Skate profiling for ice hockey goalies; my personal experience
I have a new, more informed opinion about skate profiling for ice hockey goalies. As a shop owner, I have virtually unlimited access to our ProSharp AS2001 skate sharpening and profiling machine. This has made it very easy to test out combinations of profiles and sharpening radius on my skates.
This post describes a few of my personal insights.
I want to start by saying, profiles do make a substantial difference and you should never switch them on the day of an important game. When I switched to the Goalie Sam profile that I use today it took me about 3 hours of ice time to get used to it. This profile has a 10-foot toe, 50mm flat spot in the middle, and a 27-foot profile in the rear. For my entire hockey life prior to this, I had used whatever skate profile was on my skates from the manufacturer.
I noticed that the effort required for shuffling has been significantly reduced on the same radius of hollow. I was, in fact, able to go down an entire hollow and not increase the effort required for shuffling compared to Bauer’s provided 30’ skate profile. Many goalie coaches will have kids do shuffles as a conditioning drill, however, kids get fatigued during this and their technique suffers. The feedback I have received from youth goalies who have switched to a custom profile leads me to believe that kids enjoy shuffle drills more because they can actually complete them properly without tiring out. We have all seen kids at the rink doing drills “sloppy” because they are tired. Fatigue is real, and allowing kids to build proper muscle memory over the course of an entire practice is important.
The second advantage is T-Pushes. The more “rockered” 10-foot radius at the toe allows for a smoother weight transfer that really lets you get a lot of power in your push. It is also easier to rotate your skate into your “stop”. Many goalies struggle with creating crisp stops, especially on their non-dominant leg.
I can’t overstate that dramatic changes to your skate profile requires an adjustment period.
The GoalieSam skate profile from Prosharp will expose flaws in your technique when you are pushing off while in your butterfly. Due to the smaller radius on your toe, goalies that rely solely on toe picking for their pushes will have a more difficult time transitioning to this profile. This was EXTREMELY apparent the first time I hit the ice with the Goalie Sam profile. As all goalies will agree with me here, it’s the gear that makes mistakes, not the goalie, right?
As such, I was admittedly upset initially with how the profile performed. Once I realized what the issue was, I learned to use my entire blade for pushes and have since become much better at controlling my rotation. This is clear during pushes when I was previously relying on just my toe to push around my crease.
Some people may like to first try a milder curve like a Goalie WIN to reduce the initial learning curve.
Goalie SAM works for me and many of our customers, but might not be right for you. Skate profiling for goalies is available, accessible and there are a number of options to choose from.
If this was useful please check out our profiling services: https://simmonshockey.com/product/goalie-skate-profiling
Please feel free to call or email us with any questions.