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Profile/Rocker of a goal skate

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  • Profile/Rocker of a goal skate

    Well I've been going through some old threads (searching) trying to dig up some info on this, but I'm still not satisfied.

    A couple of questions:

    Is there a standard rocker for goal skates? I've heard 26'-30'??? ( What profile comes standard on each manufacturers skate??)

    Can this be entrusted to your local pro shop?

    How often do they need to be "re-profiled"?.....due to normal sharpening.

    Any info would be greatly appreceiated.



  • #2
    Bauer for one has a 30' standard radius. I think that is the general rule for the others as well. However, I have found them to be variant from skate to skate.

    Any shop that has the BladeMaster should be able to do this. It is a matter of putting the corrrect arc on the machine and following it.

    I have mine done at 28' for better mobility and redone every summer and Christmas break.



    • #3
      If your shop has "the new kid" sharpening skates, you always lose some flatness with every sharpening. They have a natural tendency to bump the wheel into the toe and pull down just as they get to the heel. After a couple of those, you'll easily go from a 30' rock to a 26.


      • #4
        Most of the goalie skates come with a flat profile (I.E.; no rocker) and many are actually pitched rearward due to manufacturing inconsistancies with molding the blade as part of the plastic cowling. This causes the goalie to feel awkward and forces them to fall back when making saves. The Bauer skates are somewhat intended to have a 30 foot rocker, but again due to manufacturing inconsistancies make it anyones guess.

        The rocker profiles typically used on goalie skates ranges from 22 foot to 30 foot radius. The 22 to 26 foot rockers help with skating and mobility, while the 28 to 30 foot rockers help with stability. For everyone the right profile depends on feel. So you may need to start out with one profile and adjust according to how comfortable you are.

        I started with a 24 foot rocker with neutral pitch (I.E.; not tipped forward or rearward) and felt my skating agility improved greatly. However, I felt a little unstable in my goalie "ready position" and a little cumbersome in my side to side movement, so I went to a 28 foot rocker with a 1/32" forward pitch. This worked great. I could skate much better and was real comfortable in my stance. Additionally, my save movement was great. The profiling of my skates had a significant impact on improving as a goalie.

        The person who sharpens your skates is a big factor as well as what process is used for profiling.

        The most accurate profile sharpening system is Maximum Edge. The Blademaster method does not ensure accuracy of the rocker and actually is gaged off the plastic skate cowling's bottom edge. On most every goalie skate, this edge is wavy and inconsistant. When using this edge during the Blademaster profile system, it causes the sharpener to gage off this inconsistant edge. So you may think you are getting a 28 foot rocker with neutral pitch and you may actually get a 20 foot rocker with a rearward pitch, (enough to make you fall backwards when making saves).

        Another factor in profiling is where to place the center of the blade's rocker. The Maximum Edge process has determined the proper "blade profile center" based on proven techniques developed over many years of experience. Quite a few of the NHL team exclusively use this system including the Red Wings and Avalanche.

        As for the type/size of hollow grind to use and what radii should be used on the toe and heel, that is a whole story in itself. Sorry for the long post, I hope this helps.


        • #5
          NoGoals: Don't apologize for your long post. It was the right length for what you needed to say. The post was informative, you sound like you know what you're talking about, and I'm glad you wrote it.

          One thing I learned from watching a dweeb do it wrong is not to hold the skate while sharpening, but the slider bracket. He neded up putting weight on the skate and angling it in the bracket. As a result there was a sharp outside edge on one skate and no outside edge on the other. He also worked it pretty hard, slightly discoloring the steel of one blade.

          I have some questions about correct sharpening technique. Should the skate be moved across the wheel heel-to-toe, toe-to-heel, or both ways back and forth? Compared to the rotation of the wheel, which way should the toe of the skate point? (With or against the direction of the wheel?) How hard should the blade be pressed against the wheel? How hot does the blade normally get during sharpening?


          • #6
            Thanks for the replies!

            I have also wondered about the heel toe/ toe heel thing. When my skates are getting sharpened, they get done heel->toe. The stone is spinning clockwise if you're looking at it from the top, and the heel of the skate is on the left and the toe is on the right. I don't know if this is correct or not, but this is how mine are done.

            Coming from a Industrial back ground in fabrication and design, I do a lot of metal working.....if your blades are disscolored (Blued) the person doing the sharpening is either moving the blade too slow across the stone, or is applying too much pressure.....or a combonation of the two.

            I would think that there doesn't need to be a whole lot of pressure applied, but more importantly, the consistancy of the pressure through out the travel of the blade accross the stone.

            What really cracks me up is these highschool kids working at the rink sharpenning skates. They'll be whipping the skate back and forth accross the stone......and think that they are actually doing a GOOD job! Ha!

            No offense all you youngsters out there.

            Give me more info!!!!


            • #7
              The correct direction for sharpening skates is to move the blade from the right side to the left side with the skate in the toe to heel position. The skate blade should not be run accross the wheel from both directions. Also, constant even light pressure should be applied.

              The amount of pressure applied should be just enough to skim the blade surface. Too much pressure (or too fast speed) will cause excessive heat and will change the hardness of the blade. If the blade gets blue or redish in color it will become annealed (I.E.; softened) which will not hold an edge. Then upon heating up again, it will become hardened and could turn brittle (causing it to break at some time). If the blade becomes too hot during sharpening, it must be cooled down before continuing. Never try to cool the blade with water as this will change the steel properties (I.E.; quench hardening) for the worse. Let the blade cool down with room temperature air by waiting a few minutes. Again, if the proper speed and pressure are used during sharpening the blade will not become too hot.

              In addition, if the blade shows "chatter" marks after sharpening, too much speed was used. NOTE: "chatter" marks are ridges or waves running across the short direction of the blade (kind of like shallow Ruffles ridges).

              Yes, the sport shop dweebs can do all sorts of things to screw up the sharpening and profile. Not cleaning the table or skate holder of dust or wheel particles, improperly setting the skate on the holder, holding the skate instead of the holder, grinding down too much at the tips of the toe or heel, not checking the squareness, are some examples.

              You know you're in trouble when they do not check for blade sharpening squareness or if they use a coin on top to eyeball it. If they are using the Maximum Edge process, they use a precision measuring tool called the "Quick Square". This is a simple yet very accurate method that ensure the sharpened edge is in fact square with the blade. This is another important factor in sharpening skates.
              Last edited by No Goals; 04-10-2002, 10:34 AM.


              • #8
                We have a new sharpening expert!

                No Goals, I'm extremely impressed with your sharpening knowledge. Good job, and don't hesitate to jump in as the new Sharpening Guy.


                • #9
                  No Goals, I too am impressed with your knowledge. I hope you don't mind if I ask how you came to possess such a comprehensive background in sharpening. I just may consider getting my blades profiled.

                  I completely agree with going against the wheel. With the wheel will be harder to control and will also reduce the cut. Wissota doesrecommends a final polishing pass, using wax and with the wheel. This gets rid of the herring bone chatter. They also
                  suggest using a 6 inch straight edge while the skate is in the holder to measure squareness of the cut. Using this technique, one can eyeball measure the cut to within a couple mils.

                  Is there any good reason for heel to toe vs. toe to heel beyond consistency. That is if you do it the same way every time, you will know where you went wrong when there is a problem?


                  • #10
                    Hey, now I'm all confused. I need some absolute references.

                    Looking down, does the wheel rotate clockwise or counterclockwise?
                    Is the skate toe pointing left or right?
                    Does the skate get moved leftwards or rightwards against the wheel?


                    • #11
                      On mine at least, a Wissota, looking down, the wheel spins anti-clockwise. I move the skate blade from right to left, that is against the direction of the wheel.

                      Moving with the wheel will reduce the effectiveness of the cut and the wheel will "Pull" at the skate. Cutting against the cut adds a small amount of speed to the cutting surface and the friction will "Push" against you instead of pulling. It's a lot easier to have consistent pressure and speed.


                      • #12
                        You forgot to say if you start with the heel or the toe.

                        (Mine are done against the rotation of the stone as well. )


                        • #13
                          The grinding wheel moves counter-clockwise (I.E.; from left to right direction). The skate should be placed in the holder with the toe pointing toward the left, as it fits most holders better that way. Also, it provides for a consistant means of sharpening if always doing it the same direction to TartanBill's point. This is kind of like reading a book from left to right.

                          The skate blade (beginning with the toe) should be moved against the grinding wheel from the right to left direction. This provides for a better "cut" during grinding and better use of the grinding wheel. The small particles can be displaced from the wheel and away from the sharpened edge. Moving the blade back and forth causes too much heat buildup in the blade, traps particles against the blade edge (which creates small grooves, rough spots, and inconsistant hollow grind).

                          Just before completing the sharpening, (and checking for squareness) a finish grind is recommended. This is done by using a solution lightly wiped on the blade (or ivory soap). Light pressure is applied while taking the final pass. After stoning the side edges, The Maximum Edge process also uses a hand held honing device with a finishing solution. This removes all small (microscopic) burrs to create a smoother edge with less friction. Ths glide ability in improved greatly in doing this.

                          TartanBill: My knowledge in skate sharpening came about in working with an NHL Pro goalie over the past five years on his skates. First, he taught me how to sharpen skates, then I learned how to sharpen and contour his unique blade hollow. I then felt I could never trust anyone else to sharpen my kids or my skates properly again after what I learned. I purchased a Blademaster sharpener and have been doing them ever since. During this timeframe, I came across the Maximum Edge process and participated in their training. I have since introduced blade profiling to my NHL friend, who is now as sold on this method as I am. The Maximum Edge guys have dedicated many years in studying blade sharpening and profiling. Their system is an accurate means of acheiving superior results to improve performance on the ice.


                          • #14
                            OK, I'll be the one to ask.......

                            Who is the goalie?


                            • #15
                              Hey Karl!

                              I have considered sending my skates to Maximum edge for profiling and am wondering if you could possibly answer my questions....If you know the answers.

                              How long will the profiling hold up, as in how many sharpens before they need to be sent back to Maximum Edge?

                              Another question for everyone. I sharpen my own skates but occasionally don't have time and have to have someone else sharpen for me. He does a decent enough job of getting the edges square but he always leaves chatter. It drives me crazy as I can feel a huge difference. The chattered skates feel slower and require more effort for the same results as smoothly sharpened skates.

                              When I try to explain this to the other Pro Shop workers they laugh and say that it is all in my head and there is no way I could feel the difference.

                              So to make a long question short, can you guys feel the difference too or is it just me?
                              Last edited by threefive; 04-12-2002, 09:06 AM.