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Leif

Depth of hollow and speed/effort

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A side effect of taking skating lessons to improve my technique has been that I can move to a shallower hollow. I was on 7/16”, and went to 1/2”. It seemed easier to skate, less tiring, and faster. So I tried 5/8”, and it feels even slippier, albeit without quite so much grip on tight turns. I am 5’10” and 160 pounds. 

What are opinions on speed in relation to hollow? Is there really a noticeable and worthwhile increase in speed, and reduction in effort associated with shallower hollows? And does it improve with each shallower hollow, or is there some optimum depth? I ask as I only have subjective impressions with no measurements. 

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There are big differences. Best examples are speedskaters having no hollow and a flat profile. A shallow hollow and a flatter profile gives you more glide. The heavier you are and the softer the ice is the bigger is the difference. A mirrorlike finished hollow gives you more speed than a rough one. A FBV gives you the glide of a very flat hollow combined with the bite of a deeper hollow although the edges feel different and less prominent. I tryed a lot. Best if you can compare two setups by changing the runners under similar conditions.

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4 hours ago, Leif said:

A side effect of taking skating lessons to improve my technique has been that I can move to a shallower hollow. I was on 7/16”, and went to 1/2”. It seemed easier to skate, less tiring, and faster. So I tried 5/8”, and it feels even slippier, albeit without quite so much grip on tight turns. I am 5’10” and 160 pounds. 

What are opinions on speed in relation to hollow? Is there really a noticeable and worthwhile increase in speed, and reduction in effort associated with shallower hollows? And does it improve with each shallower hollow, or is there some optimum depth? I ask as I only have subjective impressions with no measurements. 

I can definitely say a shallower hollow is less stress on the the legs, knees and groin especially. I tried going down to a 5/8 from my normal 3/4 I felt it in both those spots.

As far as speed goes. Yes, you get more overall speed. You do sacrifice grip in the process. It's a balancing act. Most people judge what hollow they are on by how much grip they have or don't have.

Im iffy on the more glide with a smoother cut hollow. I'm not calling total BS, just saying I don't notice a difference. I also don't notice a difference in terms of glide on softer ice. 

Edited by stick9
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What weight are you? I will try 3/4”, conversations here have made me curious though I suspect it’s too shallow for me. 

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We have a saying, " if your skates feel dull, bend your knees more." It's a simple statement, but true. You're probably able to go to a shallower hollow after your skating lessons because you're bending your knees more and have better form. Personally, I'm 5' 10.5"/ 168 lb, and use 3/4 hollow.

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9 hours ago, Leif said:

What weight are you? I will try 3/4”, conversations here have made me curious though I suspect it’s too shallow for me. 

160 lbs. I sort of went the long way from 5/8 to 3/4. I was using a Blackston FBV for a few years. When I went back to a ROH sharpening. I asked the guy who was doing my skates what was closest to the 85-100 FBV. He did a 3/4 and it just worked out. I didn't have the same level of grip I had on the FBV but it close enough. Lately I've found myself looking for just a bit more grip. I tried a 5/8 but that was too much. I don't like that locked to the ice feeling. 11/16 seems to be my sweet spot for glide vs grip.

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Two out of the three guys that I go to for my sharpening have told me that I'm the only one that gets 11/16" from them (one says that I'm the only one that has ever asked for it).

I'm 6'0" and 180 pounds. I can go 3/4" but it feels like I'm actually using more energy to carve. This could all be in my head though, I wasn't on it for long.

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22 hours ago, stick9 said:

I can definitely say a shallower hollow is less stress on the the legs, knees and groin especially. I tried going down to a 5/8 from my normal 3/4 I felt it in both those spots.

As far as speed goes. Yes, you get more overall speed. You do sacrifice grip in the process. It's a balancing act. Most people judge what hollow they are on by how much grip they have or don't have.

Im iffy on the more glide with a smoother cut hollow. I'm not calling total BS, just saying I don't notice a difference. I also don't notice a difference in terms of glide on softer ice. 

I dont notice more glide, but do notice way less fatigue when skating on a 3/4" - 1" ROH vs 1/2" -5/8"

 

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I'm on 3/4. I've used as deep as 3/8. For me, I find I get more glide, but going to a shallower hollow coincided with going to a flatter radius. I'm on a 13' radius. But I find I like the shallower hollow more, and skating feels--I don't want to say effortless, because it isn't, but things feel more smooth.

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On 9/23/2019 at 11:51 PM, hockeydad3 said:

There are big differences. Best examples are speedskaters having no hollow and a flat profile. A shallow hollow and a flatter profile gives you more glide. The heavier you are and the softer the ice is the bigger is the difference. A mirrorlike finished hollow gives you more speed than a rough one. A FBV gives you the glide of a very flat hollow combined with the bite of a deeper hollow although the edges feel different and less prominent. I tryed a lot. Best if you can compare two setups by changing the runners under similar conditions.

I tried a 5/8” from the LHS and the surface did look smoother than the Sparx machine’s cut, almost mirror like. I do wonder what if any difference that makes. 

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If the surface is rough like sanpaper it will make a difference. Let a fingernail glide along the hollow. If you have a rough feeling, i think this will matter. Had the opportunity to compare two pairs of runners. A 10`profile with a 1/2" ROH with a rough finish and a 13`profile with a 92/50 FBV and a smooth finish. The second setup had almost the double gliding distance (as far as i could compare it).

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I wasn't suggesting the Sparx grind is as rough as sand paper, it isn't, it's pretty damned good but not quite as smooth and mirror like as the shop grind. I wonder if it makes any real world difference? Probably not. 

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1 hour ago, Leif said:

I wasn't suggesting the Sparx grind is as rough as sand paper, it isn't, it's pretty damned good but not quite as smooth and mirror like as the shop grind. I wonder if it makes any real world difference? Probably not. 

I've had steel done by hand vs the same ROH from my Sparx and never noticed a difference.

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On 9/26/2019 at 5:20 AM, Leif said:

I wasn't suggesting the Sparx grind is as rough as sand paper, it isn't, it's pretty damned good but not quite as smooth and mirror like as the shop grind. I wonder if it makes any real world difference? Probably not. 

With Sparx I tend to use a soft rubber home and an oiled leather hone on the finished blade bottom to take any roughness away. Leaves it mirror smooth. 

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On 9/25/2019 at 5:02 PM, hockeydad3 said:

If the surface is rough like sanpaper it will make a difference. Let a fingernail glide along the hollow. If you have a rough feeling, i think this will matter. Had the opportunity to compare two pairs of runners. A 10`profile with a 1/2" ROH with a rough finish and a 13`profile with a 92/50 FBV and a smooth finish. The second setup had almost the double gliding distance (as far as i could compare it).

That's comparing apples to oranges. Regardless of the profile, you should have noticed much more glide on a 92/50 over a 1/2" with the radius being the same.

As for what depth to go. If you're running a 5/8" ROH right now and want more bite but still keep the glide, I would go 90/50 FBV or a 5/8 Fire from sparx. I went from a 90/75 FBV to the 5/8" Fire and have been very happy with the results. I still get way more than enough bite, but I don't feel like I'm digging into the ice when I'm gliding.

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3 minutes ago, darkhors said:

That's comparing apples to oranges. Regardless of the profile, you should have noticed much more glide on a 92/50 over a 1/2" with the radius being the same.

This comparison was not planned. I bought a pair of used skates with the " 10`profile with a 1/2" ROH with a rough finish-runners" on them. And I replaced them with the "13`profile with a 92/50 FBV and a smooth finish-runners" from my old skates. Tested them two times.

 

 

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1 hour ago, hockeydad3 said:

This comparison was not planned. I bought a pair of used skates with the " 10`profile with a 1/2" ROH with a rough finish-runners" on them. And I replaced them with the "13`profile with a 92/50 FBV and a smooth finish-runners" from my old skates. Tested them two times.

 

 

You understand you are changing three variables (hollow, length of profile & finish) at once and that doesn't take into account the difference between ROH vs FBV. 

It's just not an accurate data set, too many moving parts.

Edited by stick9

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18 minutes ago, stick9 said:

It's just not an accurate data set, too many moving parts.

It´s not more ore less than described above. One runnersetup having way more glide than the other. But the result was predictable, or not?

All changed parameters are supposed to deliver more glide. I just wantet to share my practical experience

Edited by hockeydad3

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4 minutes ago, hockeydad3 said:

It´s not more ore less than described above. One runnersetup having way more glide than the other. But the result was predictable, or not?

All changed parameters are suposed to deliver more glide. I just wantet to share my practical experience

As long as you understand that in order to truly judge whether or not the finish of the hollow results in more glide you have to compare two equal sets of steel. If you change even just one variable, the data is no longer legit. 

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Sorry but somehow I have the impression that we talk past each other. By my comparison, I never wanted to prove the postulation that a mirror finish has more glide.

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Howdy,

1 hour ago, SkateWorksPNW said:

What is inside that thing? I've never seen one in person. 

IIRC its something impregnated with with a very fine abrasive / polishing compound.  You essentially wet sand with it.

Mark

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