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Author Topic: Flat spot instead of spinning rocker?  (Read 264 times)

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Offline SinusPi

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Flat spot instead of spinning rocker?
« on: January 17, 2018, 02:24:56 PM »
Greetings, everybody!

Perhaps you can shed some light on a recently discovered problem of mine.

My blades - Wilson Excel, of a very old series, over 15 years old, according to the producer! - have been sharpened recently, and appear to not have a spinning rocker, but a spinning FLAT instead. Maybe they were always this way? I couldn't tell, I'm a beginner, only learning my first spins. Anyway, right under the ball of the foot, or the middle support piece of the blade, where the blade's curvature should change from a wide curve (at the back) to a narrower curve (at the front) (I'm checking this by reflecting a lamp in the blade, they use this technique to check car paint smoothness, so why not blade curvatures?), the blade gets briefly but noticeably flatter. And, if I hold it just right, I can balance a pencil on that spot, in a way that has it resting securely without wobbling to the sides, something not possible at any other point on the blade. I'm no expert, but these observations should prove that there's a flat spot going on.

It probably doesn't help that I have boots 10mm too long (305 instead of 295) and I have some trouble digging my toe picks into the ice without feeling my heel starting to slide out of the boot, just a bit, but enough to be uncomfortable. So, I can't seem to reliably find that "sweet spot" for spinning, and I end up spinning on the middle of the blade - otherwise my drag picks start digging into the ice and the spin is gone.

My question is thus: am I allowed to blame my abysmal spinning skills on lack of spin rocker on my blade, and complain to the sharpening service, or on the boot that's 10mm too big, or should it be just fine and I should just get a grip and practice more? :P

Online Bill_S

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Re: Flat spot instead of spinning rocker?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2018, 02:37:03 PM »
You need better equipment pronto! A boot that is 10mm too long will never allow you to finesse anything, and learning new skills will not happen easily. Worse, you could learn bad habits compensating.

Your blades may have started with a worn spot where the spin rocker should be, and a normal resharpening won't fix that. It would take someone skilled enough to reshape your blade rocker, but you'll look long and hard to find that right person.

Your best bet is to replace what you have.
Bill Schneider

Offline SinusPi

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Re: Flat spot instead of spinning rocker?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2018, 04:14:14 PM »
Darn.

Shouldn't the personnel sharpening the blades notice something is off with the curvature, though..? The blade may be old, but it's a new purchase that supposedly only lay around in a warehouse for quite a long time, and didn't have any signs of being previously used. I don't imagine I wore the rocker down after a year of beginner's skating, always using proper blade guards, etc...

Also, how should I _properly_ demonstrate the flat spot, if I were to bring the subject up with them? Is there some way that can't be dismissed with "we're professionals, you're not qualified to prove us wrong"?

Online Bill_S

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Re: Flat spot instead of spinning rocker?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2018, 05:35:56 PM »
We had a discussion a few years back that included some measurements of blades in good condition. The thread can be found here: http://skatingforums.com/index.php?topic=6925.0

In looking back at some of that data, the spin rocker isn't flat, but it still doesn't change but a small 0.001" fore and aft of the sweet spot center. That's not perfectly flat, but if you aren't careful about your assessment, it can appear to be. In looking at the data, the spin rocker for this new Jackson Synchro blade sample is a little flat. Sharpening a blade will tend to flatten the rockers - even factory sharpenings unless done with CNC, templates, or other control.
Bill Schneider

Offline nicklaszlo

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Re: Flat spot instead of spinning rocker?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 03:05:46 AM »
1.  If you have been skating for one year, it is no surprise your spinning is abysmal.  Spinning is much harder than it looks.

2.  Ask your local coaches who they use for sharpening.  Just because someone works in a skate shop does not mean they are a competent sharpener.

3.  Post a picture of the blades.  We cannot tell you who did the damage, but we might be able to tell tell you if they need replacement or can be fixed.

4.  If your heal is sliding in the boot, this is likely to cause injury.  Get better boots.

Offline SinusPi

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Re: Flat spot instead of spinning rocker?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2018, 02:32:30 PM »
There we go, pictures of light shone on the blade. Front part is more curved, hence the narrow reflection. Back part is flatter, hence a wider reflection. I don't suppose the rocker area should have an even wider reflection, now should it..?

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Flat spot instead of spinning rocker?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 02:47:23 PM »
If you know the boots are too big and the rocker's too flat, replace the skates.  (Just fyi: a side photo of the blades, showing the profile contours, would be easier to view.)
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Offline SinusPi

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Re: Flat spot instead of spinning rocker?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2018, 03:18:57 PM »
Perhaps it would, but the flatness is actually quite indistinct - without a curvature guide to put against the blade, it wouldn't be visible at all. Normally I wouldn't have noticed, but someone somewhere suggested that every fraction of a millimeter counts, so I went into paranoia mode. :>

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Re: Flat spot instead of spinning rocker?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2018, 03:36:08 PM »
Seeing the pictures using reflected light, I'd now wager that your blades are probably OK. That doesn't look bad at all - not nearly as bad as I previously imagined it. I thought that maybe you had a couple of inches that were flat which would have been troublesome.

So your first priority is to get boots that fit. If your feet are sliding in them, that's way too much room inside.

BTW, spins are hard to do. It will take some serious time to learn them well. Nick is right.
Bill Schneider

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Flat spot instead of spinning rocker?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2018, 04:08:16 PM »
When a skater wears a boot that is too long, the rocker is mounted too far forward, usually under the toes unless the skater has a gap at the heel.  That usually results in the skater tripping/dragging the toepick and spinning either on the flat area behind the rocker if they balance the ball of their foot, or on the toepick because finding the sweet spot under your toes is almost impossible.  If you re-read the original post, that's exactly what's happening.

Get boots that fit with blades that are the right size.  You may not be able to move the blades to the new boots because they may not fit properly.
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Offline ChristyRN

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Re: Flat spot instead of spinning rocker?
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2018, 08:03:50 PM »
When a skater wears a boot that is too long, the rocker is mounted too far forward, usually under the toes unless the skater has a gap at the heel.  That usually results in the skater tripping/dragging the toepick and spinning either on the flat area behind the rocker if they balance the ball of their foot, or on the toepick because finding the sweet spot under your toes is almost impossible.  If you re-read the original post, that's exactly what's happening.

Get boots that fit with blades that are the right size.  You may not be able to move the blades to the new boots because they may not fit properly.

And, speaking from experience, this is a *terrible* bad habit to have to re-learn. I spent 12 years in too-big skates before I had my feet measured and was properly fitted with a shorter split-last boot. Twelve years. Nearly four years later, I haven't unlearned/relearned how to spin on a rocker that isn't underneath my toes anymore. I try to find the sweet spot and almost immediately go up on my toe picks.

Please listen to the advice you've been given and get boots that fit. You won't regret it.
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