Schottenbauer Publishing

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ice Skate Comparison

Ice skates are not all the same! Two extremes are hockey and figure skates. Because hockey skates have a smooth, curved blade on the front and the back, they can feasibly be tilted almost to a right angle while still gliding across the ice! In comparison, the blade of a figure skate has grooved teeth on the front, and a flat back blade. These features prohibit tilting of the figure skates during gliding. 

What are the angles of maximum tilt for each of these skates?

Hockey Skate (Left) and Figure Skate (Right)

Two additional types of skates are shown below: bob skates and child double-runner skates. These skates are for children and are not traditionally sharpened, so they do not glide over the ice. How far could these skates rotate upwards to the front or back, before hitting the plastic or tipping over?  

Bob Skate

 Child Double-Runner Skate

Additional information on the science of ice skating is available on the Schottenbauer Publishing website. Books include the following:

Geometry Series
  • The Geometry of Winter Olympic Sports
  • The Geometry of Figure Skating
Graphs & Data for Science Lab (Book Series)
  • The Science of Ice Skating
  • The Science of Hockey
Anthologies of 28 Graphs
  • The Science of Winter Olympic Sports
  • The Science of Figure Skating
  • The Science of Ice Hockey

Additional Information

Schottenbauer Publishing