New Blades with a New Grind

by Mary on June 28, 2017

I’m getting quite used to my new blades. The biggest change, though, may not be the blades themselves. The surface my skate tech ground on to the bottom is a much shallower 1/2″ radius of hollow, and that makes them skate a lot differently.

My previous blades with the narrower grind on them were more like wearing cleats while these are more like wearing a distance shoe. They had more bite into the ice and better initial acceleration.

This shallower grind skids more easily, which was scary at first. I felt like I was ‘on top of’ the ice instead of securely ‘in’ it. On the plus side, it makes my skates quieter, with less tendency to catch the ice in the middle of turns and lots of glide.

Soon after I got the blades I texted my skate tech Paul to ask what grind he’d put on them, complaining about feeling on top of the ice. He texted back like the boss ice dancer he is:

“Bend your knees, more then haha.”

Well yeah. You could just make a recording of that and put it in a doll with a string, and have a spare ice dance coach for days when you don’t have a lesson. Bending your knees deepens the pressure of your blade on the ice.

He elaborated: “They are wider so will be quieter and that’s better, less noise more speed. I did not check Gold Seal, I just did what I put on my high level skaters to produce speed and depth without it biting, once knees bend you will feel the difference.”

So the sharpening on these new blades gives me an extra push to do what my coaches have been telling me all along and bend my knees. I’ve gotten over the skidding phase so maybe I am bending my knees a little more. I hope so!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Eva at Eva Bakes June 28, 2017 at 5:58 pm

Yay – I’m glad you got past the skidding phase. That’s always an un-fun feeling! Hoping the adjustment period goes quickly!
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Mary June 28, 2017 at 6:13 pm

Thanks Eva! I’m over the worst for sure. Spinning may take a while, though, haven’t worked on that much yet since I’m concentrating on my moves.

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Melissa June 29, 2017 at 12:54 am

Glad you’re continuing to adjust! I use 1/2″ grind, too. I’ve never really understood what being ‘in the ice’ meant so maybe that’s why (and needing more knee bend, of course). Hope your spins come back once you focus on them some more.

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Mary July 1, 2017 at 12:51 am

Maybe that is why, between that and being lighter. Now that you are dancing you’ll be hearing that knee bend instruction more and more!

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Jo June 29, 2017 at 3:06 am

Mary, I love the idea of having a doll with a string tell me to bend my knees more! If you ever want to pursue this commercially, I’m in! I must say I don’t like the feeling of being “on top of” the ice, but you’re right, being into the ice is something we have to do ourselves, rather than expecting the blade to do it for us! Glide on!
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Mary July 1, 2017 at 12:53 am

It would be the very old-fashioned reminder in these days of cell phone alerts! I can just see it sitting on the edge of the boards with a goofy expression.

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The Accidental Marathoner July 1, 2017 at 1:23 pm

I don’t know all the skate lingo, but I do know that “skid” is probably not a good thing! Great to see you are continuing to improve!
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Mary July 1, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Only when you want to skid, and then it is!

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Elle July 1, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Sounds like you are doing well with your new blades!

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Mary July 2, 2017 at 1:58 am

Yes, it was an intimidating change but seems to be working out well so far.

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Wendy July 2, 2017 at 11:12 am

I had no idea there were different types of blades, but it makes sense! What changes will you be making in your routine/performance with these new blades?
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Mary July 3, 2017 at 12:12 am

Wendy, these will help me with my ice dancing. My old blades were for freestyle (jumping, spinning, etc.) and the blade stuck out very far behind the heel. Freestyle blades in general have a long ‘tail’ and the Gold Seals I had have the longest tail of all. But now I’m getting far enough in ice dance that the long tail was becoming hazardous to me. Ice dance requires keeping your feet very close together. It’s just the style of it and it’s helpful for avoiding entanglements with your partner. Skating in that style does make it easier, though, to step on your own blade with your other blade, which is a really bad fall. I was having a lot of near misses with that and not liking it. So now I have synchro blades, which are intermediate between freestyle blades and dance blades. That will allow me to do both kinds of skating.

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George A. July 2, 2017 at 2:27 pm

I’m following your new blade analysis with great interest! V. useful info. Thanks for posting.

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Mary July 3, 2017 at 12:07 am

Thanks George, I’m really glad it’s useful! It had better be useful or entertaining, otherwise I’m just blathering in cyberspace.

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Toni July 3, 2017 at 12:14 am

I love ice skating, but only for fun. Glad you are not skidding anymore and here’s to bending your knees!
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Mary July 3, 2017 at 4:37 am

Thanks, Toni!

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