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The above illustrations show the conventional blade sharpening geometry versus the new geometry.

When using a traditional hollow, a skater would usually ask for a 1/2 or a 5/8 (referring to the radius of a circle). Asking for an FBV is a little bit different. When asking for an FBV, a skater will ask for a 90/75 or a 100/75, etc.

The first number is the width of the flat part of the blade, in thousandths, after the sharpening. This number is represented in the figure above as ‘d’. A thousandth is a way of measuring small lengths. One-eighth, 1/8, of an inch, for example, would be 125 thousandths. So, for example, the width of a 90/75 FVB (90 thousandths = 0.090 inches) is less than 1/8 of an inch (0.125 inches). Although the thickness of a blade varies from skate to skate, the typical blade is approximately 115 thousandths (give or take a few thousandths). This should give you an idea of the ratio between the blade and the flat area that an FBV puts on the blade.

The second number is the height between the edges of the blade and the flat area of the blade (in 10 millionths). This number is represented in the figure above as ‘h’. In the example given with the two FBV hollows, 90/75 and 100/75, a different angle of edge is obtained by changing the first number and keeping the second consistent, thus producing a different feel and more or less edge when skating.

When trying the FBV, a skater should understand that the feel on the first use will be different, but then after a few minutes of warm-up, the transition will be effortless and the advantages and speed of the FBV will be apparent quickly. The FBV is quite different from the circular hollow. We have found that the 90/75 is a good starting point and from there the skater can determine if the edge should be more or less sharp. Trust your pro shop for help and advice in deciding what FBV is right for you. When in doubt, try several until you find the perfect FBV.

The edges of the FBV are keener, so the same edge may feel sharper than the one you are used to. This allows you to skate on less of an edge and maintain the same bite. If you have tried the 90/75 and feel that you do not have enough edge, you should then try the 100/75. From our initial testing, we have determined that the 90/75 can be related to the edge of a 5/8 circular hollow and the 100/75 can be related to the edge of a 1/2 - 3/8 circular hollow.

The FBV provides the best of both worlds when it comes to speed and agility. With the flatness of close to a 2” radius, you will notice more speed and less drag. If you are used to slowing down when you stop pushing, you will notice your glide is a lot longer. With the FBV, you will notice a decrease in the number of strides necessary to get from end to end. Along with the increased glide and speed, you will notice that you still have a solid, keen edge to allow you to be as agile as you were before, if not more so. The result of this combination is more speed, solid edges to bite during turns and stronger legs right up until the final buzzer. With the FBV, you are able to increase your effectiveness on the ice with less effort.