So you’re a hockey player and one day your skate blade gets dull. It feels like a chore to go from a game to practice to a movie to dinner with your friends to catching up on TV shows. So to make things a little more convenient for yourself, you decide to buy a sharpener. Congratulations! You made a wise decision and won’t have any trouble playing sports in the near future. But let’s examine the downsides of this simple solution.
The Downsides Of Cheap Sharpening
We’ve all been there. Dull blade, instant gratification. You’re in the process of having the most enjoyable day ever and then BAM! You get a sharp pain in your heel as you’re doing a maneuver and you realize that your skate blade is indeed nicked by a nail, piece of glass, or metal. This is when you decide that cheap sharpening just isn’t for you and you go back to practicing with a dull skate blade. Nowadays, most people opt for sharpening their skates before every single game or practice. Some even do it daily so that the blade stays shiny. But are their methods truly effective? Let’s examine the facts.
The Danger Of Overuse
Practicing with a dull skate blade isn’t dangerous per se, but overuse can cause problems. One of the main issues is that over-sharpened blades are, well, too sharp. Remember: prevention is key here. If you overuse your sharpener, sooner or later you’ll have to deal with a situation in which your blade is actually dangerous to use. This could result in serious injury or even death. Sooner rather than later is more preferable when it comes to avoiding accidents.
Wear And Tear
Apart from being dangerous, overuse can also cause your skates to wear out faster than they would have otherwise. When you practice with a dull blade, it creates more friction between the puck and the ice surface. The same goes for games; the more you use your blade, the more wear it will experience. This is why it’s important to occasionally sharpen your skates when you don’t need to. During these times, it’s best to go for long periods of inactivity followed by short bursts of activity so that you don’t overtax your blades. When it comes to practice, for example, you can use short bursts of intense activity followed by longer periods of rest so that your body doesn’t get burned out.
Lack Of Feel
Another issue that arises from using a dull blade is that it can make it harder to monitor your skating. When you’re skating with a fresh blade, it creates a distinct slapping noise as the blade hits the ice. This noise will alert you to any oncoming players or traps, making it easier for you to hear and avoid them. With a dull blade, you won’t be able to pick up on these noises as easily, potentially putting you at a disadvantage. Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use a dull blade at all. There are times and places for them, just not everywhere and every time. When you’re not in the mood for a particular sport, a dull blade can bring out the worst in you. If you’re not careful, you might even hurt yourself. That’s why it’s important to maintain a certain level of sharpness when you are practicing or playing your sport.
When it comes to maintaining your blade’s edge, it’s important to find the right technique for the right tool. Some people swear by using an angle grinder with removable guards, while others prefer to manually grind their blades on a smooth surface. Whichever method you opt for, make sure that you do it right. And don’t try using anything but the right tools for the task. You can find all sorts of hacks and shortcuts that can lead you astray. For best results, take the time to find a good technique for sharpening your blades and use the right tools for the job. Then, when you feel that your talents are being wasted because your blades are getting dull, you can take the time to fix it. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. And remember, prevention is key.