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Author Topic: Coronation ace vs Gold star blades  (Read 242 times)

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Offline lyssykw

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Coronation ace vs Gold star blades
« on: December 06, 2017, 04:52:57 AM »
Hi Everyone,
                  Just wondering if anyone has any experience skating on both Coronation Ace and MK Gold stars? I currently skate in Coronation Ace blades and have done since I was a teenager (I'm now an adult skater). However, I'm now looking at possibly stepping up in blades since I am going to be working on double jumps. I was thinking of getting MK Gold stars, as they still have a 7ft rocker, so I'm hoping there wouldn't be too much difference and adjustment period.
 There is a big price difference in the two blades, so I'm not sure whether it is worth spending the extra. However, I'm interested to hear what people think of Gold stars?
 Most skaters at my rink use Gold Seals, regardless of their level. There are some low level skaters who skate in gold seals and swear by them, however I don't know how I would go changing to an 8ft rocker after spending so long with the Ace.
 Has anyone used Gold stars and Coronation Ace? How did they compare? Did they make any significant difference to your skating?

Thanks :)

Offline Doubletoe

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Re: Coronation ace vs Gold star blades
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 01:54:41 PM »
The overall rocker radius (7' vs 8') is not the biggest adjustment when you change blade models.  The biggest adjustment is the difference in rocker profile, i.e., the specific curve of the front half of the blade that affects your spins and edge jump takeoffs.  If you are determined to "upgrade" to a more expensive blade, what you want is a blade that has a similar rocker profile to your Coronation Ace, and I believe that blade would be the Pattern 99.

The difference between a 7' and 8' rocker is that the 8' rocker blade is flatter from the arch of the foot to the heel, which gives you better glide and better stability on jump landings.  The adjustment I needed to make when I went from a 7' to 8' blade (Gold Star to Gold Seal, in my case) was just getting used to putting my weight farther back on the blade when skating backwards to adjust for the flatter heel of the blade.  Overall, the change to an 8' radius blade turned out to be a good one for me and I would never go back to a 7' blade now.

Offline lyssykw

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Re: Coronation ace vs Gold star blades
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 08:42:10 PM »
Thanks for your input Doubletoe! I actually hadn't even considered the Pattern 99, but I will check it out.

Now I'm wondering whether I should just stick with the Coro Ace after all! Having skated on them for so long, I don't know whether I'll regret changing blade. Surely, after some adjustment period, one can get used to any blade!

It is such a hard decision  :-\ :-\

Online Live2Sk8

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Re: Coronation ace vs Gold star blades
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 11:11:36 AM »
I'm going through the same thought process as lyssykw but with MK Professionals as the current blade instead of Coronation Aces.  I have heard that the Coronation Ace and MK Professional are very similar - so Doubletoe, would Pattern 99 be your same suggestion for someone upgrading from MK Professional - to go to Pattern 99 instead of Gold Star?  What about MK Vision? 

Lyssykw, I will be interested to hear what you ultimately decide. 

Offline tstop4me

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Re: Coronation ace vs Gold star blades
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 05:44:38 PM »
Thanks for your input Doubletoe! I actually hadn't even considered the Pattern 99, but I will check it out.

Now I'm wondering whether I should just stick with the Coro Ace after all! Having skated on them for so long, I don't know whether I'll regret changing blade. Surely, after some adjustment period, one can get used to any blade!

It is such a hard decision  :-\ :-\
Your original post specifically addressed a comparison of Coronation Ace and Gold Star blades.  I have skated with Coronation Ace, but not with Gold Star, so I haven’t responded up to now.  But since you’re the OP and have opened the bounds of the discussion, I feel I can discuss my recent upgrade experience without being guilty of thread drift.

(1) Yes, it is a hard, and expensive, decision to upgrade from an intermediate blade to an advanced blade.  Intermediate blades are typically in the ~$200 range (with exceptions); whereas advanced blades are typically in the ~$500 – $600 range (with exceptions).  And with one exception, you can’t test drive a blade (the exception is Eclipse:  you can return a blade for a full refund within a 60-day trial period; I think that’s a great marketing strategy ... wish other manufacturers would follow suit).  Not many skaters (including coaches and skate techs) have direct personal experience with a variety of blades; so it’s hard to get advice.  And which blade is best depends strongly on the individual skater anyway; so what’s best for your coach, skate tech, or fellow skater may not be what’s best for you.

(2) With advanced blades, there are a large number of parameters to consider.   These include (not an exhaustive list):

(a) Main rocker radius
(b) Spin rocker radius
(c) Pick design and placement
(d) Heel length
(e) Longitudinal blade geometry (parallel, tapered, parabolic, and combo parabolic and tapered)
(f) Transverse  blade geometry (planar, concave side-honed, and dovetail side-honed)
(g) Blade thickness
(h) Stanchion height
(i) Runner (edge) material (various grades of carbon steel, various grades of stainless steel, and one unusual titanium alloy)
(j) Blade body and mounting plate material (various grades of carbon steel, various grades of stainless steel, aluminum alloy, titanium alloy, and carbon-fiber composite)
(k) Overall blade construction and method for attaching the runner to the blade body and mounting plates.

So you see, there’s a lot more than just the main rocker radius to be concerned about.  Which parameters are important to your skating is an open question.

I’m not as advanced a skater as you.  I don’t jump at all these days (most I ever did were half jumps);  I concentrate on edge work and trying hard to get a good scratch spin.  I skated many years on Coronation Ace, then switched to the Eclipse Aurora (also 7’ radius main rocker, but a flatter spin rocker).  I recently upgraded to the Paramount Freestyle 12”; similar to (but not identical to) the Wilson Gold Seal, with an 8’ radius main rocker and a 12” radius spin rocker.  My coach really loves Gold Seals, especially the spin rocker, and recommends that her students upgrade to them once they have enough edge control.  Until recently, I haven’t upgraded since I didn’t want to spring for the $$$, and I figured I didn’t need them since I don’t jump.  But she convinced me that I’d do better with the small radius spin rocker.  I chose Paramount instead because it offers a blade with a 12” radius spin rocker in 440C stainless steel.

I’ve just completed 10 sessions (1.5 hrs each) on the Paramounts.  With respect to edge work performed on the main rocker, there was surprisingly an instant noticeable difference between the 7’ radius and the 8’ radius. 

The first was the increased glide (increased speed and distance per push), on straight and curved trajectories and on cross-overs, both forwards and backwards.  Before, at times, I had trouble completing a full circle on a single push-off during figure 8’s.  No longer.  When practicing cross-overs along a full circle or along a figure 8 pattern across two end-zone circles, I have to deliberately slow down; else, I pick up too much speed.

The second was the increased stability.  I can do deeper knee bends and ankle bends, lean deeper into edges, and lean backwards more strongly.  It’s hard to describe, but I just feel more control ... I feel less likely to fall off an edge or off the heel.  I do regular practice drills with consecutive edges (outside and inside edges, forwards and backwards), and they are all tighter and smoother now. 

So, with respect to edge work on the main rocker, I’m really happy with the 8’ radius instead of the 7’ radius.  I wouldn’t switch back, and now I wish I had switched earlier.  Again, I’m (pleasantly) surprised at the results.  In summary, in considering options for an advanced blade, perhaps you shouldn’t limit yourself to a 7’ radius main rocker.  Caveat:  Not sure how the larger radius would affect a camel spin; perhaps someone else could address that.  At your level, I assume you're working with a coach?  You should ask your coach for compelling reasons why you should upgrade (or not).




Offline lyssykw

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Re: Coronation ace vs Gold star blades
« Reply #5 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.  :-\

Offline tstop4me

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Re: Coronation ace vs Gold star blades
« Reply #6 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).

Offline Query

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Re: Coronation ace vs Gold star blades
« Reply #7 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.