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Leif last won the day on November 22 2018

Leif had the most liked content!

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    Bauer Supreme S160

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  1. I will preface this by warning that I am ignorant when it comes to medical issues, with no medical training. I write as someone who has suffered from runners knee for 15 years, and had a sedentary job all his life, the one thing I have learnt over the last year from using a personal trainer is that the body is far from simple, and that lack of exercise of muscle groups causes a lot of problems. I suffered from mild leg cramps at night, so called restless leg syndrome, and taking hydration tablets in water during hockey sessions has largely cured it. I assume sweating caused a loss of salts, which affected the nerves in my legs. I also had some painful calf cramps which I suspect had the same cause. Secondly, I used to run cross country, which meant some muscles were being worked, and others not, causing an imbalance. Basically some muscles were very tight. I now do daily stretching exercises to ensure that all muscles get some workout. An imbalance in muscles can cause issues, and I think runners knee might be one example, where muscular misalignment can damage the patella. Lots of knee exercises has resulted in a massive improvement although I suspect I have some cartilage damage. I also no longer get neck cramps, which I assume is due to exercises with a roller. So my suggestion is to spend ten to fifteen minutes a day doing stretching exercises, working on muscles in your legs and core, as well as neck, back and arms. I doubt it can do any harm, and it will help you in general, and perhaps it will help your shin problems.
  2. Leif

    Custom skates

    I’ve seen Bauer customs for someone with weird ankles, and you could see the weird shape in the scans and the boots. My Bauer customs have a close fit. I was (incorrectly) scanned with Bauer compression socks on, and the toes are indeed a bit tighter than I would like. So I believe they use custom lasts.
  3. I’ve just read Marka’s post, and I agree completely. My last blades were sharpened manually by good operators at my LHS, and at the end of their life they were flat! The Sparx preserves the exact same profile.
  4. I had the funds to buy either, and the cost was similar here in the UK. I chose the Sparx, and ten months on I have no regrets. I decided against the Wissota firstly as I didn’t have a suitable heated room to keep it in: I didn’t want it in my spare bedroom due to the mess. Secondly I didn’t want to have to go through the process of learning to use it, especially as I’d only be sharpening one pair of skates twice a week. Thirdly and lastly the Sparx is far more convenient. I can stick a skate on and leave it alone while cooking dinner, or watching cat videos on You Tube. There are some good reasons to opt for the Wissota, or alternative manual sharpener. If you need to cut a range of hollows, it works out cheaper as the Sparx needs a wheel for each hollow, and they ain’t cheap. Also, if you are earning money from sharpening, the Wissota is much cheaper as the cost per grind is far less. I know someone with a Sparx who bought a Blackstone when he had to sharpen boxes full of skates, for cost reasons. And apparently manual sharpeners cope better with bent blades, not that I have experience of my Sparx with bent blades. Lastly the Wissota is a simpler device, with much less to go wrong. The motor should last a very long time. The Sparx on the other hand has electronic circuits inside, and they are more liable to failure. Thus far the Sparx is very reliable going by reports in this forum. However, electronic devices such as cameras and computers do fail, and I doubt the Sparx will have on average the same longevity as the Wissota. As an aside, I wonder if the Sparx contains an internal surge protector? Mine is connected directly to the mains. Another good reason to choose the Sparx is portability, although personally I think it is rather large and heavy and I will not travel with mine.
  5. Interesting post. I think that in general better skaters can control shallower hollows as they have better edge control. That certainly reflects my experience, with my ability improving thanks to lessons. How did you find the 5/8” Fire compared to the normal 5/8”?
  6. The bare aluminium one with the dots on a sticker, made in Canada. It looks pants but it works! https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Over500-Sold-NHL-Edge-Checker-check-level-hockey-skate-sharpening-tool-Bauer-CCM/333302165389?hash=item4d9a5b6f8d:g:P2AAAMXQEgpTD9AK It was quite a bit cheaper when I bought one. I suspect your ProSharp one will be fine.
  7. I compared my ProSharp and ebay BAT gauges against Sparx and BladeMaster ones at my LHS. Three out of four agreed with each other. Yes, check it when you get it. Be aware that the aluminium plate will wear from contact with the skate blade. My ebay gauge has a steel contact plate, it’s altogether better albeit rough looking. I returned my ProSharp gauge, the US company head said it was fine. Hi ho. I never did get a refund, one reason I bought a Sparx machine rather than a ProSharp, as I did not trust them. The ProSharp hollow gauge is expensive and a piece of cheap xxxx.
  8. I have no idea how common your experience is. I have 7/16”, 1/2” and 5/8” rings. I can swap between them and get perfect edges every time. I have an edge checker. I do agree an edge checker is desirable, I got to about two clicks away from perfect using the optical tool on its own. It is probably good enough but I like perfect. However, not all edge checkers are perfect, my ProSharp BAT gauge was out by a few thou. My cheapo one is dead on.
  9. Leif

    CCM FV1 Full Face Visor

    Several people at my local rink, which is very humid, use the Gy hybrid visor. I spoke with them and they said they’ve had no issues with fogging. I have the latest Bauer gold fish bowl, and water streams down the inside surface after ten minutes in the rink. I only used it once. I prefer to wear glasses instead of contacts, and I assume condensation on glasses would be even worse with a hybrid visor rather than a cage which I normally wear.
  10. Your grinding wheel is probably carborundum which is softer than diamond. You use a diamond tool to dress (shape) it. Sparx rings are I believe made from diamond particles embedded in a matrix and hence they wear much more slowly than your wheel. In fact Blackstone are now selling spinners to dress the wheel which are like little Sparx wheels but with a hollow, and they claim they are better than the traditional method, which to my way of thinking validates the Sparx wheel: https://blackstonesport.com/technology/history-of-skate-sharpening My 7/16” wheel produced level edges when nearly used up, and the blade surface still felt good. I have no way to know if the curve changed noticeably, but subjectively it felt the same and very different to a 1/2” hollow. Maybe Sparx can comment.
  11. I thought they stabilised my heels as said earlier but they also raised up my heels which I hated. So I tried speedplates and loved them. They too stabilise the heel, but with less lift, and the arches are thermoformable. I’ve started skipping the top eyelet. The skates feels less precise but I get more knee bend.
  12. Great, yet another reason for us to complain about the poor training of low paid staff in our hockey shops.
  13. I assume it is even pressure over most of the blade in order to preserve the profile? And from your comment it sounds like to does more of the heel and toe than the Sparx. Your comment on the finish surprises me since the Habs use one. I might naively think they are a wee bit fussy!
  14. You can register for the free trial period. Be aware that doing so will register you for the paid subscription once the trial period runs out and they will then debit your account. So make sure you unregister your subscription ASAP. You’ll still get to read the article for free. I thought it an okay read. The one piece of information that was new for me was that some teams are now using a large automated grinding machine, not unlike a Sparx but much larger: The company owner has a very strong Quebec accent. He was saying how the blades are automatically centred, and the pressure is even. AFAIK no team is using a Sparx for routine sharpening. This looks more robust. Not sure how they change hollow, or what the grinding surface is (diamond impregnated steel?). I suspect the Habs don’t need to deal with bent blades, they have the money to bin them. My LHS got rid of their Cag and Prosharp sharpening machines, they prefer Blademaster.
  15. This thread has gone a bit wonky. Changing the subject slightly, I tried switching between 1/2” and 5/8” hollows, and vice versa, using a sharpie to mark the blade hollow before the grind. It looks like one pass is enough to change the hollow on the basis that all of the sharpie ink was removed. Any relevant comments? Any reason I might be mistaken? I now use the honing stone on my black LS5 blades, so much easier to remove burrs, and the black finish has no use for me.