Western Michigan University
Lawson Ice Arena and Gabel Natatorium

Skate Sharpening

Our BlackStone Skate Sharpener will help you keep an edge for your next game, class or social event. Sharpening service is available at the Supervisor's/Skating Rental Office, located by the lower back entrance of the arena weekdays after 4 p.m. or throughout the day on weekends.

Cost is only $5.

Caring for your blades

  • Keep them sharp -- but not too sharp: A sharp blade grabs the ice better than a dull one. On average one can skate for about 20 hours on a sharpening — you might find that you like either less or more than that though.
  • Treat them well, on your feet: Remember that even though steel is hard, it still wears down. The thin whisker of steel that forms those all-important edges can be nicked and worn down very easily. Blades are made to slide on ice, not walk on floors. When you have to walk on floors, put hard guards on the blades.
  • Try not to step on threshold of the ice arena entrance. It's often made of steel and it is responsible for an awful lot of nicks on blades.
  • Treat your skates well, off your feet: Always dry off your blades when you get off the ice. Slide your fingers along both sides to remove any moisture (your skin oil can help to repel moisture). When you're done for the day, be sure to wipe them down with a towel—do both the blade and the mounting surfaces. as screws can rust as well as the blades. If you've got the time allow them to sit for a minutes and wipe them down again before you put them in your bag.
  • The soakers wear out after a while — they usually get holes at the ends. Replace them when they no longer cover your blade effectively. The hard guards will wear out too — watch for thin spots or holes in the bottom, and replace them immediately when you see signs of wear.

For additional information on caring for your skate.

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