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1
The Pro Shop / Re: CW crossovers and foot sliding
« Last post by Query on Today at 04:35:42 PM »
Apparently, many makers and developers of new hockey and hockey training technologies give free samples to NHL teams and players. The NHL teams and players try them out, and reject most of them, but that doesn't stop the makers from advertising that they have been used by NHL teams and players. You can find many examples.

One way to evaluate those technologies is to see how many actual NHL teams and players are CURRENTLY using them during games and training.

I think you were thinking of T blades. I've seen quite a few on local rinks, they were all freestylers though. You swap the blades out rather than get them resharpened. They are noisy, very noisy!

I would think the noise could be overcome by a re-design.

But https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnFkMz5qHUQ suggests that not many NHL players use them, and that they have some advantages. OTOH, the poster thinks they also have some disadvantages. If they do in fact cost more than sharpening normal hockey blades, and have so little metal that nicks effectively destroy them, I would assume those are pretty big problems, for most players.

Especially since they can get some of the same advantages by buying multiple interchangeable blades, and bringing them all to the skate tech for sharpening at once. Have you thought about doing that yourself?

Is there something about Freestyle which makes T-blades especially desirable?

It's odd, but I haven't seen any (hockey) Freestyle competitions around my current rink.

You might want to Google Marsbade, a new kind of ice hockey blade and holder which allows the blade to rock. This allows the blade to maintain contact with the ice surface for longer during a skaters stride. I think the principle is not unlike some speed skates, where the blade is attached to the holder at one end only.

Fascinating! But as with T-blades, unless Marsblade holders, which are still under development, find their way onto real NHL players most of the time, I'm going to assume there are downsides - e.g., a loss of control.

I'm also not clear why you can't achieve the same thing with an appropriate rocker profile, with less weight and fewer things to go wrong. I.E., as the embedded rocking mechanism rocks, that effectively just creates a modified rocker profile, but without precise control, doesn't it? Or am I missing something?

One would also hope they aren't nearly as dangerous as speed skating click blades, which are banned from short-track racing (where racers interact a lot) for precisely that reason, though they are now nearly universal among seriously competitive long-track speed skaters. But it looks like there is a scissors-like action. Maybe hockey leagues will outlaw them?

2
The Pro Shop / Re: CW crossovers and foot sliding
« Last post by Leif on Today at 08:27:36 AM »
I think you were thinking of T blades. I've seen quite a few on local rinks, they were all freestylers though. You swap the blades out rather than get them resharpened. They are noisy, very noisy!

You might want to Google Marsbade, a new kind of ice hockey blade and holder which allows the blade to rock. This allows the blade to maintain contact with the ice surface for longer during a skaters stride. I think the principle is not unlike some speed skates, where the blade is attached to the holder at one end only.
3
The Pro Shop / Re: Coronation ace vs Gold star blades
« Last post by Query on December 12, 2017, 04:42:40 PM »
BTW, I'm not as high level a skater as you either. I've used Coronation ace, and a few other blades, but not Gold Star, Gold Seal, or Pattern 99.

lyssykw, one way or another, you have to gamble. If your coach has frequently recommended Ultima Freestyles, I personally would assume that your coach has gotten positive feedback on that recommendation, and that it has frequently led to the specific positive results the coach seeks for you. Also that it works fairly well with the skating techniques your coach advocates. That doesn't necessarily mean they are 100% certain the best possible choice for you, because your anatomy is not your coach's anatomy, but, unless you have reason to assume otherwise, I would assume it a more likely good bet than staying with what you've got, though an expensive bet.  You might well have a significant transition period, because of the change in rocker radii - but it is a change your coach is advocating for you.

(OTOH, I believe Doubletoe is also an experienced coach, whose recommendations have presumably also worked well with her students.)

Speaking of expensive, Ultima Freestyle blades are also available in the premium cost Matrix line.

  http://www.jacksonultima.com/en/Index.aspx?product=Ek78qFaLrZECV75YEHHHgA1A2B3C4D5E1A2B3C4D5E

which are AUS 8 stainless steel. Some of us have found that stainless steel lasts longer and retains edges longer, has fewer rust issues, and feel that it is well worth the extra cost. The Matrix line is also somewhat lighter than the other Ultima lines. But check first with your skate tech to find out if he/she can sharpen Matrix blades, because some sharpening equipment doesn't fit them - he/she needs a special gig. (Likewise for Paramount.)

Many skate techs say that Ultima (and Paramount) blades have fewer problems with blade warp and unintended variations in initial blade shape than MK/Wilson blades like Gold Seals and Gold Stars. All the skate techs I have asked have said Ultima reasonably high end blades are very well made (they also sell very cheap beginner and rental blades, which I won't similarly praise), so you don't need to worry about that, if that has been your main issue.

Of course, in the end, it is your risk and your decision.

"The king of spin" sounds like marketing hype. I assume it is meant to imply that Gold Seal typically spins better than some of the other Wilson blades, and possibly MK blades (same company and factory now, but different models and marketing), but I wonder how well that extends to other brands.

High end Olympic caliber skaters most often use Wilson or MK blades, but it is also true that MK/Wilson has had a long term policy of giving away blades to elite level skaters and coaches, and have been around a long time, so it is hard to know how much that means. Last I knew, Ultimas and Riedells were gaining in popularity among the general figure skating population over MK and Wilson, including in the U.S.
4
Media Center / Re: I, Tonya -- 1994 FS Scandal Biopic
« Last post by lutefisk on December 12, 2017, 02:11:32 PM »
Looking at the Huff Post link leaves me wondering:  Is I, Tonya a "musical" or a "comedy"?  I don't see any mention of it under best original score or song and I'll bet Nancy K. isn't laughing.
5
Media Center / Re: I, Tonya -- 1994 FS Scandal Biopic
« Last post by lutefisk on December 12, 2017, 02:05:43 PM »
The I, Tonya film and the lead actress have been nominated for a Golden Globe award.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/2018-golden-globe-nominations_us_5a27124de4b044d16725998c?utm_hp_ref=golden-globes

And we all thought public sessions were already getting crowded--after seeing this movie everybody and their brother will be out down at the rink!
6
The Pro Shop / Re: CW crossovers and foot sliding
« Last post by Query on December 12, 2017, 02:02:37 PM »
I'm not trying to push you away. Just saying that other forums have more people who know about hockey. So I would at least suggest you try hockey forums too, and not try to learn everything here. Some of the ideas here might help - but you might want ideas from hockey people too.

E.g., and this is just from me, who doesn't play hockey: Hockey players worry a lot about the position of the balance point (the flatest rocker) in the center, whose position is ideally something like a mm or two back, I think, for defensive players, who mostly skate backwards, relative to that for offensive players, who mostly skate forwards. Hockey players also want a fairly flat profile in the center, for better glide, stopping and acceleration - and the ideal rocker profile is, according to Blademaster, different for American NHL size rinks (I think typically 9' - 13' in the center) than for European/Olympic size rinks (some fast hockey Olympic rink players prefer an infinite rocker - completely flat - in the center), because Olympic size rinks give you more room to reach high speeds. Yet hockey players need a gradual transition to more rocker curvature at the ends, to do faster turns, and maybe for other maneuvers. Which in turn must mean there are a lot of concerns with balance while using those ends, which must in turn modify the ideal rocker profiles at the ends. Some hockey turns are done in which the end of one skate drags on the ice, which might also change that ideal profile. Compare this to figure skating rocker profiles, which are constant over most of the blade, but transition through an abrupt sweet spot to a "spin rocker" radius up front - and some blades have two sweet spots up front. Yet "beginner" figure skating blades are sometimes made with somewhat hockey-like rocker profiles - flatter in the center, more curvature at the ends, especially up front.

Hockey players need their edges to be quite durable, for many reasons. They couldn't care less about making clean pretty edges, with no noise or snow, which is a very big deal in figure skating. They need much stronger stops and reversals. They are constantly walking or hopping quickly on and off the ice, without blade guards. Unlike figure skating, many hockey jumps are sideways - I have no idea what that means for your edges.

Most hockey players use inside more than outside edges, which might modify how you want to sharpen. Perhaps that means you start with a longer inside edge? I haven't found any references that say that, and those I have found say otherwise, but it would make sense. Many hockey referees use outside more than inside, to jump out of the way faster, so a some refs ask techs for longer outside edges.

One fairly popular skate tech told me that even the materials can be different - some hockey skaters prefer softer steel blades, because they can initially take a sharper edge, even though that edge wears out faster. (I don't quite understand why softer steel can take a sharper edge. Do hard edges chip or break off when abraded?) And blade rust is a less of a concern, if like some hockey players, you have to replace your blades every few months. Perhaps keeping the sides of your blade smooth, by lubrication while sharpening, might be a lost cause, if other skaters are constantly smashing into your blades? - I'm not sure. Plus, you need to straighten your blades out after such collisions.

Given all these differences, and others that must exist that I don't know about, it would be hard for most figure skaters to completely understand all the fine points and requirements of sharpening for hockey.

With regard to sharpening equipment, hand tools can be a lot cheaper, smaller, and lighter (a small fraction of a pound) than power tools, and you don't need A/C power - if you are willing to learn how to use them. E.g., if you can live with .5" ROH, I would suggest you start with the old Berghman skate sharpeners, available for as little as $5 used on eBay (the 1950's models ones are more expensive, but have more durable stones than the older ones), combined with a flat stone for re-pointing burrs or deburring. So what if it takes you several minutes / skate to do the job? It's not like you are sharpening for your whole team. It's a major convenience to be able to fit your equipment in your skate bag. The stones on the Berghmans aren't fine enough grain to give an extreme super-sharp foil edge, but they can be at least as sharp as what ordinary pro shops will give, and fine grain stones work slower. Besides, I'm not sure you want a super-sharp foil edge for hockey, because it isn't as durable. (Except for the constraint of only having been made for .5" ROH, and stone grain and durability, Bergman sharpeners were, IMO, a much better design than modern Pro-Filers.)

You can, BTW, find hockey blades with replaceable edges. The runners stay in place, but somehow the edge slides on and off. I don't know exactly how that works, or how well. But I don't think they need sharpening, if you replace them often enough.
7
The Pro Shop / Re: Coronation ace vs Gold star blades
« Last post by tstop4me on December 12, 2017, 01:27:39 PM »
I'm not really sure anymore! The ultimas are all so much cheaper than the other high level models, like $300 cheaper! So maybe I will end up getting them.  :-\

<<Emphasis added>>

Some manufacturers have extensive lines; other manufacturers have limited lines.  So be sure to compare prices of comparable (though not identical) models.  Here are prices from one major online supplier:

MK Phantom (traditional carbon steel):  $499
Ultima Freestyle (traditional carbon steel with E-X-T hardened edge):  $319.95
Ultima Freestyle (Matrix version with AUS 8 stainless steel runner):  $499.95

MK Gold Star (traditional carbon steel):  $525
(No Ultima version in traditional carbon steel available)
Ultima Nova (Matrix version with AUS 8 stainless steel runner):  $519.95

Again, if there are specific blade parameters (such as spin rocker) of MK or Wilson models that are important to you, verify what they are for comparable models from other manufacturers (comparable can mean anything at all to the marketing guys).
8
The Pro Shop / Re: Question on pain along inner side of foot
« Last post by Query on December 12, 2017, 12:47:00 PM »
BTW, I suppose it is possible that what I see as an inward warp, could just be the shape of her feet, and have been produced by the heat mold, rather than a sign that they are breaking down and not supporting her feet any more.

I have mixed feelings about flex notches. It's possible they make the boot break down sooner. OTOH, they can obviously make a boot more comfortable. I eventually had notches cut in my Klingbeils, and it helped.

I think 1 year lifetime is fairly plausible for good custom fit boots (which should last longer, due to better fit), with the number of hours of presumably-freestyle skating she is doing. I've heard (I think that was from Mike Cunningham too) that 18-24 months is more typical for good properly custom fit boots, used for Freestyle, on people whose feet are no longer growing, but there is a substantial range of variation for different athletes. It's an unfortunate fact of life that good athletic equipment designed for optimal performance can't last forever. Extremely high boot lifetime also isn't compatible with ideal comfort, lightness and functionality. For example, I was once told that for Harlick's lightest boots (which were lighter than Edeas), 6 months might be more typical lifetime.

Sure, some people's, including mine, last longer. But I don't jump much, and probably am not as strong as a good athlete, even a young lady. I had single layer Risport boots break down in a few weeks. (Possibly because I was taught to use deep ice dance edges.) (They were used, but showed no signs of wear whatsoever - the kid must have been growing very fast.) But I've gone back to my approximately 13 year old Klingbeil Dance boots, that must have a few thousand hours on them by now. But must of what I've done on them is more or less ice dance, NOT freestyle. And Klingbeils, which were essentially all leather, were heavy boots made of very durable materials, that were expected to last a long time. Plus, mine were rebuilt by Klingbeil, after 6 years. They are now quite broken down, but are finally comfortable as long as I don't try anything beyond an occasional Waltz jump, and are sufficient for what I mostly do. When I was trying to jump more, they weren't adequate. If I needed extra sideways support against pronation or supination, I suspect they wouldn't be adequate for that either.

I tried SuperFeet (both the shoe and skate models) and a number of other brands of insole, in skates, shoes, hiking boots, and XC Ski boots. The problem with SuperFeet, etc., is that they are a specific shape, which might not happen to be what your DD needs, to make her particular feet work with her particular boots. The end result is that some people love them, and some people hate them. And also means that most people have to adjust their shape a fair bit to get a really good fit - which, done right, is about as much work as making your own insoles from raw materials, like foam, but SuperFeet are much more expensive than raw materials.

The worst, from a customization perspective, were gel-filled insoles. They weren't stable enough for precision edges, and you can't cut into them to make adjustments without loosing the gel. OTOH, they might have been fine for walking or running shoes, or XC boots.

I tried one type of heat mold-able rigid insole - I forget the brand. They worked moderately well for a short while, but eventually pushed out those boots at the bottom. Though, again, those were single-layer boots. Good quality double layer leather boots, with an additional stiffening layer in between, like any high level boots have, would have undoubtedly lasted longer. That caused them to wear out and be too wide for my feet quite quickly, and they eventually started rocking and being unstable. I concluded that I would never try heat molded insoles again.

I've concluded that making your own insoles, completely customized to your feet and body, works better than any insole or consumer market "orthotic" you can buy - IF AND ONLY IF you have the foot sensitivity to feel where the high and low pressure points are on your feet, how your feet are deforming as you skate, and the analytic skill to figure out what you individually need your insoles to do. It gets more complicated if your daughter isn't mature enough to do that herself, and you have to do it for her, because she still has to be able to describe to you precisely what she feels, and if she lacks the sensitive or analytic skill to do that, it can't completely work, no matter how hard you try. Maybe if you had the pressure sensitive socks that some podiatrists use (they connect to a computer) to map out pressure points, as their customers move - but I'm not even sure that non-medical people can buy them, the total set up must be expensive, and you'd have to learn how to use it.

However, completely customized boots, like I think Harlick is capable of making, if both the fit and post-production final adjustments are done by someone who really knows what they are doing, like Harlick's own factory reps (one of whom, Phil[?], I think, used to be their master boot maker), ARE, in effect, fully customized orthotics (which are the same thing as custom insoles, but are made or modified by a professional), specifically designed to work with her feet. So, at least at first, if all that is done completely right, she wouldn't need different insoles than they came with - and they could theoretically be even better than making her own insoles, because the customization could cover the entire feet. So, if she does need new boots, I encourage you to take her to to Phil (if I remember the name right), or to the factory store, for both initial custom fit and post-production adjustments.

Hope things work out!
9
Media Center / Re: I, Tonya -- 1994 FS Scandal Biopic
« Last post by Isk8NYC on December 12, 2017, 10:22:47 AM »
The I, Tonya film and the lead actress have been nominated for a Golden Globe award.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/2018-golden-globe-nominations_us_5a27124de4b044d16725998c?utm_hp_ref=golden-globes

10
The Pro Shop / Re: Coronation ace vs Gold star blades
« Last post by lyssykw on December 12, 2017, 12:12:48 AM »
Wow, thanks for the detailed post tstop4me  :)

Yes I do have a coach and he has recommended Ultima Freestyles. I hadn't really considered anything other than MK or JW as I have no experience with the newer brands and I don't know many people who wear them. My coach is Canadian so maybe slightly biased to Jackson Ultima  ;)
 It seems to me that the Freestyle has a similar profile to MK Phantom, which I had briefly as a child, though I don't remember what they felt like. The toepick looks huge on them though!
 The reason that I initially thought of MK Gold Star is because they are marketed as 'the king of spin' and I thought that sounded like a good idea for me, as spins are definitely an area that I would like to improve.

I'm not really sure anymore! The ultimas are all so much cheaper than the other high level models, like $300 cheaper! So maybe I will end up getting them.  :-\
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