How to Skate Faster
If you ask around the glass at your local rink what is the best way to set up your blades for speed you would hear a variety of different profiles and hollows are the "fastest". In the end hitting top speed on the ice requires the right profile, hollow and a quality blade to install it on. Your blade profile enables the larger hollow and the overall speed, but it is not the only factor.
Lets start with the profile. One of our favourite profiles for enhancing speed is the Cag One profile. Why is the Cag One so good at increasing you speed? It takes more than just a profile change, but we will get to that later. The Cag One profile is designed around the concept of a speed skaters blade. The more blade you have on the ice the more glide you get and the less effort it takes to create the skating effort. So putting more blade on the ice enhances your speed even further while reducing the effort required to obtain top speed. So in the diagram above the skater goes from 15mm of blade contact in a radius profile to 55mm of contact in the 30/55 Cag One. Through experience we have learned that the amount of blade you can put down is a factor of your size, blade size and your ability. Not everyone is in a 30/55. The actual Cag One profile is adjusted for each skater based on their weight, years of play, ability and their skating posture. When you combine an appropriate Cag One profile with the right hollow the speed, acceleration, mobility and stability are maximized delivering amazing performance for the skater.
How does your hollow maximize your speed? Your hollow carves the ice when you skate, but it also creates friction the sharper it is. The larger the hollow, the less friction, the more speed you will generate. However, as you increase your hollow it can become more difficult to feel your edges. According to our research 53% of all amateur skaters are not in a 5/8 hollow or larger. This is typically due to the player not knowing when to move or they tried one but were not feeling enough edge when they tried a, 5/8 to 7/8 hollow. The best way to have more edge while increasing your hollow is on a profiled blade. A typical radius profile has approximately 15mm of blade surface contact. However, a Cag One profile can have 25 to 65mm or more of blade contact. When you increase your contact with the ice 2-4 times on a Cag One profile you can have the same edge feel with a smaller hollow than you do with your deep sharp hollow on a radius profile. This is why skaters can easily handle hollows in the 5/8 - 7/8 range on a Cag One profile which further reduces your friction increases your speed and mobility. The Cag One also increases your stability and acceleration through your additional edge on the ice when you skate.
More blade contact + shallower hollow = more speed, mobility, acceleration & stability
Blade Quality and Profile Retention
Does my blade impact my speed? The most important part of your speed when you have a profiled blade is maintaining your profile. You blade quality and sharpening habits have a big impact on profile retention. There are 2 ways to maintain your profile:
- Sharpen Less
- Use an automated sharpener
Using a Diamond Like Coated blade like Tydan's DiamondEDGE blades will significantly reduce how much sharpening you need to do. If you keep your edge 4-6 times longer you can put 4-6 times less stress on your profile. The less sharpening, the less stress on your profile and your wallet. No matter how good of a sharpener you have the less time a grinding wheel spends on your blade the better. If your budget allows, having your own automated profiler like a Sparx or a Cag One Evolution will ensure your blade keeps its profile during sharpening. Automated is the way to go if you want to keep your profile and keep your speed at peak performance.
It is equally important to have a quality blade when when you are using a shallow hollow such as 3/4, 11/16, 7/8 of a complex hollow such as an FBV or Sparx Fire ring. These hollow have less edge or a more brittle edge to rely on which makes it that much more important to protect it throughout the game. Tydan's DiamondEDGE blade and its strong Diamond Like Carbon Edge is always recommended for advanced skaters to ensure that their shallow or advanced hollow can be counted on for top speed and performance right until the buzzer sounds.
Are We Confident in This?
We install a lot of Cag One's in the NHL and to players around the world. Honestly, when we move players into a Cag One and a much shallower hollow it is the only profile that gets us an unsolicited call back telling us how significant of an impact their new profile and hollow is having on their overall speed and performance. There is no question a Cag One profile with a shallower hollow enhances speed and overall skating performance.
You may not find a Cag One profiler at your local pro shop. The additional equipment is expensive. You certainly will find a Cag One profilers in many NHL and professional change rooms though. Based on the hundreds of NHL players and full teams that we profile blades for Cag One profiles are the most commonly used profile in the NHL.
So if speed is your priority consider a Cag One profile combined with a shallow hollow on a DiamondEDGE blade. If you are still skating in 1/2" or 7'16 without a profile adding a profile and increasing you hollow will enhance your speed and improve your overall performance.
You may not get suggested a Cag One standing around the glass at the rink. However, we certainly have no question recommending it if you want to know how to skate faster.
What is My Recommended EDGE?
There are many variables to get your exact profile and hollow for your needs. If you want to know if the Cag One profile or another profile is the right choice for you to enhance your speed or other aspects of your game you can fill our our MyEDGE assessment by CLICKING HERE and we will send you a profile and hollow recommendation to give you the EDGE
If you are ready to try a Cag One profile with a shallow hollow to maximize your speed you can mail in a pair of blades for us to install YourEDGE on or order a new pair of Tydan Performance Blades profiles, sharpened and ready to skate delivered to your door by visiting our players blades.