Reagan Pomponio sharpens a pair of skates at Oceanside Sports. Pomponio is part of an all-female skate-sharpening team at the store.

All-female squad sharp in mind, blade

Oceanside Sports is breaking traditional barriers with its all-female skate sharpening staff.

Oceanside Sports is breaking traditional barriers with its all-female skate sharpening staff.

“It just seems to be different to have girls sharpening skates,” said store owner Sheri Pringle.

“It’s just not a thing they really do a lot of.”

But before anyone suggests the quality of the girls’ work may be subpar, that’s just not the case.

“There hasn’t been a bad skate sharpening go out of here,” Pringle said.

It’s not only the gender aspect, but the age of the girls. Among them is a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old, which Pringle said might make customers worry they could be careless.

“They’re probably better at it than I am; they’re a little more meticulous,” she said.

To her, the all-female staff is significant. When the staff was being trained for the machine, Pringle asked the representative if it was normal for him to teach women. The response she got was ‘actually no, we do train women but we just don’t see it as much.’

“As well, just doing some research along the way, there aren’t many girls doing it. So to have a complete girl staff doing it is kind of a rare thing,”  Pringle said.

“There are still some skeptics out there because men have historically done it so it’s kind of neat to see a bunch of girls do it and really do a great job.”

This will be the first hockey season that Oceanside has offered skate sharpenings. Pringle and her partner, John, only bought a machine in May and have been running it since August. It was time for the store to add sharpenings to its services, she said.

“This is something we should have done a long time ago because I teach figure skating, both of us play hockey and our staff all skate and play hockey, so it’s kind of a no-brainer.”

A sharpening machine is a big investment, but they decided it was the next logical step for their business, especially because they expected a gap in the market due to Farwest Sports closing down.