Sharpening stones in speed skating ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


7 février 2018

Sharpening stones in speed skating

For speed skaters to have the best performances, they must have the perfect sharpening. Therefore, skaters will always be searching for that flawless 90degre angle. However, this will be difficult if you do not have the right sharpening tools. For that reason it is important to have the good sharpening stones, since they play a vital role in the sharpening process. In addition, here are some tips on how to choose wisely your sharpening stones.

By Marc-Antoine Caron from  Marchands de vitesse
In collaboration with Passion/Speed/Skating
Photos: Schaats Foto's, Carl Savard and stock photos

Natural or diamond stone
On the market right now there exist two types of stones. First, is the traditional stone, more known as the natural stone, for instance there is the “stone Foss” or “stone Norton”. Secondly, are the diamond stones, which are for example those from Nagano Skates. Both options present their advantages and their inconveniences. The natural stone price is very affordable, nevertheless you must regularly clean and maintain it. If the skater does not do this, his sharpening will be ineffective. On the other hand, the diamond stone are more expensive, but you don’t need to maintain/clean your stone to have a good sharpening. So, if you are ready to spend a bit more to not have to think about it, go with the diamond one.

What type of roughness to choose? 
When you shop for diamond stones, you will realize there are different types of stones depending on the roughness of the surface. Consequently, you will have to choose between a softer surface or a rougher surface. The stones are often color coded or have numbers to help you identify which one is which. For the colors, the roughest is black, then the blue, afterwards the red, and finally gold is the softest. It could happen that some companies have a different color codes. For the numbers, usually the roughest has the highest number, and the softest surface has the lowest number. The general rule is that you can sharpen with the blue and the red no problem; nonetheless, eventually if you want to be ready for anything, the black one gives an excellent polish for the blades that are more damage. For the natural stone, you have two sides, a rough side and a soft side, which can compare itself to the blue and red diamond stones. It is essential to mention that the company Norton offers a large range of natural stones.

What is the maintenance required for stones? 
As it been noted above, a natural stone requires maintenance regularly. In fact, it is important to ensure that there are no residues left on the stone; if so it will result on it being less rough. If it is your case you can soak your stone in oil, so it will help with the residues. The stone also has tendency to curve at some places, where you sharpen more often. It is almost unavoidable with time, which will decrease the sharpening effectiveness. Therefore, it is critical to get your stones rectify during the season. You can do it yourself by rubbing your stone with silica sand until it’s straight again. The diamond stone as written above doesn’t need maintenance.

For more details, don’t hesitate to contact us or consult our “Entretien” section of our online boutique.

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