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  1. #1

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    Changing blades ? Need your expertise !

    Hi there !

    I submit my question to your advisory board

    What "could happen" if I switch from John Wilson Coronation Ace to Ultima Ultra lite ?

    My actual blades are quite "EOL" (1-2 sharpenings max. left) and I'll have to buy new ones in a few months... The model I have suits my level and will be OK for my present and future skating level (FYI, I'm 41 and started to skate two years ago. My goal is to achieve to get all my simple jumps -if a "double" happens to come, I'll be delightful, but it's not a goal in itself- doing some quite nice footwork and spins. I'm quite tall (171cm) and athletic, with a lot of strength in my legs and a good body core), but... I'm usually not that kind of girl who buys someting only because of the look, but... I don't know why, but I LOVE how the Ultra Lite look and... yes, I admit, I could be "that kind of girl" regarding those blades !

    So, Pfffflllllleeeeeease (*Roger Rabbit's voice*), gimme some good reasons to switch or to be reasonnable !!

    Thanks a lot !

  2. #2
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    Whenever I change my blades I totally lose my spins- usually when they come back they are faster than they were before. Then, as they wear down, they get slower again.

    My turns also always improve, but picking for jumps takes some practice on timing.

    (I've gone from Ultima Mirage to worn out Gold Seals, and from those to low level Paramounts).

    Supposedly the paramounts are lighter, but I didn't notice. I too picked them because they were pretty. I tried to get the Lite's but it took months and then I canceled the order (my rink's fault)

  3. #3
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    Why the heck not? Life is too short not to buy something you LOVE, especially if you're going to use them as often as you will use your new blades. Besides, these blades appear to be appropriate for your skating level, Ultima is a reputable brand, and they aren't very expensive, so what's to be hesitant about? Just ask the retailer if they've ever had any negative reports or comments about the blade before buying, and also ask them about the 30 day Ultima blade guarantee that's advertised on the Jackson Ultima website.

    You can expect the blades to feel different, since they probably have a different rocker profile than your Coronation Aces, but even new Coronation Aces would feel different from old ones that had been flattened by a lot of sharpenings. The Jackson blades have an 8' rocker rather than 7' rocker, but since your current blades are probably already somewhat flattened from sharpenings, that shouldn't make much of a difference.

  4. #4
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    It honestly depends whether you care more about your actual skating or about how your blades look to you (since I guarantee no one else will notice them).

    The Coronation Ace has a 7 foot rocker while the Ultima blade has an 8 foot rocker. 8 foot rockers are flatter, and for many people, especially not terribly experienced skaters, MUCH harder to spin in. I personally moved from 7 to 8 several years back and there was a marked difference. I've never had spinning problems so this didn't bother me, but it took even someone who has skated their whole life a couple of weeks to get used to.

    The toe picks are both cross-cut, however you can clearly see that the Ultima toe pick sticks much farther forward than the Coronation Ace pick...this means you risk "slipping" on your larger top toe tick and not pick in correctly on toe jumps because you're used to having to reach differently. For someone whose goals is to perfect all single jumps, this is honestly not the kind of brain confusion you need- what is important is that your muscle memory is useful to you, and it won't be with a totally different blade.

    The Ultima blade is also supposed to be "lighter" which will obviously affect the stability you feel (or don't feel, in this case) on them.

    I'm not saying the blades are bad, I'm saying for someone with relatively little experience and non-competitive goals, it seems to be asking a lot from your body to adjust to all these different things that what you are used to, for a purely cosmetic reason, when you are still in the process of perfecting single jumps. I just don't get how it could be viewed as anything but a total waste of your time and money spend on skating for the past few months- you'll spend a good two weeks getting used to the blades, and you may never get your center on your spins back in an 8 foot rocker as a lower level skater.

    If you want to change blades, unless your spins are 100% centered, secure, fast, and enough rotations, then at least consider another blade with a 7 foot rocker. That is my advice. Personally I think the Coronation Ace is ten times prettier than those Ultimas- they look like wheel axles, almost. The heel may also not be the same height (Ultima is notoriously low) so that would majorly throw you off, as well.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangerine_dream View Post
    I'm not saying the blades are bad, I'm saying for someone with relatively little experience and non-competitive goals, it seems to be asking a lot from your body to adjust to all these different things that what you are used to, for a purely cosmetic reason, when you are still in the process of perfecting single jumps. I just don't get how it could be viewed as anything but a total waste of your time and money spend on skating for the past few months- you'll spend a good two weeks getting used to the blades, and you may never get your center on your spins back in an 8 foot rocker as a lower level skater.
    I haven't skated my entire life, but I did learn most of the freestyle elements I can do on a pair of Ultima Blades (with an 8 foot rocker) including how to spin. I'm decent spinner but I would never say the flatter rocker made it harder to learn how to spin.

    Isn't skating supposed to be fun and make us happy? Does having cool blades make you happy? If they do then I would say go for it. Anyone will lose training time and possibly have to relearn some skills on new boots and blades anyway. I believe these blades are similar to Ulitma Legacy and Protege which is similar to Coronation Ace.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernskater View Post
    I haven't skated my entire life, but I did learn most of the freestyle elements I can do on a pair of Ultima Blades (with an 8 foot rocker) including how to spin. I'm decent spinner but I would never say the flatter rocker made it harder to learn how to spin.
    You don't know that since you didn't learn to spin on 7 foot rocker blades. It would have definitely been easier.

    Yes, the point of skating is that it is fun. But the OP asked for advice, and I'm giving it. IMHO it's *not fun* to lose all your spins/jumps because you changed rockers, even if that loss is temporary. It would be very discouraging, especially to a lower level adult skater. If she reads my post and thinks what I say doesn't apply, then she will get them and all will be well. It would just be unfair to her not to mention that loss of technique is possible when changing rocker size and toe pick shape, especially with people who don't have secure grasp on technique yet to begin with.

  7. #7

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    Thanks a HUGE for your advices/opinions I really appreciate

    @tangerine_dream : OK. I get it. In fact, your messages are quite word to word what I was afraid of... and the reason why of posting this thread... So, I'll stick with Coronation Ace and, if I really want Ultima Lite for "how they look" *awwwww*, I'll buy an used pair on ebay and will arrange them in a nice artwork picture !

  8. #8
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    I went from a Professional (very similar to the Ace) to an Ultima Matrix 2. It was a HUGE difference (the rocker). It took me almost a month to skate like I used to. That said, I adore them. They are much lighter and hold a sharpening twice as long. I also skate way faster in them.

    In terms of the Ultima Lite, the general agreement at my rink is they aren't very good blades. Just what I've heard, not sure what's not good about them. And I don't see them on any of the top skaters.

    I'm an adult skater with all my singles except that pesky Axel (almost, not quite) and didn't think I "needed" an over-$500 blade - but then I said why the hell not, I deserve it!

  9. #9
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    I actually went from a coronation comet to a Phantom ( thought that the toe rake looked cooler then the next level up pattern 99's the most went with) and it took me about a month to get used to them. Once i did though, i loved them. Spinning on them though was not easy but once i got used to it, all was well.

  10. #10
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    What's more important than the radius of the blade (7' vs 8') is the rocker profile--or shape--of the blade. This video on the Paramount blade website shows examples of different rocker profiles and explains why they make a difference: http://www.paramountskates.com/techinfo.php

    I learned my basic spins and jumps on 7' MK Professionals, landed my first axel in 7' MK Gold Stars and stayed in those for 7 years, then just recently switched to 8' Wilson Gold Seals. The Gold Seals required zero adjustment for my jumps and spins, even though they had an 8' rocker radius instead of 7'. That's because the front of the blade has the same rocker profile as the 7' Gold Stars. The only area where I could feel that the blade was flatter was the back of the blade, so I just had to get used to letting my weight go farther back on the heel when doing things like back crossovers and basic stroking. But the glide and stability I feel on these 8' radius blades is wonderful and I would never go back to a 7' blade now.

    Why not just ask a knowledgeable person at your skate shop to show you a brand new Coronation Ace and Ultima Lite side by side and help you compare the rocker profiles? Or you could even contact Ultima and ask them to tell you what rocker profile the Ultima Lite is similar to, since each Ultima blade seems to be based on the rocker profile of one of the Wilson blades: info@jacksonultima.com
    Last edited by Doubletoe; 11-26-2010 at 06:55 AM.

  11. #11

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    Once again, thanks a lot for all the information provided !

    Doubletoe : I won't ask my skate shop, because, if I finally decide to switch, I'll order them online (30% cheaper than in Switzerland, shipping and taxes included)... And if it's not a problem to go to the skate shop in order to let them mount, I definitively can't ask "my skateman" for some advice and buy them somewhere else But it will be of course easier

  12. #12
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    Are you ever thinking of coaching little ones, Diane? Maybe you could have those blades on your "coaching boots" in the future? Best of both worlds.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diane Mars View Post
    Once again, thanks a lot for all the information provided !

    Doubletoe : I won't ask my skate shop, because, if I finally decide to switch, I'll order them online (30% cheaper than in Switzerland, shipping and taxes included)... And if it's not a problem to go to the skate shop in order to let them mount, I definitively can't ask "my skateman" for some advice and buy them somewhere else But it will be of course easier
    When I'm waiting for my skates to be sharpened, I always check out the boots and blades on display. The skate tech is interesting and knows his stuff, so I learn a lot from hanging around chatting him up.

    Some pro shops charge a mounting fee for blades bought elsewhere, so I wouldn't feel guilty. I would be honest and say that you can buy the skates online for less - see what they say. The cost of buying them elsewhere plus paying to have them mounted might be just a little less than buying them from the pro shop with mounting costs included. Just a thought. You should give them a chance to earn your business.

    As for your changing blades, I love the look of the Ultima Lite blades. I checked them out at a pro shop a few months ago and they're beautiful to look at, plus they're very light compared to my current blades. I'm on Gold Seals, which also have an 8' rocker, so I'm seriously considering switching when the need arises. My only concern is that the Ultima Lite blades might bend/break since I'm heavy and I land jumps hard. For me, the Ultima Lite is really inexpensive compared to the Gold Seals. Compared to a Coronation Ace, it's not as big a price difference, but there are some savings.

    FWIW, I went from 7' rocker blades to the Gold Seals with very little adjustment back when I skated 10-12 hours/week. I was also breaking in new skates, so everything was a little off for a while, but spins came back stronger than ever.

    Ultima has an alleged Coronation Ace clone (Ultima Legacy) with a similar profile. The Ultima Lite blade doesn't seem to be a copy of any other blade.

    You would be smart to change blades without changing boots since it will cut down on the adjustment time.
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 11-29-2010 at 03:20 PM.

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