So, why is it important to have your skates profiled or “re-rockered”? Over time, the contour or shape of your skate blade runner will become altered. The reason for this is generally due to the number of sharpenings you receive every year and the technique of the skate technician. After a certain number of skate sharpenings ( sometimes your skate blade runner will be altered after one sharpening if the person sharpening them is not doing it properly), you should check how much of the blade is in contact with the ice. I do this with a flat surface such as the top of my sharpening machine and a flashlight. By shining the light against the bottom of the blade, I can get a fair and accurate picture of the amount of blade surface: an 11 foot radius will have about 2 inches on the ice, a 9 foot or 9/10 will have 1 and 3/4 inches.
Most skate manufacturers will have a standard radius or stock radius ground on their skates eg. Bauer generally has a 9 foot, CCM/RBK 10/11 or 11 foot, and Graf an 11 foot. It is important to tell your profiler just what you are looking for when it comes to your performance. If you are a forward, you want agility and manuveurability and would want a 9 or 9/10 contour/profile and if you want more speed, you would select an 11 or 13 foot; goalies have most of their blade on the ice and typically go with a 28 foot or 30 foot radius. My second cousin, Devan Dubnyk—who played for the Edmonton Oilers—has a big foot/skate and has a 100mm/200mm profile on his blades, or almost the entire blade surface in contact with the ice. There are literally dozens of custom profiles to choose from. Go to a reputable ProShop—mine would be nice—to get them done. (Hint: David Carlson/Karlsson has more than 10 years experience.)
Young Players who are just starting to skate should have as much blade on the ice as possible; about 2 inches would be optimal to ensure more stability. Forget about expecting your young beginner to stop and start or dangle or weave through traffic; they will learn those skills later on in their playing days.
I hope this was helpful and if you have an comments, questions, hints of your own, please free to include them on my Snipers Facebook Page or on twitter @snipersskate. Thank you.
One last thing, you may want to look at some of the Sporting Goods on my friend, Warren Nye’s excellent site: http://ultimatehockeysource.com