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Author Topic: Help with blade sizing!  (Read 175 times)

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Offline theiceprincess

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Help with blade sizing!
« on: March 27, 2017, 07:55:20 AM »
I've recently purchased a pair of Risport boots (traditional leather heel, not Cuban heel). The sole length is exactly 9 1/2" long and I want to know:

(1) Should I purchase a blade that fits flush from toe to heel (9 1/2" blade) or leave a 1/4" gap on the end of my heel and get 9 1/4" blades?
(2) How important is tail length? Will 1/4" make much difference to my skating? (I'm learning flip and Lutz jumps at the moment)

I've heard people around me tell me opposite things, and just thought I'd seek some more opinions! :)

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Help with blade sizing!
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2017, 08:28:59 AM »
If you're not expecting to grow, go with 9-1/4", leaving the 1/4" gap at the heel.
If you're still growing, go with end-to-end - 9-1/2".  You might be able to move the blade to the new boot down the road, saving some money.

I've changed blade lengths by 1/4" several times because, as you say, different fitters have different opinions.  Frankly, I never noticed the extra tail length.
It's more important to get the toepicks and rocker in the right spot at the front of the foot. 
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Offline theiceprincess

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Re: Help with blade sizing!
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2017, 09:14:41 AM »
My feet have stopped growing since a few years ago, so might have to go with the 9 1/4" blades!

Do you know if there is a particular reason why skaters/fitters choose to mount blades 1/4" less than the sole length vs. flush toe to heel?

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Help with blade sizing!
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2017, 09:33:29 AM »
Primarily, end-to-end allows the blade to be moved to a slightly-larger boot if the skater grows, making it more economical and reducing adjustment time on the second pair.

One fitter I used felt that on boots where the upper extends beyond the sole, the blade should be fitted end-to-end so that the rocker is aligned front-to-back properly.
At the time, I had Klingbeil skates like these:



To be honest, I didn't think the difference was significant when I changed from 1/4" shorter to end-to-end.  Turned out that the boot sole wasn't level in the first place, so I wasted several hundred dollars changing blades.


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Offline tstop4me

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Re: Help with blade sizing!
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2017, 11:32:19 AM »
Some skate techs don't care to have a portion of the sole plate or heel plate of the blade jutting out beyond the sole or heel of the boot.  If the blade length is exactly the same length as the boot, and the blade position needs to be shifted to position the spin rocker, then some portion of a mounting plate will jut out.  If the blade is 1/4" shorter, you have some wiggle room.

Offline Query

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Re: Help with blade sizing!
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2017, 02:48:53 PM »
It sounds like you are on the borderline between two sizes of the standard advice, and the standard would say you might go with either, but would probably say go long, if you aren't growing. Not that I am a fan of the standard advice, since the outsole length and placement does not always reflect your personal anatomy.

Here is a question: Is there a significant amount of space inside the boot in front of your toes? If so, you might actually be better off leaving a mounting gap near the toes, because the length of the outsole doesn't correctly model your anatomy, making it harder for your toes to press down on the front, and it will be somewhat harder for you to roll to the toe pick. (BTW, that completely contradicts the standard advice, which says the forward mounting plate should flush with the front of the outsole.)

If there is a gap between your heel and the back of the boot where it should touch, I think you do want a roughly equivalent amount of space back there. However, space behind your heel inside the boot could be a serious problem in controlling the boot - you probably need to fill that space with foam or something to get better control, regardless of how you size and mount your blade.

BTW, when I picked a blade that was shorter than what I had had by 1/2", it made a huge difference - the tail dragged, and slowed me down a lot. Not sure if 1/4" would be that big a deal, especially if you are between sizes.

For exact mounting position, another criteria, which I believe to be more important, is that you want the sweet spot - the point where the blade changes rocker curvature - to be directly below, or possibly a mm or two in front of, the ball of your foot (where it bends most easily; the exact optimal placement for you might be a matter of experiment). Anywhere else, and it is hard to control what your foot is doing when the blade is on the sweet spot, which is about where you are supposed to do many turns and spins. That might well affect where you should mount the blade(s). (I'm assuming, because you are asking here, that you don't have an expert enough skate tech to move the sweet spot.)

AFAIK, Wilson blades have two sweet spots up front - I'm not sure exactly why, and am not sure exactly how you should line them up - maybe your ball should be halfway in between - so forward turns can use the front sweet spot, and backwards turns can be a little further back?? You might ask your coach, but a lot of coaches wouldn't know. (It's been a long time since I used Wilson blades, and my skate tech of the time messed up a lot of things, so this isn't from personal experience. For all I know they have two sweet spots to try to best cover multiple foot anatomies.)

Offline theiceprincess

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Re: Help with blade sizing!
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2017, 06:58:09 PM »
My boot fits like a glove! Heel fits snuggly in the back and the tip of my toes just barely touching the front inside of the boot.