The right hollow for your profile and playing style

Find your hollow

Sharpening puts a groove on the bottom of your blade, creating two edges. The shape of this groove is called the radius of hollow (ROH). The feeling of sharpness in your steel is determined by how deep the ROH is. The smaller the ROH, the deeper the groove. So a 3/8” hollow is going to feel sharper than a 1” hollow.

Once you have found your optimal blade profile, find the best radius of hollow to go with it. In general, many players skate on a hollow that is deeper than optimal for their body type and skating style.

With the perfect edges on ELITE’s automated sharpening system, you may not need as deep a cut as you have with other sharpenings. Your blades will have just as much bite, but they will also give you more glide and less fatigue.

Also, performance profiles tend to put more blade in contact with the ice, which has the effect of giving more bite for the same hollow.

Talk to our experts who will help you find the right hollow for your profile and playing style.

If you are sharpening on an Elite machine, Elite’s steel grinding wheels never change shape, meaning that the ROH applied to the blade is 100% consistent, never changing over time. Once you’ve found the ROH that’s right for you, you can rest assured knowing you’ll get the same sharpening every time.


Skate sharpening cuts a groove into the bottom of the blade, creating two edges on the blade. If the sharpening is performed properly, the two edges will be the same height and perfectly symmetrical. If the sharpening has been poorly applied, the edges risk being uneven, where one edge bites too much, and the other either not enough, or in extreme cases, not at all.

This is usually what is behind the uncomfortable feeling all players can relate to, When they step on the ice and feel like they don’t have an edge, or their blades are dull. Chances are, the blades are not technically “dull”, but rather have wildly uneven edges. This is a common problem with hand sharpening.

The best way to ensure that the edges are symmetrical is to ensure that the grinding wheel, is perfectly centered under the blade. Traditional hand sharpening systems have relied on their operators lining up the blade to the center of the grinding wheel by eye – this is impossible to do perfectly, certainly not every time one sharpens skates. And often manufacturing inconsistencies mean the width of the blade, even within the same pair, isn’t always exactly the same.

Elite solves this age-old problem with a set of powerful self-centering clamps on either side of the blade, designed to perfectly center the blade over the grinding wheel with extreme precision, no matter the width of the blade.


Once you’ve found your ideal profile, it’s important to maintain it with precision sharpening. Even tiny changes to your blade shape will change your profile and affect your performance on the ice. That’s why maintaining a perfectly consistent blade shape is an important part of your blade performance.

Preserving the blade profile requires a precision and adaptability that constant-pressure automated systems simply cannot provide. Blade profile preservation is also impossible to achieve consistently with traditional hand sharpening, no matter how experienced the operator. That’s why you will often find the heel and toe gradually get eaten away by hand sharpening, which will deform the shape of your blade.

The Elite E-S4 sharpener is the only sharpener that can perfectly read and preserve your blade shape. Prior to sharpening, the E-S4 sharpener scans and registers your blade shape. The system detects changes in blade angle and position at every millimeter, and as it sharpens it adjusts speed and pressure to remove precisely the same amount of material along the length of the blade.

To skate your best you need to be able to trust your blades. That means you need a sharpening system which delivers three things with precision and consistency:


A consistent radius of hollow, which determines how much the blade bites into the ice; ELITE’s steel wheels provide a perfect ROH every time.


A perfectly centered groove down the middle of the blade, so that the edges are both the same height; ELITE’s center-mount clamps always guarantee perfectly symmetrical edges.


And, most importantly, a uniform removal of steel along the entire length of the blade, so as not to distort and degrade the profile of the blade. ELITE’s automated sharpener is the only system on the market today that reads the shape of the blade and adjusts speed and pressure of the sharpening pass to preserve your blade shape with absolute precision.

Traditional hand sharpening systems cannot consistently achieve any of these things, much less all of them. ELITE’s automated sharpener does it all, every time. If you are getting your skates sharpened by hand, you are degrading the shape of your blades, and undermining your performance.

Visit us at an ELITE Blade Performance Center. We’ll help you find the right hollow we’ll deliver perfect edges and we’ll maintain the shape of your blade. Every time.

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