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1
The Pro Shop / Re: Jackson Debut Boot
« Last post by Sibelius on Today at 12:13:33 PM »
Well, it sounds like there might be more +'s than -'s to trying the Debut Fusion when the time comes.  I hope that with this model turnover that Jackson will keep the line consistent for awhile, at least until she's ready for the next level boots.  It all seemed simple just a few weeks ago, from Elle's to Freestyles.  Now it seems like a bigger change coming up for her.  I guess there's really no optimal time to change boots, just have to get used to them.
2
The Pro Shop / Re: Jackson Debut Boot
« Last post by FigureSpins on Today at 10:30:15 AM »
I've never seen you skate, so I can't tell you what your problem is/was with going forwards, backwards or sideways.  You'd have to look at videos of your skating to see what changed. You might have been gliding way back on the blade while going forward (to prevent tripping) and the heel height change just corrected that error.  It could also be that the old blades were mounted a little too far forward, so the short-blade mounting was more comfortable because it repositioned the rocker.  Maybe one set of blades wasn't aligned correctly.  New skates are stiff - backwards requires more knee bend than forwards.  I will say that it sounds like it's your particular situation, not necessarily a gender-wide issue that can be explained over the internet.  I notice blade length changes - I switched from one length to a shorter length (same boots/same blade model) and found that the rocker was too far forward for my taste.  It took a while to get my turns back in control.
3
The Pro Shop / Re: Jackson Debut Boot
« Last post by tstop4me on December 17, 2017, 10:30:44 PM »
You're asking for yourself, right?  I haven't seen that happen to any of my male skaters, buuuuut, I drill all my skaters on being upright while doing back crossovers and setting up jumps.  My guess would be that (without your awareness) you tended to lean forward when skating backward in your Riedells, and the higher heel on the Jacksons pushed you even more forward.  As a result, you were skating more on the front of the blade than before, maybe even a little hunch-backed.  What felt like "drastically sitting back" might have been the original desired posture.  You could compare videos of your skating before/after the boot change to confirm my guess. 

Just out of curiosity: did you change blades at the same time?  If that's the case, you just have to get used to the new gear and adjust your skating accordingly.
Hi, thanks for the response.  The blades were the same (Coronation Ace), but 1/2" shorter on the Jacksons than on the Riedells, due to different boot sizings.  I talked to two male skate techs at my pro shop (both were former elite competitors and former pro skaters, now coaches), and they both told me they had the same experience when switching over to boots with higher heel pitch.  I understand that the higher heel pitch would pitch you more forward and that you would have to lean backward more to compensate.  But I would have expected this to be true when stroking forward as well as stroking backward.  Whereas, I distinctly remember when I first hit the ice with the Jacksons, I noticed very little change when stroking forwards, but, when going backwards, it was "Whoa!  What's going on? Why am I practically skating tippy-toe?"  So I thought something was seriously out of wack, and went back to the pro shop, where the guys told me that was typical until I adjusted to the new heel pitch.  But never got a good explanation of why backwards but not forwards.  I was fine after two weeks (10 sessions); I'm just curious about the mechanics.
4
The Pro Shop / Re: Jackson Debut Boot
« Last post by Isk8NYC on December 17, 2017, 08:39:06 PM »
Thanks for the more detailed explanation.  Do you have an explanation of why (at least for a guy) the higher-pitched heel initially has a pronounced effect on backward stroking, but not forward stroking?

You're asking for yourself, right?  I haven't seen that happen to any of my male skaters, buuuuut, I drill all my skaters on being upright while doing back crossovers and setting up jumps.  My guess would be that (without your awareness) you tended to lean forward when skating backward in your Riedells, and the higher heel on the Jacksons pushed you even more forward.  As a result, you were skating more on the front of the blade than before, maybe even a little hunch-backed.  What felt like "drastically sitting back" might have been the original desired posture.  You could compare videos of your skating before/after the boot change to confirm my guess. 

Just out of curiosity: did you change blades at the same time?  If that's the case, you just have to get used to the new gear and adjust your skating accordingly.
5
The Pro Shop / Re: Jackson Debut Boot
« Last post by Query on December 17, 2017, 07:54:33 PM »
Since people ask about high heels: When I, many, many moons ago, got high heels (about 2.25", if I recall right, but am not sure) on an Ice Dance boot (I was told by the dubiously competent fitter that Ice Dancers needed very high heels), it hurt so much it was virtually impossible to skate - had to send it back to the manufacturer to lower the heels. But I'm a guy, and my feet aren't very flexible. In particular, they can't point much. It also left me no flexibility room to point my foot even more, to initiate turns and such.

I've wondered whether I would be happier skating with a fully horizontal footbed. I love sandals like that, and I don't like much of a heel in shoes in general. But of course, walking isn't skating. Hockey and speed skaters often do it - but they aren't spinning, or doing the same types of jumps as figure skaters.

Phil of Harlick once told me that he had just custom fit a ballerina who wanted a flat horizintal footbed in her skates. She wanted them because that's the way most ballet slippers (excepting point shoes, I think) are designed. I have no idea whether the ballerina was pleased with her new skates.

Also, since people ask about men and balance: (Most) men have a substantially higher center of gravity than most women. I guess, that's because most men have wider and more massive shoulders than most women, and most women have wider hips than most men. (In addition, those of us who are heavier than we "should be" tend to have more of a "beer belly" if we are male, but put their fat a little lower, on average, if they are female.) That means that anything that pitches men's weight in one direction, is harder to compensate for. In particular, to be balanced if you are standing still ("static balance"), your center of gravity must be over your base of support. But that isn't completely true for a skater in motion, in part because the ice creates balancing forces on the boot.

There is a classic experiment: You stand about a foot (???) from a wall, legs straight, and lean against it with your forehead. Most women can come back to a standing pose without using their hands or arms, by using a little muscle. Most men physically can't. I may have the details a bit wrong. Also, it is going to depend a lot on your exact distribution of weight, and on the length of your feet (or shoes, I guess). But all the balance exercises in the world can't change the physics of that static balance problem.

What CAN change it is to bend your knees! That takes your center of gravity down, and back, until it is over part of your feet, and then you can be balanced again, with a little muscle use. As skaters, we are very often in better balance if we bend our knees fairly deeply.

So what does that have to do with a Jackson Debut boot? Very little. Nonetheless, if your feet can't point much, you should be cautious about very high heels, when ordering new boots.
6
The Pro Shop / Re: Jackson Debut Boot
« Last post by tstop4me on December 17, 2017, 05:35:24 PM »
...

Higher heels rattle boys and men when they switch.  Some is just the stigma of "men wearing high heels is wrong." I'll not debate that-it's just superstition.

However, because human males have a higher center of gravity than females, changing to a higher heel affects their balance.  (That's also why boys struggle more with spirals and camels vs. girls.)  Balance exercises are critical for adult men to make the transition to a higher heel.  I don't know if the adjustment outweighs the heel benefits.  My suspicion is that men can just improve their balance and foot flex to get the same results the higher heel can bring.
Thanks for the more detailed explanation.  Do you have an explanation of why (at least for a guy) the higher-pitched heel initially has a pronounced effect on backward stroking, but not forward stroking?
7
The Pro Shop / Re: Jackson Debut Boot
« Last post by FigureSpins on December 17, 2017, 03:35:50 PM »
On spins, a higher heel puts the skater further forward on the 3-entrance to hook the spin, once the skater gets used to the balance point.  It also makes holding the "sweet spot" easier since it does pitch weight forward more, as tstop4me mentioned.  The skater doesn't have to consciously lift their heel to stay on that spot.  On jumps, it allows for faster "roll ups" to the toepick for edge jumps, and landings are balanced on the toepick without consciously pointing-and-flexing.  My own kids went from Riedell Bronze Medallions to Jackson Freestyles and the difference was great - you could see the difference.  (They were around 7 years old at the time.)

Higher heels rattle boys and men when they switch.  Some is just the stigma of "men wearing high heels is wrong." I'll not debate that-it's just superstition.

However, because human males have a higher center of gravity than females, changing to a higher heel affects their balance.  (That's also why boys struggle more with spirals and camels vs. girls.)  Balance exercises are critical for adult men to make the transition to a higher heel.  I don't know if the adjustment outweighs the heel benefits.  My suspicion is that men can just improve their balance and foot flex to get the same results the higher heel can bring.
8
The Pro Shop / Re: Rebuilding boots?
« Last post by Loops on December 16, 2017, 11:09:35 PM »
Did you get them rebuilt directly at risport???
9
Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: What is the easiest combination spin?
« Last post by fsk8r on December 16, 2017, 04:27:41 PM »
Oh, that's great to hear! Just be aware that different technical specialists may have different interpretations of what constitutes an "enhancement" of an upright position, since the term is not defined.  I have learned the hard way that whenever something is not clearly defined, the results can vary widely.  For example, I asked two technical specialists how they would call an attempted forward sit/back upright combination where the skater completed the forward sit, but then failed to successfully execute the change of foot into the back upright.  One of them said he would call it as a sit spin but the other said she would give it zero credit since it was clearly an attempt at a CCoSpV that failed to meet the requirements.  Each of them was surprised at the other's answer and neither one knew where to get clarification.  These were both very experienced officials, too!

I find it strange for that example that one would call it as a sit spin. Over here I'm pretty sure all our tech specs are sufficiently harsh that that would call it as a CCoSpV zero credit.
I'm currently working on broken leg to back upright and am busy counting revolutions on both spins to make sure there's sufficient that there's no question in the TS brain about whether the back spin made minimum count.
10
The Pro Shop / Re: Rebuilding boots?
« Last post by nicklaszlo on December 16, 2017, 02:35:56 AM »
Here is my boot rebuilding saga.

I have been wearing Risport RF2 boots.  They cost $600 in Australia.  They are made in Italy and I bought my first pair in Philadelphia and my second pair in Sydney.  Since they have been breaking down rather quickly, I decided to get the first pair rebuilt at Mont Clare Shoe Repair in Chicago.  The first pair had issues with pain in the front of the first metatarsal bone on the inside of the foot before they were rebuilt, and with rubbing at the ankle.  The second pair had issues with the boot tongue sliding down, crushing my toes, despite using the loop to hold the tongue up.  However, both pairs fit a lot better than the Jacksons I used previously.

I got my rebuilt first pair of boots back after several months.  I sent them via Auspost with the cheapest shipping and received them via Shopmate.  By that point my second pair had broken down so that I did not feel very safe jumping in them.  A local blade technician put the blades back on the boots without trouble. 

The boots were rebuilt "as stiff as possible."  Several coaches told me they wouldn't attempt to skate in boots that stiff.  The break-in was more difficult than new boots.  I heat molded the boots several times.  I had to tape my feet because boots rubbed where the additional stiff material made them narrower than they were before.

On the whole I would call the rebuild a success because it was less than half the cost of new, and I won the national championships in the rebuilt boots.  The boots are the right stiffness for me.  The tongue does not slide down.  However, I continue to have issues because the boots hurt on the edge of where the new material was installed.  It's a bit pointy at the edges.  This is most noticeable where the rear of the fifth metatarsal bone sticks out on the outside of my left foot.  I also have pain because the boot is pressing down on the tendon at the base of my right big toe.  However, this appears to be unrelated to the rebuild. 

I have sent my second pair for rebuilding. 

I talked to the Australian Risport distributor about buying a new pair, but they told me my boots were not broken down yet.  I'm not sure why they think they can tell without touching the boots.   
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