Taking proper care of your skates is vital in ensuring they remain functional, dependable, and long-lasting.
Like any high-end equipment, figure skates require regular maintenance to safeguard their durability and structural integrity, and to provide the skater with what they need to strive for success.
Skate sharpening is perhaps the most crucial ingredient in the skate-care mix. Sharp blades give the skater the ability to establish and control deep edges, as well as the confidence that their blade will provide stability and grip, allowing them to maximize their push. Further, well-sharpened blades promote an ease and consistency to the skater’s edge run and quality, creating an effortless feel to their transitional execution. Jumps, spins, transitions, and footwork are all performed with increased ease with sharp blades. As a skater, you want to trust your blades to support you as you push your limits.
Always be sure to have your skates sharpened by an expert — and someone you trust. There is no “one size fits all” timetable to skate sharpening, either. Some skater’s like to have their blades sharpened every week or two, while others prefer to wait longer. It is definitely a case of personal preference, but it’s important to take note of what feels best to you on the ice so you can plan accordingly. Inspect your blades — check for nicks and dull edges — and remedy these issues by visiting your skate care professional.
Clean Those Guards!
To ensure your blades are protected from grit and grime while you go from the locker room to the ice, it is important to wear blade guards. Guards can be purchased at any skate shop and will mean less frequent visits to your sharpener. Even if your route from locker room to ice surface involves a rubber floor, stones, dirt, and other gunk all pose a threat to your blades. Wearing guards whenever you’re off the ice in your skates can significantly increase the life of your sharpen and of your blade — just remember to take them off before stepping onto the ice!
It’s also important to protect your blades with blade covers while they’re not in use. The skating bag can be a dangerous place for unprotected blades — be sure to cover them while you’re transporting them.
Moisture Is The Enemy!
Moisture is the #1 contributor to figure skate degradation. As a result, we strongly advise that skater’s thoroughly dry their skates after training, and to leave them to air-out overnight.
Once off the ice, use a towel to remove water from your blades, sole and boot.
When you’ve returned home, completely take your skates out of your skating bag in a dry, cool room. Take off your skate covers and even your foot soles to help facilitate the drying process. Allow your skates to dry overnight before returning to the rink!
Finally, proper lacing will help maintain your boot’s structural durability. Ensure skates are laced tightly. Use tongue hooks if you have them. Also make sure to use all hooks and eyelets as boots are designed to function in a certain manner. Snug lacing will hold the boot firmly around your foot and ankle. Movement in your boot resulting from improper lacing puts undue stress on the boot and can lead to premature breakdown.
Also, be sure to check the condition of your laces. Small tears can lead to total rips quite easily, so it’s important to always monitor their condition and have several spare laces on-hand. Change your laces out regularly, just like tires on a car. As they get worn and water logged, they won’t hold as right.
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