Yesterday I got brand new boots and blades - including my first set of gold seals.
My set was 10+ years old and didn't fit my needs. My boots were ultra stiff, bought in a different era where boots didn't bend- I couldn't do the movements I needed to (like bend my knees and ankles, plus I am 20 lbs lighter than I was when they were purchased). The soles were rotting. My current blades - phantoms - wouldn't fit the new boots well, plus were running down on sharpenings, so my fitter recommended the gold seal.
WOW what a difference. From phantoms to gold seals is like night and day. It is going to take a LOT of work to make this transition. My first few minutes on the ice, I felt like a newborn giraffe.
My first impressions are that the blade is definitely fast. I was able to fly with 70% of the effort.
Edges are fantastic, the very first turn I tried, a counter, was the cleanest one I have EVER done, and I've been working on the novice moves patterns for a while now.
Because they are higher off the ground, I can lean SO much more into my edges. My spread eagles will be better because I won't be inhibited by hitting the ice with my boot!!
Jumps and spins are going to be difficult. The rocker is way different and I have to fight to find the sweet spot on my spins. I finally, after probably a half dozen revolutions, could get it, and from that point on the spin was fast and centered. But it will be a struggle.
Jumps will be interesting. It was a little unexpected to discover that with the smaller toe pick of the gold seal, I need to pick WAY less aggressively than with the gigantic pick of the phantom. I only did a few singles, no doubles, but my landings were very smooth and more towards the front of the blade. My coach has been on me for as long as I've known her to land more forward, and I'm already able to do this with these blades after an hour one the ice. It was nice to have such a quiet landing!
I think once I get used to them I will love them. But I wish I did this sooner, or been in a coronation ace instead of a pattern 99 as a kid. I am going to have to put the work in, though, it will take many hours to retrain myself for a new blade.
Hope this information helps!