Saturday, January 5, 2013

Parts of the Skating Blade

So every once in a while, I like to post an 'educational' post. Today, I want to write about the parts of the figure skating blade.

Naming conventions seem to vary widely between coaches, parts of the country, and even between the US and UK. The only universal seems to be that the smooth part of the blade is called 'the blade' or maybe 'the rocker' and the pointy end is called 'the toepick'.

This is not what I was taught. Somewhere along the line I picked up a lot of names for parts of the blade. I don't know if this is useful to recreational skaters, but I think it's certainly handy to have a grasp of specific skating terminology.

Ladies and gentlemen, the blade.
This is from a UK site,  and I only have a couple of comments aboutvariations I've learned.

First off, I always heard the 'drag pick' referred to as the 'drop pick'.

Secondly, the vertical supports that attach the blade to the plates, I always read about being called the 'stanchions'.

Thirdly, the blade itself has two edges separated by a hollow between them. The measurement of this hollow is called 'the radius of hollow.'  I've heard the 1/2" ROH called a 'recreational hollow.' It's what I use, although I've also had 3/4 and 3/8. Some sharpeners will make a recommendation based on the type of ice you skate one--hockey ice is much colder and harder so it needs a different cut.
Source: Bill Schneider's skating pages

The radius of hollow has a 'bite angle' associated with it, but that's too technical even for me.

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