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  1. #1
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    Is it time to buy skates?

    Hi,

    I've been learning to ice skate for about three to four months (one group lesson a week and sometimes a public session but I haven't done that much lately) and I've just used the plastic rental skates, so.....

    how do I know when I should buy my own skates? should I wait a bit longer or will that slow my progress?

  2. #2

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    It is always time to buy skates .

    You will find that it will take a bit of time to get used to them, but you will also probably start to find immediate improvement.

    Maybe get a boot and blade set to start with as they are cheaper overall, but make sure the blades are screwed in, not rivetted, as then if you decide to upgrade to a different blade they will be easy to change over. There are some really good basic models available. Others here may have more advice on those.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  3. #3
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    It is a well-kept secret that half of the reason beginning skaters can't skate well is because they are skating in rental skates. Get your own skates!! And make sure they fit perfectly.

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    Thanks for the replies,

    I was going to wait till August, but I really want them sooner, so maybe the end of June after exams when I have 2 weeks holiday (I'm going to try and skate nearly everyday then).

    I usually try to find a reasonably sharp pair of rentals from the rack, but they all seem blunt.

    Where do people usually buy skates? I've only really seen them in the shop at the rink and can't think of anywhere else that would sell them.

    I live in New Zealand so I don't know how available things are compared to other countries.

  5. #5
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    Also I have large feet that are wide and large ankles, will that make it harder to find skates that fit well?

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    Okay New Zealand - you are across the ditch from me!!

    Not sure where you would get them in NZ. Suggest contact the local figure skating club and see if they can help. Or ask the coaches who take the group lessons. Word of mouth is probably the best way in your part of the world as I know we are in a similar situation to yourself being here in Melbourne..

    It can be hard getting boots if you have wide feet and larger ankles. I have Jackson boots because they do make great boots for wider feet. They may be good for you.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  7. #7
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    If you have a skate shop at your rink, that is a good place to start. I agree that Jacksons would be a good brand to ask about. They should measure both of your feet very carefully, noting the width at the heel and at the ball (front) of the foot. Make sure you get boots that are the proper width. They will need to order them and it may take awhile, but you will regret it if you get ill-fitting boots.

  8. #8

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    I teach group lessons and have seen so many skaters in rentals w dull blades. It really interferes w their ability to do skills. Get your own skates ASAP. Your skating will improve. You will have an adjustment period to get used to them, but it will be worth the investment of both time and $. Be sure to buy figure skates (w a toe pick) rather than hockey or rec skates that do not have a toe pick. Inexpensive skates are fine for your basic skills and group lessons. Iam not familiar w Jacksons or NZ. However, I recommend the Reidell Medallion series to my grp students. They come in wide widths. I have pair of 220s (Gold Medallion?) for quad roller. I bought them in a wide. They have served me well.

    Kay
    www.skatejournal.com

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    Good time to buy skates as long as you think you will continue. Always better than rental skates.

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    I had a look through the window of the rink shop, they mostly had hockey stuff. The figure skate brands were Jackson and Reidell. I think the Jacksons had the cheapest (I think they were Jackson Glacier, does that sound right?) I don't have a lot of money to spend on skates and probably won't be getting them for a couple more weeks but I really want to make sure I don't waste my money by buying the wrong thing.

    I'm also not sure about who I should get to fit them, my sister said to just ask whoever works at the rink and looks like they know about skates (eg, she saw one of the people selling hockey stuff to someone so she thinks we should ask that person, but I'm not sure). The shop is normally closed unless you ask them to open it (I think, I've never seen it open anyway).

    Also, do you wear socks with the skates? I've always worn the thickest socks that I have with the rentals, but I read that you should actually wear really thin/no socks so the skates fit better, is that right?

    Thank You

  11. #11

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    Really thin socks is very important. I wear knee high hose. Get the type w the reinforced toe or you will "run" through a lot of hose.
    The hockey guy selling stuff is probably not your best bet as a fitter unless he is exp w figure skaters too. You may get better results w your coach. Or ask at the pro shop who fits fig skates. Ask your coach who s/he recommends.

    Kay
    www.skatejournal.com

  12. #12

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    I wear tights in my skates. Can't stand the seams that sock have. They are always uncomfortable. Just those knee-hi tights would probably be fine.

    Be very careful about people fitting you, particularly if they are hockey people. Hockey boots are very different from figure skates. Don't be afraid to ask for them to show you, however I would try them on, go away and go back another day.

    A couple of hints to help you fit them:

    When you put the boot on, make sure you can get your heel right back into the heel of the boot. You shouldn't have much movement. Sometimes the padding around the heel can be deceptive and you have to work your heel back into your boot.

    If you have pressure on the instep, then I would be careful about getting those.

    Make sure you can wriggle your toes and that you have a bit of room between the toe of the boot and your big toe.

    The boot should fit securely around your foot. Not tight but not too loose either. If when you tighten the laces up and they still feel loose, they are probably too big.

    If they feel too small, they probably are. Someone I know brought a pair of boots because the sales person told her they would be okay for her. Go with your instincts on that one.

    Like I said before, if you a buying a boot and blade set, make sure they blades are screwed on, not rivitted.

    Skating boots are not like shoes, particularly when you try them on. They will take some time to adjust to your feet. They will probably feel quite stiff at first and the tongue could take a bit of effort with the laces in tying them down.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  13. #13
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    Although most figure skaters I know wear nylons with their skates, I wear thin cotton socks because I hate the way my feet feel (and stink!!) in nylons. Just make sure they are thin, not thick.

  14. #14
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    Another vote for (cute) thin cotton socks.
    I wear out nylon ones way too fast, not by running through the toes, but usually the heels.

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