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Site last updated 18 July 2014

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Skate Radius and Profiling Services
What is Profiling?
In simple terms, Profiling is grinding and shaping the "rocker" radius of the skate blade. Still confused? Well think of a rocking chair and the shape of the rocker. If you change the rocker's curve, the chair will either rock faster or slower depending on how it is shaped. If you alter a skate's rocker, it's performance will change too.

There is no "Myth" of Profile. Hockey skate blades do come from the factory with a generic rocker radius, sometimes 9 foot, or 11 foot, 13 foot, and others. To better understand what I mean by radius in "feet" and how that applies to skates....lets look at a 11' radius and what that means. Think of a big hula hoop, one that has a 11' radius circle. If you stood it up straight on end, there would be a portion of the hoop that touches the ground. In essence, this is the surface contact area of that 11' radius circle. If you were to make the radius smaller (like that of a real hula-hoop, then less area would be touching the ground. Make it bigger, and more would touch. That's basically what we do to the shape of your blade, make it bigger or smaller to have more or less blade touching the ice. Another example of radius is the earth itself. It has a very large radius. Many originally thought the earth was flat (BTW, their descendants now live in Palm Beach County). Seriously, they thought the earth was flat because it had a big flat surface area where they were standing). If a skate's blade were the radius of the earth, it would have a big flat area too. OK, enough weird science. When we radius, we simply are altering the size of the flat area on your skates blade, the gliding surface in the center of the blade that touches the ice.

Now, some of you may have heard other players say, "I have a forward radius, or I have a 9' radius." What they are saying is they had their rockers changed to one preferred by forwards, or one shaped to 9' radius. Radiusing (also called Profiling and Contouring) is a proven process that allows you to select exactly how much blade is in contact with the ice. More blade = faster speeds and more stability; less blade = easier pivot, turns, and agility. Another option with radiusing is to change the factory pitch or lie of the blade, which will balance the skate for better maneuverability and control. These changes will improve your skating and hockey game. A blade shape that is not right for your style and stance can cause muscle fatigue, reduced skating efficiency, and less power for shooting and passing. It's all about proper body balance.

Skate blades can be profiled to improve speed, turning and stability. If you watch the best skaters in Europe and the NHL, you'll notice they all have a low body stance. This deep knee bend or "sitting" posture is essential to achieving the proper bio-mechanical skating movements that will give you maximum performance in your stride, balance and full power during the leg extension. The proper profile, pitch and pivot point on your skate is critical in allowing you to perform the skating maneuvers that will give you the edge over your opponents. This includes quick edge work and pivots, mohawks, and the ability to shift between inside and outside edges on demand. If you possess a large mixture of "moves" it becomes very difficult for the opposition to "read" your next deke or turn and you will be leaving them dazed and confused. If you are not sure what profile you should have, we can help you select what is best for you. Once the skates are done we will sharpen them with a hollow that is best suited for you. If you are planning to come to the store, please check with us in advance to see if we can do your radius while you wait. We do many radius a day and may be pre-booked for the entire day. Best to check with us in advance.
What are the benefits of Profiling?

* Improved balance
* Sharper turns
* Quicker turns
* Explosive starts
* Reduced fatigue
* More powerful strides and better glide
* More skating "moves"
* Injury reduction
* Increased agility
* Increased lateral movement
* Increased speed
* Increased stability
* Controlled leg extensions
* Improved stickhandling
* and more

Why consider a radius for your skates? Well, if you are a serious hockey player, a custom radius can improve your entire game. Here's why. Skates and blades made by the various manufacturers are very basic in design and come from the factory with the same generic radius. Think about this, CCM and Bauer don't know you, your experience or how you skate, so they have to have a one-size, fits all rocker that will work just OK for everybody. To tune the skate for you, there has to be other options. Just like stick blades. Imagine if hockey sticks only came in one flex and curve. Well, that one curve would only work great for a small percentage of players. Skate rockers are no different, it is not possible to shape one skate rocker that is perfect for everyone. There are many variables, age of player, experience, position played, brand of skate, etc. CCM skates for example, may come from the factory with a balanced pitch and 10' radius. If you are a forward, that may not be right for you. A better performing radius might be 9', with a toe down pitch. Another example may be size 13 youth skates. These come from the manufacturer with a lot of blade surface on the ice, as that size is considered a beginner skate and more blade is needed for stability. However, today, a lot of youths are skating since they were age 2, so by the time they are in a size 13Y, they may have 4 or more years of skating experience. They no longer need a beginner radius, and in many cases that beginner radius is hampering their ability to grow and develop their skating skills.

Another thing you must consider is that even on brand new skate pairs, that 80-90% of them come from the factory with a MISMATCHED radius, meaning the left blade's radius is different than the right. How does this happen? Well, skate manufacturers do not make their own blades. They use subcontractors. For example, one major skate company's blades are massed produced in Europe. They are shipped over by the hundred of thousands and pulled out of the crate and slapped on the skates. As with any manufacturing process, the specifications allow for a +/- variance from the desired outcome. So even though the manufacturer specs may call for a 9' radius, it is entirely possible that one blade could have a 8.5 radius, and the other a 9.5, and the pivot/balance points could be off as well. An improper balanced radius can really mess up your game.

Have you noticed fatigue, or your shots and passes seem weaker for no explainable reason? Well, your current sharpener could have also mismatched your blades or completely destroyed your radius by applying too much pressure while sharpening. Recently, a customer came in with blades with a radius that had been altered so much off center, that he was skating on his heels. His body balance was backwards. Another customer came in with a rocker that had been ground away leaving about 1/2" of blade touching the ice. No wonder he was complaining about having no speed. Our profiling can repair most poor or botched sharpening jobs.

First and foremost, Profiling will ensure your two blade's working radius are matched perfectly. On used skates and even some new pairs, if the front and rear rockers do not match, a hand finished blade matching may have to be done for a small additional charge. Ask us for details.

Who should have their skates Profiled?
All players can benefit from Profiling. As I said, 80-90% of blade's radius's are mismatched, so just simply grinding the same radius and lie to the blades, the skater will achieve better performance. But wait, even more performance can also be achieved! We all know there are four aspects of skating; acceleration, stopping, gliding and turns. How your blades are shaped effects your performance in each one of those stages. Your "style" and personal preferences will determine how the skate's blades should be shaped.

Real young players (ages 5-12) and new skaters will benefit the most with a performance profile as they have not had to compensate body positioning and movements to make up for an improper radius and lie. Their bodies will adjust quickly to the proper body positioning and they will reap huge benefits as they develop their skating skills. Any level of skater can benefit from skate profiling/balancing, but it is the "Terminal Intermediate" who will reap the most rewards from the process. Chances are this skater can't seem to get better no matter how many lessons they take or how much new equipment they buy. This skater is likely not bio-mechanically capable of getting the performance they can out of the skate. That's where profiling comes in. In addition, older skaters have bad habits and poor hockey stance that profiling can correct. For some, it may take a little time for their body to adjust but once it does, full performance gains can be achieved. The transition from non-profiled to profiled is really no more awkward than when you first skate on a new pair of skates. Most adult customers report that it takes one or two skates to adjust, youths even less. But virtually all say they are skating better.

GOALIES, we can profile your skates too! In fact, of all skates, goalies need a profiling the most. We can fine tune your skates for skating performance including better agility around the net, to help with balance and stance, and best of all - to take away that "flat" feeling! Also a proper skate sharpening will give you the extra confidence to leave the crease to beat that opposing player to the puck! Lastly, a big problem with goalie skates is that many of them come from the factory with a reverse radius, only the toe and heel touching. To test your skate, place it on a flat surface and look at the blade sideways. If you can see light through the middle, you have a reverse radius. Basic Profiling will fix that. Radius will be based on your skate size, goalie stance, style of play and personal preferences. Talk with us about the different options available.

Lastly, be wary of shops that just offer 9, 11 and 13' radius options, or just 28' for goalies. Since the proper radius is selected based on many factors, including skate blade size, shops with just a few few options may not be able to grind the proper radius for your skates. For example, a junior skate may need a 6' or 7' radius, because it's blade is much shorter than the adult skates. If the closest option offered is 9', the player is going to have too much blade touching the ice. Radius's are proportional to blade size. You can't simply select a 9' radius and expect it to work the same on the 13 different size runners that are on skates. We offer virtually every radius in one foot increments from 6' and up. We also offer many different combination radius for the advanced skater. Because combo radius take more labor, they cost about $5 more but they are worth every penny! (Visit our Combination Radius Info Page) If you have a standard radius from us, ask us about upgrading to a combo!

Why Us?

Most shops that do radiusing charge $40-60 or more. Our prices start at just $24.99 and that INCLUDES a normal skate sharpening! In addition, if after testing it for 30 days you don't like the radius we selected for you, we will adjust it for free! Other shops hit you up for another full charge!

Also, please don't confuse us with those shops that use crossgrinders to radius skates, or worse those that freehand. Those guys take off a lot of steel off your blade. We will cut your radius in using a fine grit grinding wheel set to the same hollow that's in the steel. Using this process, very little steel is removed. So little steel is removed you won't even be able to see the difference with your eyes, but, you WILL feel the difference on the ice!

Lastly, all skates that are radiused will need the radius refreshed at some point. If you are having your skates sharpened here, you will only need to refresh once a season. If you are sharpening elsewhere, we recommend you have your skates re-profiled about every 8-10 sharpenings. This will ensure the profile remains constant. Also, if you've had a bad freehand sharpening, it is likely your profile was ground away. In that case, simply order the same radius we did previously and be sure to put in comments section, "Refresh".

For our internet surfers, we always recommend you try to find a local sharpener who can do professional custom work, but if you don't have a skate shop in your area that offers similar services (or if they are just bad), we will gladly help you out. Skate blades are easy to remove from the skates and not very expensive to ship. After you've selected us to optimize your blades, first visit our "Sharpen by Mail" Page to get things started. Please do not call us, everything you need to know is there. We will send you an interview form to fill out that will help us determine the right custom radius and hollow for you.

After we get your blades, we will first cut in your custom hollow or FBV. Then we will reshape your rocker radius to specifications that will help you skate better. We will then ship the blades back to you quick. No blades stay in our shop even 18-hrs! Your total cost for your two blades sharpened, a custom radius and shipping is as little as $30.14. We will do the work the day they are delivered, but if you can't be without your skates for a couple of days, another option would be to purchase new blades from us starting at $29.99 each. Our price for blades might seem higher than some of the internet stores but their price does not include the initial sharpening. Ours includes a custom sharpening done correctly. Unlike rush jobs done by most sharpeners, we cautiously build up the groove, ensuring the steel is not burnt or overheated. This process takes us over 1/2 hr. This ensures the blade will hold edges longer and makes it less prone to breakage. Also, we don't have any hidden shipping or handling fees either, flat rate post office priority mail shipping is just $5.15! Some internet sites will hit you up for very high shipping and handling fees.

If you want, you can then send us your old blades for a matched radius. You'll then have a spare set, or two sets to rotate. This is the option most customers choose because they eventually send their blades to us for regular sharpenings. Having two sets to rotate is the easiest way to do it. Note: Please understand that depending on the condition of your old blades, that the new pair and old pair may not match exactly, as more steel has been taken off your old blades by your sharpener. However, when we are done with them the radius and pitch will be exactly the same as your new ones. We do also offer blade matching and blade balancing on your old steel at additional cost if they are way out of whack. Lastly, if for some reason you do not like the radius we select for you, you are NOT stuck with it, simply send the blades back to us for a FREE adjustment. For details on sharpening by mail, please VISIT OUR SHARPEN BY MAIL WEB PAGE. When you're ready to order, visit our SHOPPING AREA in the main menu.

For our World-wide customers, we can ship by USPS Global Priority Mail, 3-5 day service. We've shipped steel to Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Japan, and all over the world! Please note that we are not allowed to sell/ship any CCM, RBK or Easton products overseas. (except to US military APO/FPO) We do however have aftermarket steel that will fit those model skates.

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