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1
The Pro Shop / Re: Why replaceable runners for figure skates didn't catch on
« Last post by Leif on February 27, 2017, 02:08:21 PM »
you can totally feel the difference between a $60 blade and even a mid range ultima.  It's crazy how different they feel. 

I'm curious what the difference is. I wear hockey skates, and cheap ones are very different, but that is due primarily to the boot which is much less stiff.
2
Off-Ice Training for Skaters / Re: My recent off-ice training lessons and experience
« Last post by Query on February 27, 2017, 12:59:45 PM »
Incidentally, I tried a trampoline that I have access to. Interesting. Very low impact jumping (but I'm using a big trampoline - 12 - 15' diameter, which might change that). But I felt nervous, for now - was afraid to jump as high as I would from the floor.

Exercise for men vs women; young vs old

One of the biggest things I've noticed is that the exercise rhythms - reps and etc., # of day/week giving optimal results, etc., cardio training techniques, slow vs fast strength training - that work best for me, are not always the same as what particular trainers advocate. I.E., that I need to learn by experiment what works for ME.

In the same vein:

I wondered whether exercise videos aimed at women were good for me, a man.

Many men want to want to look like body builders, but I am more interested in endurance sports. So I thought that women's workouts might make more sense. But according to sources, there are supposed to be anatomical and physiological differences in how we can and should exercise.

I did some web searches:

His and Hers Fitness; When it comes to working out, men and women are from different planets
Not much substance, despite the source, but mentions different squat position for healthy training.

Strength Training for Women; How Women Lift and Train Differently Than Men

Some of what he says rings true. E.g., if I attend a strength training class with women (most exercise classes are completely or mostly female), I tire out very quickly. That's partly because I am in poor shape. But if what he and some others below say is true, maybe I should be exercising using different types of routines.

Men Vs Women’s Strength Training Programs

Strong Vs Toned: The Truth About Gender-Specific Workouts

9 Reasons why women should not train like men

Heart responds differently to exercise in men vs. women

Should Men Eat Before Exercise and Women Eat After?

Also whether exercise videos aimed at young people were good for me; I am not young.
Many sources talk about the joint breakdown in the old, requiring different exercises. That hasn't happened for me. But there may be other differences. I haven't found a good source yet on this, but:

Decade-by-decade guide to exercise
(not an authoritative source)
3
The Pro Shop / Re: MK Galaxy Blades
« Last post by riley876 on February 26, 2017, 09:05:42 PM »
Given all that, though, why are MK and Wilson screwing around with the rockers on their bottom line models?  Their intermediate and advanced models have been virtually unchanged for many decades [except for different pick options, and the different chassis mounts for the Revolution line (which keeps the same pick options and profiles as the Traditional line)], but they seem to find justification in changing their bottom line models.

The cynical side of me wonders if they're deliberately making their beginners blades profiles bad in order to upsell later.
4
The Pro Shop / Re: MK Galaxy Blades
« Last post by tstop4me on February 26, 2017, 07:54:39 PM »
I get the feeling that the 6' 7' 8' numbers are completely meaningless anyway.   After all you don't spin or (forward) turn on that part of the rocker anyway - you spin on the front bit with an approx 12"-18" radius.   So what difference does it all make what slight differences exist on the back half of that blade?

If we were to see spin rocker radii in the sales documentation it would be a ton more useful.

What you say is true.  But there remains the issue of what effect the main rocker has on straight glides, moderate edges, and backward maneuvers.  Never seen any comprehensive studies.  Besides which, blade lengths are very short with respect to a rocker radius in the range of 6 to 8', and it's very difficult to accurately determine the actual rocker radius on a production unit [AgnesNitt had a previous attempt to use a ruler on tracings, but Bill_S did proper measurements with a travelling stage, dial indicator, and curve-fitting software].

Given all that, though, why are MK and Wilson screwing around with the rockers on their bottom line models?  Their intermediate and advanced models have been virtually unchanged for many decades [except for different pick options, and the different chassis mounts for the Revolution line (which keeps the same pick options and profiles as the Traditional line)], but they seem to find justification in changing their bottom line models.
5
The Pro Shop / Re: MK Galaxy Blades
« Last post by FigureSpins on February 26, 2017, 07:44:28 PM »
Question to coaches:  Why the shift to 8' rockers for bottom line blades (at least as far as MK and Wilson are concerned)?  The two current bottom line MK models (Galaxy and Flight) are both 8' rockers, while all their other models [the better-grade entry (Double Star), intermediate, and advanced models] remain at 7'.  I think (not certain) that previous bottom line MK models (such as Single Star, my very first blade) were 7'.

The new Wilson entry line is even more bizarre.  Their bottom line used to be Mercurio (advertised as a 6' rocker) then replaced by Jubilee (advertised as a 7' rocker) [not sure whether there were other models between Mercurio and Jubilee].  Their better-grade entry (Majestic) and intermediate (with the exception of Comet, 8.5') models are all 7' rockers, and their advanced models are 8' rockers.  But their new bottom line model is the Arrow, an 8' rocker.  If a skater were to progress with the current Wilson line, he would start with 8', switch to 7', and then switch back to 8' [in the old, old days, he would go from 6' to 7' to 8']. 

Anyone know the rationale for this?

I agree with you - it doesn't make sense to have lower-level skaters on the larger rockers, nor to have them switch up and down.  I did ask Ultima once why all their blades were 8' rockers and the reply was that they were more stable for jump landings. (So, in my mind, those are higher-level skaters, right?) When I asked how they could replicate the effect of a 7' rocker blade (like the JW CorAce) using an 8' radius, I won on "Stump the Chump."  The salesperson couldn't explain it to me.  To me, a clone should be identical.

I can definitely feel the difference in edge jump takeoffs and spins, less so in turns.  It's like I can "roll up" to the toepick or sweet spot more easily.  I prefer the 8' rocker, but I've switched skaters from 8' to 7' (first pair of separates) and seen quicker takeoffs and more-centered spins so I don't think it's just my feeling.  I've had skaters do a camel on JW CorAces and tell me "I love these blades."

Ultimas have always been 8' but some of the Eclipse (Riedell) blades have 7' rockers. 
6
Off-Ice Training for Skaters / Re: My recent off-ice training lessons and experience
« Last post by Query on February 26, 2017, 07:18:03 PM »
BTW, interval training for aerobics (also called cardio) works really well.

And here are links to some free workout videos:

http://makeyourbodywork.com/how-to-exercise-at-home

I think I am going to transition to home gym training, instead of paid gyms. The highest cost of the paid gyms is driving to get there...
7
The Pro Shop / Re: Why replaceable runners for figure skates didn't catch on
« Last post by Query on February 26, 2017, 07:02:49 PM »
One day I'm going to copy someone's high end blade profile and reshape my old low-end Wilsons to match, and see if it's profile or material that makes the difference.

I sort of did that once. I tried to copy an MK Dance rocker profile to a pair of Ultima Matrix Dance runners. It looked easy to do. I didn't do a good enough job, partly because I tried to use an ordinary tool grinding wheel, rather than a purpose built skate sharpening tool. (Then I paid a pro shop to grind the hollow.) It's harder that it looks to do things exactly right. I also couldn't copy the toe pick, a major part of blade shape, because there was no metal in the appropriate places to copy it, and because I didn't have the right tools to do that right either. After trying them a bit, I threw the results away, wasting a $110 pair of previously good runners.

Bear in mind too, that if you remove too much metal, you remove the hardened part of the steel, as well as the chrome or nickel relief (the relatively soft metal plating that covers the harder steel, to prevent rust - which means your edge will not be durable - unless you are good enough to symmetrically remove the plating yourself where you need to).

And that copying the horizontal and/or vertical side honing, if the edges aren't parallel, as they aren't in Gold Seals, would require high precision machining, using expensive machine shop tools, that most of us don't have at home.

One thing really puzzles me - a few thousandths of an inch shape difference makes huge changes in the way a blade skates. OK, I get that the water layer on top of the ice, that the blade presumably hydroplanes over, is only something like 50 nm deep (about 2 millions of an inch). But a few thousandths of an inch is about the same range as edge raggedness. Why does it matter?

I corresponded at one point with a steel worker who wanted to make blades for himself. But he knew what he was doing with high temperature tempering and hardening, having done it professionally, and was used to working at and above the temperatures where those things are done. I don't know if he ever did it.

What it boils down to is that making your own blades well is beyond the abilities and equipment of your average home craftsman - so blade companies can charge a lot, regardless of what it costs them. Plus, figure skaters are used to paying a lot for skating equipment. Most of us wouldn't even consider buying $10 or $20 blade pairs, nor comparable price boots, even if they were really as good.

BTW, you can get blades that cheap - in fact a lot less - in quantity, wholesale from China, etc. In fact, you can get SKATE pairs WITH blades that cheap - comparable to many rental skates. That's probably where Reidell et al get their rental skates. (Which they resell to rinks in quantity for just very approximately $20 - $30 per pair, roughly comparable in quality to list price $40 retail skates.) But neither the shapes nor the materials are what reasonably advanced figure skaters want.

Now that hockey blade makers are raising their prices for the patented mount design blades ($40-$50 blade shapes now selling for up to $130), hockey skaters are getting used to paying more too, and maybe they can continue to go up to match us. :) Since the pro shops make a cut of the final price, maybe the pro shops won't complain too much either.

Incidentally, if you look far back in history - e.g., before the end of the 19th century, there was a period when bolts and/or screws were used to mount runners. You can find pictures in old books. Which means the basic idea of replaceable bolt-mounted runners can't be patented, even if specifics can.

8
The Pro Shop / Re: Advice on New Boots/ Blades
« Last post by tstop4me on February 26, 2017, 06:03:03 PM »
Ok guys,
The gap issue is actually solved. :)

That's good news.  Care to share details of the root cause and the fix?  "Enquiring minds want to know."  ;)
9
The Pro Shop / Re: MK Galaxy Blades
« Last post by riley876 on February 26, 2017, 06:00:29 PM »
I get the feeling that the 6' 7' 8' numbers are completely meaningless anyway.   After all you don't spin or (forward) turn on that part of the rocker anyway - you spin on the front bit with an approx 12"-18" radius.   So what difference does it all make what slight differences exist on the back half of that blade?

If we were to see spin rocker radii in the sales documentation it would be a ton more useful.
10
The Pro Shop / Re: MK Galaxy Blades
« Last post by tstop4me on February 26, 2017, 05:43:46 PM »
Question to coaches:  Why the shift to 8' rockers for bottom line blades (at least as far as MK and Wilson are concerned)?  The two current bottom line MK models (Galaxy and Flight) are both 8' rockers, while all their other models [the better-grade entry (Double Star), intermediate, and advanced models] remain at 7'.  I think (not certain) that previous bottom line MK models (such as Single Star, my very first blade) were 7'.

The new Wilson entry line is even more bizarre.  Their bottom line used to be Mercurio (advertised as a 6' rocker) then replaced by Jubilee (advertised as a 7' rocker) [not sure whether there were other models between Mercurio and Jubilee].  Their better-grade entry (Majestic) and intermediate (with the exception of Comet, 8.5') models are all 7' rockers, and their advanced models are 8' rockers.  But their new bottom line model is the Arrow, an 8' rocker.  If a skater were to progress with the current Wilson line, he would start with 8', switch to 7', and then switch back to 8' [in the old, old days, he would go from 6' to 7' to 8']. 

Anyone know the rationale for this? 
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