Fixing a damaged ice skate can seem like a daunting task, especially if you have little to no experience in the world of ice skate repair. Depending on what is broken, repairing ice skates is actually a straight forward process that can be completed in a little as a few hours. Here is a quick guide on common issues with ice skates and how to fix them.
Repairing Blade Holders
Broken blade holders are a common issue with ice skates. The blade holder is the plastic part that links the blade to the boot. After extended use, these holders can crack, resulting in an unsafe ice skate. Blade holders are, unfortunately, held in place using rivets and require a rivet gun to fix. If you have a rivet gun on hand, then you can replace the holders by simply removing the rivets and installing new components. If you do not have a rivet gun, then you will need to take the skate to your nearest hockey or ice skate shop and have them replace it.
Ice Skate Blades
Blades used to be difficult to replace because you had to take off the blade holder to fix the issue. Newer ice skates, however, have blades that are held in place with screws, making them easy to remove and replace. You should replace the blades if they are too rusty or cannot be sharpened because they are too short. Swapping out the blades at the appropriate time will also help prolong the life of the blade holders.
If you have an older pair of ice skates, you will need to remove the blade holder when replacing the blades. This process requires removing the rivets that secure the blade holders in place. If the holders are showing signs of wear, it is a good idea to replace them while you are fixing the blades.
Tongues And Eyelets
Tongues and eyelets are two components that can get damaged after excessive use. Fortunately, these components usually stand the test of time and rarely need fixing. If the tongue has become detached from the blade, you will need to take it in to your local shop for repair. The same goes with eyelets, as these components are difficult to fix without the right tools and expertise.
Maintaining Your Blade
Proper blade maintenance is key in keeping your ice skates in good shape. The best thing you can do is dry the blade after every ice-skating session. Keeping the blade free of moisture will help prevent corrosion and rust from accumulating on the surface of the metal. Over time, rust can weaken the blade and make it unsafe for use.
The next best thing you can do for your blades is avoid over-sharpening them. Blades can only withstand so much sharpening before they become too short to handle. Once they cannot be sharpened, they should be replaced. When sharpening the blades, it is recommended to use a stone, which can help improve the smoothness of the blade without requiring frequent sharpening sessions.
Changing Laces And Insoles
Laces should be swapped out every couple of months, depending on use. New laces will prolong the life of the eyelets. They also add an extra level of comfort and safety to the boot. When it comes to insoles, you should change them on a regular basis. Changing the insoles can help with foot support and eliminate odors after long skating sessions.
Storing Ice Skates
When storing ice skates in the off season, make sure the tongue of the boot is standing upright. This will ensure that the tongue keeps its shape and does not become deformed. You should also untie the laces and keep them loose, which helps the boot breathe and keeps it from shrinking.
With ice skates, it is always better to replace a part before it wears out entirely. This will help prevent multiple components from wearing down at the same time. For example, if you fail to replace a blade at the correct time, you run the risk of damaging the blade holders, which can be more troublesome to repair. It might take a little more time and effort but replacing components when they first show signs of wear will pay off in the long run.