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Author Topic: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase  (Read 17216 times)

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Offline Query

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2014, 02:24:01 PM »
[MORE GEEK ALERT]

I doubt that anyone will be skating on frozen sea water. Even if you did, the frozen water itself would contain very little salt.

In coastal areas, there are a lot of somewhat salty tidal rivers, canals and wetlands that do freeze on top, where some people skate, though I never have. BTW new sea ice has a lot of embedded salt, though icebergs (which form from fresh water) don't.

Does anyone weld ice skating blades together? Solder (silver solder on upper end blades), rivets, adhesives, and screws seem to be more common.

FWIIW, most blade frames/mounting chassis are steel, not aluminum. (With a few expensive exceptions. And HD Sports Revolution blades don't use either.) Both the runners and frames are steel.

Why isn't titanium used in most upper end skate blades? I'm not sure about hardened alloys, but pure titanium is about $6/kg - so the material costs might only be $1 - $2 / pair. If my source is right, HD Sports (MK / Wilson) high end blades are about Rockwell hardness 60 at the edge - a little harder - which I think is harder than titanium could be, but I would think the corrosion resistance would be worth it. There are reasonably priced adhesives that bond to titanium (though you have to prepare the surface, as you do for aluminum), as well as titanium screws, so I assume that isn't the problem.

Offline Casey

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2014, 04:22:04 PM »
Why isn't titanium used in most upper end skate blades? I'm not sure about hardened alloys, but pure titanium is about $6/kg - so the material costs might only be $1 - $2 / pair. If my source is right, HD Sports (MK / Wilson) high end blades are about Rockwell hardness 60 at the edge - a little harder - which I think is harder than titanium could be, but I would think the corrosion resistance would be worth it. There are reasonably priced adhesives that bond to titanium (though you have to prepare the surface, as you do for aluminum), as well as titanium screws, so I assume that isn't the problem.

I'm not as familiar with titanium, but doesn't it have the same "extremely rigid but when it does bend it stays bent" property as aluminum?

As for material costs - there is no skate blade that costs more than a trivial amount in materials to make.  But you also need appropriate machinery, skilled staff, a place for skilled staff to work, quality control, marketing,  and it's not like you can rely on selling hundreds of thousands of sets a year, which is where the cost adds up.  At least what used to separate some brands of blades was the hardening process used.  Aluminum frames can be inexpensively machined by a third party, perhaps titanium too.  Solid steel blades take more work, and need hardened properly.  If a company is making them mostly by hand due to low production volume, the hours involved can add up.  Ultimately though, equipment costs a lot less than ice time and coaching!

Offline Bill_S

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2014, 06:25:31 PM »
Query: I agree that most blades are all steel, but I was talking about the interchangeable runner blades like Paramount ...from their web site "Paramount blade holders are made from a lightweight aircraft aluminum with a high quality steel runner." I suspect that these aluminum blade holders are die cast, but I could be wrong.

Titanium won't get as hard as steel alloys. The most common grade (Ti 6Al-4V) has a hardness spec of 34 Rockwell C which is fairly low. Edge life would be compromised. Of course there are other Ti alloys that are harder, but what gets traded in return? Each metal alloy has its strengths and weaknesses.

I don't know of anyone welding the right-angle pieces of good blades together (maybe department store cheapies), but the reason probably has to do with undesirable heating of the base metal to a high temperature. Once alloying compounds are introduced, welding heat can wreak havoc with strength, hardness, and other properties. It could even warp the blade. As a result, most are brazed or silver soldered using local induction heating instead of flame. That means fairly low temperatures and localized heating. BTW, I'd never trust an adhesive in the narrow boundary between blade and sole plate. If the surface area of glued contact could be made larger, sure. But a narrow blade cross-section presents a serious problem for something as materially weak as an adhesive.

Casey: Titanium alloys span the gamut from very flexible spring material (it's actually used in aerospace coil springs!) to glass-brittle resulting from a poor weld joint. The flexibility you mention would depend in great part on the alloy and how it was prepared.

Be careful about stereotyping metals - when someone says "Aluminum" or "Titanium", remember that there are all sorts of varieties of these materials. What is the particular alloy?  Is it in the soft annealed condition? What heat treatment did it received? Is it cold worked? There are some stereotypes in this thread (titanium is always brittle) that are simply not true. Equally true is that there are compromises made in any manufacturing method and material. For example, if you want more hardness for wear resistance, what are you willing to give up in return?
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Offline Bill_S

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2014, 06:40:22 PM »
I'll add this link to an interesting description about how Wilson and M&K blades are made. It is good reading from the old rssir newsgroup that was so active a dozen years ago.

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/sports/skating/ice/rec-skate/blades/
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Offline Query

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2014, 05:29:39 PM »
We are way off-thread here. My fault.

the interchangeable runner blades like Paramount

The ones I have seen look interchangeable, but are actually glued. AFAIK, no modern figure skate blade has interchangeable runners.

Adhesives aren't always weak. Back on-thread, the Avanta boots, if made the way I think they are, are a composite in which carbon fiber provides most of the tensile strength, but an adhesive resin (epoxy? polyethylene? ??) provides everything else. A classic ultralight marine/aerospace construction method, also used for hockey equipment.

Offline Query

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2014, 03:11:37 PM »
Adhesives aren't always weak.

A more pertinent example for blades would have been the blade holders in the very high end MK and Wilson brand Revolution blades, which are presumably held together, and probably bound to the titanium/steel alloy runners, by adhesive resins. And even the Paramount blades, aluminum-glued-to-steel, haven't broken for most users.

On the other hand, where I rink guard, a customer just had a blade that had sheered off from a cheap (maybe $50 retail) pair of skates and blades)...

----

Klingbeil used to be the cheapest fully custom boot. Will Avanta be? I've emailed them for a list of prices and options, and will post their reply.

Offline Casey

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2014, 03:24:20 PM »
Klingbeil used to be the cheapest fully custom boot. Will Avanta be? I've emailed them for a list of prices and options, and will post their reply.

No, their pricing is higher, however it is a fixed pricing model like Klingbeil had rather than Harlick's model.

Let's face it, Klingbeil had outdated pricing. :)

P.S.  I started a new thread for ongoing blade detail discussion.

Offline OmegaGMT

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2014, 10:48:29 PM »


----

Klingbeil used to be the cheapest fully custom boot. Will Avanta be? I've emailed them for a list of prices and options, and will post their reply.

link to pricing docs as posed earlier in this thread

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0By3C6TVbNrpIYUU0Q0E2RmJVUkU&usp=sharing

with this info in hand give Bill at Advanta a call to discuss your needs one on one - if your requests are reasonable, as in our case there is no extra cost like a Harlick
Unless the skate guards are 130cm long it is best the shoes say on

Offline OmegaGMT

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2014, 10:39:11 PM »
Sorry for the delay

after finally getting the financials worked out - ie repeating my credit card # correctly to Bill while on vacation over the Thanksgiving weekend we are moving forward

early last week the STS socks have been shipped directly to the skater and we are awaiting their arrival
there will be plenty of pictures, comments and if we are lucky videos on the STS process

we know we will need 2 one foot square pieces of 1" foam pad for the skater to stand on

the skater needs to stand in their natural stance

the skater must NOT curl or over extent their toes

the sock must be squished it to every interior curve - the finished sock must be an accurate mold of the skaters foot

the sock must be wrinkle free

Bill has requested that the skater and I, as a team, speak directly with him one last time before we begin the work on the sock as we are proceeding on our own without dealer support based on our geographic location and scheduling -  again Bill at Advanta has requested we visit a Skating Father in the medical field who would complete the sock work of us at no charge - Based on my work in the ski industry and the field of study of the skater Bill has agreed to let us attempt the STS process on our own

it is our hope that thru our experience with Avanta we will change the way skate boots are sold, fit  - both the skater and I hope to provide the tools to bring the experience of a custom boot to skaters located away from the major metropolitan areas providing them with the tools they need to achieve their dreams  - having grown up with a skier, Bill Enos who started his career on a "hill" of 270 vertical feet went on to be the Coach for US snowboard slopestyle team at the Olympics, which won two gold medals in the sport's debut at the 2014 Winter Games. - I believe this can be done
Unless the skate guards are 130cm long it is best the shoes say on

Offline Casey

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2014, 04:33:39 AM »
Video of the STS casting process:



Should allow for a great custom fit!

Offline Query

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2014, 02:44:13 PM »
Just watched that video.

Ladies, am I wrong, or won't some people view this as an invasion of privacy? Especially if the fitter is male, and the skater is a young girl, or if the skater is wearing a dress. In any event, the foot-to-calf contact and massages needed to work in the resin seem a bit personal. I think you could design a one piece sock (of a size close to that of the skater) that incorporates everything (inner bag, outer cloth+resin), and doesn't need all that extra stuff and procedures. You just take it out of the bag, let it set, and unzip (back the zipper with a cloth, so the zipper imprint doesn't go on the mold) the opening, and take it off. That would also make self-fit a lot easier. Seriously.

And there is really no need to use medical lingo. This is meant to be used by outside fitters too, yes?

This casting sock also goes higher than is needed for skates, which contributes to potential privacy issues. Perhaps it should be trimmed to skate height - though I see it is available in other heights.

I'm also a little confused. If you use the casting sock, why should other measurements be needed?

There is a potential ambiguity in the instructions. What posture should the foot be held in for skating? I would think you should be standing over the foot to mimic skating - and if that flattens the foot to an uncomfortable extent, that you should stand on an insole patterned or fit to your foot more comfortably.

Based on this link, the casting sock will cost close to $200. Plus the cost of the fit. Oh. My. !

Thoughts?


Offline Casey

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2014, 09:01:09 PM »
Ladies, am I wrong, or won't some people view this as an invasion of privacy? Especially if the fitter is male, and the skater is a young girl, or if the skater is wearing a dress. In any event, the foot-to-calf contact and massages needed to work in the resin seem a bit personal.

Lol what? I can't take this seriously...

Quote
And there is really no need to use medical lingo. This is meant to be used by outside fitters too, yes?

It's not a video for skaters (or fitters). It's for podiatrists (medical doctors). Which is where Avanta generally sends you (at their cost) for casting unless you can visit them in person.

Offline Query

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2014, 01:05:43 PM »
Oh. I thought they intended generic skate fitters to do the job.

If you go to a podiatrist, I think that's about  $300 - $400, plus close to $200 / foot for the casts. You could roughly double the cost of your skates that way.

Maybe most people won't get foot casts, but will just take measurements? Or maybe Avanta won't deal with non-podiatrist fitters?

Offline Casey

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2014, 01:37:49 PM »
Oh. I thought they intended generic skate fitters to do the job.

If you go to a podiatrist, I think that's about  $300 - $400, plus close to $200 / foot for the casts. You could roughly double the cost of your skates that way.

Maybe most people won't get foot casts, but will just take measurements? Or maybe Avanta won't deal with non-podiatrist fitters?

Why not call Bill and chat instead of guessing?

Offline Query

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2014, 07:16:28 PM »
It's not efficient for us - or for Bill - to contact him repeatedly to get the basics. I'd love to see links to these things on the web site.

I did contact him previously, asking for info about prices and options.

He emailed documents for ordering Avanta boots, taking measurements, and instructions on using STS casting socks. (Some of the same attachments as were archived at https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0By3C6TVbNrpIYUU0Q0E2RmJVUkU&usp=sharing).

The latter document was clearly aimed at professionals who fit multiple skaters, but it didn't mention podiatrists. Unlike the video, it avoids medical lingo (good!), and discusses using a "strong scissors" instead of the medical scissors advocated by the video, and the procedure uses a letter opener instead of medical tools. So it never occurred to me they meant the document to be used by anyone other than ordinary pro shop boot fitters.


Offline Casey

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2014, 07:47:53 PM »
"They" (Avanta) did not make the video I shared, nor did they create STS casting. It's just a nice video from youtube. From my recollection, you can go to Avanta in person, visit an authorized fitter (there isn't one near us), or they will send you to a podiatrist - in that order of preference.

I think it IS the most efficient to ask your questions directly, and share the answers. That's what I did, but I didn't have the same questions...

Offline amy1984

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2014, 01:58:08 AM »
Uh... then don't wear a skirt if you're uncomfortable with that?  And seriously... I just can't picture anyone being concerned with this or having privacy issues unless some other issue or discomfort with people in general or personal touch was involved.  I don't mean to be rude but this looked pretty benign to me.  And as for the fitter being a dude working on a young girl, that is so, so judgemental of a situation that is most likely going to be completely benign as well.  Wow.

As for a self fit - if I'm spending over a grand on custom skates, you'd better bet I'm getting someone more knowledgeable than myself to do this.

Just watched that video.

Ladies, am I wrong, or won't some people view this as an invasion of privacy? Especially if the fitter is male, and the skater is a young girl, or if the skater is wearing a dress. In any event, the foot-to-calf contact and massages needed to work in the resin seem a bit personal. I think you could design a one piece sock (of a size close to that of the skater) that incorporates everything (inner bag, outer cloth+resin), and doesn't need all that extra stuff and procedures. You just take it out of the bag, let it set, and unzip (back the zipper with a cloth, so the zipper imprint doesn't go on the mold) the opening, and take it off. That would also make self-fit a lot easier. Seriously.

And there is really no need to use medical lingo. This is meant to be used by outside fitters too, yes?

This casting sock also goes higher than is needed for skates, which contributes to potential privacy issues. Perhaps it should be trimmed to skate height - though I see it is available in other heights.

I'm also a little confused. If you use the casting sock, why should other measurements be needed?

There is a potential ambiguity in the instructions. What posture should the foot be held in for skating? I would think you should be standing over the foot to mimic skating - and if that flattens the foot to an uncomfortable extent, that you should stand on an insole patterned or fit to your foot more comfortably.

Based on this link, the casting sock will cost close to $200. Plus the cost of the fit. Oh. My. !

Thoughts?

Offline OmegaGMT

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2014, 08:17:08 AM »
Uh... then don't wear a skirt if you're uncomfortable with that?  And seriously... I just can't picture anyone being concerned with this or having privacy issues unless some other issue or discomfort with people in general or personal touch was involved.  I don't mean to be rude but this looked pretty benign to me.  And as for the fitter being a dude working on a young girl, that is so, so judgemental of a situation that is most likely going to be completely benign as well.  Wow.

As for a self fit - if I'm spending over a grand on custom skates, you'd better bet I'm getting someone more knowledgeable than myself to do this.

Our purpose is to show and help those who can't get to a fitter to get a custom boot - we can get to Avanta's choice in northern NJ but we CHOOSE to use our knowledge and ability to further the sport and help a US manufacturer get some momentum in a difficult market - Over the past 6 years the Skating Sport has lost quite a few manufacturers, and vendors
Unless the skate guards are 130cm long it is best the shoes say on

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Unless the skate guards are 130cm long it is best the shoes say on

Offline amy1984

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #44 on: December 21, 2014, 05:01:26 PM »
Did you mean to reply to someone else?  My post didn't say anything about non-us manufacturers or anything.  I'm a little confused.  I was talking about the person who found the fitting process 'personal' which I thought was a little silly.

Our purpose is to show and help those who can't get to a fitter to get a custom boot - we can get to Avanta's choice in northern NJ but we CHOOSE to use our knowledge and ability to further the sport and help a US manufacturer get some momentum in a difficult market - Over the past 6 years the Skating Sport has lost quite a few manufacturers, and vendors

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #45 on: December 21, 2014, 11:00:49 PM »
Did you mean to reply to someone else?  My post didn't say anything about non-us manufacturers or anything.  I'm a little confused.  I was talking about the person who found the fitting process 'personal' which I thought was a little silly.

Sorry,  You are correct  - I was commenting on the "personal" also

Unless the skate guards are 130cm long it is best the shoes say on

Offline OmegaGMT

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2014, 11:44:05 PM »
Today  we completed the STS casts - this was very easy

we need a spot on the floor we could get wet and not care so much - so we used the rental shop floor of the ski area we both work at - so cleanup was easy - wipe up with a paper towel

total time from start to finish less than 30 min  - total cast time was about 15min

we unpacked and laid out the materials
2- foot protectors - the "letter opener glides along these when cutting the casts open to remove them
2 - foot bags
1 - pair of black gloves
1 - pair of STS Socks

we supplied
2 - one inch thick pieces of soft foam - for the skater to stand on
1- roll of electrical tape - to attach the foot protectors to the skaters foot
1/2 gallon of "ROOM TEMPERATURE" water

the skater wore leggings that could be pulled up to the knee

ant this point the skater is sitting

we taped the foot protectors on the leg and around the foot to hold then in place in the area where the laces of a boot would go

then we slid the foot bags over the foot and up the leg

I chose to do both feet at the same time  - I had enlisted help just in case  - but I did not need help

I removed the first sock from the protective bag and found the sock rolled in a plastic sheet - I unrolled the sock

next I rolled the sock back on its self  - like a woman would do to put on nylons  - to 3-4" shy of the toe line

I dipped the rolled back sock in the "room temp" water for about 5 seconds

then I slid the sock over the skaters foot and began rolling the sock over the skaters foot, ankle and leg making sure I did not leave wrinkles

I ran my hands from the skaters toe to calve - the sock had not yet setup yet

next I reaped the steps above for the second foot

at this point I instructed the skater to stand

I returned to the first sock and it had started to harden by now and with firm pressure I massaged the sock over the skaters foot and then did the same for the second foot

next I took a pair of sharp scissors and nipped the top of the socks about 1/2" in to make the letter opener easier to start - the continued to massage the socks over the skaters foot as they continued to harden providing a snug fit

after about 8 min the socks could no longer be manipulated and the socks are now curing for about 10 minutes

once the socks were firm and no longer accepted changes I began cleaning up the extra water with paper towers

after about 17-18 min I had the skater sit and I used the letter opener to slice the front of the STS socks

then removed the STS sock like a ski boot  by pulling the sock gently aside and slipping the foot free

I reviewed the casts with the skater and asked if there were loose areas and we marked them with a colored sharpie as a precaution

level of difficulty  - if you can put socks on a child you can do this process  - this was surprisingly EASY

I will gladly answer any questions

link to pictures


https://docs.google.com/folderview?id=0By3C6TVbNrpIYUU0Q0E2RmJVUkU&usp=docslist_api


Unless the skate guards are 130cm long it is best the shoes say on

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #47 on: December 22, 2014, 07:26:55 AM »
Love the pictures, thank you for sharing. She looks happy!

Offline OmegaGMT

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #48 on: December 27, 2014, 09:03:48 AM »
we are working on the video we made of the STS fitting

the raw video is over 850Mb in size and 22min long

below is a link to the raw video to anyone interested in doing an STS fitting

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0By3C6TVbNrpITVFnUzBqLUpCaHM&usp=sharing

and this video is made by group of people who work together in the ski industry so the only thing in common is the skater(we all work together), the cold, and ill fitting production boots - our comments are candid, this video is rated PG for language and adult themes

we will be applying a fast forward technique, remove most of the audio as the video was actual capture not production quality and adding instructional text

the STS casts should now be in Advanta's hands but due to the holidays I have not heard back from Bill - I will reach out on January 5, 2015
Unless the skate guards are 130cm long it is best the shoes say on

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Re: Avanta Custom Freestyle Skate boot purchase
« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2015, 10:58:12 PM »
I spoke with Bill at Avanta today for the first time since Avanta received our Casts before the holidays

We have completed our task of making the casts successfully and the boots are moving forward

at this point Avanta is sourcing Wilson Revolution Pattern 99's  as the primary blade choice

Unless the skate guards are 130cm long it is best the shoes say on