3 Different Skate Sharpenings the Pros Use and What They Mean

March 01, 2018

3 Different Skate Sharpenings the Pros Use and What They Mean

Ever walk into a pro-shop at your local rink for a skate sharpening and wonder what the heck all those different fractions mean? Us too, that's why we compiled the 3 most common skate sharpenings that the pros use and what they mean. 

Now, if your like me (and many other athletes for that matter) you probably did not pay attention to much in math class, especially when the teacher was talking about fractions...snooze.

We all know that hockey is a game of angles. Whether you are a defensman trying to angle a winger to the boards or a goalie trying to square up to a shooter, a general knowledge of angles and fractions can be very beneficial on the ice, but what about off the ice?

Off the ice, fractions come into play when you need a fresh sharpening on those wheels. But what do they mean? And how will this effect my game? 

Lets us explain what the 3 most common skate sharpening hollows (the fraction that your skate is cut at) that the pros use and how they will effect your game.

1. The sharpening for quicker, more explosive acceleration...

The 3/8 hallow has the deepest cut of them all. As a result this cut is designed for tighter turns, faster stops, and a more explosive start off the line. With that being said, be weary of using this cut.

The 3/8 hallow is designed for players that are lighter on their feet. Since their is such a deep cut, there will be more energy transferred into the ice, thus lowering your top speed. 

This cut is best used in very cold conditions where the ice is harder. 

2. The best all around cut, for the balanced skater...

The 1/2 hollow is going to be a safe bet for almost any skater in almost any condition. This hollow will allow you to have quick stops and starts while still maintaining a good top speed. 

Players such as Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin use this cut, and for good reason. Both Ovi and Geno are larger players, with a noticeably powerful stride. Using this hollow allows them to be agile and fast at the same time. 

This cut is best used in any condition cold or warm. 

3. The cut that is best for all out top speed...

The 5/8 hollow is for the player who's only concern is all out top speed. Since the angle of the 5/8 cut gives you more blade on the ice, it will allow you to reach higher top speeds than having a 3/8 or 1/2 hollow.

Some pros that have used this hollow are Patrick Sharp and Chris Kunitz.Have you ever seen Sharp blow by defenders on the wing before sniping top ched? We have, and it was likely due to having the right hollow for his skating style.

The 5/8 hollow should be used by players who are either heavier in weight or have a very powerful stride.

Although this hollow will provide a good top speed, you will likely loose some agility when making tight turns or on hard ice. 

The cut is best used by players who are heavier, have a powerful stride, or skate on softer ice.

Your go to chart for which hollow to use...

If you are still confused on which hollow to pick for your skating style, you can refer to the chart below for reference. And if you want a more in depth analysis click HERE to read an article from our friends at New to Hockey where they break down the different hollows and what could happen from a bad sharpening. 


Leave a comment