Flat Bottom V Skate Sharpening
This new technology grabbed some spotlight with use by some NHL teams last season and now has 14 20 National Hockey League teams signed up to use the skate sharpening system for the 2009-2010 season. The guys at Blackstone really knew they had something when several NHL players proclaimed that they had to have it and wouldn’t go back to regular sharpening!
I’ve skated with the Flat Bottom V sharpening five times now and can certainly say that there is a noticeable difference between the FBV and the traditional skate sharpening.
While the technology is based on physics principles of friction, the application to ice hockey compared to traditional skate sharpening can be most easily understood in the following images:
As we can see, the edges remain in tact producing a sharp bite for acceleration and agility but instead of the concave hollow, the middle of the blade is ground flat to increase glide.
I highly suggest that all serious hockey players take a shot at trying the Flat Bottom V. I’ve really enjoyed playing using this technology, noticing added ‘bite’ instantly during the first few strides. It took me a few minutes to get the feel for how the edges perform, but after the initial few shifts I had no complaints.
A quote from Cory Stillman describes the feeling best:
“For pushing and gliding and being on top of the ice, there’s a huge difference,” says Panthers’ veteran Cory Stillman who became a disciple in training camp after he tried it just once. “Because it’s not sinking into the ice, you don’t have to work as hard.”
One recommendation that I have is to make certain that you match up your current sharpening hollow with the associated FBV sharpening. This will reduce the adjustment period to the Flat Bottom V.
Here are the corresponding hollows for the Flat Bottom V according to Blackstone:
From our initial testing, we have determined that the 90/75 can be related to the edge of a 5/8 circular hollow and the 100/75 can be related to the edge of a 1/2 – 3/8 circular hollow.
Next time you hit your local Pro Shop to get a sharpening, try out the Flat Bottom V…I think you’ll be glad you did.
*P.S – I got my Flat Bottom V sharpening from a Sport Check store and there was no additional cost for the FBV versus a regular sharpening.