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At SkateTech, our main focus is to work with each player to find a skate hollow that is specific to that individual whether it is a traditional Radius of Hollow (ROH) or Flat Bottom V (FBV). It seems like every day we hear, “I’ll do the standard” or “I’ll take the regular”. The problem with this is there is no such thing as “regular” or “standard”! If you’re getting one of these as an option in a shop, you may be getting a different cut each time you go in or just getting whatever hollow is on the machine from the previous person. It is important to know what hollow best fits your needs as a skater to maximize your on ice performance and to get a quality and consistent sharpening every time!

Flat Bottom V (FBV)

FBV® eliminates the need to choose one benefit over the other, with a breakthrough architecture designed for the perfect blend of speed and agility. The flat bottom shape of the blade allows the skate to glide across the top of the ice rather than cut through it. This reduces drag and helps increase speed. At the same time, the precision edges are ready to dig in and provide precise control on turns and stops. 

The result is a revolutionary, no-compromise blade sharpening technique that allows you to skate faster with less effort and experience precise control on turns and stops, so you get maximum bite and maximum glide all the time. Another advantage of the FBV® system is that you can “fine tune” the combination of speed and agility that’s right for you.

However, the skating sensation is so superior to what you’re used to, you have to experience it on the ice to know which one is best for you. Simply by noting the setting of your sharpening before you take to the ice, you’ll know which aspect to dial up or down to get the balance that best suits your skating style and personal preferences. 

Most young skaters feel that 100/50 is a good starting point, while most adults start with 90/75. From there, SkateTech will work with you to decide if you prefer the edges to be more or less sharp.

Radius of Hollow (ROH)

Traditionally, skates have been sharpened with a circular (arc) form on the bottom of the blade called Radius of Hollow (ROH). This arc (hollow) is a piece of the circumference of a circle and can vary in depth. As the depth of the hollow changes, so does the bite of the blade’s edge. As the hollow gets deeper (with a smaller circle more of its circumference is on the blade), the edges become sharper and more pronounced. Typically this results in the skater being able to cut sharper and be more agile, but speed requires more effort. As the hollow gets shallower (with a larger circle less of its circumference is on the blade), the edges become less pronounced and the blade appears flatter. Typically this results in the skater being able to skate faster, but cutting takes more effort. (The sharper the edge, the more the blade will sink in the ice. Less edge creates more glide due to the fact that more of the blade is on the surface of the ice). Picture the difference between a quarter and a dime – the dime would produce a much deeper hollow because the blade covers more of its circumference compared to the quarter, which would produce a shallower hollow.

Simply put, the deeper the hollow, the more blade digs into the ice. This creates “bite” but the trade off is that it decreases the ease of your glide. So you basically have to choose between gliding speed and grip.