New England Hockey Journal - August 2016 - 45
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How to get the most value out of your skates
ity to be confident in the sharpening, as
well as the convenience of not running
around town to get the skates sharpened. This gives you the ability to always
be in control in your edges and to do it
any time at home," McKissick said. "We
definitely have seen the trend growing,
and it is because of the amount of hockey parents getting frustrated with bad
sharpenings and overpaying for sharpenings and dealing with running around
Having to worry only about your own
skates as opposed to the sharpener at a
rink having multiple skates to work on
could improve the quality of the sharpen
"Hand sharpening is like hand sharpening a knife," Anderson said. "If I hand
sharpen a hunting knife, it will take a
while, but my edge will be nicer. That's
what we take it back to."
In addition to the sharpeners, both
companies provide tutorials on how to
properly sharpen the skate at home as
well as offering accessories to make the
job easier and more precise.
"The Pro-Filer was founded in the
process of bad skate sharpening because
everybody was using their eyesight to
make sure the skates were sharpened
correctly. There was a complete lack of
knowledge," Anderson said. "When you
go to do sharpening, you've got to have
tools. You should not sharpen skates
without gauges. Can you? Sure. Should
In addition to the tools, Anderson
also provided advice on a technique to
get an accurate sharpening.
"I'd rather sharpen the blade without
the boot," he said. "The weight can distort the sharpen. I'm taking the blade out
of the skate. There's no distortion and I
get better balance quicker."
ach piece of hockey equipment alone can be
rather costly. As you add more pieces to the
equation, the total price really piles up. That
can leave the customer on the hunt for good deals.
Wayne Zwicker, whose father and uncle started
their hockey shop business in Arlington, Mass., in
1932, advised, however, that the cheapest skate
isn't always the best deal.
"If you do a lot of skating, you'll end up with
(the skate) breaking down, creasing. You'll lose the
support in the boot," he said. "They're not as strong,
using lighter and less expensive materials, and it's
not meant for the type of hours some kids will be
putting into them. Instead of getting a pair that
lasts a season or two, you're not even through the
first season and you're already looking to buy a new
The most important factor to consider when
buying skates, Zwicker said, is comfort.
"Skates are your bread and butter. If they don't
fit well, they're not giving you the performance you
need. Then you're wasting time and money," he said.
"Make sure they fit properly. Do not let any problems linger, such as when you take your skate off. If
you have red marks and sore areas, especially in the
heel, get that addressed. It can lead to visits to the
hospital and the doctors and time off the ice."
To get the most out of your skates, to make
them last as long as possible, it's important to not
only get them sharpened, but to take care of them
off the ice as well.
"Keep them dry as much as possible. Some kids,
that's next to impossible, but a real good hockey
program will run dehumidifiers in the locker room.
They know the value of keeping their equipment dry
and clean," he said. "The cleaner and drier you can
keep your equipment, the better it will be for you.
You won't keep as much weight skating and there's
- pHil SHORe
Getty Images (Bauer); CCM
Continued from Page 23
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of New England Hockey Journal - August 2016
NEHJ August 2016
Our Starting Lineup
Around the Region
Bruins Beat: Ryan Donato
NHL New England
NHL New England Digital Directory
BONUS: Comm Ave Charity Classic gallery
NEHJ Skate Guide: Brand Loyalty
NEHJ Skate Guide: Sharpening 101
NEHJ Skate Guide: Buyer's Guide
Prep/High School Guide
NEHJ TV EPISODES
The Goalie Guru
The Hockey Mom
Summer Camp Directory
Hangin' Out With …
New England Hockey Journal - August 2016
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