What To Look For When Choosing Your Hockey Skate Blade
Written by SEC - July 6, 2022
Ice hockey is a very fast and aggressive game. And, of course, the quality of your skate blades can be directly affected by your ability to play the game well. There are all sorts of sharpening, conditioning and maintenance techniques you should employ when you have invested in a pair of top-notch skates — but the blades are what make all those techniques possible.
Below you will find the tips that can make it easier for you to pick out the best ice hockey skate blades for the money.
Types of Steel
When you’ve reached the end of your blade’s life and it’s time to go shopping for a new sliding surface, there are many options to choose from. Blades can be purchased separately or as part of a package with ice hockey skates from major brands such as Bauer and CCM. Bauer's introduction of a new runner has typically been met with praise from hockey players. In fact, the majority of NHL players wear Bauer skates. No matter which brand you choose, all runners are constructed differently to accommodate the needs of different players.
Below are the blades included in the latest skates from Bauer:
Tuuk Lightspeed Pulse Edge Runners
These blades are built with a durable core and have a high polish mirror finish, which enhances glide on the ice for increased speed. Bauer increased the height of its steel, allowing players to make tighter turns, stop more quickly, and prolonging the life of the steel. The runners share many of the features of the Tuuk Lightspeed Pulse Edge Runners, this is considered to be an upgraded version. The Tuuk Lightspeed Pulse Ti Edge runners are special because they have a titanium coating. It provides the player with a superior edge retention, a better feel and more consistent performance.
Tuuk Lightspeed Pulse Ti Edge Runners
The runners share many of the features of the Tuuk Lightspeed Pulse Edge Runners, this is considered to be an upgraded version. The Tuuk Lightspeed Pulse Ti Edge runners are special because they have a titanium coating. It provides the player with a superior edge retention, a better feel and more consistent performance.
Tuuk LightSpeed Edge CarbonLite Runners
These new skate blades are the lightest and most responsive ever put into production in history from Bauer. The hybrid material is composed of carbon-fiber and premium-grade steel. Bauer claims that its new skate blade composition will reduce weight by 30%, resulting in a new flexing sensation during aggressive turns, stops, and starts.
The choice of steel used in your hockey skates can have a significant effect on the outcome. It's up to you to decide which factors are most important to you. In addition to major brands, there are after-market brands for runners you can choose from. Bladetech Hockey's technology has earned the company a reputation for being innovative, and its runners are widely considered to be among the best in the industry.
Profiling refers to the shape of an ice skate blade viewed from the side when it is in contact with the ice. Altering the curve of a skate blade can change how much of it touches the ice at any given time. A blade with a flatter contour is more stable and easier to control. This process is also known as rocker, contouring or radius.
When profiling, you should think of the blade as a segment of a circle. The radius is typically measured in feet to determine the curve of the hockey skate. Manufacturers typically ship skates with profiles between 9" and 13" for hockey players and 27’ to 50’ for goalie players.
A profile of 8-9 foot radius gives you better agility —you can start and stop quickly and accelerate in short bursts.The drawback to a smaller profile is that you increase friction against the ice. This puts additional stress on your joints and requires you to push more deeply into a hollow, which requires more energy. A smaller-profile skate means less gliding ability as well.
The opposite is true for the larger profile. The 11-13 foot radius is ideal for those who are looking for speed and glide. The larger contact area on the ice makes you dig in less, which reduces friction. This causes reduction in acceleration and maneuverability.
Determining which skate profile is best for you can be a challenge, and it may take some experimentation to find one that suits your needs. The choice is often a matter of personal style. Are you a player who likes to battle in the corners? A smaller blade radius helps you gain puck control in those tight spaces. If you prefer to play defense and like to skate through the neutral zone, a larger blade radius is probably right for you.
- Each runner is built differently to accommodate the needs of different players.
A smaller profile makes you more agile, while a larger profile is more suited for speed.
Buying hockey skates can be a daunting task but with some good guidance it doesn't have to be. Now that we've covered the basics of how to choose hockey skates, it's time to pick out the perfect pair. Hopefully, you've done your research and have a few pairs in mind.
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