3 Myths of Figure Skate Blades

13 10 2011

While digging through our archives (which has produced some scary pictures) we found an interesting piece on figure skate blades. This article, produced by Jon Register, sheds some light on 3 very common myths of blades:


Since the early 90’s, I have listened to many coaches, parents, and skaters talk about figure skate blades. What I havelearned is that everyone believes they’re an expert and they all have no problems repeating false information, unbeknownst to them. This false information has made skate technicians and sharpeners look bad in the public eye while preserving the reputation of the companies who make these blades with rather astonishing manufacturing variances.


Myth #1

Figure skate blades are made of 2 different grades or hardnesses of steel that are fused or welded together at the bottom.  

Fact Figure skate blades are cut (stamped or laser-cut) out of a solid piece of tempered or hardened steel, then chrome plated for rust resistance and aesthetic value. After this process, the manufacturer creates the “chrome relief”, which is a line towards the bottom of the blade that suggests where you can safely sharpen the blade down to. Certain companies chrome relief their blades by hand, which produces quite a variance in appearance of sharpenable life. Some pairs that I have seen have had astonishing variances between right and left blades. This variance in manufacturing has led some skaters and coaches to believe that their local skate tech has mis-sharpened the blades. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Understandably, coaches and skaters find it easier and more feasible to blame someone at their local rink than a multi-million dollar blade company that still uses manufacturing procedures and processes that were common around the turn of the 20th century.


Myth #2

You cannot sharpen a blade beyond the chrome relief. 

Fact – Since the blade itself gets sharpened but the toe picks do not, the chrome relief is just a suggested sharpening range so that you replace the blades before you end up tripping repeatedly on your picks. Beyond the chrome relief, the rest of the blade is the same hardness of steel as the bottom part and is indeed sharpenable.


Myth #3

The sharpening machine is what actually makes the blades sharp.

Fact – The sharpening machine removes a small amount of steel, uncovering fresh steel and re-creating the hollow. The stoning of the blade (final process) is what actually makes the blade sharp.


Jon Register Appreciation Party

29 09 2011

Jon’s last day with SDIA will be on Friday 9/30/2011 so on Thursday 9/29/2011 we will be having an appreciation party for him. All are welcome, please stop by!

New Appointment for Jon Register

26 09 2011

New appointment for Jon Register,

Western US Technical Sales Representative, Jackson Ultima Skates.


After 15years developing and refining his retail skill, receiving advance training at Graf, Jackson, Nike-Bauer, Riedell, and other industry giants, Jon has accepted a position with Jackson Ultima as a technical representative.  Jon leaves behind a legacy of providing exceptional quality, care, and passion, trademarks of San Diego Ice Arena. Hopefully this has enhanced his abilities as he accepts the challenge of becoming a Manufacture’s Technical Representative to the industry and San Diego Ice Arena’s Sport Shop. What a privilege to have Jon as our very own Representative!


Jon, leaves behind two very accomplished and trained apprenticed technicians, plus a whole array of staff who over the years have had the opportunity to have received ‘Jon’ training in not only product knowledge,  but in Jon’s unique care and passion.


Carrying the mantle forward are Mitch Rodin and Kevin Wu, both protégés of Jon’s and dedicated to the care and passion hallmarks of SDIA. Both trained at the Graf Skate Institute in Canada and have enjoyed annual technical training programs from Bauer, Riedell, Jackson, Warrior and Graf.  Our team is a member of the HOCKEY DEALERS ASSOCIATION, a division of the National Sporting Goods Association and has attended “Let’s Play Hockey International Expo” that is held in Las Vegas every year. This includes product training and exposure to both Figure and Hockey skating products and apparel.


SDIA prides itself in taking full advantage of all the most advanced training the industry has to offer, ensuring maximum proficiency in our industry and bringing the very best service to our clients.


The SDIA Pro Shop will continue to deliver trained, caring and proficient staff, meeting our customer expectations. Our current professional services include;

  1. Skate fitting, both in stock and individual custom boot fittings.
  2. Professional Figure and Hockey skate sharpening, skate repairs and skate customizations.
  3. Fashionable skate apparel, and skating accessories.
  4. Hockey apparel and equipment.
  5. And of course a complete line of the SDIA TEAM WEAR apparel.


SDIA welcomes the team and asks all our loyal customers to take full advantage of all the training and professionalism, care and passion that the Pro-Shop has to offer. Both Mitch Rodin (mitch@sdice.com) or Kevin Wu (Kevin@sdice.com) are at your disposal and can be contacted for services and product enquiries


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