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Gretsch

Sharpening: Blade Hollow and the Relationship to Body Weight

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Yep. Players skate on much shallower hollows here.

If I can't get FBV I ask for a 18mm hollow (Between 11/16 and 3/4) and always get the same response "wow, that's crazy deep!". Many if not most of the Finnish elite league players skate on hollows up to 1 1/4". Heard that one North American player decided to try 28mm hollow instead of his normal 16mm and loved the glide.

Depends how many Swedes and Finns and European players are on a team. Rare for one of them to be deeper than 3/4. I had a list from Detroit's last Cup winning team, very long radius's, very shallow hollows.

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I could easily see that. This goes back to slightly earlier Red Wings teams, but I've been watching some of their classic games online, and when Fedorov and Coffey were there, no one on the ice came close to their acceleration and glide. They just cover so much ice while not even taking any strides. I know Coffey was known for his shallow hollow and long radius, but Fedorov seemed like he had to be on a close setup.

I read on here a long time ago that Fedorov skated on an 11ft radius, Whether that is true or not, I don't know.

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I am 140lbs and use a 7/8" hollow. I feel I am one of the very few around here with a hollow that shallow as the guys who sharpen them always double check what I say. They always say "you mean 3/8"?

I find deeper hollows fatiguing and my knees get sore.

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On 2/4/2015 at 8:15 PM, beanhead said:

I am 140lbs and use a 7/8" hollow. I feel I am one of the very few around here with a hollow that shallow as the guys who sharpen them always double check what I say. They always say "you mean 3/8"?

I find deeper hollows fatiguing and my knees get sore.

Exactly.

I started out on 5/8” and accidentally tried 7/16” thanks to a shop mistake. I was unable to skate on the 7/16”. But over the years I went down to 1/2” then 7/16”. Maybe my leg muscles had got stronger, who knows. Then after a year, and some skating lessons, I decided to try a 1/2” hollow. I was surprised to find that not only can I skate well on this hollow, but it is significantly less tiring. The skating lessons have given me better edge control, which means I don’t need so much grip. I think I will will try 9/16”, 5/8” and 11/16” and see if I can still do tight turns and crossovers without losing an edge. 

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1 hour ago, Leif said:

Exactly.

I started out on 5/8” and accidentally tried 7/16” thanks to a shop mistake. I was unable to skate on the 7/16”. But over the years I went down to 1/2” then 7/16”. Maybe my leg muscles had got stronger, who knows. Then after a year, and some skating lessons, I decided to try a 1/2” hollow. I was surprised to find that not only can I skate well on this hollow, but it is significantly less tiring. The skating lessons have given me better edge control, which means I don’t need so much grip. I think I will will try 9/16”, 5/8” and 11/16” and see if I can still do tight turns and crossovers without losing an edge. 

I have skated on 1" and at times even less aggressive hollows for a long time. When people come into the shop and ask for 3/8" I always think they are nuts. 

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I've ways toggled between 1/2 and 9/16. Usually 9/16 in the summer when ice is softer. I tried 5/8 and I couldn't stay on my feet... Tried it twice on a couple of occasions to see if it was really the hollow and it was. Couldn't do it. I'm a decent skater but def not skilled enough to skate on anything 5/8 or shallower. I'm 165lbs. 

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I think that the fit, the stiffness of the skates and the tightness of the laces has  a big influence on how sharp the hollow feels for the skater. 

A tight fitting and stiff skate will give you a sharper feeling than a loose fitting soft skate with the same hollow/profile. 

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9 minutes ago, hockeydad3 said:

I think that the fit, the stiffness of the skates and the tightness of the laces has  a big influence on how sharp the hollow feels for the skater. 

A tight fitting and stiff skate will give you a sharper feeling than a loose fitting soft skate with the same hollow/profile. 

Agreed

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On 1/27/2015 at 5:55 PM, Gretsch said:

For those of you who have done experimenting using different hollows without much change in body weight: how much of an impact have you found in the relationship between your body weight and the hollow selected?

There is the oft-heard axiom that the heavier players should consider a shallower hollow, but I wonder to what extent. Is a solid skater at 165lbs really going to be floundering around if a 3/4" or 1" hollow is used instead of a 1/2"?

Thank you,

Seth

1" would be a total joke and quite awful. I'm about that weight. Some guy sharpened my skates to 1" ROH. Coming from 1/2" it was basically like skating on rental skates that haven't been sharpened in 5 years plus renters walking on bleachers and concrete during those 5 years.

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53 minutes ago, caveman27 said:

1" would be a total joke and quite awful. I'm about that weight. Some guy sharpened my skates to 1" ROH. Coming from 1/2" it was basically like skating on rental skates that haven't been sharpened in 5 years plus renters walking on bleachers and concrete during those 5 years.

What do you weigh? I am 180lbs and skate on 1" just fine. 

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42 minutes ago, SkateWorksPNW said:

What do you weigh? I am 180lbs and skate on 1" just fine. 

About 180 now. i have size (old) 5.5 CCM skates with 8' profile radius. I can skate with either 1/2 or 5/8 ROH. 1" is too shallow. I can get a lot of glide with awful ability to dig into the ice.

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I’m 165 skated on 1” hollow since I was 140lbs. It’s all about knee bend and ankle flexion to have a good edge and the shallow hollow gives you better speed less drag

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Maybe we can summarize:

Facts for a shallow hollow: flat profile, high bodyweight, soft ice, experienced skater, stiff and tight fitting skate. 

Facts for a deep hollow: round profile, low bodyweight, hard ice, recreational skater, soft and loose fitting skate. 

And if everything is medium maybe try a 5/8" hollow at first and find your personal preference. 

Or go the FBV way and you can ignore the glide-advantage of a flat hollow. 

Edited by hockeydad3

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2 hours ago, hockeydad3 said:

Maybe we can summarize:

Facts for a shallow hollow: flat profile, high bodyweight, soft ice, experienced skater, stiff and tight fitting skate. 

Facts for a deep hollow: round profile, low bodyweight, hard ice, recreational skater, soft and loose fitting skate. 

And if everything is medium maybe try a 5/8" hollow at first and find your personal preference. 

Or go the FBV way and you can ignore the glide-advantage of a flat hollow. 

I wouldn't dub those points as facts. They're more like guidelines, and fuzzy at that. Though changing hollows with changing ice conditions is not uncommon. 

It's very much personal preference. There are too many examples to say otherwise. 

 

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1 hour ago, stick9 said:

I wouldn't dub those points as facts. They're more like guidelines, and fuzzy at that. Though changing hollows with changing ice conditions is not uncommon. 

It's very much personal preference. There are too many examples to say otherwise. 

 

I’ve been asking people what hollow they use, and I agree with you. I know a very light (10 stone or probably much less) superb adult skater on 5/8”, a heavier excellent skater on 3/8”, a very heavy skater on 1/2”. However quite a few have no idea. I think here in the UK we are less concerned, most people I know are on 1/2”, 7/16” or 3/8”. I’ve never come across flatter than 5/8”. However, that is not to say each person is on the ideal hollow, it’s not easy to try out alternative grinds. 

I suspect a deeper hollow helps on glice and other artificial ices. 

Edited by Leif

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9 minutes ago, Leif said:

I’ve been asking people what hollow they use, and I agree with you. I know a very light (10 stone or probably much less) superb adult skater on 5/8”, a heavier excellent skater on 3/8”, a very heavy skater on 1/2”. However quite a few have no idea. I think here in the UK we are less concerned, most people I know are on 1/2”, 7/16” or 3/8”. I’ve never come across flatter than 5/8”. However, that is not to say each person is on the ideal hollow, it’s not easy to try out alternative grinds. 

I suspect a deeper hollow helps on glice and other artificial ices. 

All those facts or parameters have a influence on the ideal hollow including preferences as an important part of it.

Imagine the two extremes.: A heavy skater on a tight fitting stiff skate with a 13' radius and a 3/8" hollow or a lightweight skater with soft and loose fitting skates with a 7' radius and a 1" hollow. 

Do you know the profiles or the skate fit of your examples? 

Until recently in my area it was usual to get the 1/2" standard hollow for all skaters and profiling the runners was impossible to get. So I think that a lot of the skates had a banana profile and others said that they don't like fresh sharpened skates. 

I went from a 10' radius to a 13' radius and that was absolutely impossible to skate for me with the 1/2" hollow I had before. I tried a 7/8" hollow and this is good for me now. 

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On 9/13/2019 at 3:20 AM, hockeydad3 said:

I think that the fit, the stiffness of the skates and the tightness of the laces has  a big influence on how sharp the hollow feels for the skater. 

A tight fitting and stiff skate will give you a sharper feeling than a loose fitting soft skate with the same hollow/profile. 

I disagree. You need more ankle flexion to use a more shallow hollow. A tight stiff skate hinders ankle flexion. While my VH skates are stiff, I now keep the top 2 eyelets unlaced so I can skate with 5/8" hollow at 145-150lbs.

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How was your feeling about stopping? Had  your previous skate a good tight fit around your feet and was ist a lower end skate?  Did the profile of your runner change? 

I changed from a flexible more loose fitting Nexus2900 to a stiff and tight fitting Supreme180 and put my runner from the Nexus on the 180s. They definitely have a sharper feeling. But I'm from the heavy side. 220lbs.

Edited by hockeydad3

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14 hours ago, hockeydad3 said:

All those facts or parameters have a influence on the ideal hollow including preferences as an important part of it.

Imagine the two extremes.: A heavy skater on a tight fitting stiff skate with a 13' radius and a 3/8" hollow or a lightweight skater with soft and loose fitting skates with a 7' radius and a 1" hollow. 

Do you know the profiles or the skate fit of your examples? 

Until recently in my area it was usual to get the 1/2" standard hollow for all skaters and profiling the runners was impossible to get. So I think that a lot of the skates had a banana profile and others said that they don't like fresh sharpened skates. 

I went from a 10' radius to a 13' radius and that was absolutely impossible to skate for me with the 1/2" hollow I had before. I tried a 7/8" hollow and this is good for me now. 

Yes, those parameters do have an influence. A heavier skater digs in more. A poorer skater might not be able to use their edges on a flatter hollow. A weak skater might not cope with a deep hollow, due to excess grip. Harder ice requires a deeper hollow to get the same grip. And so on. But personal taste is a big factor. I like 7/16”, but I found recently that I can still find my edges on 1/2”, and it is less tiring, and kinder on my knees. I will go even flatter and see how it feels, simply because I might get more speed, less effort. Some people favour speed, some favour grip. If you look at NHL players, you’ll see a huge variation. 

As to your question, without doubt almost all if not all of the players I know skate on stock profiles. The decent skaters wear decent boots.

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2 hours ago, Leif said:

As to your question, without doubt almost all if not all of the players I know skate on stock profiles. The decent skaters wear decent boots.

This could be an explanation for the deeper hollows they use, because most profiles are getting rounder over the time due to freehand sharpening. 

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40 minutes ago, hockeydad3 said:

This could be an explanation for the deeper hollows they use, because most profiles are getting rounder over the time due to freehand sharpening. 

Not in my case.☹️ When I bought new skates last November, I realised why I had difficulties on the old ones: the blades were flat just like goalie skates. Repeated hand sharpening had removed the profile. I now use a Sparx, and even though my current blades are nearly worn out, the profile looks perfect. Round here many LHS sharpeners can’t even get level edges, never mind retain the profile. I can’t speak for other people.

Round here you struggle to get profiling, and most shops will do 5/8” or 1/2” by default. 

I’m not disagreeing with you, but I’m with stick9 when he/she says that your suggestions were more like guidelines, which can help someone understand depth of hollow. 🙂

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 I also take ice condition into consideration.  In the summer or on certain rinks I need to go a bit more shallow than on hard ice/winter rink conditions. I'm about 195lb and use 1/2'' but I do feel it's on the more "diggy" side, but I prefer this for the most part. I also find getting my skates sharpened a PITA, so with step steel and a 1/2'', I am usually good to skate for 2-3 months before I feel my edges starting to be a little too soft for my taste. Play/skate 1-2 times a week, maybe a total ice time of 100-120 minutes, depending on things. 

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I think weight followed by ice conditions are the two biggest factors, in the summer I feel like I could drop to a more shallow hollow than in the winter when the ice is hard and fast. We have decently cold winters and most rinks around us try to keep their ice as hard as possible. I'm about 185lbs and skate on an 11/16" I could probably go to a 3/4" no issue but I think 1" isn't enough edge for me. My son who is 125 lbs skates on a 5/8" he's an intermediate skater, when he's a bit more comfortable on his edges and a bit stronger I'm going to get him a bit more shallow as well. My youngest son is only 50 lbs he currently skates on a 9/16" but he's pretty strong on his edges and I do think he would get a bit more glide out of a 5/8" I just don't want to mess with his skates mid season. 
"

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