Finding the Perfect Edge: Skate Sharpening Tips for Forwards

Finding the Perfect Edge: Skate Sharpening Tips for Forwards

In the fast-paced world of hockey, every edge counts, especially for forwards. Speed, agility, and sharp turns are essential skills for these players, and one of the secrets to mastering them is proper skate sharpening. In this blog post, we'll explore the best skate sharpening techniques for hockey forwards, helping you maximize your performance on the ice.

The Importance of the Right Hollow

Choosing the right hollow or radius of hollow (ROH) is crucial for forwards. The ROH is determined by the curvature of the grinding wheel when sharpening the skate blade. It affects how your skate contacts the ice. For forwards, a shallower hollow is typically preferred.

A shallower hollow, like 9/16" or 5/8", allows for better glide and speed, which are essential for forwards who often need to make quick sprints up the ice. It reduces friction and makes it easier to achieve top speeds. However, a balance must be struck to ensure you maintain enough bite for sharp turns and stops.

Image of different hollow radius's ranging from the hollows best meant for gliding to hollows best meant to provide the most grip on the ice

Consistency is Key

Skate sharpening is not a one-time job. Consistency is key to maintaining your performance as a forward. Make it a habit to get your skates sharpened regularly, whether it's after a certain number of games or when you notice a decrease in performance. A well-maintained edge will help you keep your agility and stability on the ice.

The Sparx sharpener is a great way to keep consistent with your skate sharpening as it allows the convenience of being able to sharpen your skates at home or on the move. Highly recommend this product and is a staple here at Barnburner. Check the sharpener out at

Communicate with Your Sharpener

Your relationship with your skate sharpener is crucial. They should understand your playing style and preferences. If you're a forward who relies on quick, tight turns, let them know. They can adjust the ROH and sharpen your skates accordingly to enhance your agility.

Check Your Blades

Before every game or practice, it's a good idea to check your skate blades. Look for any nicks, burrs, or other damage that may have occurred during play. These imperfections can affect your performance, and addressing them promptly will help you maintain your edge.

Experiment and Find What Works for You

Every player is unique, and the best skate sharpening for a forward can vary from person to person. It may take some trial and error to find the perfect ROH and sharpening routine that suits your playing style. Don't be afraid to experiment and work with your skate sharpener to find what works best for you.


Forwards in hockey rely on their agility, speed, and quick turns to outmaneuver their opponents and score goals. Proper skate sharpening is a crucial aspect of achieving these skills. By selecting the right hollow, maintaining consistency, communicating with your sharpener, checking your blades, and experimenting to find your ideal setup, you can ensure that your skates are optimized for your performance as a forward. Sharper skates mean sharper plays and more goals on the scoreboard.

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