A basic, simple rule to go by is every five hours you spend skating. However, that’s a general figure and not meant to be a strict guideline. Personal preference plays a role, so sharpen your skates!