Competitive Edge Sports vision is our skate sharpening process will change the way our customers think about skate sharpening. Full service and friendly we will give you an experience that will leave you the customer to come back time and time again.
Bring your skates down to our Midland shop and have your Hockey Skate Eyelet Repair fixed for your fallen out or ripped out skate eyelets. Oftentimes, skate eyelets will fall apart or rip and start to rip and tear your laces, so it's a good idea to check them out often and make sure they are in good shape. If they are in rough shape, we can fix those eyelets of yours with no problem! More often than not, we only need to replace the eyelet itself.
“Baking,” another term for the heat molding process, provides the player with the opportunity to further improve the fit of their skate. The process involves heating the skates at a high temperature, followed by tightly tying the laces with the foot inside the boot. After the player sits with the bottom of the blades against a soft surface for about 15 minutes, the boots will be molded to the shape of the player's feet. This process helps reduce the break-in period for new skates that have a very stiff boot. It is important to note that baking is NOT a necessary process. In fact, some players prefer the traditional way of breaking in skates which is to simply wear them.
Competitive Edge Sports suggests ‘baking’ ice hockey skates when purchasing skates.
The 7 Step Finishing Process
1. Calibration: All skates are checked for square edges.
2. Blade Prep 1: Repair damaged edges.
3. Sharpen: Consistent speed/pressure.
4. Blade Prep 2: Finishing pass preparation.
5. Finish pass: Final sharpening pass on the machine.
6. Calibration: Check for square edges. Repeat steps if not to standard.
7. Finish Process: Finish tool applied to sharpened blades.
8 Benefits of using Competitive Edge Sports
1. No break-in period after sharpening.
2. Edges stay sharper longer.
3. Reduced friction and fatigue.
4. Increased speed.
5. Improved center of gravity.
6. No skate chatter on stops.
7. Better control turns, flows, acceleration.
8. Improved confidence level in blade edges.
If your skates are feeling a little too small and it’s too close to a test or competition how about a Skate Stretch. We will be able to get about 1/2 size in length on most boots and then one or 2 widths wider also. Please allow at least 4 hours for a skate stretch overnight is always best.
Your hockey skate blades or runners should be kept sharp, smooth, and free of rust, burrs, and pitting, and with the right hollow (the concave semi-circle on the bottom of the runner that makes contact with the ice surface) to maximize skating performance based on conditions. But after lots of sharpening, the steel wears down and you'll eventually need to change the blades or runners. This is fairly routine care for your ice-hockey skates—like getting new tires on a car.
You'll know when to change the runners primarily by feel. Your skating will feel soft and wobbly and you won't turn as crisply, stop as quickly, or accelerate as cleanly as you're used to. Don't worry, it's not you—it's your skates. Or, more accurately, it's your skates telling you the runners need to be replaced.
You can visually inspect the blades to determine whether the steel is pitted or has burrs and whether you have enough steel left for sharpening. Maybe the blades are dull and that's the problem; get them sharpened! Nothing affects skating performance more than dull blades. If you determine that the steel is worn down or banged up, opt for replacement runners in the right thickness to fit the holder of your skates, with the blade profile that fits your skating style.
Steel blades can break and can be replaced without needing to remove the holder from the boot. Often times a hard pass or even a shot along the ice can cause a steel blade to break. Should this happen, bring your skates (both of them) into Competitive Edge Sports and ask to have your steel replaced. Consider protecting the edges of your skate blades using cloth blade soakers, blade covers, or hockey skate guards.
The skate holder is the white plastic part below the boot and is typically attached to the bottom of the boot with rivets. If your holder is damaged, but the boot remains in good shape, you’re in luck! There’s no need to replace your skates! For cracked or broken holders, simply take your skates into Competitive Edge Sports and they will be able to mount new holders onto your skates. For holders with rusted-out or broken rivets, you may be even more in luck as replacement rivets may get you back on the ice without the need to replace your skates or your holders.
Most hockey skate manufacturers use rivets to hold the skate blade holder onto the skate boot. Over time, the force applied while skating can loosen rivets. Additionally, skates that are not properly cared for can cause rust and corrode the rivets. In all of these cases, you can extend the life of your skates by having them replaced. Replacement by Competitive Edge Sports is relatively easy and cost-effective over buying new skates but can be time-consuming. It requires a special rivet punch and setting tool and either steel or copper rivets.
Copper or Steel?
There are two primary types of rivets used on hockey skates – copper and steel. Typically, copper rivets are reserved for the high-torque areas of the blade holder as they tend to be a stronger rivet that can withstand greater forces. Traditionally, they are seen on the heel portion of the holder. Steel rivets are usually used everywhere else on the skate holder. While the copper rivets can be more expensive, using them in a blended manner with steel rivets makes replacement an affordable option while providing long-lasting repairs. If you find, however, that you are constantly having to replace rivets because they become loose, talk with a skate professional at Competitive Edge Sports to discuss your options. You may be a candidate for more than standard copper rivets, or may even need new holders or other skate repairs.
Rust & Rot
A big problem leading to rivet replacement is rust and rot. This is most often caused by long hours in your skates and not properly allowing them to dry. The sweat soaks into the soles of the boots and corrodes the steel rivets. When a rivet rusts it is more prone to becoming loose or worse – failure. A loose, bent, broken, rusted or otherwise damaged rivet can cause the holder to twist and break, which can lead to injury. Issues with your rivets can also put extra force on the holes where the rivet pass through, causing them to enlarge and eventually resulting in boot failure. Additionally, if your boots are not properly drying, the boot itself rotting out can cause rivets to fail.
If you have any concerns regarding your rivets or the structure of your skates, talk with Competitive Edge Sports.
Skate “Profiling” involves changing the shape of the skate blade to help a player maximize their skating potential. Profiling is also referred to as rockering, radiusing, contouring, and body-balance contouring. During the process we can change 3 major attributes of the blade;
1) The Radius of the Profile (ROP),
2) The Rocker Point,
3) Radius of the Hollow (ROH)
RADIUS OF PROFILE (ROP)
Turn your skate and look at the profile (from the side) of the blade. The blade is circular in shape from the middle of the ball of the foot to the middle of the heel of the foot. The first and last couple of inches are non-circular in shape and not intended to be skated on. We refer to the circular area as the “skateable area” of your blade. The profile of the skateable area is an arc that can be set to a 7’, 9’, 11’, or 13’ ROP. A 7’ ROP will have about 1” of blade on the ice, a 9’ ROP will have about 1.5” of blade on the ice, an 11’ ROP will have about 2” of blade on the ice, and a 13’ ROP will have about 3” of blade on the ice. A smaller ROP will allow for more maneuverability and agility. A figure skater typically has a 7’ ROP for this reason. However, a 13’ ROP will allow greater speed and improved grip or bite. A speed skater has their entire blade on the ice, which allows them maximum speed and push with every strideoint, and 3) the radius of the hollow (ROH). The rocker point is sometimes referred to as the balance point. When your center of gravity is directly over your feet, the area of the blade making contact with the ice is your rocker point. This point can be moved to aid in the fundamental differences between skating forwards and backwards. When the rocker point is moved towards the heel, this allows the skater to lean forward and accelerate easier. If the rocker point is moved towards the toe, the skater will be able to sit back on their heels to help with skating backwards.
RADIUS OF HOLLOW (ROH) The ROH is the groove cut down the middle of the blade during a normal skate sharpening procedure. This hollow forms 2 edges, which are essential for skating. These edges are referred to as the inside and outside edges. Typical ROH’s for hockey skates (excluding goalies) are 5/8”, 9/16”, 1/2”, 7/16”, 3/8”, 5/16”, 1/4”. The depth of hollow will determine how sharp the blades feel. A 5/8” hollow will feel very dull, but allow for the maximum amount of speed. >A 1/4” hollow will dig into the ice allowing for more grip, but will not glide as well as shallow hollows.
MYTHS ABOUT PROFILING
A common complaint received, especially with adult men’s-leaguers and anyone with new skates, is “I’m catching the toe of my blade.” The cause of this feeling is from rolling too far forward on the blade. At the point when the skateable area ends and the non-circular toe begins, you will be on less then 1/4” of blade, which is unskateable! The toe and heel (non-circular area) of the hockey blade are not meant to be skated on. Proper skating technique says that the skater should always be directly over the middle of the blade. Speed skaters have no toe or heel to roll onto. Figure skaters have a toe pick up front and a square heel, neither of which they can skate on. Hockey players want the speed of a speed skater and the agility of a figure skater. There is 3 possible solutions: 1) bend knees more and straighten back, 2) undo the top eyelet of the skate, or 3) move rocker point towards the heel. Many skaters complain of their skates not being sharp enough. A very deep hollow is not always the best answer for this problem. Technically sound skaters, Paul Coffey for instance, skate on 1.25” hollow and have no problem keeping their edge. The best method to solve this problem is to increase the amount of blade making contact with the ice. Be cautious of those who attempt to profile skates by hand. The very essence of profiling a skate is to have the exact same amount of blade making contact with the ice throughout the entire skateable area. When profiling by hand, it is inevitable their will be inaccuracies in the shape of the blade causing transition points where the contact area may be less then 1/4” of blade on the ice. We use the Blademaster Custom Radius profiling system. This method uses very precise templates and gauges to achieve a perfect profile on both skates every time.