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Posted February 05, 2015
Time sure does fly when you are having fun.  Black Stone Sports® is celebrating 15 years in the skate sharpening business.  They have come a long way from making cold calls and driving back and forth across North America.  While it has not always been an easy road, their journey continues to bring success and growth.

Finishing HeadThe skate sharpening industry is always evolving and Blackstone® is constantly working towards being on the cutting edge of innovation and new ideas. Their breakthrough Spinner System came about after several years of research and development, internal and external testing, private studies and a multitude of prototypes.  This new system changed the way the industry sharpened skates.  Steering away from the traditional single point diamond, the machined Radius of Hollow discs provide consistency and accuracy time after time.  With reliability comes profitability in the form of increased output - the grinding wheel can be dressed quicker and the number of skates that can be sharpened per wheel is increased by 400%.

Spinner RevolverAlongside the development of the Spinner System came the invention of the Flat Bottom V® (FBV®). The FBV introduced a new understanding of the blade and its interaction with the ice.  Blackstone set about educating the masses on the importance of the shape between their edges and the impact this can have on their performance.  The FBV provides the advantage of increased speed, agility, and endurance, when compared to the traditional Radius of Hollow.  The latest version of the Blackstone machine comes standard with a revolver head that holds four spinners at one time, allowing the top shapes to be available with a quick turn.

Cyclone ExhaustBlackstone has also elevated the industry standard and expectations when it comes to an exhaust system.  No longer is it necessary to lose suction as debris is collected and gone are the days of getting covered with black dust while cleaning the filter system.  Blackstone’s Dual Cyclone exhaust system not only increases the suction power, it maintains it.  While this is great for everyone breathing the air around the machine, the real advantage of the cyclone is for the person who has to empty it.  Once a filthy job now requires simply removing the canister at the base of the cyclone, walking it to a garbage can and emptying it out; quick, easy, efficient, and best of all – clean.

Blackstone AtrapThe next big thing in the industry is on the horizon, Blackstone’s ATRAP®.  These innovative shaped spinner discs are designed for goalies and individuals who are extremely familiar with their skating style and are looking for a more fine-tuned sophisticated cut.  Research shows a skater uses their inside edges differently than their outside edges, especially a goalie who wants more grab on the inside edge for an effective butterfly technique.  The ATRAP provides a different bite on each side of the blade while maintaining equal edges.  Using these specialized ATRAP spinners is beneficial to the sharpener as well. It is now possible to provide a different bite on the inside and outside of the blade while sharpening as they would any other skate, without having to manipulate the holder. 

Black Stone Sports Inc is extremely thankful to their staff and all of their loyal customers.  Along with research and development, customer feedback, industry studies and dreaming big, the innovation and impact it has introduced to the market are remarkable and will continue to be a focus for the company’s future.

What does the next 15 years look like? The sky is the limit.  Share some of your ideas with us, maybe you have the next greatest thing we can introduce to the industry. We want to help people skate better, help people sharpen better, we want to stay on the cutting edge!

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