How to Choose the Right Type Of Blade For Ice Hockey Skates?

19 minutes read

When it comes to ice hockey skates, the blade plays a crucial role in a player's performance on the ice. Choosing the right type of blade for your skates is essential to optimize your speed, agility, and overall control. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the appropriate blade:

  1. Blade Profile: The blade profile refers to the shape of the blade's inner and outer edges that come into contact with the ice. The most common blade profiles are a flat bottom V (FBV) and a traditional hollow grind. The FBV provides better glide and stability, while the traditional hollow grind offers more maneuverability. Consider your playing style and preference to choose the blade profile that suits you best.
  2. Hollow Radius: The hollow radius refers to the curve on the blade's bottom surface. It affects your ability to grip the ice and make turns. A deeper hollow (larger radius) provides better maneuverability and turns, but sacrifices glide. A shallower hollow (smaller radius) offers more speed and glide but may make it harder to maintain tight turns. Again, consider your style of play and personal preference when selecting the hollow radius.
  3. Blade Pitch: The blade pitch refers to the angle at which the blade is mounted on the skates. It influences your body posture and balance on the ice. A neutral pitch is the most common and provides a balanced posture. However, some players prefer a forward or backward pitch depending on their skating style and comfort. Experimenting with different pitches can help you find what works best for you.
  4. Blade Material: Blades are typically made of stainless steel or high-carbon steel. Stainless steel blades are more durable, corrosion-resistant, and require less maintenance. High-carbon steel blades are lighter and offer better performance but may require more frequent sharpening. Consider your budget, playing frequency, and desired performance level when deciding on the blade material.
  5. Skill Level: Different blades suit different skill levels. Beginner skaters may benefit from a more forgiving blade with a larger hollow radius, allowing for better stability. Advanced players may prefer blades that offer more maneuverability and control. As you progress and improve your skills, you may want to explore different blades to match your abilities better.


Remember, selecting the right blade for your ice hockey skates is a personal preference and may require some trial and error. It's crucial to consult with a knowledgeable skate technician or experienced players to get their insights and recommendations.

Best Ice Hockey Skates in 2023

1
CCM Jetspeed FT6 Pro Ice Hockey Skates, Senior (Width: Tapered; Size: 8.5 = 44)

Rating is 5 out of 5

CCM Jetspeed FT6 Pro Ice Hockey Skates, Senior (Width: Tapered; Size: 8.5 = 44)

  • JETSPEED FT6 PRO ice hockey skates offer a comfortable, ready-to-play feel and unparalleled range of motion for optimal speed and performance on the ice.
  • QUARTER PACKAGE: the one-piece speed boot with game ready fit stands for performance and acceleration, with Game Ready Fit for the perfect wrap to get a more direct energy transfer for faster steps and hit your opponents to puck every time
  • INNER SHOE: Totaldri Pro + with polygia high performance moisture wicking material that keeps feet dry and skates lightweight, with superior odour protection. An additional EVA layer provides an excellent fit and comfort
  • TENDON: Flex tendon with carbon improves freedom of movement and allows greater expansion in skating steps for more speed. Carbon insert for ultimate protection
  • TONGUE: ADPT comfort tongue with FlexMotion and metatomic fit, lightweight moulded core, with ADPT memory foam that wraps the foot for ultimate fit and comfort
2
CCM Hockey Tacks AS-550 Senior Adult Ice Hockey Skates (Skate Size 8 (Shoe Size 9.5))

Rating is 5 out of 5

CCM Hockey Tacks AS-550 Senior Adult Ice Hockey Skates (Skate Size 8 (Shoe Size 9.5))

  • 3D Injected Boot Quarter Package: Ergonomic boot-shaping system for great comfort and new texturized finish for improved durability
  • Stiffness 115: Solid core for great skating performance
  • HD Microfiber: High resistance to wear while delivering major comfort and durability
  • Felt Tongue: 5mm felt tongue with added foam for increased comfort and protection
  • CCM Speedblade: Non-replaceable stainless steel blade with elevated holder for an increased attack angle
3
CCM Tacks AS-550 Senior Ice Hockey Skates

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

CCM Tacks AS-550 Senior Ice Hockey Skates

  • Width/fit: regular
4
5th Element Stealth Ice Hockey Skates-13.0

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

5th Element Stealth Ice Hockey Skates-13.0

  • PREMIUM QUALITY - 5th Element Stealth Ice Hockey Skates enable you to light up the ice without burning a hole in your wallet. With a premium-quality stainless steel blade, ankle padding, and heel support, you are sure to blow away the competition. These recreational hockey skates are perfect for beginners or intermediates playing in leagues or outdoors on the pond.
  • TRUE-TO-SIZE FIT - These skates fit true to your shoe size. With enough wiggle room around the toes but snug in the heel and midfoot, you will experience maximum support. Each skates padded footbed cradles your foot, giving you the most out of every run. Available in sizes 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.
  • MOISTURE-RESISTANT LINER - 5th Element Hockey Skate boot is all about performance with its moisture-resistant liner. Designed with comfort in mind, these skates boost performance in all conditions, allowing quick tight turns on the ice. Suitable for beginners to advanced skaters.
  • REINFORCED OUTSOLE - The 5th Element Stealth Ice Hockey Skates come with a reinforced outsole that helps you maintain stability in the rink. Durable and lightweight, these skates will be a pleasure to skate with.
5
BOTAS - Draft 281 - Men's Ice Hockey Skates | Made in Europe (Czech Republic) | Color: Black, Size Adult 11

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

BOTAS - Draft 281 - Men's Ice Hockey Skates | Made in Europe (Czech Republic) | Color: Black, Size Adult 11

  • Recommended use: for active athletes
  • Upper: resistant synthetic in combination with PA fabric
  • Lining: padded, synthetic material PENAT
  • Blade: BOTAS ICEHAWK CARBON Ultra Steel white
  • Recommended care: wipe clean after each use or wash lightly with water (no detergents!), remove insole and dry all at room temperature. Occasionally conserve the blade of the skate.
6
Jackson Ultima Softec Sport Men's/Boy's Recreational Hockey Skate - Mens Size 10

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Jackson Ultima Softec Sport Men's/Boy's Recreational Hockey Skate - Mens Size 10

  • Recreational skate with Thinsulate lining, nylon upper and tongue
  • Factory sharpened leisure blade attached
  • Mens (adult) Size 10 – Black
7
CCM Super Tacks 9350 Senior Ice Hockey Skates (8)

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

CCM Super Tacks 9350 Senior Ice Hockey Skates (8)

  • Skate size is typically 1.5 sizes lower than US shoe size. Example if you wear a shoe size 10.5 you will be a skate size 9.
  • CCM Hockey is constantly pushing the boundaries when it comes to ice hockey skate innovation and this time is no different with the CCM Super Tacks 9350 Senior Hockey Skates! Designed and manufactured to cater to a wide range of players, the Super Tacks 9350 Skates offer the complete package of performance, comfort, and efficiency.
  • Starting out with the Quarter Package of the Super Tacks 9350 Skates, a Reinforced 3D Injected boot is a new ergonomic boot-shaping system that provides great comfort and durability. This skate also comes with a stiffness performance index of 125 which makes this skate a solid core for a good skating experience.
  • Up at the tongue of the Super Tacks 9350 skates, a 7mm Felt tongue with embossed lace-bite protection is utilized to provide comfort and protection in this area. Next on the liner, an HD Microfiber is used specifically to provide a comfortable fit that is designed to be highly resistant to wear.
  • Finally down on the bottom section of the Super Tacks, the footbed is CCM’s very own footbed designed to provide further support and comfort for the goaltender. Flipping around to the outside to the holder and runner, CCMs Speedblade is a non-replaceable, pre-sharpened stainless steel blade with an elevated holder for an increased attack angle.
8
CCM Super Tacks AS3 Ice Hockey Skates Junior (Width: EE, Size: 6.5)

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

CCM Super Tacks AS3 Ice Hockey Skates Junior (Width: EE, Size: 6.5)

  • The CCM Super Tacks AS3 Ice Hockey Skates are designed to give you maximum performance
  • Designed with elements that favor direct energy transfer and a tighter, more comfortable fit.
  • The replaceable TriTech Flex Tongue offers pro-level protection and comfort but importantly, provides a new way to customize the skate
  • The quick and secure attachment gives players the opportunity to buy one of three aftermarket tongues that can help adjust the fit and feel of the boot like nothing else before
  • With the boot naturally hugging the foot, CCM used thicker foams than in the past to increase step-in comfort
9
CCM Super Tacks 9360 Senior Ice Hockey Skates (7)

Rating is 4.2 out of 5

CCM Super Tacks 9360 Senior Ice Hockey Skates (7)

  • CCM Hockey is constantly pushing the boundaries when it comes to ice hockey skate innovation and this time is no different with the CCM Super Tacks 9360 Senior Hockey Skates! Designed and manufactured to cater to a wide range of players, the Super Tacks 9360 Skates offer the complete package of performance, comfort, and efficiency.
  • Starting out with the Quarter Package of the Super Tacks 9360 Skates, a Reinforced 3D Injected boot is a new ergonomic boot-shaping system that provides great comfort and durability. This skate also comes with a stiffness performance index of 125 which makes this skate a solid core for a good skating experience.
  • Up at the tongue of the Super Tacks 9360 skates, a 7mm Felt tongue with embossed lace-bite protection is utilized to provide comfort and protection in this area. Next on the liner, an HD Microfiber is used specifically to provide a comfortable fit that is designed to be highly resistant to wear.
  • Finally down on the bottom section of the Super Tacks, the footbed is CCM’s very own footbed designed to provide further support and comfort for the goaltender. Flipping around to the outside to the holder and runner, CCMs Speedblade is a non-replaceable, pre-sharpened stainless steel blade with an elevated holder for an increased attack angle.
  • Skate size is typically 1.5 sizes lower than US shoe size. Example if you wear a shoe size 10.5 you will be a skate size 9.


What is the impact of blade stiffness on ice hockey performance?

Blade stiffness has a significant impact on ice hockey performance. Here are a few key impacts:

  1. Flexibility and Power: Stiffness affects how much a blade can flex during skating strides. A stiffer blade provides more power and stability, allowing players to generate greater speed and acceleration. It helps to transfer more energy from the player's leg muscles to the ice, resulting in powerful strides.
  2. Precision and Control: A stiffer blade offers better control and precision during maneuvers. It provides a solid base for sharp turns, quick stops, and quick starts, allowing the player to make precise movements with less effort. This is especially crucial for skilled players who rely on quick changes of direction and agility.
  3. Shot Accuracy and Power: Stiffness also affects the accuracy and power of shooting. A stiffer blade allows players to load more energy into their shots, resulting in harder and more accurate shots. The stiffer the blade, the more control the player has over the release and accuracy of their shots.
  4. Balance and Stability: The stiffness of the blade impacts a player's balance and stability on the ice. A stiffer blade provides more support and stability, especially during contact or when battling for the puck. It helps to prevent the blade from twisting or losing balance, enhancing the player's overall performance.
  5. Performance Adaptability: Different players have varying preferences when it comes to blade stiffness. Understanding the impact of blade stiffness allows players to choose the appropriate level of stiffness that suits their style of play, body weight, and skating technique. Some may prefer a stiffer blade for additional power, while others may opt for a more flexible blade for enhanced agility.


Overall, blade stiffness significantly affects ice hockey performance, influencing a player's speed, agility, balance, shot accuracy, and overall control on the ice. Players should carefully consider their preferences and playing style to choose the most suitable blade stiffness for maximum performance.


What is the importance of choosing the correct blade for ice hockey skates?

Choosing the correct blade for ice hockey skates is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Performance: The blade you choose can significantly impact your performance on the ice. Different blades have varying levels of sharpness, hollows (the concave shape of the blade), and profiles (the shape of the blade from heel to toe). Each of these factors affects your skating speed, agility, and stability. By selecting a blade that matches your skating style and preferences, you can optimize your performance on the ice.
  2. Safety: The blade's condition and sharpness are essential for your safety while playing ice hockey. Dull or damaged blades can cause your skate to slide unpredictably on the ice, increasing the risk of falls and accidents. In contrast, a well-maintained and appropriately sharpened blade ensures better control and grip, reducing the likelihood of accidents and injuries.
  3. Consistency: Using blades that are consistent in terms of sharpness and profile allows you to maintain a consistent skating stride. Inconsistent blades can result in uneven weight distribution, affecting your hockey stride and overall stability. Having the same blade profile and hollow each time ensures that you are always skating on a familiar surface, promoting better muscle memory and enhancing your overall skating technique.
  4. Personal preference: Each player has their own preferences when it comes to blade characteristics. Some players may prefer sharper blades for more agility and quick turns, while others may prefer a shallower hollow for increased speed. Choosing the right blade allows you to tailor your skates to your specific style of play and comfort, maximizing your enjoyment and performance on the ice.


In conclusion, selecting the correct blade for ice hockey skates is crucial for performance, safety, consistency, and personal preference. It is best to consult with a professional skate sharpener or knowledgeable sports specialist to determine the most suitable blade for your needs.


How to maintain the sharpness of ice hockey skate blades?

To maintain the sharpness of ice hockey skate blades, you can follow these steps:

  1. Regularly inspect your skate blades: Check the edges of your skate blades for any nicks, dents, or signs of wear. If you notice any damage, it might be a good time for sharpening.
  2. Sharpen your blades when needed: Typically, hockey skate blades need to be sharpened after every 10-15 hours of play, but this can vary based on personal preference and usage. If you feel that your blades are not gripping the ice as well as before, it's likely time for sharpening.
  3. Use a reputable skate sharpener: Instead of trying to sharpen your blades manually, it's recommended to take them to a professional skate sharpener. They will have the proper equipment and expertise to give your blades an even and precise sharpening.
  4. Proper blade alignment: Ensure that your blades are correctly aligned on your skates. If one blade is higher or lower than the other, it can affect your skating and blade performance. Adjustments can be made by a skate sharpening professional if needed.
  5. Protect your blades off the ice: Be mindful of where you walk when you're not on the ice. Try to avoid stepping on hard surfaces or abrasive materials that can damage your blades. Always use skate guards when walking off the ice to protect the edges.
  6. Dry and clean your blades after use: After each skate, dry your blades thoroughly to prevent rust. Use a clean dry cloth or towel to wipe off any moisture. It's also a good idea to periodically clean your blades with a damp cloth to remove any built-up debris.
  7. Store your skates properly: When not in use, store your skates in a skate bag or a dry place where they won't be exposed to moisture. Avoid leaving them in damp or humid areas as this can contribute to rust formation.


By following these steps, you can help maintain the sharpness and longevity of your ice hockey skate blades.

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