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Author Topic: Will blades really make a difference? - fsf  (Read 16118 times)

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Offline JimStanmore

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Will blades really make a difference? - fsf
« on: August 31, 2010, 11:45:02 PM »
ukmum
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Post Title: Will blades really make a difference?
Posted: 12-30-2009, 05:45 AM

 Hi folks I am asking for some views on this. My DD (9) has jumps up to axel and has started 2sal. She still skates in what her coach calls baby skates. She is light and quite small for her age and has been in Jackson Classique with a mkIV blade for 18 months. It is coming up time for her to get bigger boots and coach says she needs more advanced blades ie coronation ace. Coach seems to think they will make a real difference to her skating and make her doubles easier. Are they really likely to make that much of a difference? In cost terms it would be a difference of about £100 so need advice.  

Mrs Redboots
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Posted: 12-30-2009, 08:59 AM

 Yes, I'm surprised she's got so far in beginner blades! I'm also surprised your coach is recommending as low-level a blade as Coronation Ace for someone starting doubles - they are generally considered a good all-round blade until you start doubles, by which time you're thought to want something with a bit more wellie. Definitely upgrade, and be guided by both her coach and her fitter.  

Skittl1321
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Posted: 12-30-2009, 09:01 AM

 Between the blades you mentioned, yes, I think it will make a big difference.
(If coach was asking you to choose between a $200 blade and a $600 blade, at that level, it's not necessary.) The blade you mention she has now is meant to be a recreational blade- although you probably could do doubles on it, it's not what it is designed for.

The large toe pick will help toe assisted jumps, and possibly her jump landings, and there is something about the blade (maybe it's the quality of the metal) that helps spins immensely. She should also notice a difference in her turns- for me when I made the recreational to entry level freestyle blade switch turns almost felt effortless compared to the old blade.

I started with the Ultima Mirage, which comes on the Jackson Competitor- a slightly higher level blade then what your DD is at now. When I moved to a higher level blade it made a HUGE difference, and I could feel it immediatly in my turns and jumps. It took a little while to get used to the difference in the spins, but once I got them they were faster than ever.  

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 09:12 AM

 If she's working on doubles, she should be in a better boot and blade combination. My DDs (11 year-old twins) are wearing Jackson Freestyle skates. I upgraded one pair to Coronation Ace blades and DD loves them! It took about a week to transition from the Mark IVs to the CorAces, but her spins and jumps have improved tremendously.

Step up from Jackson Classiques to Jackson Freestyle boots. The biggest advantage, other than the better support, is that the Freestyles are all leather. When they start to get a bit tight, they can be stretched by a pro shop to get a few extra weeks. The Jackson Freestyle boots can be ordered without a blade, which lowers the cost. However, it has to be ordered - very few pro shops keep them in stock, boots only.

The John Wilson Coronation Ace blade is really good, but expensive. The Mitchell-King (MK) Professional blade is comparable to the Coronation Ace blade.

I did some blade research a few months ago. A skate tech had suggested I switch from JW Gold Seals to Jackson Ultima Freestyle blades. I checked ou the catalog, hoping to find something for my DDs. It looks like ALL of the Jackson Ultima blades have 8' rockers! They've grouped the blades into beginner, intermediate, and advanced skating levels, but I couldn't find a 7' rockered blade.  

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 09:43 AM

 The MKIV is a terrible blade for jumping the toe picks are really small and provide virtually no grip. A more advanced blade will definitely improve toe jumps

The Cornation Ace or the Comet are both very good blades for use up to double Lutz. The main difference between these two blades is the rocker the Ace is a 7 ft rocker, the Comet is a flatter blade (8 ft rocker) and IMO is actually the better blade to learn on.

It is less forgiving for spinning, you have to learn to be more accurate with hitting the sweet spot for spins, but provides more edge for your stroking and thus a bit more speed. Both these should be reasonably priced.

You will likely need to step up to a better boot, the Classique if I recall comes with the MKIV pre-mounted. If the Jacksons are a good fit then stick with them and move to the next boot up. A good alternative price wise are Risports, they are well built skates and come in a whole range of sizes and widths. The one knock on them is some coachs don't like the lines of the boot as much as some of the other brands.  

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 10:17 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8rdad59  
The MKIV is a terrible blade for jumping the toe picks are really small and provide virtually no grip. A more advanced blade will definitely improve toe jumps
 
 
I'm going to disagree with you. The Mark IV blade is fine for beginning freestyle jumps, including single toe-assisted jumps.

Beginners really should start out with a small toerake because the coaches want the technique to be correct. A larger toerake for a beginner often leads to sloppy or incorrect technique because they can cheat the toe-in more easily.

The OP's daughter is now learning doubles, which will benefit from the larger toerake, which is why I recommended moving up to a better blade.

Another note for the OP: Have the pro shop measure (length & width) her feet and order the boots. Some shops won't order the blades until the boots arrive, so they can check the fit of the boots on her feet before mounting the blades. They also want to measure the soles of the boots to order the correct blade length. It will take a little longer than just walking into a pro shop to buy a stock set. You'll need to make an appointment for the initial measurement and ordering. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes, unless they have the boots in stock.  

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 11:02 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Isk8NYC  
I'm going to disagree with you. The Mark IV blade is fine for beginning freestyle jumps, including single toe-assisted jumps.

Beginners really should start out with a small toerake because the coaches really want the technique to be correct. A larger toerake for a beginner often leads to sloppy or incorrect technique because they can cheat the toe-in more easily.

The OP's daughter is now learning doubles, which will benefit from the larger toerake, which is why I recommended moving up to a better blade.

Another note for the OP: Have the pro shop measure (length & width) her feet and order the boots. Some shops won't order the blades until the boots arrive, so they can check the fit of the boots on her feet before mounting the blades. They also want to measure the soles of the boots to order the correct blade length. It will take a little longer than just walking into a pro shop to buy a stock set. You'll need to make an appointment for the initial measurement and ordering. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes, unless they have the boots in stock.
 
 
I will accept your disagreement. I actually looked up a picture of the MK IV online and the pick is more agressive that it used to be. My first skates came with an earlier version of this blade where the picks were miniscule.  

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 11:11 AM

 My kids, and some students, have been in Jackson skates for years. There was a manufacturing issue with their stock blades at some point around five years ago. The blade chroming kept peeling off, IIRC.

Perhaps Jackson changed suppliers and upgraded the blade, because the Mark IV's I've seen for the past three years are all nice beginner freestyle blades.

I also think that there's an older, discontinued, Mitchell & King (MK) blade that is often confused with the Mark IV blade. There are a few threads discussing the confusion, so that might have been the blade you're thinking about.  

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 11:42 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Skittl1321  

The large toe pick will help toe assisted jumps, and possibly her jump landings, and there is something about the blade (maybe it's the quality of the metal) that helps spins immensely. She should also notice a difference in her turns- for me when I made the recreational to entry level freestyle blade switch turns almost felt effortless compared to the old blade.

I started with the Ultima Mirage, which comes on the Jackson Competitor- a slightly higher level blade then what your DD is at now. When I moved to a higher level blade it made a HUGE difference, and I could feel it immediatly in my turns and jumps. It took a little while to get used to the difference in the spins, but once I got them they were faster than ever.
 
 

Really? My daughter is in a Jackson Freestyle boot with the Mark IV blade. She isn't attempting doubles but is attempting axels in them. Hmm.... good to know for future reference!  

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 11:47 AM

 Thanks folks

I wasn't sure if it was just a way of getting more business to the pro shop. She has stayed in the boots she has purely because her feet haven't grown and they haven't broken down yet. She has only been seriously skating (having private lessons) for 15 months. Everyone is astonished that they haven't broken down yet, but I guess it is just because she is small and light.

I guess we will be shopping in the new year.

Thanks again  

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 11:48 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by isakswings  
Really? My daughter is in a Jackson Freestyle boot with the Mark IV blade. She isn't attempting doubles but is attempting axels in them. Hmm.... good to know for future reference!
 
 
Well keep in mind I'm an adult- so I started in a bit higher boot than kids because of my weight. The blade came with it, which is why I didn't start on Mark IV. (But when I switched blades someone bought my Mirage blades to switch out on the Mark IV. Still a pretty low level blade, but maybe slightly better) But yeah, when I got a higher quality blade I could definetly tell.

Based on the kids in my freestyle class, most of whom are in Jackson Freestyles, with the Mark IV blade- after the axel is learned is when the coach starts pestering the parents to move the blade up a level, but keeping the boot is usually fine. The Freestyle is a better boot than the Classique.
The girl in my class who is just now starting double loop (she has double toe, and double salchow at varying levels of consistency) has just moved up to a better boot, the kind where the blades don't come on it. Her parents resisted the blade change before then, so she learned her first two doubles on the Mark IV, even though the coach was not happy about it.  

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 11:48 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Isk8NYC  
Step up from Jackson Classiques to Jackson Freestyle boots. The biggest advantage, other than the better support, is that the Freestyles are all leather. When they start to get a bit tight, they can be stretched by a pro shop to get a few extra weeks. The Jackson Freestyle boots can be ordered without a blade, which lowers the cost. However, it has to be ordered - very few pro shops keep them in stock, boots only.

The John Wilson Coronation Ace blade is really good, but expensive. The Mitchell-King (MK) Professional blade is comparable to the Coronation Ace blade.
 
 
 
I agree about the freestyles! My daughter(11) is in these skates as are a few other kids at the rink. Less expensive then Riedell and seem to be a nice boot! We'll likely order the same boot again with an upgraded blade. The blade will likely be the MK Professional blade. A lot of kids at dd's rink skate on that blade too.  

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 12:38 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Isk8NYC  
I also think that there's an older, discontinued, Mitchell & King (MK) blade that is often confused with the Mark IV blade. There are a few threads discussing the confusion, so that might have been the blade you're thinking about.
 
 
You could be right about the Mitchell & King VS MK IV issue. It was some time ago (10 years) and I no longer have the blade to check.

Anyway I think we are in agreement over the basic point which was it's time to upgrade the blade and likely the boot as well.  

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 01:49 PM

 My dd is working on doubles and has the Coronation Ace blade on a GAM boot. The blade made a huge difference to her skating. It also has the advantage of holding a sharpening better so you can go a bit longer between sharpenings. I agree with whoever said to wait until you get the boot before you order the blade. I know when GAM and Jackson merged a few years ago that there were some changes and the blade sized needed for some boots changed. We're fortunate to have a skate shop where they stock a wide selection of boots and blades, but if you don't have that, wait to make sure you get the correct size blade.

Some say that GAM has a blade that is exactly the same as the Ace, but for less money. We tried that once and were not impressed. They didn't stay sharp and were worn out in under a year. Love the GAM boots, the blades, not so much!  

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 02:19 PM

 I agree that the Ace-level is excellent. However, we have discovered that ISE and/or Ultima produce excellent blades at better price points. Ultima's blades are extremely well made; initially, there were problems with quality many years ago, however, that has been resolved. If your coach is after the Ace rocker and toepick, you can find a corresponding blade in both lines that will save you significant dollars, which is nice, especially in a growing foot situation. We have been very pleased with the Ultimas on our DD, and will be moving our DS to them on the next boot switch; our skate blade guy, who is considered to be very much of exceptional quality in terms of expertise, confirms the quality of Ultima and ISE.

If the Classique fits your DD, then, stay with Jackson; Freestyles are good boots, and they work well. We stopped using them because they don't fit our kids feet properly, however, I wish they did as I do like that line of boots. But, if she's not breaking down the Classique ... the Freestyle may be a problem in terms of kneebend and stiffness, because they are a stronger boot. There are techniques (look on this forum for threads) to help break them in faster.

As a thought: Can you change the blades on a Classique? I have been able to swap out blades on even the intro level Riedells, even though they do come only in a boot and blade combo, because the blades are screwed in, not riveted in.

GAM blades - not impressed - the quality is not good.  

Offline JimStanmore

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Re: Will blades really make a difference?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2010, 11:45:19 PM »
Petlover
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Posted: 12-30-2009, 02:45 PM

 In my opinion only, blades make a huge difference.

When I switched from Coronation Comet to MK Professionals, my skating improved drastically, and I was actually able to spin decently.

One of my teenage skating buddies switched to MK Visions a couple of months ago - she is starting doubles - and it really helped her a lot. I'm not sure what blades she had before, but she's extremely happy with the visions.

Another teenage skating buddy has had Coronation Aces for years, and she has almost of her doubles and they are gorgeous. 

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 02:51 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs Redboots 
Yes, I'm surprised she's got so far in beginner blades! I'm also surprised your coach is recommending as low-level a blade as Coronation Ace for someone starting doubles - they are generally considered a good all-round blade until you start doubles, by which time you're thought to want something with a bit more wellie. Definitely upgrade, and be guided by both her coach and her fitter.
 
 
ITA. My DD's coach had her upgrade from Cor Aces to Gold Seals or Pattern 99's when she started doubles. She went wtih Gold Seals and they made an amazing difference right away. They were particularly helpful in landing jumps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petlover 
In my opinion only, blades make a huge difference.

When I switched from Coronation Comet to MK Professionals, my skating improved drastically, and I was actually able to spin decently.
 
 
Comets are notoriously difficult to spin on. They have an 8.5 foot rocker, which can make finding the spin spot a problem. 

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 02:59 PM

 Not sure about putting other blades on the classique, they have platic soles, which my daughter loves as they are light and she has seen the state some other kids soles are in (leather). Don't get me wrong she isn't too tiny I don't think, nearly 10 and around 133cm tall but slim. I am only 5ft 2inch so guess she will never be tall! She is also a light skater as in she lands very softly even though she has a deep knee bend. Does anyone know if you can fit other blades onto these boots? It would be a good compromise in my daughter's opinion. 

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 04:52 PM

 Quote:
However, we have discovered that ISE and/or Ultima produce excellent blades at better price points. Ultima's blades are extremely well made; initially, there were problems with quality many years ago, however, that has been resolved. 
 
I've had really good luck with Ultimas, I'm on my 3rd pair of Ultima Synchro blades. I no longer do synchro, but I do both dance and freestyle and they've been a good all purpose blade for doing both. They hold an edge much longer than other blades I've worn over the years (I've used Wilsons--Coronation Aces, Super Dance 99s and MK Gold Stars) so they need less sharpenings and therefore last longer. The synchro blades are only $130, too.

I may actually go back to the Gold Stars when I get new boots after 2010 ANs since I do a lot more freestyle than dance nowadays (and can just use my old boots with the Ultimas if I want a shorter blade for dance), but that's only because I have a pair of Gold Stars that were only used for about 8 months and hardly sharpened hanging around the house. When you have $500+ blades just sitting around, you might as well use them. (I actually got them for free, my uncle used to work for a skate shop, they were a sample.) I remember I really liked them back when I had them on my boots during a break from synchro in college, but I went back to synchro blades when I started synchro again. 

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 07:09 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by ukmum 
Not sure about putting other blades on the classique, they have platic soles, which my daughter loves as they are light and she has seen the state some other kids soles are in (leather). Don't get me wrong she isn't too tiny I don't think, nearly 10 and around 133cm tall but slim. I am only 5ft 2inch so guess she will never be tall! She is also a light skater as in she lands very softly even though she has a deep knee bend. Does anyone know if you can fit other blades onto these boots? It would be a good compromise in my daughter's opinion.
 
 
As far as I know you can't switch the blades on plastic soles. My daughter upgraded from the Classique/Mark IV around when she began working on Axels. The boot was okay at the time, but her coach wanted her in a higher blade (Coronation Ace or MK Pro). She went to Freestyle boots and they were fine for her. She was 7 and around 55 lbs, so I don't think Freestyles would be too stiff for your daughter. My daughter is now 8 and skating in Sp-Teri super teri boots/MK Pro blade and those are working well for her. She's currently working on her double jumps. 

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 09:00 PM

 Yeah, you can't put new blades on plastic soles--anyways she needs to get into a higher grade boot w/ leather soles--those plastic ones aren't meant to take the force of landing larger jumps, and can split. 

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 09:25 PM

 Yup, Comets can be quite hard to spin on; when we switched DD off of them to Ultima (the Lite ones, actually, which she finds quite a pleasure to skate on, they are very light and the cross-cut picks are better for her, and they just look so fantastic!) - the spins improved immediately. Edges improved too. However, the jumps did have to be revisited, the change in rocker makes the landings different.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was an exact science for blades, that the definitive answer to cross cut vs straight cut, rocker size, etc? It would certainly cut down on the guesswork, and the expense! (and the worry factor for parents ... 

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Posted: 12-30-2009, 11:13 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by dak_rbb 
As far as I know you can't switch the blades on plastic soles.
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix 
Yeah, you can't put new blades on plastic soles.
 
 
Yes you can - my skate fitter has twice changed the blades on plastic-soled Mystiques for my DD - first on her old Mystiques (changed from the rec blade to Club 2000), and then when she outgrew those, moved the Club 2000s to her current Mystiques. She's almost 11yo, with a reliable sal and toe, and is learning the loop jump, plus sit and (ha ha) camel spins.

Her coach was the one to suggest the Club 2000 and is very happy with the support DD is getting from the Mystiques. However, she has said DD will need to upgrade her boots (probably to the Freestyle) and maybe upgrade the blade as well, when she is due for a new pair some time this coming year. 

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Posted: 12-31-2009, 12:39 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8tmum 
Wouldn't it be nice if there was an exact science for blades, that the definitive answer to cross cut vs straight cut, rocker size, etc? It would certainly cut down on the guesswork, and the expense! (and the worry factor for parents ...
 
 
It would indeed! But I think blades, like boots are an individual thing. One person may thrive on Pattern 99's while another just can't get used to them, etc. 

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Posted: 12-31-2009, 01:29 AM

 I am always amused/amazed by the variance in blade progression among coaches, fitters, parents, skaters. Some put kids in, for example, Gold Seals at singles; some at doubles; some at triples; some never!

However, here's what Wilson themselves put out re: recommendations. Because I'm Canadian, I know only the Canadian test levels. However, I would say, eyeballing this, that Ace and Comet would take you pretty far up the Doubles ladder (Senior Bronze FS in Canada permits all doubles, except double Axels, in competition).

http://www.mkblades.com/jw-recommendations.html 

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Posted: 12-31-2009, 04:19 PM

 Yes the Ace and Comet are good up to at least double flip. We switched over to Pattern 99's once the double Lutz and double Axel were being worked on regularly 

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Posted: 01-01-2010, 10:01 AM

 My daughter - 10 - could never break in, or down, the Jackson Freestyles. If your daughter isn't breaking down the Classiques rather quickly, the Freestlyes may be too stiff for her. My DD is in Klingbeils now but some other skaters that had the same issue with the freestyles are in the SP Teri gravity boot - forgot exactly what's it's called but it's super lite!!!!

BLADES.....it's such a detrimental piece of equipment for the skaters and very confusing! The last blade my DD was in was the gold seal - it was nice, but soft. Since she's young, we were always having to fix rolled edges and knicks. Last year, I switched her to the paramounts and we will never change again! She loves them! They are very pricey but well worth the $$, IMO! We have them for almost a year and we've sharpened them twice - the last time, only b/c one skate fell out of her zuca onto the driveway as we were loading into the car.

If they weren't so price prohibitive, I'd guess you'd see more skaters in them to begin with. They are similar to the pattern 99's which is an all around advanced level blade. B/C they keep their edges, you don't have skaters struggling with technique to compensate for dull or rolled edges so often! 

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Posted: 01-02-2010, 03:55 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs Redboots 
Yes, I'm surprised she's got so far in beginner blades! I'm also surprised your coach is recommending as low-level a blade as Coronation Ace for someone starting doubles - they are generally considered a good all-round blade until you start doubles, by which time you're thought to want something with a bit more wellie. Definitely upgrade, and be guided by both her coach and her fitter.
 
 
Agreed, my dd (also 9) with axel, 2sal and 2toe (most of the time!) is on Pattern 99s and she is getting new skates next week and a stiffer boot as well. 

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Posted: 01-02-2010, 08:33 PM

 In your place, I would trust the coach. If you trust the coach's judgment enough to teach your DD, you should trust her judgment on boots and blades, unless you have very good reason not to.

If your DD is taking private lessons, the lessons have cost you a good deal more than the boots and blades - so forget the idea that the coach is just looking for a kickback. If your coach thinks new ones are needed, they are a worthwhile investment that can help prevent injuries and give your daughter a significant boost in performance.

Yes, replacing shoes and boots that haven't broken down is wasteful. But would you rather the kid's feet grow wrong because they are jammed into shoes or boots that are too small? (However, if they are only slightly too small, remove the insoles and asking the fitter to stretch them to get a little extra space.)

On the other hand, if the boots haven't broken down, they probably fit very well, except for size, and are probably adequate to her needs. So I would keep the brand and model of boot, unless your coach says otherwise. But ask the coach before ordering the new ones. 

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Posted: 01-02-2010, 10:45 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Query 
In your place, I would trust the coach. If you trust the coach's judgment enough to teach your DD, you should trust her judgment on boots and blades, unless you have very good reason not to.

But ask the coach before ordering the new ones.
 
 
Absolutely. Thank you for summing up my own position on this so succintly. The coach has their own reasons, rationale and purpose in selecting blades: it may be something that no-one else can know, such as a specific "need" a skater has. Coaches do not make recommendations lightly, as they know that they are going to be working with the equipment that they are provided with with the skater. As stated before, what works for Skater "A" is not appropriate for Skater "B" - even if they are working on the same jumps, are the same age, the same weight, etc.

It is always okay to ask your coach, though, about what is "nice to have" and "what is necessary" and discussing budget realities is always important. The coach needs to know what you have to spend. It's also okay to ask when they think you might need to move "up" a blade or a boot, so you can plan and budget in advance. 

Offline JimStanmore

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Re: Will blades really make a difference?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2010, 11:45:36 PM »
londonicechamp
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Posted: 01-04-2010, 04:11 AM

 Hi Rachelsk8er

I am on Gold Star blades. In fact I have been on it since I learnt freestyle. The jumps are okay, not too bad. Spin wise, once I found where the sweet spots are, the forward spins does improve quickly. This blade is not that bad with sit soins either. 

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Posted: 01-04-2010, 09:54 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Skittl1321 
Well keep in mind I'm an adult- so I started in a bit higher boot than kids because of my weight. The blade came with it, which is why I didn't start on Mark IV. (But when I switched blades someone bought my Mirage blades to switch out on the Mark IV. Still a pretty low level blade, but maybe slightly better) But yeah, when I got a higher quality blade I could definetly tell.

Based on the kids in my freestyle class, most of whom are in Jackson Freestyles, with the Mark IV blade- after the axel is learned is when the coach starts pestering the parents to move the blade up a level, but keeping the boot is usually fine. The Freestyle is a better boot than the Classique.
The girl in my class who is just now starting double loop (she has double toe, and double salchow at varying levels of consistency) has just moved up to a better boot, the kind where the blades don't come on it. Her parents resisted the blade change before then, so she learned her first two doubles on the Mark IV, even though the coach was not happy about it.
 
 
Thanks. Dd was actually using a better blade prior to getting these skates in July(was using a Jubilee blade and Reidell Gold Medallion boot). Her coach actually wanted her to use another Jubilee blade or a higher blade, but when we ordered these boots, our rink could not order the skates w/ the blade. I originally planned on upgrading her blades, but we decided to stick with these for now. I have a pair of Jackson Competitors in my closet waiting for dd to outgrow her current skates. They have a mirage blade on them, but I was thinking of upgrading the blade(boots are used). Not sure tho! Hmmm.... when the time comes, I will talk to dd's coach. This does make me wonder tho if a different blade might help dd out. 

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Posted: 01-04-2010, 10:47 AM

 I would suggest you find a boot/blade combination that works and stick with it. Bouncing around between different boots and blades can slow progress down as your DD will have to adjust to the new combination. You should only change boots if you are finding that the make you're in now no longer can be properly fitted. Different manufacturers fit some feet better than others, it has to do with the shape of the last they use. Blades may be a bit less of an issue but once you have a brand and model you should stick with it until you need to upgrade or change for other reasons (dance/syncro blades for example).

My DS has only ever used Comets and Pattern 99's and has used Risport boots throughout his career. The Risports fit the shape of his feet well and he has hardly every had any issues with breaking them in. He used Comets up until he started doing 2A regularly then switched to the 99's. 

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Posted: 01-04-2010, 11:10 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8rdad59 
I would suggest you find a boot/blade combination that works and stick with it. Bouncing around between different boots and blades can slow progress down as your DD will have to adjust to the new combination. You should only change boots if you are finding that the make you're in now no longer can be properly fitted. Different manufacturers fit some feet better than others, it has to do with the shape of the last they use. Blades may be a bit less of an issue but once you have a brand and model you should stick with it until you need to upgrade or change for other reasons (dance/syncro blades for example).

My DS has only ever used Comets and Pattern 99's and has used Risport boots throughout his career. The Risports fit the shape of his feet well and he has hardly every had any issues with breaking them in. He used Comets up until he started doing 2A regularly then switched to the 99's.
 
 
True, my dd has always had Jacksons, and this is probably why her coach said stick with it- and she did well on the pattern 99s so she is sticking with those as well. 

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Posted: 01-04-2010, 11:27 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by isakswings 
Thanks. Dd was actually using a better blade prior to getting these skates in July(was using a Jubilee blade and Reidell Gold Medallion boot). Her coach actually wanted her to use another Jubilee blade or a higher blade, but when we ordered these boots, our rink could not order the skates w/ the blade. I originally planned on upgrading her blades, but we decided to stick with these for now. I have a pair of Jackson Competitors in my closet waiting for dd to outgrow her current skates. They have a mirage blade on them, but I was thinking of upgrading the blade(boots are used). Not sure tho! Hmmm.... when the time comes, I will talk to dd's coach. This does make me wonder tho if a different blade might help dd out.
 
 
Jackson and Riedell have different heel heights and fit very differently. We switched to Riedell as Jackson are too wide for our kid, and had a period of transition with jumps, etc. Same when we went from Jackson to Klingbeil for our other kid, and (baby level) Jacksons to Riedells for my youngest.

Just FYI. 

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Posted: 01-04-2010, 11:37 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8rdad59 
My DS has only ever used Comets and Pattern 99's and has used Risport boots throughout his career. The Risports fit the shape of his feet well and he has hardly every had any issues with breaking them in. He used Comets up until he started doing 2A regularly then switched to the 99's.
 
 
We're still in Comets with the 2A now being landed. Maybe it's a boy thing - but they work, why change it 

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Posted: 01-04-2010, 01:40 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8tmum 
We're still in Comets with the 2A now being landed. Maybe it's a boy thing - but they work, why change it 
 
 
The Comets are a much underrated blade. A lot of coaches don't like them because of the flat rocker but our coach felt it improved the accuracy of spins and benefitted speed as there is more blade contact with the ice. The recommendation to go to 99's came with the start of triples. Which were started about the time the 2A started to become consistent. 

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Posted: 01-05-2010, 01:56 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8rdad59 
The Comets are a much underrated blade. A lot of coaches don't like them because of the flat rocker but our coach felt it improved the accuracy of spins and benefitted speed as there is more blade contact with the ice.
 
 
Agreed! I recommend Comets to many of my students once they start their axels, sometimes as soon as landing their flip and lutz. 

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Posted: 01-05-2010, 02:18 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Query 
In your place, I would trust the coach. If you trust the coach's judgment enough to teach your DD, you should trust her judgment on boots and blades, unless you have very good reason not to. 
 
 
I'm not sure this is necessarily true. I've found that many coaches only have experience with the brand they skated in, and often still wear as a coach. I've had coaches tell me "brand X is no good"- only to find out that brand X was no good for them.

Coaches aren't fitters, so unless your coach is a fitter, I'd trust the fitter over the coach, but consider what the coach has to say. 

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Posted: 01-05-2010, 03:53 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Skittl1321 
I'm not sure this is necessarily true. I've found that many coaches only have experience with the brand they skated in, and often still wear as a coach. I've had coaches tell me "brand X is no good"- only to find out that brand X was no good for them.

Coaches aren't fitters, so unless your coach is a fitter, I'd trust the fitter over the coach, but consider what the coach has to say.
 
 
Agreed, boots need to be fitted properly and while I whole heartedly sympathize with other parents over cost, do NOT get the boot too big with the intent to "grow into them". This will on cause frustration and possibly agony for the skater. 

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Posted: 01-07-2010, 04:14 PM

 As for size, a lot too big could be a problem, because the boots would get in the way of close footwork, and be too heavy. But for a growing child, and maybe even for an adult, a little too big overall, or in spots, is easily fixed with tape and Moleskin, whereas stretching leather, overall or in spots, is both harder and needs to be redone more often. If the parent has significant economic issues, buying big and playing with tape and Moleskin makes sense. In fact, it is almost impossible to buy boots fitted so well you can't make things better those ways. If the parent doesn't feel able to make such adjustments, the boot fitter or coach likely could. 

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Posted: 01-07-2010, 05:39 PM

 This is a good link on how to fit a skate http://www.inneredge.ca/skatefitting.html. My original post was referring to the practice of oversizing a skate so that it fits slopply. A skater should never have to wear more than a single pair of socks preferrably dress socks. I have frequently seen parents buy skates so large that 2-3 pairs of socks are required to "fit" the skate. The skaters frequent suffer blisters or can not control their skating and end up quitting in frustration. These are the same parents that don't think guards are important either no matter how many times you carefully explain to them that little Sally would progress faster if her skates had any edges.

Fitting a skate too small is also bad as it can lead to serious foot issues. 

sk8tmum
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Posted: 01-07-2010, 08:00 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Skittl1321 
I'm not sure this is necessarily true. I've found that many coaches only have experience with the brand they skated in, and often still wear as a coach. I've had coaches tell me "brand X is no good"- only to find out that brand X was no good for them.

Coaches aren't fitters, so unless your coach is a fitter, I'd trust the fitter over the coach, but consider what the coach has to say.
 
 
We're lucky in that our skate fitters will call the coach and discuss needs and make recommendations, and then send them on "approval" before finalizing the purchase. Yes, coaches do have preferences, some are logical, some not - but, they do know what they want in terms of weight, stiffness, and blade level. 

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Posted: 01-08-2010, 02:55 PM

 I think the bit about tape etc is probably true whatever size you get. Most people have feet of slightly different sizes, my daughter is a whole half size (uk) bigger in her right foot. We had just this boot punched out to make room, but the left still isn't too tight. We're hoping that heat mouldable boots will lessen this.

Coach favours wifa's - any views/comments on them useful. 

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Posted: 01-08-2010, 05:12 PM

 WIFAs are fine in the opinion of many coaches - they just don't fit my kid's feet. We started in Skatec D (now deluxe Skatec), but, switched out as kid's feet are narrow in the heel and broader in the forefoot, and the WIFAs didn't work.

Also, they weren't heat moldable, and the need to punch them/stretch them etc etc etc was a drawback - they never fit as well as ones that were moulded. Some people don't like heat molded skates, however, we do prefer it in non-custom boots (one kid is in customs).

They're rare in our area, but, then again, I can't remember the last time I saw a pair of SP-Teris on anyone's feet, nor Harlicks - and they are very common elsewhere! Regional preferences ... club preferences ... coach preferences ...

If there is a huge difference in foot size, it might be worth seeing if you could order the Left boot in one size and the Right in another. Depending on the manufacturer, shop, they might accomodate you.

If it cheers you up, we had a similar problem with a big difference in size, with age, the size difference has lessened and they're closer to being the same size! 

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Re: Will blades really make a difference?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2010, 11:45:57 PM »
d b n y
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Posted: 01-08-2010, 08:52 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Skittl1321 
I'm not sure this is necessarily true. I've found that many coaches only have experience with the brand they skated in, and often still wear as a coach. I've had coaches tell me "brand X is no good"- only to find out that brand X was no good for them.

Coaches aren't fitters, so unless your coach is a fitter, I'd trust the fitter over the coach, but consider what the coach has to say.
 
 
ITA! Our first coach only wore custom Klingbeils and could give me no advice for younger DD beyond telling me that she needed a high end recreational or low end professional skate. Then she sent us to a shop that only sold Riedells. DD ended up with huge bumps on her heels because the Riedell heel cup is too deep for her feet. When she finally got custom boots (Klingbeil) they started to be resorbed. 

londonicechamp
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Posted: 01-09-2010, 05:59 AM

 Hi

Please do not get the boots a size too big for your dd. My dad bought the first pair of skates for me, way too big, and it caused me lots of problems, especially in terms of backward crossovers (an extra step) and also spins (an extra step) which the coach tried ages to correct, but in vain.

In the end, my mom has to get me another pair of skating boots that fit my feet exactly.

londonicechamp 

Query
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Posted: 01-09-2010, 03:32 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8tmum 
WIFAs ... weren't heat moldable
 
 
Essentially all boots are heat moldable to some degree:
http://mgrunes.com/boots/BootExpert.html 

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Post Title: my head is spinning just reading all this.
Posted: 01-11-2010, 01:46 PM

 My DD (just turned 11; very petite, only 62lbs) is in a riedell F21 book with upgraded Jubilee blade for almost 2 years. her foot has not grown, and probably wont wont grow too much more.(highly doubtful she will be more than a women's 5). She is just entering No Test A (had an injury that held her back for 3 months). I am concerned about eventual breakdown versus outgrowing the skates, so I am starting to look. The older Riedells seem to be on clearance in places (medalion, star, etc). What would be a good boot without being too "stiff" for her size? WE want to stick with Riedell. Also, to take her to Axel and probably pre preliminary, a blade? Can you put the blades recommended here on Riedells? Her coach is really not that great a coach in terms of recommending skates (but excellent in terms of patience and putting routines together).

Thanks! 

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Posted: 01-11-2010, 02:42 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by felixdacat 
My DD (just turned 11; very petite, only 62lbs) is in a riedell F21 book with upgraded Jubilee blade for almost 2 years. her foot has not grown, and probably wont wont grow too much more.(highly doubtful she will be more than a women's 5). She is just entering No Test A (had an injury that held her back for 3 months). I am concerned about eventual breakdown versus outgrowing the skates, so I am starting to look. The older Riedells seem to be on clearance in places (medalion, star, etc). What would be a good boot without being too "stiff" for her size? WE want to stick with Riedell. Also, to take her to Axel and probably pre preliminary, a blade? Can you put the blades recommended here on Riedells? Her coach is really not that great a coach in terms of recommending skates (but excellent in terms of patience and putting routines together).

Thanks!
 
 
You can put any blade on any boot that is sold without blades (I wont comment on replacing blades on boots that are sold with as I don't have much experience with them). The store you purchase from will select the proper length of blade for the size of skate purchased. They will also typically help with recommendations of model of boot appropriate for the skaters size, weight and skill level. 

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Posted: 01-11-2010, 04:38 PM

 The old Riedell 55/355 (Silver Star) is an excellent boot for lightweight skaters. I mean the one that has a gray lining and gel that warms to the foot as the boot is worn. I'm not even sure you can find that boot anymore, but if you do, it's wonderful. 

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Posted: 01-11-2010, 04:52 PM

 I have Silver Stars! I love them, but they are too heavy for me now with the re-excision in my calf. I don't think I've even broken them in, LOL! 

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Posted: 01-11-2010, 07:26 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8rdad59 
You can put any blade on any boot that is sold without blades (I wont comment on replacing blades on boots that are sold with as I don't have much experience with them).
 
 
You can swap blades on leather soled boots easily - just make sure the pro shop plugs the holes and drills new ones. If they get lazy and try to reuse holes, it can cause a blade to warp. It's a PITA to spin or do three turns on poorly mounted blades, so find a good fitter.

I recently found out that many of the higher-end blades have sole plate holes that are drilled by eye, so the fitter has to be careful even when they're replacing an old blade with the same model and size new blade. I never knew that before.

Some people have said replacing blades on PVC-bottom boots is doable, but I can't think of a single figure skating expert who would agree to do it. I think plugging and redrilling the holes is an obstacle.

MK Double Star blades are inexpensive and have a good rocker for spins, according to my DDs. I just moved them up to JW Coronation Ace blades and they love them! One of my daughters has been landing full revolution jumps with ease since the upgrade. 

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Posted: 01-12-2010, 04:25 AM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by Isk8NYC 
Some people have said replacing blades on PVC-bottom boots is doable, but I can't think of a single figure skating expert who would agree to do it. I think plugging and redrilling the holes is an obstacle.
 
 
"Some people" would include me. I think the reason my fitter was able to change out the blades on my DD's Mystiques might be that the holes from the rec blade on those boots bore no correlation to the holes on the plates of the new blades he fitted, so he was screwing into virgin PVC? 

Query
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Posted: 01-12-2010, 12:08 PM

 I have added info on plugging holes to mount new blades or remount old ones to http://mgrunes.com/boots/BootBlade.html

Hope that helps. 

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Posted: 01-12-2010, 01:14 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by aussieskater 
"Some people" would include me. I think the reason my fitter was able to change out the blades on my DD's Mystiques might be that the holes from the rec blade on those boots bore no correlation to the holes on the plates of the new blades he fitted, so he was screwing into virgin PVC?
 
 
That makes sense. I did ask a few people in the business and found that it really isn't standard practice on PVC soles. 

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Posted: 01-12-2010, 02:21 PM

 A PVC sole usually (always) means factory mounted blades. We've had issues with factory mounts being crooked/misaligned, or the bottom of the heel not being perfectly flat. On good quality skates too (Riedell for example).

You then have 3 choices: 1) return them; 2) fix them or 3) skate on them and have problems. Returning isn't always practical, and you may get another bad mount anyways.

Our fitter was able to take off the blades, shave down the PVC, and then remount the blade properly aligned. He's one of the best in the industry, and is used by the highest level skaters in Canada (and elsewhere), and thus is amazingly good at what he does.

I will add the caveat: this is for a tiny skater. I would hesitate to puncture PVC in multiple places for a heavier skater landing jumps; I could see the heel fracturing along the holes. 

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Posted: 01-19-2010, 06:36 PM

 whats a good blade for a collegiate synchronized skating team? practicing 4-7 times a week 

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Posted: 01-20-2010, 02:54 PM

 Shoe Goo says it sticks to PVC, so I think it would work. I've used it to fill holes on leather and rubber sole skates.

No reason not to try.

A good coach or fitter would know if the blades are too short for the new skates and feet. 

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Posted: 01-20-2010, 03:02 PM

 Quote:
Originally Posted by lilskater14 
whats a good blade for a collegiate synchronized skating team? practicing 4-7 times a week
 
 
Aren't most at this level into synchro blades? Many companies make them, and I would imagine at that point it's a matter of preference. (Kind of like Gold Seal vs. Pattern 99. A skater has to decide which they like better, neither is suited better towards elite skating)