Who Benefits From Contouring/Profiling?

In two words, all skaters. With very few exceptions, ice skate blades, as delivered from the factory are not ready for the ice, as it is economically impossible for any ice skate manufacturer to provide a matched pair of accurately profiled, balanced, and sharpened blades to meet an individual skater's preference. Instead most manufacturers provide an excess of blade stock and leave the actual shaping to the skate shop. A major contouring is theoretically required only once in the life of an ice skate blade. In practice, the more a skate is subject to poor sharpening, the more likely it is to require further contouring. It is a fact that there are skate sharpener "pretenders" who can and do remove a contour during one skate sharpening session (3d ref below).

  ( turning ) < > ( Glide ) < > (acceleration)

The longitudinal shape of a hockey blade has three profile zones; Toe Radius, Working Radius, and Heel Radius. The Working Radius must be profiled for optimum skating performance. The Toe and Heel Radii are smooth arcs which are blended away from the ice, and into the Working Radius.                                                                                                             

What's The Working Radius/Rocker Radius that's right for you?                                                     

7-foot/9-foot (2.13M/2.74M)                                                                                                          The smaller the Rocker Radius, the smaller the area of blade contact with the ice. A smaller blade contact area has less"bite" and thus allows less resistance to lateral movement, which translates into greater maneuverability & less stability causing you to work harder.                                                              

11-foot/13-foot (3.35M/3.96M) A larger blade contact area has more stability & less maneuverability.  This type of Radius will allow you to deliver more power to the ice.

reducing the depth of the sharpening can correct the maneuverability issues with increasing the blade contact surface area.


The Lie of a skate is the pitch of the center Radius. It is this pitch or Lie, that controls the skater's posture. Radius is actually secondary to Lie in proper skating. Even though the Radius may be correct, if it is not pitched properly, the skater will experience great difficulty in skating. With the correct Lie, the high point of the working radius is slightly toward the heel, and there is less blade along the front. Consequently the skater's knees bend slightly, "unlocking the body.

When standing a skater should be evenly balanced and comfortable. If the lie is too far forward, the knees and ankles will be forced to over bend. If the lie is too far back, the legs are locked into a rigid position reducing stride.

The Contouring System uses the concept of Lie to give the skater proper posture unlocking the ankles, knees, and hips.