One of the most frequent questions people ask about training on the skating treadmill is whether or not it “ruins” or dulls your blades. Skating on the treadmill does NOT ruin your blades! But the plastic polymer of the skating treadmill surface has a higher coefficient of friction than ice, so skating on the treadmill will cause your blades to become dull after a few sessions. We generally tell people that one 1-hour session on the skating treadmill is about the equivalent of 3 on-ice practices.
Even MORE IMPORTANT is having sharp skates when you come in to train on the skating treadmill! Dull blades on the skating treadmill cause the player to slip and slide all over the surface, and they will be UNABLE to skate or train, especially on the higher elevations. Players can “get away” with dull blades on the ice because the blade is always going to be a warmer temperature than the ice. This allows even dull edges to “melt” into the ice and provide the player with at least a little bit of grip. But not on the skating treadmill! Everything is the same temperature, so the player’s edges will not be able dig in the way they do on the ice. When a player comes in with dull blades, we try to use the hand-sharpening tool to take out any big nicks or burrs, but their training will be difficult at best.
To get the MOST out of your skating treadmill training sessions, make sure your skates are SHARP!