Everyone who steps onto the ice in a pair of hockey skates can gain a huge advantage from skate blade performance profiling. In fact, finding that just-right skate profile for your blades (aka steel, or steel runners) could mean the difference between jumping ahead of your competition or falling behind.
“Just right” is a subjective concept. There is no single right or wrong performance profile. The profile you choose is a personal decision. It’s all about preference, and everything from skating style, size and weight, pitch and style of play all affect the choices you make. This article will help you find your best skate profile by helping you understand four key points:
- What is performance profiling?
- Key performance benefits of profiling your skates
- When to profile your skates
- The best skate performance profile for you
WHAT IS HOCKEY SKATE PERFORMANCE PROFILING?
Simply put, profiling is the process of shaping your skate blade steel from heel-to-toe. By changing the blade shape to fit your individual specifications and preferences, you create the proper ice contact to make the most of your body positioning, skating ability and stride.
Profiling your skate blades properly helps you get the most out of them across the four aspects of skating:
Skate sharpening, on the other hand, determines how your skates contact the ice surface. Deeper hollows, for example, put more pressure on the edges of the blade and cause you to dig more into the ice. Shallow hollows distribute pressure more evenly throughout the blade, which causes them to sit more on top of the ice. Here is a refresher guide on the basics of skate sharpening, if you need it.
Image: The Four Zones of Every Hockey Blade
The Four Zones of Every Skate Blade
When you have a pair of properly profiled skate blades, this directly improves the alignment of your body and is what ultimately helps you take advantage of every part of your blade.
As you think about profiling your skate blades, there are four zones to consider:
This part of the blade is under your toes. You use it during your first three strides from a standing position. This zone is optimized to help you generate momentum quickly.
This part of the steel runner is under the ball of the foot. You use it when you’re moving from acceleration to top speed or changing direction, front to back and exploding out of tight turns. This zone is designed to improve pivoting and support agility motions for quick on-ice adjustments.
This is the largest zone, from under the arch of the foot to the heel. This zone has more ice contact, and you use it to get to top speed. It also helps you stop abruptly when pushing through the arch of your foot. This zone is engineered to maximize power through the length of the stride to enhance top speed.
This part of the blade is under the heel and helps with overall balance in every situation. It is built to stabilize and control yourself at the heel of the blade, helping improve your balance.
|The 4 key zones of a hockey skate blade:|
|Acceleration zone||For more speed, momentum|
|Transition zone||For pivoting and agility motions|
|Speed zone||For maximizing power and speed|
|Stability zone||For improving balance|
KEY PERFORMANCE BENEFITS OF PROFILING YOUR ICE HOCKEY SKATES
Your ice skate profile makes a big difference in how your blades feel and perform. Proper blade-to-ice contact in these four zones can enhance your skating ability and add confidence to your overall game.
The benefits of skate profiling are easy to see and feel:
- Quicker take-off and acceleration, faster top-end speed, improved agility and better stopping, balance and stability
- Improved acceleration, transition, speed and stability
- Reduced rate of hollow when sharpening, increasing efficiency and glide while reducing fatigue
- More confidence in your game with increased performance from your blades
What’s your perfect skate blade performance profile? The answer is different for everyone. To find the right answer for you, think about how you play your best hockey.
Image: PROSHARP BAUER's most popular profiles
PROSHARP BAUER Performance Profiles
Using industry-leading technology, PROSHARP BAUER has developed comprehensive performance profiles to help you decide which skate profile best matches your style of play. You can get your skates profiled at any official PROSHARP BAUER service outlet.
|PROSHARP BAUER Profile Type||Image||Designed for|
|Quad||Long powerful strides|
|Zuperior||Quick and nimble skaters|
|Ellipse||Seamless feel from toe to heel and back|
There are three primary profiles:
This profile is best for a long powerful stride that pushes into the ice. It uses the specific radius in all four skating zones for maximum support without wasting any power.
This profile is best for skaters who rely on agility. You’re a quick and nimble skater who plays more on your toes. You want better acceleration, top speed and stability while staying on top of the ice for explosive movements.
This profile is a natural balance point between power and agility based on your skating mechanics. This profile encourages use of the entire blade, giving you a seamless feel from toe to heel and back. The Ellipse delivers greater blade contact through each zone and maximizes the skater’s ability.
WHEN TO PROFILE YOUR HOCKEY SKATES
There is no one answer to how long a skate profile lasts. That answer will vary based on how much you practice and play, how you sharpen your blades, the quality of the blades, and general wear and tear. PROSHARP Bauer Automated Profiling and Sharpening will maintain your profile as it sharpens, while hand-sharpening can round out your profile in as quick as one pass.
A great rule of thumb is to profile your skates three times per year: at the start of your season, at mid-season and before the playoffs.
Can I Change my Skate Profile or is it Permanent?
It’s changeable. You can profile your skates regularly to maintain your preferred profile, or you can change the profile completely. As long as your skate steel is in good condition, it’s up to you. So have fun experimenting with what gives you the best performance edge.
THE BEST SKATE PROFILE FOR YOU
When considering a profile, you must also consider your radius of hollow. (If you need guidance on hollows, learn more in this guide on skate sharpening) Some experts say you should not change your hollow right away, since changing more than one aspect of your blade at a time can make it difficult to diagnose any issues or complaints.
Avoid changing both your skate steel blade’s profile and sharpening at the same time, just in case the combination of the two is not ideal for your play style. This will help you understand how to adjust your specifications. So change one first, try it out a few times, then change the other later.
Remember, being slower than the next player is never a plus. Separate yourself from the competition with the right skate profile.
GOALIE PERFORMANCE PROFILES
Image: PROSHARP BAUER's goalie skate profiling options
PROSHARP BAUER offers two profile options specifically designed for goaltenders' needs:
GOALIE SAM Profile
This profile enhances footwork in the crease, making it easier to cut off angles, and providing an aggressive, agile feel in net.
GOALIE ELLIPSE Profile
This profile improves stability and provides shorter toe contact - for quicker up and down action and faster shuffles - offering a dynamic and seamless feel on ice.
Want to get started on profiling your hockey skates?Find a Retailer That Offers PROSHARP BAUER Skate Profiling
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