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dsizzle

How to specify the heel/toe shape of skate blades?

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The toe is used for quick starts, and the heel is used when making deep turns, and so the shape of the heel and toe presumably would affect these critical parts of hockey. But how does one even go about specifying the shape of the heel and toe?

You would think this would be part of profiling, but profiling only affects the middle ~60% of the blade: https://wissota.com/skate-blade-profile-rocker-explained/. As seen in the picture of that link, the heel and toe in a stock blade deviate significantly from a typical 9' radius. Plus different models/manufacturers have different stock shapes at the heel and toe.

There are discussions on "shaving" the heel and toe, so other people do also have issues with the shape of the heel and toe:

Furthermore there are many opinions about shaving the heel and toe being bad without specifying what a good heel/toe shape is, or why one shape is better than another.

I'm interested because I'm having a hard time adjusting to my new Supreme 2S Pros (w/ LS5 steel), after many years on Supreme 3000s (from the early 90s), which have a more rounded heel and toe. It's making it very hard to adjust. In particular, accelerating quickly, which I do on my toes, is more difficult (feels like I'm wearing skis) and I often trip, which I think happens when I hit the corner at the toe of my skate. It's also harder to make sharp turns. I had a 9' profile put on (vs the stock 10') but that made basically no difference, which is not surprising given that my issues come from the heel and toe.

I guess I should ask to have my heel and toe shaved, but as far as I can tell it will just be freehand. It seems odd that there all sorts of precise specifications for the profile in the main part of the blade (radius, center offset, etc), while the heel and toe is like the wild west.

 

Edited by dsizzle
Minor edit: removed repeated word

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2 hours ago, dsizzle said:

The toe is used for quick starts, and the heel is used when making deep turns, and so the shape of the heel and toe presumably would affect these critical parts of hockey. But how does one even go about specifying the shape of the heel and toe?

You would think this would be part of profiling, but profiling only affects the middle ~60% of the blade: https://wissota.com/skate-blade-profile-rocker-explained/. As seen in the picture of that link, the heel and toe in a stock blade deviate significantly from a typical 9' radius. Plus different models/manufacturers have different stock shapes at the heel and toe.

There are discussions on "shaving" the heel and toe, so other people do also have issues with the shape of the heel and toe:

Furthermore there are many opinions about shaving the heel and toe being bad without specifying what a good heel/toe shape is, or why one shape is better than another.

I'm interested because I'm having a hard time adjusting to my new Supreme 2S Pros (w/ LS5 steel), after many years on Supreme 3000s (from the early 90s), which have a more rounded heel and toe. It's making it very hard to adjust. In particular, accelerating quickly, which I do on my toes, is more difficult (feels like I'm wearing skis) and I often trip, which I think happens when I hit the corner at the toe of my skate. It's also harder to make sharp turns. I had a 9' profile put on (vs the stock 10') but that made basically no difference, which is not surprising given that my issues come from the heel and toe.

I guess I should ask to have my heel and toe shaved, but as far as I can tell it will just be freehand. It seems odd that there all sorts of precise specifications for the profile in the main part of the blade (radius, center offset, etc), while the heel and toe is like the wild west.

 

If you use a ProSharp you can leave the steel in the machine to blend the toe and heel, it doesn't need to be done by hand. It does, however, require the machine operator to know how to do this. 

Personally, if you have steel that you feel comfortable on you are much better off having someone copy that profile to your new steel. This is also easily accomplished with a ProSharp and a professional. 

Edited by SkateWorksPNW

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2 hours ago, SkateWorksPNW said:

If you use a ProSharp you can leave the steel in the machine to blend the toe and heel, it doesn't need to be done by hand. It does, however, require the machine operator to know how to do this. 

Personally, if you have steel that you feel comfortable on you are much better off having someone copy that profile to your new steel. This is also easily accomplished with a ProSharp and a professional. 

For the copy method, how would the profile on my old skates be read and transferred (aside from using the ProSharp)? When I took my skates to get profiled I brought my old skates and described how that's what I was used to, but the guy there didn't seem to have any way of reading the shape (other than eyeballing it), let alone transferring it to my new skates.

Not familiar with ProSharp -- how do you specify the shape of the heel and toe? I get that it's a machine and therefore wouldn't be "by hand", but are there different settings for how it "blends the toe and heel"?

Is there a list of facilities that have a ProSharp? (I'm probably not going to buy one myself, but I would consider going to a place that offered it as a service.)

 

Edited by dsizzle

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18 hours ago, dsizzle said:

For the copy method, how would the profile on my old skates be read and transferred (aside from using the ProSharp)? When I took my skates to get profiled I brought my old skates and described how that's what I was used to, but the guy there didn't seem to have any way of reading the shape (other than eyeballing it), let alone transferring it to my new skates.

Not familiar with ProSharp -- how do you specify the shape of the heel and toe? I get that it's a machine and therefore wouldn't be "by hand", but are there different settings for how it "blends the toe and heel"?

Is there a list of facilities that have a ProSharp? (I'm probably not going to buy one myself, but I would consider going to a place that offered it as a service.)

 

Well, if the runners are the same length, then the easiest way is to just get out a sharpie. Lay the old runner over the new and trace the toe and heel.  Grind off the marked area, then put on your desired profile.

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Before you grind off all of your steel trying to find the sweet spot, look at your boot. I have just recently had the experience of switching to an entirely new brand (CCM from Bauer) and had things like the top lace holes moved out 1/4" in addition to getting a larger volume boot. The point is, I have a LOT more ability to bend and get my knee over the toes on the skate a LOT more than I was used to with my last Bauers. I feel like I have gain my toe AND heel back from getting that ankle flex back in which made my agility a lot better. The Bauer you changed to is an entirely different fit animal from what you had in those 3000's from the 90's and you have gone from a really pliable skate to a literally casted foot. If you don't add those abilities to move your foot like you used to, you're going to be catching both toe and heel, especially while crossing over. Total pain the ass but I'd do some experimenting with the boot flex, and how your foot is now restricted by the new boot first.

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9 hours ago, boo10 said:

Well, if the runners are the same length, then the easiest way is to just get out a sharpie. Lay the old runner over the new and trace the toe and heel.  Grind off the marked area, then put on your desired profile.

Actually I would do the opposite.  Mark the new steel and then profile the blade on the closest profile to the older steel then take off less than half of what the marker says toe and heel. You don't skate on the toe and heel. You skate on the middle of the blade. if you need to reduce the profile to make it easier to turn you will turn far better with leaving the toe and heel

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9 hours ago, boo10 said:

Well, if the runners are the same length, then the easiest way is to just get out a sharpie. Lay the old runner over the new and trace the toe and heel.  Grind off the marked area, then put on your desired profile.

These are old school skates without removable blades! I actually tried cutting a paper mask on the old blades and laying that over the new blades, but it didn't come out very well.

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3 hours ago, Tondog said:

Before you grind off all of your steel trying to find the sweet spot, look at your boot. I have just recently had the experience of switching to an entirely new brand (CCM from Bauer) and had things like the top lace holes moved out 1/4" in addition to getting a larger volume boot. The point is, I have a LOT more ability to bend and get my knee over the toes on the skate a LOT more than I was used to with my last Bauers. I feel like I have gain my toe AND heel back from getting that ankle flex back in which made my agility a lot better. The Bauer you changed to is an entirely different fit animal from what you had in those 3000's from the 90's and you have gone from a really pliable skate to a literally casted foot. If you don't add those abilities to move your foot like you used to, you're going to be catching both toe and heel, especially while crossing over. Total pain the ass but I'd do some experimenting with the boot flex, and how your foot is now restricted by the new boot first.

How do I experiment with boot flex? You mean like not tying the top lace holes or something like that?

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24 minutes ago, oldtrainerguy28 said:

Actually I would do the opposite.  Mark the new steel and then profile the blade on the closest profile to the older steel then take off less than half of what the marker says toe and heel. You don't skate on the toe and heel. You skate on the middle of the blade. if you need to reduce the profile to make it easier to turn you will turn far better with leaving the toe and heel

Not quite following your recommendation.

I'm particularly focused on quick starts and tight turns. I agree you skate on the middle blade most of the time.

When starting, I think I skate on the toe, like in this video 

When turning quickly, I go back on my heels like in this video 

 

 

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1 hour ago, dsizzle said:

Not quite following your recommendation.

I'm particularly focused on quick starts and tight turns. I agree you skate on the middle blade most of the time.

When starting, I think I skate on the toe, like in this video 

When turning quickly, I go back on my heels like in this video 

 

 

I'm in China at the moment so I cannot see any videos.  But you never skate on the first or last inch of the blade. May you get there at the end of a stride or turn sure. But you are not skating on it. As for rounding the toe and heel soon as you do that you move the start and finish f stride to a shorter amount of blade? 

Just skate on a smaller radius through the middle if that's your main goal and leave the toe and heel except to blend into the shorter profile.

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10 hours ago, dsizzle said:

These are old school skates without removable blades! I actually tried cutting a paper mask on the old blades and laying that over the new blades, but it didn't come out very well.

I thought you said you had Supreme 2S pros, which have the TUUK Lightspeed 5, a removable blade holder.

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If you reprofiled from a 10' to a 9' radius and you didn't notice a difference and you are experiencing tripping while accelerating, you might try an 8 foot radius with aggressive pitch. Another option is to do a combination radius, and get a 7 or 8 foot radius on the front half and a 9 or 10 radius on the back half also with aggressive pitch. You could also stick with a 9 foot radius and just try altering it to have an aggressive pitch.

Also, what is your height and weight, skate size?

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On 12/8/2019 at 12:12 PM, dsizzle said:

The toe is used for quick starts, and the heel is used when making deep turns, and so the shape of the heel and toe presumably would affect these critical parts of hockey. But how does one even go about specifying the shape of the heel and toe?

You would think this would be part of profiling, but profiling only affects the middle ~60% of the blade: https://wissota.com/skate-blade-profile-rocker-explained/. As seen in the picture of that link, the heel and toe in a stock blade deviate significantly from a typical 9' radius. Plus different models/manufacturers have different stock shapes at the heel and toe.

There are discussions on "shaving" the heel and toe, so other people do also have issues with the shape of the heel and toe:

Furthermore there are many opinions about shaving the heel and toe being bad without specifying what a good heel/toe shape is, or why one shape is better than another.

I'm interested because I'm having a hard time adjusting to my new Supreme 2S Pros (w/ LS5 steel), after many years on Supreme 3000s (from the early 90s), which have a more rounded heel and toe. It's making it very hard to adjust. In particular, accelerating quickly, which I do on my toes, is more difficult (feels like I'm wearing skis) and I often trip, which I think happens when I hit the corner at the toe of my skate. It's also harder to make sharp turns. I had a 9' profile put on (vs the stock 10') but that made basically no difference, which is not surprising given that my issues come from the heel and toe.

I guess I should ask to have my heel and toe shaved, but as far as I can tell it will just be freehand. It seems odd that there all sorts of precise specifications for the profile in the main part of the blade (radius, center offset, etc), while the heel and toe is like the wild west.

 

There are a few issues here:

* You are transitioning from an older pair of skates that are much more pliable, which I assume is letting you get better forward flexion as compared to the extremely stiff 2S Pro skates. Are you lacing them all the way up? You might want to drop the top one or two eyelets so you can properly get over the ball of your foot. 

* Your old steel is likely very worn and likely an 8' or less profile, very shaved on the toe and heel. More on the whichever side is pushed into the wheel first when they get sharpened. 

* The new steel is a 10' flat profile as compared to what you are using to skating on. Its possible your old skates likely feel like skis and your new skates likely feel like you're riding a snowboard. However, if you adjust the body mechanics you might actually see the benefits of a longer radius. 

* If you make these changes and still feel like you are "stuck in mud" when skating you may want to consider going with a flatter hollow. If that doesn't make things better you should look into getting your steel professionally profiled. You can either have the profile matched from your old skates or you can select a new profile. I highly recommend a combination radius but if you want a single radius that is fine as well. 

*Lastly, add pitch, if needed. If you feel too far back on your heels or neutral. 

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6 hours ago, caveman27 said:

If you reprofiled from a 10' to a 9' radius and you didn't notice a difference and you are experiencing tripping while accelerating, you might try an 8 foot radius with aggressive pitch. Another option is to do a combination radius, and get a 7 or 8 foot radius on the front half and a 9 or 10 radius on the back half also with aggressive pitch. You could also stick with a 9 foot radius and just try altering it to have an aggressive pitch.

Also, what is your height and weight, skate size?

I feel if you need a more aggressive pitch something else is missing in the fit. 

In a study done more than 1/32 nd forward had zero benefits to 80% of participants. 

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It would nice if OP posted pictures of his old blades and new blades. Those who are sharpeners might get a better idea of what would work without having to bring your blades to a shop multiple times.

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Some things to consider, the actual profile edge is, from my research, is only about 1-2 inches of that 60% of the runner you're talking about. Everything else is the gradual transition from that profile edge up to your toe. That transition will get more aggressive or less depending on the length of your runner AND how much "toe" or "heel" you have. The less "toe" or "heel" you have the more aggressive/steep that transition curve will be.

Generally, this will make the skates less stable as you rock off that profile edge and it quickly transitions up to the toe. Think trying to keep an upside down pyramid balanced vs something shaped like a rocking chair. Now striding on a runner with less toe will fee easier, but IMHO, that's because you're not required to put as much power/effort into finishing your stride off, which will result in less power imparted into your stride and thus less speed. It's kind of like pedalling a bike on low gear vs a high gear. With a low gear, you have pedal more to get the same results, but each push is easier. Versus the power and effort required to do one push on a high gear.

IMHO, if you chop off your toes, there's a real possibility you'll end up losing power in your stride and make you less stable. The degree in which you're affected is, in part, dependant on the length of your runner. If you have large runners, this effect will be reduced. But in general, the effect will probably feel like you're skating on an even smaller radius than the profile you're using. 

Coming from an old skate, if you haven't profiled your edges regularly, you were not only skating on a reduced toe with your old skates, you were probably skating on a way rounder profile. With each sharpening, skate runners tend to get gradually rounder.

For me, I like lots of toe. I like feeling the bite and power when I finish my stride. When a sharpener fucked up and shaved mine off, it made the runners unusable, because I have extremely small feet/runners and the net effect was extremely reduced stability and bite. Everyone has their own unique needs based on their body type, but just remember there's no such thing as a free lunch. There are always give and takes with each tweak. For me, it's about finding the setup in which you give up the least to gain the most. And that's going to be different for everyone.

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12 hours ago, caveman27 said:

I thought you said you had Supreme 2S pros, which have the TUUK Lightspeed 5, a removable blade holder.

Yes, the new ones are removable, but not the old ones. Don't see how to do what boo10 described (laying the blades on top of one another and using a Sharpie) without them both being removable.

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4 hours ago, caveman27 said:

It would nice if OP posted pictures of his old blades and new blades. Those who are sharpeners might get a better idea of what would work without having to bring your blades to a shop multiple times.

I can actually do a little better than that. I took pictures of both skates, aligned them and traced both in Photoshop. Here's my old skate with the new skate outline:

https://imgur.com/WzqdwjY

Here's my new skate with the new skate outline

https://imgur.com/n45QiJ9

(By the way, how do you upload an image on this site? It seems neither option in the "Insert other media" link at the bottom of the post works.)

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12 hours ago, caveman27 said:

If you reprofiled from a 10' to a 9' radius and you didn't notice a difference and you are experiencing tripping while accelerating, you might try an 8 foot radius with aggressive pitch. Another option is to do a combination radius, and get a 7 or 8 foot radius on the front half and a 9 or 10 radius on the back half also with aggressive pitch. You could also stick with a 9 foot radius and just try altering it to have an aggressive pitch.

Also, what is your height and weight, skate size?

My old skates were profiled, but I don't know what the radius was. I'm pretty sure the pitch was neutral (there's a "radius sticker on the bottom with an 'O' on it). Wouldn't the pitch affect my skating at all times, not just on quick starts and turns? 

Skate size is 7. I'm 5' 10" 155lbs.

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3 hours ago, puckpilot said:

Some things to consider, the actual profile edge is, from my research, is only about 1-2 inches of that 60% of the runner you're talking about. Everything else is the gradual transition from that profile edge up to your toe. That transition will get more aggressive or less depending on the length of your runner AND how much "toe" or "heel" you have. The less "toe" or "heel" you have the more aggressive/steep that transition curve will be.

Generally, this will make the skates less stable as you rock off that profile edge and it quickly transitions up to the toe. Think trying to keep an upside down pyramid balanced vs something shaped like a rocking chair. Now striding on a runner with less toe will fee easier, but IMHO, that's because you're not required to put as much power/effort into finishing your stride off, which will result in less power imparted into your stride and thus less speed. It's kind of like pedalling a bike on low gear vs a high gear. With a low gear, you have pedal more to get the same results, but each push is easier. Versus the power and effort required to do one push on a high gear.

IMHO, if you chop off your toes, there's a real possibility you'll end up losing power in your stride and make you less stable. The degree in which you're affected is, in part, dependant on the length of your runner. If you have large runners, this effect will be reduced. But in general, the effect will probably feel like you're skating on an even smaller radius than the profile you're using. 

Coming from an old skate, if you haven't profiled your edges regularly, you were not only skating on a reduced toe with your old skates, you were probably skating on a way rounder profile. With each sharpening, skate runners tend to get gradually rounder.

For me, I like lots of toe. I like feeling the bite and power when I finish my stride. When a sharpener fucked up and shaved mine off, it made the runners unusable, because I have extremely small feet/runners and the net effect was extremely reduced stability and bite. Everyone has their own unique needs based on their body type, but just remember there's no such thing as a free lunch. There are always give and takes with each tweak. For me, it's about finding the setup in which you give up the least to gain the most. And that's going to be different for everyone.

I'm not sure if I noticed a difference in "bite", as you say, with the larger toe. Is this to say you think you can skate faster and with less effort? The biggest difference I noticed was with quick starts and turns, which I felt was a disadvantage, but maybe there is an advantage to a bigger toe at full speed? 

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6 hours ago, oldtrainerguy28 said:

I feel if you need a more aggressive pitch something else is missing in the fit. 

In a study done more than 1/32 nd forward had zero benefits to 80% of participants. 

What kind of study? Do you have a link?

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39 minutes ago, dsizzle said:

I'm not sure if I noticed a difference in "bite", as you say, with the larger toe. Is this to say you think you can skate faster and with less effort? The biggest difference I noticed was with quick starts and turns, which I felt was a disadvantage, but maybe there is an advantage to a bigger toe at full speed? 

No, what I'm saying is when you "finish" your stride, there's less "toe" to push off on, so you lose power. But it feels easier because your finish doesn't require a last bit of effort, so you're not generating as much speed/power/efficiency in each of your strides.

As for quick starts, are you sure you're actually starting off quicker, or is it just that it feels that way because it's easier to have a higher stride frequency? Just because your feet are moving fast does not mean your body as a whole is travelling at a high velocity. 

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1 hour ago, dsizzle said:

My old skates were profiled, but I don't know what the radius was. I'm pretty sure the pitch was neutral (there's a "radius sticker on the bottom with an 'O' on it). Wouldn't the pitch affect my skating at all times, not just on quick starts and turns? 

Skate size is 7. I'm 5' 10" 155lbs.

Yes, pitch would affect your skating at all times. 

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