Ever feel increased leg fatigue, lower back pain, or just off balance when skating? Want to improve your on ice performance including acceleration, agility, speed, and stability? These could be signs that it’s time to profile your blades
A blades profile (also known as rocker or contour) refers to the shape or curvature of the bottom of the skate blade lengthwise. Most skates come with a generic factory profile, typically in a 9ft, 10ft or 11ft radius.
Although new blades normally come with some sort of profile already on them, not all new blades and profiles are consistent. More than often, new blades can vary greatly from one blade to the next in height, shape, pitch, and have many imperfections such as dips and waves down the length of the steel. The blades height, shape, the balance point, and pitch are all major factors that need to be accurate before skating on your new blades. At SkateTech, we perform a height maintenance procedure with each new set of blades before profiling or sharpening to ensure perfect symmetry between the 2 blades. It is always a good idea to profile new steel to ensure consistency and to remove any factory imperfections that could keep you from reaching your maximum on ice potential.
CHOOSING A PROFILE
There are many different profile templates from single, double, triple (Zuperior), and Quad, all of which have pros and cons that can affect your game. A smaller radius such as a 9ft, will give you greater agility and acceleration but lack in speed and stability where as a larger radius, 13ft, will give you increased blade contact resulting in more straight line speed and stability but have decreased acceleration and agility. Your skate blades are as personal as the curve on your stick. Age, height, weight, skating ability/style, and position are all factors that need to be considered when choosing the proper profile that best fit your needs as a skater.
MAINTAINING YOUR PROFILE
Whether you have a factory profile or a custom profile done by a professional skate technician, it is important to maintain that profile. The profile shape, pitch, balance point, and blade height can alter over time from improper sharpening done by an untrained sharpener applying too much or inconsistent pressure or speed on the grinding wheel or by automatic sharpening machines which are unable to control different variables and techniques required to sharpen skates correctly. Even with a trained professional, the profile can change over time with repeated sharpenings without proper maintenance on a regular basis. We typically recommend re-profiling your blades every 6 months with routine sharpening and every 6-12 months for the occasional rec or beer league skater.
We are happy to work with you to determine the right profile based on your style and needs as a player!