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Author Topic: Step Figure Skating Blades  (Read 382 times)

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Offline tothepointe

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Step Figure Skating Blades
« on: September 01, 2017, 02:03:16 PM »
Has anyone used / heard of the figure skating blades made by Step? I stumbled onto their website from the Skate Science site who states their blades are manufactured by Step.

Some of them look interesting mainly because I love to shop.

http://www.stepskates.com/en/figure-skating-blades/blade-types/blacksteel

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Step Figure Skating Blades
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2017, 02:20:13 PM »
That's the company whose fact sheet I forgot to review.  I stopped at their booth and had a nice chat during the PSA Trade Show in June.  They said that Step acquired the "original patterns" of the MK and Wilson blades.  I'm not convinced of that: their version of the Phantom has an 8' rocker radius, so how can that be original?  (Phantoms traditionally have 7' rocker radii.)

The blades were well made but they felt a little heavy to me after handling the Revolution, Paramount and Matrix blades at the various booths.  They're all-steel, which IS traditional, but there are plenty of existing options in that material.  The weld was apparent where the sole plate met the stanchions.  One of the finishes (maybe the V Steel or the Black Steel?) does not have a chrome reveal line down the blade, which is mainly cosmetic, but helps maintain proper blade sharpening.  The rep showed me the decorative edge that represents the reveal, saying that there's more hard steel on all blades beyond the reveal, so it's not needed. 

They emphasized the carbon steel model, saying they hold the sharpening longer and they glide faster.  (They said it, not me.)

ETA: No special sharpening jig needed since there's no chassis/runner involved.

The black steel look was really nice - I remember MK and Wilson offering black blades with a diamond embedded at the tip - I think that's where the idea came from.  They would look awesome with a pair of black skates and natural brown soles.

The company is out of Canada and they started out making hockey blades, so this is an expansion of their business but while they were nice people, they couldn't answer the figure skating techie questions, so YMMV.

http://stepskates.com/en/figure-skating-blades
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Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Step Figure Skating Blades
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2017, 02:26:28 PM »
"If you still look good after skating practice, you didn't work hard enough."

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Offline Query

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Re: Step Figure Skating Blades
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 09:55:35 PM »
I couldn't find any prices for their figure skates. In fact, I looked for a while, but couldn't find any U.S. retailers that sell their figure skates.

How do they compare in price to other blades?

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Re: Step Figure Skating Blades
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2017, 05:04:43 AM »
I couldn't find any prices for their figure skates. In fact, I looked for a while, but couldn't find any U.S. retailers that sell their figure skates.

How do they compare in price to other blades?
If you go to their main English website

http://stepskates.com/en

on the upper right hand corner you can click on a faint grey tab labelled "Find A Store"; alternatively, you can click on the more visible tab labelled "Contact", which also brings you to "Find A Store".  Enter your zipcode and you will be supplied with a list of retailers near you. 

Note:  You can specify a max distance about your zipcode, but there appears to be a bug:  if I enter 5 km, I get more stores further away than if I enter 50 km.

Online tstop4me

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Re: Step Figure Skating Blades
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2017, 07:09:07 AM »
The black steel look was really nice - I remember MK and Wilson offering black blades with a diamond embedded at the tip - I think that's where the idea came from.  They would look awesome with a pair of black skates and natural brown soles.
Do you remember when MK and Wilson offerred black blades, and what the black coating was?  And was it purely for cosmetic appeal?  I don't think Step got the idea from them; Step and other blade manufacturers have been using DLC (diamond like carbon) coating, which is incidentally black, on hockey blades.  It provides a harder and lower friction surface than steel (on the outside surfaces of the blade, not in the hollow). 

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Re: Step Figure Skating Blades
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2017, 10:45:57 AM »
If you go to their main English website

http://stepskates.com/en

on the upper right hand corner you can click on a faint grey tab labelled "Find A Store"; alternatively, you can click on the more visible tab labelled "Contact", which also brings you to "Find A Store".  Enter your zipcode and you will be supplied with a list of retailers near you. 

Note:  You can specify a max distance about your zipcode, but there appears to be a bug:  if I enter 5 km, I get more stores further away than if I enter 50 km.

Tstop, I tried that too. All the stores I looked at sell step hockey blades, but no-one seems to carry their figure skating line.  I gave up after a while.  I, too am curious about their pricing.  I could be open to trying them in a few years when I need to replace blades again.

Offline tothepointe

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Re: Step Figure Skating Blades
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2017, 03:45:36 PM »
I've only seen them sold on eBay

http://stores.ebay.com/Boutique-Step-Up/FIGURE-SKATING-/_i.html?_nkw=step+figure+skate&submit=Search&_fsub=19269646011&_sid=222447171

Step seems to be the manufacturing partner for Skate Science

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Re: Step Figure Skating Blades
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2017, 06:45:29 AM »
Tstop, I tried that too. All the stores I looked at sell step hockey blades, but no-one seems to carry their figure skating line.  I gave up after a while.  I, too am curious about their pricing.  I could be open to trying them in a few years when I need to replace blades again.
Oh, I see, you're looking for an actual online listing of the figure blades.  For the shops reported near me, I recognized only one, and it's a small local pro shop.  It does have a rudimentary website, but really not setup for e-commerce.   I looked up a few other reported shops, and they appear to be similar. I would simply get in touch the old fashion way ... call them up.

I don't find this surprising.  A couple of years ago, I called Jackson for local retailers in my area [I hadn't bought new skates in a long time; and the pro shop I had previously used had gone out of business].   They were all local pro shops with rudimentary websites (if at all).  There are several I've shopped at since.  As long as they are setup as a retailer for a particular manufacturer, they will order what I want.  But they have relatively few items listed online or stocked in the store.  The shops are all too small to have adequate IT resources [I was just talking to the owner of one local shop a couple of weeks ago about the sad state of her website.  She realizes in this day and age she needs a strong online presence.]

Offline Query

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Re: Step Figure Skating Blades
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2017, 01:41:57 PM »
Based on that eBay listing, they are roughly half the price of than the major brands.

It is certainly possible that the hockey stores that already deals with Step could order the figure skating blades. But both the hockey stores and the eBay outlets might be problematical if there is a problem with the blade (e.g., if it is warped), and you might not trust a hockey-only store to mount the blades on your boots.

I also don't see anything about the material composition, or numeric edge hardness. That makes it very hard to guess how durable the blade will be, and how long the edges will last between sharpenings.

Step says each of their blades is comparable to a set of blades from other companies, that differ from each other a lot. So it is a bit hard to guess the Step blades characteristics. Perhaps one could call the factory...

http://www.stepskates.com/en/hockey-blades/goaltenders talks about coating the steel with very hard nanoparticles. Would that make it hard to sharpen? I recall one skate tech telling me that one of the brands of blade that used titanium took about 15 minutes to sharpen. If it was anything like that, most sharpeners would give up before it was sharpened well, or would charge extra. In addition, there are a number of technical issues about how well the layer adheres, and whether a coating on the outside surface of the blade would be all that helpful to maintaining your edges after sharpening.

You say there may be a connection between Step and Skate Science. Interestingly enough, Gepetto's Skate Shop, run by John Harmata ("Mr. Edge"), one of the world's most respected skate techs, used to sell and advocate Skate Science blades - but seems to have dropped them from their website, and doesn't offer Step blades there either.

Any time you order an off-brand with no reviews from people you know or respect, you are taking a chance. It's hard to guess the result. Personally, I wouldn't chance it for just a factor of 2 in price.

However, if you buy, I'm sure the rest of us would be curious about your results.