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Author Topic: Skate fitting and sharpening in metro DC area  (Read 200 times)

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Offline CTCat

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Skate fitting and sharpening in metro DC area
« on: October 25, 2017, 06:26:11 PM »
There was a thread on this several years ago, and many people recommended Jimmy at Fairfax Ice Arena for skate sharpening and fitting.  Jimmy left earlier this year, and I am wondering who in DC people recommend for fitting and sharpening.  We are willing to go to any of the Northern Virginia rinks for sharpening, and pretty much anywhere in the metro DC area for fitting.  I know Mike Cunningham/Skaters Paradise in Waldorf is the best, but he is pretty far away and has a months long wait list for fittings.  I'm wondering if it is worthwhile to go there anyway.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Skate fitting and sharpening in metro DC area
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 06:47:29 PM »
There seems to be a dearth of good tech's in DC now.  Mike may be worth the wait.

Although, earlier this year I switched to a guy in Richmond for sharpening, I'd still go to Mike for new boots.
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Offline lutefisk

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Re: Skate fitting and sharpening in metro DC area
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 07:08:55 PM »
I don't know if Mike is taking new customers but you could always ring up the shop and ask.  If not, then ask Mike and Joan for a recommendation.  If you call, note that they are open on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from  11am to 5pm.

Offline Query

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Re: Skate fitting and sharpening in metro DC area
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2017, 11:01:25 AM »
I really like Mike Cunningham's expertise, and he is extremely well respected. For one thing, he produces a very consistent shape - so consistent that many competitive skaters have competed immediately after he sharpened their blades, without bothering to test them. (Part of the reason is that if you don't say otherwise, he doesn't create a super-sharp edge, but tries to make blades feel the same before and after sharpening, as long as you sharpen often enough.) (It may amuse you to know that there are world class skaters who ship their skates or blades to Mike from all over the world - but there are also world class skaters who ship their skates or blades from the Washington DC area to other skate techs - apparently a lot of skaters get very used to and attached to what a specific skate tech produces, and can't stand what any other skate tech produces.)

I also liked Don Geise, who has mostly retired, but occasionally sharpens skates in his home, if he is still around. He is best known for speed skates, but I loved what he did with my figure skates. He worked very carefully.

A lot of the hockey skaters like a guy who works at Columbia Ice Rink who used to be an assistant equipment manager for the Washington Capitals, an NHL hockey team. When I spoke to him he refused to touch figure skates, but I understand he does now - but I don't know how good he is on figure blades.

The hockey tech is shares the same shop with Mike Cunningham is also supposed to be quite good at hockey skates, and especially good at goalie skates. Perhaps partly because he and Mike interact a lot.

I happen to believe we can be happiest if we sharpen our own blades, both because we can make the blades last longer using hand tools, and because we can experiment and get exactly what we want. But I can't convince many other people that they could do it themselves, and there is a learning curve, during which you may make mistakes.