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Author Topic: Are the blades set correctly?  (Read 387 times)

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Offline skatemom189

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Re: Are the blades set correctly?
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2017, 11:53:01 PM »
Those blades appear to be too short for those boots.  You may have the wrong size blades.

Offline tstop4me

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Re: Are the blades set correctly?
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2017, 08:25:01 AM »
Those blades appear to be too short for those boots.  You may have the wrong size blades.
That might be hard to gauge from the photos. 

Offline Christy

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Re: Are the blades set correctly?
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2017, 06:51:56 PM »
Those blades appear to be too short for those boots.  You may have the wrong size blades.

I was thinking the same thing. They do look quite short compared to the length of the soles.

Did the skate tech study your daughter's bare feet before fitting the blades? If the blades are offset by a significant amount it seems that he is trying to correct a problem that he saw but didn't mention. Do your daughter's normal shoes / boots have uneven wear?

ETA: the placement of the heel screws is interesting, and it does look like a temporary mount so I'd suggest going back to the fitter and explaining the problems your daughter is having and asking him to resolve them.

Offline Query

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Re: Are the blades set correctly?
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2017, 08:22:47 AM »
Based on the prior holes, the fitter first put the screws in a centered position, then moved the blade. So he did what he did on purpose.

The lowest level hockey techs wouldn't know how to do that, or why it might need to be done - so the guy knows something about figure skate mounting. He might well be competent.

That's part of why I suggested getting the tech and coach to talk to each other - it is conceivable that what he did makes sense for your daughter's body.

I can't tell from the pictures whether he filled the old holes with something - if he didn't, moving the blade back to center would be very easy for you to do - but you should get that discussion first.

I'm also a little unsure of whether he warped the blade in the process of mounting it, because he may only have moved the back screws. Could you put straight edges along the sides (near the bottom of the blades, which is on top in your inverted photo positions), to see whether they are straight? (In case you got parabolic blades, do it on both sides - parabolics [which are ground thinner in the center of the length] might look warped on both sides, at least in the bottom-most area where the chrome has been ground off, which is where the parabolic grind is probably done, but would be symmetric.) If there is a detectable air gap (use no pressure to force it straight), and you don't have symmetric air gaps on both sides, it is warped. (If the gap is a sizeable fraction of a mm, that would be very bad - some skate techs won't even try to un-warp a mm or more of warp, but would send the blades back to the manufacturer, because that is large enough that the blade might break if they try to de-warp it.)

I used to have seriously warped blades (I would never use that skate tech again!). They got quite hot while skating from all the extra friction, and they were quite slow as well. In addition, they were harder to sharpen right - some types of machine sharpening equipment would create uneven edges, in which the left-right edge height differences would vary along the blade. (Specifically, one edge might be longer in the center of the length, the other edge might be longer at the ends.)

One very crude way to check for uneven edges without fancy equipment is to lay Popsicle sticks across the edges, on different parts of the blade. They should look at right angles to the sides of the blade (hard to judge exactly, I know), and if you lay a pair of Popsicle sticks across different parts of the blade, you should be able to site along them to check that the two sticks are parallel. While they aren't precision measuring tools, in part because the right angles are hard to judge, you can buy a bunch of Popsicle (or other brand) at a dollar store, so they are cheap compared to the cost of her new boots and blades. Just make sure they aren't warped either, using that straight edge.

I'm not saying he warped the blade (or that it came warped) - just suggesting you check. While you are at it, check the left blade too.

Because the tails are a bit further forward (a combination of mount position and blade length) than is typical, it is also possible the tail may tend to drag a bit. That would slow her down too - but I'm not sure if the shortness is great enough to matter.

Whether the blades are really too short, if mounted right, depends a lot on her feet. In particular, if her feet are substantially shorter than the outsole (something that sometimes happens on stock boots, especially if her feet are a bit too wide anywhere to fit the boot maker's foot shape assumptions), she might skate better on blades that are a bit short. Though, to take advantage of that, I would think he would have mounted the blades further back, both so the back corners don't drag, and so it is easier to roll forward to the toe picks.

Anyway, good luck!

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Are the blades set correctly?
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2017, 06:20:21 PM »
I was revisiting this thread and glanced at the first image.
Someone else mentioned the heel on the right boot (the right foot boot--left in the picture) looks crooked. I don't see how I missed that before. Also, at a second glance the boots look like they're different sizes. And I know that may be something with the photo.

This is why I buy my boots through the fitter, because he'll check for stuff like this and return them before mounting the blades.
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Offline Nate

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Re: Are the blades set correctly?
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2017, 03:59:31 PM »
Yeah the heel placement looks unequal. However, my blades are set slightly inside of the middle based on something Gustave Lussi wrote, so it’s not ‘wrong’.

I’ve never paid $60 to set blades.
I’ve paid $40+ to mount/set blades, if I had a tech do it and he didn’t sell them to me (or the boots).

I think that mount looks awful. I would go back and tell him to mount them neutral (centered) and then adjust from there based on how they feel. It’s just a temp mount, so not necessarily anything to fret over.

What the tech says is fine doesn’t matter. He isn’t skating on the mount. Those statements only make sense after the tech has watched the skater skate to check it out after putting the blades on the boot (always do that, if possible - you won’t have to ask a good tech that works out of a rink pro shop, they’ll offer 90% of the time).


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Offline Nate

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Re: Are the blades set correctly?
« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2017, 04:02:42 PM »
Oh, definitely.  Blade can be demounted.  Old holes can be permanently plugged if needed.  New holes drilled if needed.  I mount my own blades.  I have problem feet.  I've changed the mount about 6 times.
Same here. Have spent 5 hours at the rink on some days doing micrometer adjustments on blades to get the mount to work.

The boots I have work well, but I still think I’m going to see a specialist to build orthotics for my feet.

I don’t do my own mounting, though that sounds like a decent idea.


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Offline Nate

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Re: Are the blades set correctly?
« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2017, 04:09:59 PM »
Based on the prior holes, the fitter first put the screws in a centered position, then moved the blade. So he did what he did on purpose.

The lowest level hockey techs wouldn't know how to do that, or why it might need to be done - so the guy knows something about figure skate mounting. He might well be competent.

That's part of why I suggested getting the tech and coach to talk to each other - it is conceivable that what he did makes sense for your daughter's body.

I can't tell from the pictures whether he filled the old holes with something - if he didn't, moving the blade back to center would be very easy for you to do - but you should get that discussion first.

I'm also a little unsure of whether he warped the blade in the process of mounting it, because he may only have moved the back screws. Could you put straight edges along the sides (near the bottom of the blades, which is on top in your inverted photo positions), to see whether they are straight? (In case you got parabolic blades, do it on both sides - parabolics [which are ground thinner in the center of the length] might look warped on both sides, at least in the bottom-most area where the chrome has been ground off, which is where the parabolic grind is probably done, but would be symmetric.) If there is a detectable air gap (use no pressure to force it straight), and you don't have symmetric air gaps on both sides, it is warped. (If the gap is a sizeable fraction of a mm, that would be very bad - some skate techs won't even try to un-warp a mm or more of warp, but would send the blades back to the manufacturer, because that is large enough that the blade might break if they try to de-warp it.)

I used to have seriously warped blades (I would never use that skate tech again!). They got quite hot while skating from all the extra friction, and they were quite slow as well. In addition, they were harder to sharpen right - some types of machine sharpening equipment would create uneven edges, in which the left-right edge height differences would vary along the blade. (Specifically, one edge might be longer in the center of the length, the other edge might be longer at the ends.)

One very crude way to check for uneven edges without fancy equipment is to lay Popsicle sticks across the edges, on different parts of the blade. They should look at right angles to the sides of the blade (hard to judge exactly, I know), and if you lay a pair of Popsicle sticks across different parts of the blade, you should be able to site along them to check that the two sticks are parallel. While they aren't precision measuring tools, in part because the right angles are hard to judge, you can buy a bunch of Popsicle (or other brand) at a dollar store, so they are cheap compared to the cost of her new boots and blades. Just make sure they aren't warped either, using that straight edge.

I'm not saying he warped the blade (or that it came warped) - just suggesting you check. While you are at it, check the left blade too.

Because the tails are a bit further forward (a combination of mount position and blade length) than is typical, it is also possible the tail may tend to drag a bit. That would slow her down too - but I'm not sure if the shortness is great enough to matter.

Whether the blades are really too short, if mounted right, depends a lot on her feet. In particular, if her feet are substantially shorter than the outsole (something that sometimes happens on stock boots, especially if her feet are a bit too wide anywhere to fit the boot maker's foot shape assumptions), she might skate better on blades that are a bit short. Though, to take advantage of that, I would think he would have mounted the blades further back, both so the back corners don't drag, and so it is easier to roll forward to the toe picks.

Anyway, good luck!
Techs don’t mount that off-center, intentionally, unless:

- Asked/Told to do so
- The end result is the result of adjustments from the skater trying other blade positions
- Blades were like this on old boots and they just attempted to use the same mount position with new boots and/or blades (often fails when switching brands or sizes, IME).


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Offline Query

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Re: Are the blades set correctly?
« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2017, 05:06:41 PM »
We don't know anything here about the tech, other than that RinkRat said he/she trusted him. I would still like to have the tech explain why he did what he did.

I've seen very reputable techs use large offsets. One guy, whose fans include Olympic medalists, routinely watches the skater do one foot glides, on the original test mount. If the skater has trouble reaching an edge, he moves the blade, and repeats, until things work right. People generally trust him well enough to go with the position he picks. He doesn't need to be asked to do that - it's part of his standard job.

As I said, I prefer modifying the inside of the boot, instead of outside, to compensate for my issues, if there is room inside the boot to do that - but offsets are the most common way of dealing with such things.

One possibility is to ask the best skaters and/or coaches at the rink who they trust best as a skate tech. Then drive (with the daughter) however far as one has to (I've known people who drive for hours) to get to that person, and ask him/her to check the original fitter's work. And if that best fitter says the blades should have been mounted much differently, or that the boots and/or blades should have been returned, one should stay away from the original skate tech forever. In particular, if the person really did make that big an error, he can't be trusted to do ANYTHING right. There are skate techs who shouldn't be in the business.

Of course it is also true that most skate techs routinely say that every other skate tech is incompetent. Partly to grab each other's business, partly because there are no standardized textbooks or other materials on how to fit boots, or how to mount and sharpen blades, so every "expert" has come up with his or her their own techniques, and typically doesn't recognize other people's techniques as correct. But what better can a non-expert do but ask the best available?

I think that most skaters SHOULD go to the best tech available within a half-days drive when buying boots and blades, if at all possible. Despite that I'm a cheapskate, who economizes on almost everything. Because some techs really are orders of magnitude better than most of the others, and it often matters. It isn't uncommon for people to have to throw away boots and/or blades, accept the economic loss, and start over - you see that mentioned a lot on this board - and if you ask skaters about their skates, you see it a lot in person.

Offline tstop4me

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Re: Are the blades set correctly?
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2017, 11:00:41 PM »
I don’t do my own mounting, though that sounds like a decent idea.
Not everyone has access to a competent skate tech who is located at a rink.  A couple of local rinks have pro shops, but they are primarily geared towards hockey, and the good figure skaters stay clear.  The best skate tech for figure skates in my area is not located at a rink.  Since it may take several iterative trials on the ice to get the mounting right, it's very frustrating and time consuming to go back and forth to the skate tech multiple times (especially when he's in demand and heavily booked). 

My coach had another student who was having problems with her blade mount.  My coach knew that I handled my own mounting and asked me whether I would help the other student.  I brought in my kit of tools and piece parts to the rink.  I tweaked the blade mount according to the coach's instructions.  The skater went on the ice to try it out.  We did four such iterations in a row to determine the optimal mount.  All this was done within an hour; no fuss, no muss.  I then took the skates home with me for additional repairs and to make the mount more robust.

Offline ocug

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Re: Are the blades set correctly?
« Reply #35 on: Today at 09:59:31 AM »
Wanted to thank all of you for your valuable input. Took them to another specialist, she centered them and we’ll see how that works for this week.. her coach thinks they need to be a bit off centered inside but to do back spins this week and footwork and see how they feel.
She did get a big blister when. The blades were too inside maybe because the pressure of staying centered while skating made it happen or maybe just because the boots are new... though that had never happened again.
I wasn’t aware of all it took to get the blades positioned right! Before these skates, she’s gotten the boot and blades already mounted by whoever we bought it from and they worked well from the start! Guess that’s what happens when we try to get fancier :P
Will post blades when done with the job
Happy thanksgiving everyone!

Offline icedancer

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Re: Are the blades set correctly?
« Reply #36 on: Today at 12:17:35 PM »
Well this is true that as you get fancier there are more and more details!

Ugh blisters!!

Let us know how it goes once she gets back out there with these blades.