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Blade help please!
I need your opinions. My daughter is an almost 9 year old, preliminary skater. She is in lightweight Harlicks with mk pro blades. We just got new boots and need to order new blades. Her coach would like her to stay in the mk pro blades. She thinks she has had a hard year and shouldnt try blades with a 8 inch rocker. We are leaning towards a ultima matrix elite blade and haven't really been impressed with the mk pro. typically girls go from mk pro at our rink to a pattern 99. We really think a lightweight blade would be good for her since she weighs 52 pounds. What do you all think? Any other blades you would recommend? We think after regionals would be the perfect time to change since there will be a few months before a competition again. That being said, it's always really hard to go against our coaches recommendation. Thanks!!!
What types of jumps and spins has she currently mastered? I know you mentioned her level, but curious how far along she is element-wise.
I think staying in the pro might be good unless she has a good number of double jumps.
I had Pattern 99 last year, and the blade is extra curvy at the toe despite the 8' rocker on the main part of the blade. I would only recommend if she's doing a full range of doubles and has good control and variety in her spins. The 99's are a difficult adjustment on spins due to that extra curve on the front. Also, the toe-pick might need a bit of adjusting to, but like any blade you switch to, there's always an adjustment period of a week or two.
I switched to Gold Seal and love them. The rocker is the same as the 99's, but they don't have the extra curvy portion by the toe. They feel great, but they are pretty expensive and with a daughter growing you probably want something a bit more cost friendly since she might grow out quickly.
When I was younger I used Gold Star blades. I loved them and they are fairly cost friendly. I would recommend those. I've never used the newer brands like Ultima, so it's hard to suggest just based on specs.
There's a great video online showing difference between different blades like the 99's and Gold Seals. I'm on a mobile device so can't copy over right now, but search on YouTube.
Last edited by scootie12; 09-27-2011 at 04:08 AM.
back on a computer...
here's the video on blade rockers, which is helpful especially since I mentioned the two blades I've had that are mentioned here:
Ultima Elites are similar to Pattern 99's. Ultima Freestyles are similar to Gold Seals. Ultima Legacy is similar to Coronation Aces.
I skated on Aces most of my life. Then I went to the Elites and was not fond of them, mainly because I prefer a cross cut toepick. My next blades were Freestyles, and I loved them. Now I am trying the Legacy blades, but only because I want something shorter because I am doing more dance but am not willing to give us freestyle yet.
Blades are very individual. What does your skater like about her current blades? What does she dislike? I would find that out and then talk with a professional skate fitter to see what is out there that would fit her preferences. The lightweights (Matrix, Paramount) have their own set of characteristics. They are harder, louder, and cut the ice in a different way than regular blades (although you do get used to it). If you think that may bother your skater, it might be better to stick with traditional blades until she is more experienced. The weight difference really isn't that big, IMO. It's the boots that really weigh you down.
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Thanks for the link! I will check it out She doesn't have a lot of variety in her spins but they are good quality. She has her uprights, front and back sit, broken leg, mushroom, Pancake, catch foot, haircutter, working on flying sit and back camel. She has consistant double sal, inconsistant toe and loop. I think the biggest problem she feels she has with the blades is that they don't stay sharp for long, they are heavy, and most importantly, the rocker is gone.......I appreciate your advise and probably will just go with the mk pro's. Our skate fitter recommended the Matrix elite or Matrix legacy, or Pattern 99's. Our coach just really dislikes them because they are loud. It just seems like everyone we talk to recommends a different blade which I find frusterating. Thanks for your input!!
Having skated in old blades with no rocker left, I feel her pain!
As for sharpness, I like mine really sharp. One thing you can do is to talk with your sharpener to see if the hollow can be deepened a bit. The matrix blades do (supposedly - I haven't had mine long enough to know) hold their sharpness longer.
The Ultima Matrix blades are fantastic! I've had a pair of Gold Seals, and am now on the Ultima Matrix Legacy, and if I bought another pair today, I'd buy this again, not the Gold Seals. I honestly like the way they skate better (and the price is amazing).
I'm much lower than your daughter's level though- so you won't get the great price on the matrix series if you buy the upper level blade. But the Ultima is a HIGH quality blade, and is really fantastic. I think over half of our rink is in one of the Matrix blades now, Ultima is really increasing their market share. I know high level skaters used to be pretty much Gold Seal or Pattern 99, but at least locally, that seems to be changing. (Also everyone who had Paramounts at my rink, including me, has now switched to Ultima. For me, that was because the lowest paramount doesn't have the hard steel like the high level ones do, and the low level ultima's do- they hold a sharpening FOREVER- I got them early summer, skate 4 days a week and still haven't had them sharpened again, nor am I close to needing it, I used to do every 6 weeks. Not sure why higher level skaters changed- likely just because fitters around here sell them, so access is easier.)
I can understand the coach's prejudice against the Matrix (and probably Paramount) blades due to the sound they make on the ice. They can make a skater sound like she is scraping, and that could lower her presentation/PCS score with judges.