The bottom of a hockey skate blade has a groove running the length of the blade, creating two razor-thin edges, this groove, known as the "hollow," can cause hockey skates to feel too sharp if it is ground down incorrectly; knowing how to dull down hockey skates can make skating easier.
You Will Need
- Stand at the boards on the rink. Face the boards and place your hands on top to help keep your balance. Stand with your feet facing the boards, about shoulder-width apart and one to two feet from the boards.
- Bend your knees. Turn the toe of your right skate inwards and push the skate toward the boards. You should create a small pile of ice scrapings. Adjust the angle of your skate against the ice until you are scraping up ice with each push. Push three to five times.
- Switch feet and repeat. After three to five scrapes on each foot, skate one to two laps of the rink. If the skates feel too sharp, repeat the ice scraping on both feet.
- Begin gliding straight forward. Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart, with your hips and shoulders aligned and facing the direction of travel. Hold your arms out to the sides for balance.
- Lift lightly onto the ball of your foot. In one motion, lift onto the ball of your foot and the rocker of your blade, then turn your hips so they are perpendicular to the direction of travel. Make sure your shoulders and arms remain facing forwards. Do not let your upper body follow your hips.
- Bend your knees and push down into the skates. As you stop, your weight will be on the outside edge of the back skate and the inside edge of the front skate.
- Repeat, but change the direction of the hip turn. Do several stops, turning your hips alternately right and left on each stop, to wear the inside and outside edges of each blade evenly.
- Check the depth of your hollow. A professional skate sharpener can tell you the depth of the hollow, or the groove that runs down the center of the blade. A deeper hollow makes the edges of the skate "bite" the ice harder, which makes skates feel sharper. If your skates feel too sharp after every sharpening, your hollow is ground too deep.
- Ask a skate sharpener to adjust your hollow. Most hockey skates have a hollow depth between 3/8-inch and 5/8-inch. The hollow can be adjusted by a qualified skate sharpener in 1/16-inch increments. For example, if your hollow is 1/2-inch deep and you find it too sharp, ask the skate sharpener to set your hollow at 7/16-inch at your next sharpening. At each sharpening, have the hollow depth decreased by 1/16-inch until the skates no longer feel too sharp.