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Author Topic: Question about blades  (Read 1410 times)

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Offline justamoose

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Question about blades
« on: July 28, 2015, 09:40:20 PM »
I just started skating again after a 15 year hiatus. I started back in March, and got my skates early April. I've finished all the basic adult courses, and am now learning the scratch spin, back 3 turns, and I'm improving my Waltz jump. My boots are Riedell 229 Edge, with the stock blade, the Eclipse Astra. At what point is it time to upgrade the blade?

Offline icepixie

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Re: Question about blades
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2015, 06:47:09 PM »
I upgraded both boot and blade right around that time.  (Skills-wise, I mean; I'd had my old skates for about 16 months at that point.)  I went from a Riedell 229 (but before they made the improvements and upped the stiffness) with an Eclipse Crescent to Jackson Premieres with a Coronation Ace.  It was like night and day.  Changing blades actually allowed me to get the hang of spinning on one foot.  I had also definitely started outskating the boot by that point, so the added stiffness was welcome.  I think I'm harder on boots than most people, though.  I may not be graceful out there, but by god, I've got power.  I'm like a freight train. ;)

I would highly recommend upgrading the blade (and possibly the boot) at this point, especially if you're having any trouble at all finding the right spot to spin and turn on.  The first time I went out in the Coro Aces, it was like MAGIC.  My three turns instantly improved, and I think it was only one, at most two, lessons before I could do a one-foot spin that lasted much longer than half a revolution.

Offline justamoose

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Re: Question about blades
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2015, 03:03:20 PM »
Yes, I am for sure having difficulties finding the right spot to spin on. 3 turns are no problem, and I can do about 2 1/2- 3 revs on a 1 foot spin. But in learning the scratch spin, it has been so hard for me to find that sweet spot. And the rare times I can find it, I only stay on it for 1 rev before losing it again. I just haven't been sure how much of that is equipment, or how much is just me. The boot still feels pretty stiff. I've broken them in, but they're definitely still supporting me.

Offline skatemom189

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Re: Question about blades
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2015, 02:50:25 AM »
My daughter had been skating on the Eclipse Astra for 1 year, and we switched her to Coronation Ace 8 weeks ago, the first week of June (keeping her boots the same as they still fit and are broken in, but still plenty stiff).  At that time she was at the same skating level you are now - except she couldn't spin.  She could do 2 revolutions on 2 feet, and 1-2 very wobbly revs on 1 foot.  Also, her backwards edges were not steady.  In these 8 weeks, she can now spin 12-15 revolutions on 2 feet, 7 revolutions on an upright 1-foot spin from back crossovers, 6 revolution scratch spin with foot crossed, and 3-4 revolutions on backspin.  She has progressed from unsteady back edges to doing backward circle eights, backward power pulls down half the rink (almost test-level, but not quite), has test-passable backward alternating edges, a back catch-foot spiral for half the rink (she already had these skills going forward), and forward and backward progressives.  Jumps have gone from a beginning waltz jump (from a standstill) to having waltz, half flip, toe loop, salchow, and loop jumps all moving across the ice at speed from crossovers.  And her stroking has also improved, like by a factor of 10.  All of that, in 8 weeks.  We are astonished, to say the least.

We were told that the Astra is 'fine', that the Aces would just cost more.  That Astra was already quite an upgrade from what would usually come on skates for her level (she's 5 and wears a toddler size 10 boot, so stock blades are not very good), so we should be happy with that.  Our skate tech said skaters don't go onto the Ace until they have an axel, or are close.  But we could tell she was stuck, and had been for a while despite following all the coaching directions, so we took the gamble.  We are absolutely THRILLED with her progress since changing to the Ace, and I strongly recommend you spend the money for them if you suspect you are having spin or edge problems.  Her coach says a few more weeks strengthening the loop jump, and then she will start learning flip and lutz, and camel spin, power 3-turns, and the waltz 8 are supposed to start in the next week or so also.  Also, she had essentially zero adaptation time.  We took her to a public session after attaching the blades, bundled up with knee pads and a helmet, and she just zoomed off with no toepick catching or anything.  She was instantly a LOT faster, as well.  They are expensive blades, but at least you are getting something for your money.  I shutter to think how many months of lessons it would have cost us for her to reach the same level wearing the Astra blades; at this rate of progress the blades are saving us money!

Offline SK8ted4ever

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Re: Question about blades
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2015, 03:11:41 PM »
The difference between leisure blades and figure skating blades resides in the presence of pics / rocker. How present the bottom pic is to the ice surface.
Leisure pics are higher off the ice than more specialized figure skating blades. For the beginner or leisure skater this is very accommodating, helping them avoid the Oh Soooooo  Ungraceful forward toe pic fall. But for the skater who is working on more technical figure skating elements, The leisure profile of pics ( the blade with the pics higher off the ice) creates more difficulty and can hamper progress. As a figure skater, you need the presence of the bottom pic to stabilize yourself on spins or any element that requires backward skating (jump take offs, jump landings, spins, backward stroking, ...).  Most figure skating blades over a 100$ will give you a good pic profile for jumps and all technical elements. So there can be a big change in your skating if you are coming out of a leisure blade with a very exaggerated rocker (like a banana) and going on a flatter rocker with a better presence of the bottom pic. You will not have the unmanageable forward to backward  unbalancing, when trying to access and work with the bottom pic. You will be more stabilized and in control.
The flatter rocker and presence of pics make the difference regardless of Brands or Models. Choose the specs and your desired price point. You can buy Ultima Aspire or Aspire X for around 100$ and they would have offered you the same outcome.  ;)

Offline dlbritton

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Re: Question about blades
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2015, 03:36:33 PM »
The flatter rocker and presence of pics make the difference regardless of Brands or Models. Choose the specs and your desired price point. You can buy Ultima Aspire or Aspire X for around 100$ and they would have offered you the same outcome.  ;)

When I got new boots/blades in August I went from an Ultima Aspire XP to a Coronation Ace and the difference is astounding, especially for my spins ( such as they are ).  On the Aspires I struggled to get 2 revolutions with a 2 foot spin and 1 with a 1 foot spin. Within a few days on the Aces I was getting 4 revs on 2 feet and 2 to 2 1/2 on 1 foot.
Working on USFSA pre-bronze MITF, PSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor, PSIA Childrens Specialist 1.

Offline SK8ted4ever

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Re: Question about blades
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2015, 05:59:16 PM »
The flatter rocker blades like the Aspire series, can create a bit of scratching if you are not used to them. The Coronation Ace like it's little brother the Majestic has a pronounced rocker. Originally these blades fell in the category of '' Combination Blades '' or all purpose, when figure skating  used to have figures. They were designed to allow a skater to practice both figures and freestyle elements with the same blade. Wilson and MK kept these models in their selection and they are still offered today! Having a more pronounced rocker allows for better spins. But too much of a rocker can do the opposite (in reference to leisure blades).
 It is possible to change the rocker on figure skating blades. After abusive or repetitive sharpenings, the blades are often deformed to the point of creating technical issues on the ice. When this is the case, the first elements to experience problems are spins and edge jumps. The presence of pic has to be adjusted according to how much blades is being sharpened off.
I don't have any clients that have any problems with Ultima Aspire or any Ultima models for that matter. I do have a tremendous amount of clients on these blades with no issues. At that point, personal preference can guide our choices.  :)