With so many nuances and critical components relating to equipment and the human body, Brian and Paulette are able to take their vast amount of knowledge and experience and relay their wisdom to the skating world as they produce essential tools for the skating industry. Their development of the Blade Curvature Gauge is a much-needed tool for skaters, coaches and retailers. It has been known by elite level coaches for decades that the ideal touch point for the majority of blade sizes and models is around 4cm. Intuitive in design, the Blade Curvature Gauge will help guide skate technicians as they perform the incredibly important job of servicing skaters’ equipment via regrinds. Maintaining the rocker profile of MK/John Wilson blades is extremely difficult and the degradation of the essential bulge curve reduces performance drastically. When we saw what they had developed we knew we had to get involved. Thus, we see this as an essential part of any coach’s duffel bag. As coaches and athletes travel more frequently, it’s tough to keep track of when their students have their skates reground. If a skater’s spins aren’t centred or things don’t seem like they used to, this tool can help make sense of weakened performance or at the very least, eliminate the blade curve as the source of a problem. Thank you Brian for allowing us to partake in your vision.
Brian’s ultra-precise process is unmatched throughout the industry. Many describe figure skate blade sharpening as a skill or an art, but Brian has elevated the process to a whole new level of ultra precise engineering. With traditional freehand sharpening the skater has to adjust to ever-changing blade geometry over the life of the blade. Eventually, the blade’s profile can become drastically different from its original and intended shape. Drawing from his background as a machinist, Brian has invented and built an ingenious blade sharpening system guided by precise master templates. The process is not unlike the key cutting process in which the original key serves as a template for an exact copy, except that Brian has developed templates for all the popular competitive blade profiles, such as Phantom, Ace, Pattern 99, etc. The result is incredibly precise and consistent blade geometry throughout the entire life of the blade. With Brian looking after my daughter’s skates, I never have to worry that unpredictable blade geometry might be affecting her skating.
I’ve trusted Brian Holtham and PBHE for over a decade with my skates. Throughout my competitive career I’ve relied on Brian to repair and maintain my skates at any given moment. The combination of ingenuity and passion for his work is in a league of it’s own. The custom technology he has built, to give the utmost care to the skater’s equipment is eye opening, and only the best. Most importantly, I’ve always felt that I was part of a family at PBHE. Being a father of a skater himself, Brian understands how every skater is unique, and gives every ounce of effort to meet a skater’s needs. Since day one, the attention to detail that he has always given to my equipment goes a long way towards my success. Thank you for being a part of the team Brian!
I have known the Holtham family for many years. Skating techniques, patch, judging, and skating equipment evolved substantially over these years, but skate sharpening hadn’t changed much. That is where Brian comes in. He has extensive knowledge in industrial machining and looked at skate sharpening in a whole new light. 18 years ago Brian invented pattern grinding, a new sharpening technique that is consistent and precise. Finally, a 21st century technology!
To whom it may concern, I would like to share my thoughts regarding Precision Blade Honing Enterprises. Through my time working with PBHE, I was given beneficial education regarding proper sharpening and equipment fit right from the start. From there, PBHE spared no effort in making sure that I received the best in quality service, and worked tirelessly to solve any problems that I faced regarding equipment fit. PBHE displayed incredible professionalism when dealing with the various skating boot and blade manufacturers, using their extensive knowledge and expertise to negotiate and ensure that I had every possible option available. On top of this, they made me feel completely at ease and comfortable to express any and all concerns I had during the process. In short, I would highly recommend PBHE not only for their unparalleled precision equipment sharpening, but also for their wholehearted dedication to their clients. I trust PBHE completely knowing that they are always willing to help in the pursuit of excellence. Regards, Kevin Reynolds
As the coach of an elite skater, I have seen first-hand the difference that great equipment can make. Brian Holtham of PBHE has perfected his blade sharpening technique in order to get a precise sharpening every time. Patrick never has to worry if his skates and blades will be precise. He knows they will be perfect every time – adjusted and sharpened to exactly the specifications that work for him. As a coach, it’s wonderful to work with an expert like Brian and know that equipment will never be an issue.
Brian is the NASA scientist of skate sharpening! His attention to detail and highly detailed precision in restoring any blade to its factory specs is unparalleled. He goes the extra mile when mounting boots to customize it to the skater’s unique balance points and asymmetries. When you’re not expecting it he has been known to seal a cracking sole, fill screw holes, and find solutions to problems of boot aging and breakdown. Brian treats the skates far better than most skaters even do and can cut any depth of edge with each sharpening that allows for a truly customized and predictable outcome every time! A single sharpening from Brian can last me 4-5 times as long as other sharpenings because I ask for the deep one.
Impeccable service…with a smile. I used to call Mr.Holtham the ‘Miracle Worker’. He always made my skates and blades feel so comfortable which made my edges responsive and effortless. Not only did I always get service with a smile but also a detailed explanation of the process which made me feel confident that my skates were in good hands. I also appreciated his knowledge about insoles, orthotics and physiology; All of which combine to give the best skating experience possible.
I began working with Brian way back when I was a juvenile level skater, after having issues with warped blades and inconsistent mounting. Little did I know back then that what was to follow was a relationship that taught me so much about the importance of having your equipment in the best shape to complement the training you were so dedicated to. Brian took the time to educate me on my blades, their sharpening and boots, and with that I became so in tune with the very skates that let me do what I loved. Whether it was running to him (every few days) for adjustments or punching out new boots, he was always there for me and worked tirelessly until any issue was resolved. As skaters we often take for granted how important it is that our skates are an extension of our body until something goes wrong. For me, knowing Brian was always there to help and make sure everything was perfect, kept that fear at bay.
A foot injury led me to PBHE where Brian assessed my boot issues–before coming to PBHE I was wearing skates several sizes to narrow! Brian is exceptional at his craft and is passionate about sharing his knowledge about boot and blade equipment and maintenance. He takes the time to ensure that his clients leave their boot and blade fittings knowing about their specific needs. As a skating coach, I send my skaters to PBHE for the best quality boot/blade fitting and sharpening.
Joanne Mcleod CHPC
In High Performance Competition, “equipment can make the difference”. Brian has the knowledge of blade mechanics and is very passionate about boot fit to foot exactness. He keeps a current understanding of the different skate manufacturer objectives. Brian is personal to each client and can provide more comfort for enhanced figure skating elite performance.
After becoming extremely dissatisfied with the poor workmanship and lack of knowledge available when it came to mounting of skate blades I started researching the subject. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would have to mount the blades myself to ensure they would not be twisted, warped and that they would be mounted securely. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that another skater’s father had come to the same conclusion 18 years earlier and had done something about it. Brian Holtham, who was a machinist by trade, has taken skate blade mounting and sharpening to a whole other level. I learned more about skates and blades during my first short phone conversation Brian than I thought possible. Not only does Brian get the blades on right but he has built his own honing machines to pattern sharpen the blades. Through consultation with the skater, testing and Brian’s knowledge and experience he determines the blade pattern that best suits the skater. The pattern is then used to sharpen the skates so that the curves on the blades aren’t altered every time they are sharpened. No matter how skilled the operator is on a free hand machine the curve of the blade is always changed every time the skates are sharpened. My daughter is not a national level skater, but to let anyone else do her skates is a waste of her ice time and my money.
Brian Holtham has been a real life saver to us. My 15 year old was referred to Brian from her coaches when she needed new boots and blades. We had no idea what to get. We purchased the boots and then headed over to Brian’s where his knowledge and expertise allowed us to get the perfect blade for our daughter’s skill level and aspirations. The entire process was completely motivational for her. She now has the perfect blade and a deep understanding of how her equipment impacts her. She can tell exactly when her blades need sharpening and Brian’s method ensures a precise and perfect blade every time. He keeps full records and has a proprietary system that is unlike any other. He also replaced her laces with stronger ones that hold better than any others. Recently our daughter experienced some pain on her ankle as a result of her boots. Our first call was to Brian who thankfully was able to assist with resolving. His knowledge brought relief, confidence and such a reassurance to our skater even though the issue had nothing to do with the blades. Our skater has progressed significantly both technically and emotionally as a result. Brian is completely over qualified for our needs and we are genuinely grateful. Helen is also wonderful and knowledgeable and we love the added bonus of visits with Jasper their friendly pup… These folks have a real passion and commitment to the sport and it shows. Thank you!!!
I have been working with Brian Holtham and PBHE for over 3 years. He is a very important person in my figure skating life. Every time I go to PBHE he’s always so nice to me and he always greets me with a smile. Brian doesn’t just help my skates, he motivates me to be the best that I can be. Without Brian I wouldn’t be the figure skater that I am today.
I first met Brian through my coach at the time, Ray Lockwood. They were often discussing blades and mountings and things technical and eventually Brian decided to turn his hand to sharpening and mounting blades himself. He conquered the steep learning curve and set about improving my set up. I began trying to learn to skate as an adult and it has been a great hobby for my spare time away from my career as a clarinetist. It has been over a decade now since those early days and Brian has been my only skate sharpener and technician ever since. I have seen other skaters scraping their newly sharpened blades on rubber flooring and pieces of wood trying to get their skates functional after a sharpening, but with Brian, my skates are always just a better, sharper version of themselves and are ready to perform and allow me to stop from the moment they have been sharpened. I appreciate his accurate work and how consistent the blades are each and every time. I feel lucky to have such expertise at work for me and would highly recommend him for skaters of all ages and levels.
At the start of my adult skating career, I was fortunate to have my blades correctly fitted by Brian. His attention to detail and care of my skates proved that he was extremely knowledgeable. Getting expensive dance blades sharpened by Brian means that they last for many more years than if they are sharpened elsewhere. Also, once your skates have been sharpened by Brian, no other sharpening is ever good enough! His knowledge and craftsmanship is legendary and he’s always a pleasure to deal with. Thanks to Brian I’ve attained my senior silver level and it’s because I’ve had the right equipment.
I switched to Brian as my skate sharpener at a time when I was having frequent blade and boot problems. Brian immediately identified the issues I was having and helped take steps to remedy them and I rarely have had a problem since. In my years involved with skating I have never met anyone more knowledgeable about boots and blades and as enthusiastic to help every skater regardless of age or ability. Now, as I have retired from competitive skating and coach part time, my first recommendation is always Brian and PBHE when it comes to sharpening, mounting, boot fitting and any other consultation related to boots and blades. He is a true expert in his field and I am fortunate to have had his expertise in my skating career. I highly recommend Brian and PBHE!
As a coach, I have learned a great deal of information over the past few years with regard to blades and the importance of a great sharpening from Brian Holtham at Precision Blade Honing Enterprises. He really cares about the skaters and does a fantastic job giving each one his attention, time, and expert knowledge. The sharpening that results is like no other. It’s personal and exactly what the skater needs – every time!