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Author Topic: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.  (Read 2653 times)

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Offline skatingmum2

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Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« on: January 10, 2012, 04:18:16 PM »
Many skaters at local rink (lower levels than my daughter) have moved to these. One of my sons coaches asked me to get them for him - although as a 9 year old just working doubles (landing the odd one - funnily double flip is what he finds easiest) it seemed a bit ridiculous and I've ignored this. 

The friends that have changed blades tell her the rocker is much nicer and spinning is easier. Is this true?

When do skaters generally change to these?

My daughter is landing most doubles and some double-doubles. Occasional tries at double axel which she can rotate but is nowhere near landing.

 I'm pleased that it seems that her feet might just have stopped growing - they're huge but likely to wear current boots outwithout outgrowing them - they fit beautifully 9 months after purchase. Although last year she went up 3 full sizes and is now in a boot that takes a 10 1/4 inch blade!

Offline hopskipjump

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2012, 04:44:14 PM »
She is on professionals, her next will probably be jackson freestyle.  


Offline Sk8tmum

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2012, 04:50:50 PM »
Look thru the threads; there are ton of discussions on this. Moving to the top end blades is a big decision - it's hard to move back, and if the kid's feet are growing, then, you're looking at recurring high dollar expenses. What is she in now, is it a decent blade?

BTW: Some parents move to these because of the status symbol of having hugely expensive equipment  ;D ;D ;D

It absolutely depends on the skaters; many skaters are fine in, say, an Ace until they are working on 2A or triples; other skaters move to them when they are working on doubles or double/doubles.  They aren't a magic bullet that will make a huge difference.  In terms of the sharpening, you may or may not find them being sharpened just as often as whatever she's using.  It all depends on the skater, and also on the person who sharpens them.  What we did find is that a skater with very solid technique and good spins will be able to use the blades effectively ... but it is all about building that base before you commit to the blade. 

Bigger skaters will often go to these earlier ... bigger toe pick helps with pick jumps for taller and heavier skaters. Some skaters actually prefer the Pattern 99, which has a rather different rocker than the Gold Seal, but is also considered a high end blade ... and are equally successful with it.

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 09:40:30 PM »
My daughter went from Coronation Aces to Gold Seals when she began working on doubles. She said right away that they made a huge difference; she saved landings she wouldn't have with the Aces.  My decision was easy because I spotted a new pair on ebay and sniped them for $15.  Of course, the next pair were a bit more.
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Offline drskater

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 09:46:44 PM »
Very interesting! Most skaters at my new rink work on Gold Star blades while at my old rink people moved up to Pattern 99s. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the smaller radius of the Gold Stars (7') versus Pattern 99s (8') make spins a bit more challenging (i.e. less wiggle room)?

I'm thinking about new blades myself !

Offline Sk8tmum

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 10:25:42 PM »
Very interesting! Most skaters at my new rink work on Gold Star blades while at my old rink people moved up to Pattern 99s. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the smaller radius of the Gold Stars (7') versus Pattern 99s (8') make spins a bit more challenging (i.e. less wiggle room)?

I'm thinking about new blades myself !

Been told that Gold Seals are great spinning blades because of the rocker ... I do know that the spins did get very good, and if the technique is good you can really centre the spins fast and tight - but, if you're a wobbly spinner, I could see it being a problem, maybe? 

Now, part of why we went Gold Seal is that for some skaters, the stanchion being shorter on the Pattern 99 is an issue ... you're much closer to ice, which would I think affect your balance too. And, coach just wanted Gold Seals, so, I pay her for knowing what she's doing :)  Also, big guys with doubles need Gold Seals as they will snap Pattern 99's etc - the solid sole plate adds some support and strength.  But, they are heavy !!!!! the Revolution blades look interesting for that reason alone ...

Offline Query

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 02:40:03 PM »
Gold Seal and Gold Star blades are both horizontally and vertically side honed. So to do a good job, your sharpener has to be very good, or you wind up with erratically shaped edges.

One Reidell Eclipse blade is specifically designed to imitate the side honing of both blades, and the rocker profile of the Gold Seal blade, at a lower price.

I think all MK blades MK Pro and above have pretty much the same profile, except for toe picks. Also the same composition and hardness. I'm not good or flexible enough to get beyond the first tooth, so can't speak to toe picks.

Be honest. The big thing is the gold plate, and the price tag it advertises. I think you could get the same effect on any blades by taping the bottoms, then dipping them in gold lacquer paint. And custom art work would be far more classy.

Offline Sk8tmum

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2012, 03:35:29 PM »
Quote
Be honest. The big thing is the gold plate, and the price tag it advertises. I think you could get the same effect on any blades by taping the bottoms, then dipping them in gold lacquer paint. And custom art work would be far more classy.

???? What gold plate?  Gold Seals are silver, and I believe that Gold Stars are too?   I believe you can pay $125 or something to get them gold-plated, but, it's not usual ...

Offline Query

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2012, 03:46:45 PM »
Oops. Based the gold plate on a pair I saw in a store.

So I guess I don't know why they cost so much more.

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2012, 05:37:08 PM »
Gold plating is available on *any* MK or Wilson blade for a fee.. but it's not standard on any model.

I think the construction of the blades varies as bit as well as the quality of the steel, and that factors into the pricing.  I don't think by any stretch that some of the top blades should cost as much as they do.

Offline icedancer

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2012, 05:52:01 PM »

I think the construction of the blades varies as bit as well as the quality of the steel, and that factors into the pricing.  I don't think by any stretch that some of the top blades should cost as much as they do.

I totally agree - I have no doubt that the Gold Seals are great (I have never tried them but would like to except for the price...) but I think the cost difference is a matter of perception really - these blades are perceived to be so much better, you have to be "advanced" to use them - of course this adds up to the them being so much more expensive in today's marketplace.

I have been around skating for a long time - since the '60s - back then there were not so many different types of blades (although just like the boots there were companies and blade styles that are not made anymore - much to the chagrin of the skaters who liked them) - I mostly remember that there were the Coronation Ace (which I had) and Gold Seals.  There were probably a couple of styles in between.  The Gold Seals were used by the top competitive skaters (some of which were at my rink) in the world and everyone else basically used Coronation Ace or its equivalent.  The Gold Seals were always more expensive.

It would be interesting to see how the blade manufacturers started historically - like, how are Wilson and Mitchell and King (MK) related?  Which started first?  Were the MKs basically copies of the Wilson?  (I know that some blade experts say the rockers on the blades made by these two manufacturers have different rockers - ) It seems like the Aces and MK Professionals are very similar and also the Gold Seal and Gold Star (MKs highest-end blade) - is this true?

Then I wonder about the Synchro blade - why are they so cheap?  Several dancers in my area use them and like them as much if not more than the more expensive dance blades.  I figure they are cheap because the blade manufacturer is hoping to outfit whole teams - getting lots of orders, bringing down the price - with an occasional random other skater (like an ice-dancer) who buys them because they are cheap and suits their needs (short backs).

I know that my favorite pair of dance blades EVER - the Wilson Dance (which is not made anymore - sigh) - cost me > $300 in the late '80s - because it was a "Dance blade" - I learned from a Wilson rep more recently that that blade was actually a Majestic (low-end "cheap" Wilson blade) with the backs cut off.  That was it.  And for that - double the price!!

It is what the market will bear I guess - until they can no longer sell enough Gold Seals at whatever they are now ( > $500) and people spend their money differently - but as long as there are enough people to shell out the $$$, skaters will buy those blades.

I keep looking for a used pair on ebay to try...
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Offline Skittl1321

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2012, 06:38:06 PM »
I've had a pair of Gold Seals, they came on used boots I bought. (For the record- they were silver, not gold, but I colored them magenta...)

They were fantastic blades.  It was like they did the turns for me.  I thought the pick slipped to much on toe jumps (probably a technique problem- but the cross cuts aren't very deep), but I didn't have issues with dragging the pick, so I don't think it was too big.

However, for a skater who isn't an elite, I don't think it is worth the cost.  I assume they have harder steel or something to take the force of a triple jump?  They don't hold their edge any longer than any other blade I've had though.

I'd save my money for lessons.

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2012, 07:31:59 PM »
I've had Gold Seals since 1986 - I found my spins improved with I switched from Pattern 99's initially, but it could have also been from changing to Klingbeil customs.  I can feel the difference between my Gold Seals and my Ultimas - the Gold Seals are faster and turn more easily; the spin rocker is further forward, and they're more quiet on the ice.  The Ultimas sound like I'm ripping edges when I'm not even trying.  (I don't really need the assist to make noise, lol.)  The Ultimas are lighter, mainly because the Gold Seals have higher stanchions and solid sole plate in the front.  The metal used is different and you can see the GS blade side honing/taper, which Wilson says makes the turns faster/easier.

The Ultimas are less expensive and I have to skate a little harder, which isn't a bad thing.  I've seen the gold-plated Gold Seals, but I don't care for the look or the price.  Honestly, I was overbladed, but my first two pair were a gift from my adoring big brother.  Yes, they were a status symbol back in the 1980's and they still are today.

It was really difficult to "step down" from the Gold Seals, so I would say to hold off until the skater needs a top-end blade for triples.  The MK Pro/Coronation Ace (or their clones) are a more sensible option.
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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2012, 09:37:21 PM »
I just ordered a pair of Gold Seals and am eagerly looking forward to skating on them! I have been on MK Professionals for 7 years now and the pair I have is at the end of its life. Got a good price on the Gold Seals, otherwise I don't know if I would have purchased them. I am hoping they will stay sharper longer then my current MK Pros and also help out my MIF - I am working on Junior. I'm sure I will spend some time on my butt as I adjust to the new rocker and toepick!
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Offline roseyhebert

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 09:46:14 PM »
I have gold sels and to be honest, I kind of hate them. The rocker is too much for me but too bad now because going back to pattern 99 wouldn't be a good move. Oh well, guess I just have to deal with it.

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2012, 06:19:19 AM »
It would be interesting to see how the blade manufacturers started historically - like, how are Wilson and Mitchell and King (MK) related?  Which started first?  Were the MKs basically copies of the Wilson?  (I know that some blade experts say the rockers on the blades made by these two manufacturers have different rockers - )
Well on the John Wilson home page it gives the date of their founding as 1696 when King Charles II asked John Wilson, a toolmaker, to make some skate blades for him (although either the date or monarch must be wrong because Charles died in 1685). Mitchell & King (MK) only started in 1946 (info from the Riedell website). As for how they're related, both brands of blades are now manufactured in the same factory in Sheffield.
Quote
It seems like the Aces and MK Professionals are very similar and also the Gold Seal and Gold Star (MKs highest-end blade) - is this true?
I can only answer for the Aces and MK Pros, but yes, these are basically the same blade. When I bought my previous pair of skates, the fitter showed me both, and the only obvious difference was that the Aces had an ever so slightly larger toe pick (which is why I picked the MK Pros!), but there was really nothing in it. They have the same rocker and are recommended for the same level.


Edited to add clarification

Offline skatingmum2

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2012, 10:10:25 AM »
The only reason I'm even vaguely thinking about Gold Seals (other than that my daughter is wanting to spend her own savings on these) is because I think her feet may have just about finished growing. I laughed when my son's coach suggested I buy them for him (a 9 year old for goodness sake!). She is in Coronation Ace. Jumps probably better than her spins (great height).

Basic spins reasonably solid but she feels she may get more rotations with Gold Seals - for stuff like Bielman spins where she gets a few rotations as her leg goes up but not many with the leg all the way up - if that makes sense at all. And guess lots of that from cloakroom chatter!!!

There are certainly kids clad to the max with expensive stuff - Gold Seals/parabolics as they are learning axel etc. I don't quite have that income.

Also - she still does some solo dance so any blade would need to be compatable with this.

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2012, 11:47:15 AM »
a) Ace to Seal is an easy transition. Same pick pattern, same basic rocker pattern.
b) the change of blade may not help with the revs.  If the issue is that she doesn't have the speed/control to centre the spin, then, that will still be a problem.  If she's already got fast centred spins, then, yes, the rocker may help her improve it. They will make a good spin better, not create a good spin (if that makes sense?)
c) Unless she's doing high level competitive dance, the Seal will be fine; may actually help, as edges and turns are strong plusses with the Seals.
d) Don't assume feet have stopped growing ... they seem to stop for 2 years then grow again! :(
e) Seals weight quite a bit more than Aces. You may want to consider Revolution blades if your daughter doesn't want to pick up the additional weight.
f) If there are lots of kids in your club with them ... could you pick up an outgrown pair and save some cash?
g) If she's already getting big air on her jumps: the bigger toe pick is going to give her more of that, which she will need to control. 

Offline skatingmum2

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2012, 02:29:30 PM »
I just showed my daughter your post - she seems pleased with the information. She bemoans the fact that I know so little about ice-skating and both of the kids find it a big joke how little I really know!

According to her her spins are quite centred but for IJS she needs slightly more revolutions with the more fancy positions. She hasn't felt quite as happy about her spins since being in the larger blades she tells me  - but it did coincide with retirement of our previous blade sharpener and she reckons the current guy doesn't do a great job. (He changed the type of cut she used to have). We have identified somebody further afield and will try get him to do them this weekend.

Height.....hmmmm - sometimes she has too much of that and does struggle a bit with control - coaches think she could easily get a triple on her sal, toe and flip because of the height - once she learns to pull in more and control landings better. (She had a brief go with a coach at Triple toe  - rotated fully but fell quite hard on her behind).

Her feet are so large no girl around has such big blades - she is in a 270mm Graf with 10 1/4 blades. She has grown a great deal over the last 2 to 3 years - now 5'4" and 106 pounds in weight. We have just been pleased that her feet haven't grown this year - have 2 smaller pairs of Grafs in pretty good condition (which I will sell when I get round to it) - 3 pairs in less than a year is a lot. There are very few boys and only about 3 or 4 of them had blades in her size and most are using them until they are worn. (My husband is 5'10" with outsize feet and sadly she seems to take after him).  I'm not sure what Revolution blades are but will task her with finding out about them - I don't think she had thought about the weight. Graf skates are heavy compared to many other brands.

The cost of the blades will come to about a quarter of her total life savings..... to me that is quite a big deal!

As for dance - she manages things like blues, samba, rocker foxtrot, tango etc. in aces.....


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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2012, 06:59:21 PM »
The Wilson Revolution blades are a carbon fibre mounted version of the traditional higher end Wilson blades.  Much lighter, just look a little different.

In terms of the spins ... okay, if she went up a blade size, she will have a problem recentering her spins. New sweet spot.  A different sharpener will also cause adjustment problems.  Give it time, go back and practice the basic positions and get the speed and revs up - that will help with the "fancy" ones. 

Seals are fine for those dances, so are Aces.

Aces are actually rated up to the triples - it's just that some people like to switch it up to the Seals.  If the Aces are doing okay, I'd keep them.  We sort of save up for the replacements ourselves ... a small chunk of cash gets diverted to a savings account and it piles up towards the new skates and blades.  Our cost for each time we do a full set of boot/blade is roughly $1600. And I have more than one skater who wears skates of that price - so, I definitely know what you mean about cost! 

Blade size :) .  I have a pair of 11 inch ones, if you ever get to that point!!!!!!!!

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2012, 10:31:16 AM »
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!

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Re: Goldseal/Goldstar blades etc.
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2012, 06:32:41 PM »
If MK or Wilson compositions vary, I'd like to know what info is available on that, from what sources. There is a lot of contradictory info out there. The manufacturers don't give complete details, for obvious reasons.