physics of skating

When skating, the skates of a hockey player do two things: They glide over the ice and they push off the ice with the edge, in order to gain speed. The low friction of the skate blade with the ice is what allows a hockey player to easily glide over its surface. And the physical make up of the ice is what allows a player to dig in with his skate in order to go around a turn, speed up, or stop. A hockey player propels himself forward by pushing off the ice with a force perpendicular to the skate blade.

The design of the hockey skate is another important factor related to the physics of hockey. A hockey player's blades must be able to support his quick acceleration, turns, and stops. This is accomplished by grinding a slight hollow into the bottom of the blade. This creates two sharp edges which "bite" into the ice, and prevent slipping.