Here at DemonXtreme we offer a range of services for your Ice and Inline skates. These services include: custom skate sharpening, including the new Blackstone FBV™, riveting, eyelet replacement, conversions, heat moulding, and stretching/punching.
We take great pride in our ability to sharpen every pair of skates for the skaters individual needs. Not every skater has the same depth on their skates. Weight, ability, style, are all factors of getting the exact depth or style of sharpen that suit's the skater in question. Our standard sharpen here at DemonXtreme starts at 1/2" hollow (or ROH) for most skaters as we find 3/8 is too sharp for most public session skaters. What allows us to take pride in our sharpening service is the ability to offer exactly the same depth every time. This is all down to the machines that we use- The Blackstone machines uses a revolutionary dressing system using pre-cast diamond dies that will only ever dress the wheel to the die depth that's selected. Nearly all other shops and independent sharpening services rely on manual adjustment to set a hollows depth and cannot guarantee consistency. We measure consistency using high grade engineering depth indicators.
We are also able to offer a leap in sharpening technology with Blackstone FBV™ (Flat Bottom V)
This new concept of sharpening allows more blade to be in contact with the ice compared to a standard hollow thus allowing increase in speed of up to 12% without sacrificing agility or edge in both dance, ice hockey, or freestyle session. DemonXtreme are one of the very first to offer this technology in the UK at an affordable price. (Blackstone Introduces: The Flat Bottom "V" Video)
What depth and style is best for me as a skater?
As we said before, every skater is different and what is good for one may not be good for another. Some of these Factors that idictate what a skater should be having are as follows: The skaters weight, style of skating, and level of the skater. Lets break this down a little.
Your weight: The heavier you are the shallower depth you will need. Light people will need a deeper depth as the blade isn't being pressed as hard into the ice as the heavier skater.
Ice Temperature: The colder the ice the harder it gets. Harder ice needs a deeper depth for the skate to get a hold. The temperature tends to vary from rink to rink and only the skater that skates there regularly will know what is best suited for them.
Skill Level: Experienced skaters usually prefer a medium depth like a 5/8" - 1/2", 100/50 90/50 as they are more in command of the blade and they prefer the speed increase this offers.
Discipline: Freestyle, dance, pairs, hockey, and public session skating all incorporate different techniques and consequently, they all have different blade requirements.
Hollow (ROH) or Flat Bottom V (FBV) ?
For most beginner skaters DemonXtreme would recommend a 1/2" hollow grind, this is due to research noticing that new skaters wanting to progress on the ice found 3/8" too deep and provided much more bite than they wanted. Some people have even asked to go down to a 5/8" depth to allow them to master stopping techniques before moving up to a 1/2", this how ever, as they are aware, will require the skater to have their skates sharpened more often.
As new to ice skating we find that people would generally not feel the difference that FBV™ can offer as they have no basis for comparison. Once a new skater has gotten use to a hollow grind, then would be the time to try out FBV™ and see the noticeable differences. Customers who have tried FBV™ have reported that the style of sharpen works best on fresh cut ice (hockey or figure) where the blade is allowed to gain bite in a hard surface. Heavily used ice at disco sessions and busy public sessions cause more of a build up in surface snow, thus not allowing the blade to get an adequate bite and causing slight slippage which some skaters may not find to their liking.
Flat Bottom V explained
The revolutionary new FBV™ (Flat Bottom V™) skate sharpening system from Blackstone® (patent-pending) gives you competitive advantages like you've never experienced before. Superior endurance. Greater power. Enhanced agility. Better control. These are just a few of the improvements skaters from recreational leagues to the pros are reporting with this new blade sharpening technique. In fact, research conducted by The International Ice Hockey Research Academy at the University of Ottawa, under the direction of Dr. T. Blaine Hoshizaki, supports the benefits skaters are noticing: "The results in this study definitely confirm that the Blackstone® innovation is easily perceived and recognized by the subjects as having a performance benefit."
FBV™ is designed not just for the hockey player, but also for the figure skater who require greater performance from their skates. Hockey skaters have reported noticeable speed and agility increases from having FBV™ and believe this makes them have an advantage over players with standard hollow grinds. Figure/Dance skaters have found an even bigger advantage over having changed to FBV™ and that is that they are able to go in to double an triple jumps with more speed than what they had previously been able to achieve from standard grinds, thus making the completion of these jumps a lot smoother, where as before they may have struggled to do this.
FBV™ is not an easy grind to master, with the tolerances of error being near non without having an effect on performance. Here at DemonXtreme our technicians are trained on standard hollow grinds before being moved up onto FBV™. This ensures that only perfect FBV™ grinds are performed and consistency is maintained, giving YOU, the skater peace of mind. For more information about FBV™, follow the link to Blackstonesport www.blackstonesport.com/technology.
When should I have my skates re-sharpened?
On average most skaters can get around 8-10 hours worth of skating between grinds. This how ever is determined by factors of the individual. Body weight, aggression, style, and time spend on the ice can all have a different effect on how quickly their skates will loose their edge. Ice quality will have another big effect on blade wear. An easy way to check if you require your skates to be re-sharpened is as follows: Gently rub the top of your thumb nail down the side of the blade. If the blade is sharp it will scratch the surface. If you need to apply pressure to achieve this then the blade is showing signs of wear. Another way of knowing your skates are in need of attention is from using them on the ice. If you can feel the boot slipping from beneath you, especially on cross-over's, and very little resistance when performing a stop then this will be another sure sign.
Common Problems With Skate Sharpening
Sharpening is an art and anyone who tells you otherwise is likely to make mistakes when sharpening your skates, An inexperienced sharpening technician may encounter some of the following problems at some point during their career.
Detempering: This occurs when the blade is left on the wheels for a prolonged period of time. The blue sheen effect is a tell tale sign. By heating the blade up to much when grinding the molecular make up of the steel changed and will become softer. This in turn will mean that your blades will not hold edge for as long and can be damaged more easily. This process cannot be reversed and will cause permanent damage to your blades.
Un-balanced Edges: The Hollow or FBV™ must be perfectly centred on the blade when sharpening to make sure that both inside and outside edge have exactly the same amount of bite. Failure to achieve this will result in little or no edge of the blade and cause the skater to slip out due to lack of bite. Due care must be maintained when setting the pitch of the blade in accordance with the grind wheel, if this isn't performed correctly, below shows what this effect will have on your blade.
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