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The Pro Shop / Re: Jackson Debut Boot
« Last post by Sibelius on Today at 12:26:09 PM »
I posted on this a couple of days ago.  I'm not sure what they're doing.  2 different Debut stiffnesses, (the original Debut was deemed way too stiff for my skater).  The Debut std. firm is the same number as the Freestyle now.  They seem all over the map.  Not sure about the aesthetics of the Fusion sole, and that of the Freestyle/Elle Fusion boots.  My skater says they look clunky, whereas the Debut, except for that font issue someone mentioned, look nice.

We'll probably just go with the original Freestyle and swap out the blade.
The Pro Shop / Re: Jackson Debut Boot
« Last post by tstop4me on Today at 07:23:15 AM »
Looks like they designed the Freestyle as well.

This is bizarre.  The Debuts are listed as "Competitive" models, sold as a boot only.  There's a new model Freestyle Fusion and a new model Elle Fusion.  Both are listed as "Recreational" models (a lower grade than Competitive), sold as a kit with pre-mounted blades.  Yet the Freestyle Fusion and Elle Fusion are both listed as being built on the Elite last (used on the top of the line Jacksons), not on the new Debut last that you discussed in a previous post for intermediate level boots.  Mr. Spock would say, "That's not logical."
The Pro Shop / Re: Jackson Debut Boot
« Last post by tothepointe on Today at 01:41:38 AM »
Looks like they designed the Freestyle as well.
The Pro Shop / Re: Jackson Debut Boot
« Last post by tothepointe on Today at 01:39:39 AM »

Well, I guess they released their new sole. Mimicking the look of the Avanta
The Pro Shop / Re: Sharpening near the toe pick
« Last post by Query on November 23, 2017, 11:25:41 AM »
I actually prefer a coarser stone than either of the Pro-Filer stones to make the initial cut on the previously unsharpened part - like is on the old Berghman sharpeners - because it is fast enough to create a full depth hollow in a more reasonable amount of time. The way I see it, if the hollow isn't ground deep enough to touch the sides of the blade, it doesn't actually create a sharper edge angle.

Unfortunately, the Berghman sharpeners were only made for 1/2" hollows, so the front part wouldn't be the same hollow, unless you finish it with your Pro-Filer. The oldest are available on eBay for as little as $5, though a more modern one, made in the 1950's, would have a less crumbly stone. The Berghmans too can be used right up to the toe pick - in fact I find it easier to control. However, because they are coarse, they can't create quite as sharp an edge, if you are into super-sharp edges. I prefer the Berghman handle to the Pro-Filer handle, but you can place the stone your Pro-Filer handle - use a hammer and a "pin punch" to remove the pin keeping the old stone in that handle; maybe you could use an appropriate size cheap disposable hex key instead. (I'm not sure if a rivet remover could also be used.) You can hammer the pin back in when the new stone is in place. (The Berghman tools use a wing-nut driven pressure fit instead, and stone replacement is much faster. As with the Pro-Filer, rotate the stones periodically to get uniform wear, and since the stones are crumbly, to get a more uniform radius hollow.)

You can also buy online appropriate diameter (2*ROH) cylindrical sharpening stones (search for "cylindrical stones", and if you can carefully use cardboard, "abrasive sleeves" and "spiral bands") from several sources, with various grits. I think a 60 - 80 grit stone will cut fairly fast. I think you can even use the cylindrical stones from a hockey tool, like (though that page doesn't seem to work anymore).

As far as how close you should come to the toe pick: Try this experiment: Color the bottom of the blades with pencil. Skate. Do some 3-turns and jumps. I think you will find that the ice wears off the pencil all the way up to the back pick - and also takes off the hollow on most of the blade, which implies that even more of the blade (briefly?) touches than you think. I don't know how much that depends on technique or how hard you jump and land, as I have only tried it for me. I don't point my toes enough to use the other picks, but I'm told a better, more flexible skater would.

When I sharpen the area close to the toepick with Pro-Filer or similar hand tools, I put cloth tape (I use cloth first aid tape, but duct tape should work) on the pick itself, so I don't accidentally touch and dull it. I think that is a good idea.

You can also VERY carefully enhance the edge on the toe pick itself - but only if you ARE very careful not to dull the corners. I'd never try that with a standard machine sharpener. Whether or not you need that depends on how much sideways grab you want the picks to have. Clearly the majority of the figure skating population makes due with the factory grind on the toe picks, and the Jackson Ultima blades start out VERY sharp, including in the toe picks. For that matter, most figure skaters get by without sharpening the area close to the toe pick at all, and most don't believe it is needed. So unless and until you have to trim the back pick to match the wear on the rest of the blade, you might decide to leave the toe pick itself alone.

I guess you theoretically could sharpen very close to the toe pick using the cross-grinder on a standard powered sharpening machine, if it has one. You might want to turn the skate around mid-sharpening, to get the edge symmetric, because cross-grinders don't otherwise do that very well. I haven't enough experience to trust my blades at all to those powered sharpening machines. I feel they take off more metal, and it is too easy for me to make mistakes on them. So I haven't tried sharpening close to a toe pick on them.
The Pro Shop / Re: Avanta Contact Info
« Last post by Query on November 23, 2017, 10:15:33 AM »
Regardless of whatever issues people have had with Avanta in the past, Don (Donald) Klingbeil has made a Facebook post, in which he says Will Murillo and possibly himself will be in NYC taking orders for Avanta boots on 12/27/17:

If you have trouble contacting Avanta, you might try contacting Don, through his facebook page:

The quote is at

It says

Hi everyone .
Its that time again to send out a post about the wonderful Avanta Skating Boots. Will Murillo has been going out by popular demand to take measurements and castings again..I am very proud of how far Avanta has come.As you probably know I feel that the Avanta boots are the finest boots on the market.They have also improved their customer servie and has adopted Klingbeils way of treating customers.So Will will be in New York-Long Island taking orders for boots on Dec. 27. and I believe I will be ther also. I would be happy to see enjoy the company of skaters again and answer questions.Please call Avanta Skating Labs and speak to Sue , Allie , or Will at 510 990 2138 from 12pm to 8pm.I really hope to see you soon!!!!! Thanks So Much , Donald Klingbeil.

The phone number in that message is the same as is on Avanta's web page and Avanta's Facebook page. However, the hours (which I presume are Pacific Standard Time; Add 3 hours to get Eastern Standard Time) are somewhat unexpected. (When I have tried to call Avanta in the morning, it did not work, not surprising since they are only open in the Pacific Time afternoon and evening.)

I have dealt with and completely trust Don :), from back when he ran and was the master bootmaker for Klingbeil boots, and if he comes to NYC, I would be completely confident that his fit measurements would be nearly perfect, though of course Avanta has to actually make and ship the boots.

I haven't dealt with Will, but he is quite experienced, and was trained to make make and fit skates by the Klingbeils starting in 1994. He is listed as the Avanta boot designer, and I guess he is in charge there: (out of date - the Klingbeil company no longer exists, but has interesting historical info of Don, the Klingbeil copmany, and Will) (Says that Avanta is slow to make boots. Slow enough (over 12 weeks) that if you are a child, you might outgrow the boots before they come, if you have a growth spurt. :( Slow enough that if your current boots are broken down, or non-existent, you may not choose to wait.)

Getting the right fitter for skates extremely important. If you were to order from Avanta, these are probably the right people to do the fit. Avanta might also be most likely to accept returns for bad fit, if the fit was done by one of them.

This is not an endorsement of Avanta - just information. I have no experience with Avanta, and do not personally know anyone who has Avanta boots, nor have I seen their boots in person.
The Pro Shop / Re: Sharpening near the toe pick
« Last post by tstop4me on November 22, 2017, 04:14:10 PM »
One conclusion is that various blades have differences in the unused length. I would expect that with worn blades that sharpening would be required nearer to the pick. Check your own blades on a flat surface to see if your sharpener goes far enough.
Yes, the unused length [referred to as the non-skateable zone by Sidney Broadbent] is a function of the spin rocker radius, which varies with different blade models.  Paramount has informative videos on "Blade Profiles" and "Lift Angles"  here: .  From limited info that I've been able to gather, Ultima and Eclipse blades nominally patterned after MK and Wilson models have a flatter (larger radius) spin rocker than the MK and Wilson originals, resulting in a longer unused length, moving the sweet spot further back, and reducing the maximum lift angle.  Paramount claims that they follow the spin rockers of MK and Wilson closely.

Yes, the advantage of the hand-held Pro-Filer is that you can sharpen right up to the drag pick.  Standard commercial skate sharpeners typically use a 7" or 8" diam grinding wheel, which limits how close to the toepick you can sharpen.  The Incredible Edger uses a smaller (3" diam) grinding wheel and can sharpen closer to the toepick.  One skate tech I used to go to used an Incredible Edger, and I was not happy with the results, though. 

My current skate tech uses a Blackstone machine. After repeated sharpenings, if he needs to touch up the (usually) unsharpened area just in back of the toepick, he uses a cross grinder, available as an attachment to the main sharpener.  Over time, if you need to maintain the same maximum heel lift as a new blade, you also need to grind down the drag pick carefully.

Sidney Broadbent designed a blade with a removable toepick assembly so you could sharpen the entire length of the blade.  But it never caught on.
The Pro Shop / Re: Sharpening near the toe pick
« Last post by icedancer on November 22, 2017, 01:42:58 PM »
That's okay!!

I think if I do ever get new skates they might be a little bigger so I might be able to use that 10.5! 

I can wait. ;D

Those that know me know that I am always looking to pick up an extra pair of blades here and there - was so jealous when a friend who recently came back to skating after a 10-year hiatus found a brand new pair of MK Dance in the back of her closet.

And actually unless you are doing dance and tripping on the backs of your blades those Aces are great!
The Pro Shop / Re: Sharpening near the toe pick
« Last post by Bill_S on November 22, 2017, 01:37:55 PM »
My Synchro is 10.5" (mounting plate tip to toe).

I hadn't considered selling it because I always thought that I'd mount it and try it out. I've skated only on Aces since I started, so I was curious about trying something different.

I think that I'll hang onto the Synchro blades a while longer just in case I get ambitious. Ask me in another year or two if I've mounted them!  ;)
The Pro Shop / Re: Sharpening near the toe pick
« Last post by icedancer on November 22, 2017, 12:51:53 PM »
Being blade-obsessed at times I love your analysis and conclusions!

Also wondering about that Synchro Blade - what size is it?  Ever think of selling it?  (I would love to try a Synchro Blade as my Super Dance 99 are just WAY too short and sometimes unstable (10.25).

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