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Thread: GAM! Skates

  1. #1
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    GAM! Skates

    I'm looking to buy new skates soon and I think GAM! skates look interesting plus they are owned by Jackson now so the fit like Jacksons now? Plus they are called GAM! skates. I don't think it gets much cooler than that. I am in Jacksons now and I really like them, I'm just looking for a change. I'm an adult skater with an axel, working in standard Juv (US) moves, and Bronze dance. I am average size and I'm thinking the Bronze Label, but I don't know anyone with GAM! skates, but I know where I can get them and its a good place, its just far away and I need to work this into my budget and know what I need to be prepared to spend.

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    If you like the Jacksons, why are you looking to change? Don't fix what isn't broken. If the Jacksons don't fit you properly, by all means, try another brand, but if you have a brand of skates that fit and work well, stick with them.

    If you don't think your current skates have enough support, try the next level up in Jackson.

    I was in GAM skates 9 years ago and I thought they were garbage. The pro shop owner who sold them to me didn't know what she was doing and they were way too narrow for my feet. But aside from that, the soles were uneven/slanted, which I didn't notice until the next boot fitter pointed it out to me. Essentially, when I thought I was on a flat, I was really on an edge and in some cases, when I was supposed to be on an edge, I was really on a flat. So my inability to maintain a spin for more than a couple revs was not entirely due to my own ability (or lack thereof). At about the same time I was getting rid of the GAMs, another skater at my rink who wore GAMs had the heel detach from the boot while she was skating - fortunately, she was not hurt.

    I doubt Jackson would buy a brand of skates and make them exactly like their flagship brand. So I wouldn't assume they fit just like Jacksons. If they are maintaining the same design, GAMs will be a lot narrower than Jacksons.
    Last edited by Debbie S; 10-15-2011 at 11:31 PM.

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    Yes Jacksons fit me very well and I was looking at getting the next model up, its just that Jackson have really high backs and I thought GAM's might be a tiny bit lower. I like the light weight Riedells, but I had Riedells and they were a disaster. They didn't fit me at all and I was told I don't have a good foot for Riedell so that is why they are out. I thought maybe the GAMs would be a happy medium.

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    Unless they've radically changed the design of GAMs since I wore them, they are very similar to Riedells. If you can't wear Riedells, you probably can't wear GAMs. Jackson does make a coaches boot that has a bit of a cutdown in back, similar to a dance boot, but I don't know how much support they'll give you, esp if you are landing axels.

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    I hated my Gams.

    Admittedly I was over-booted by the fitter (partly him mis-selling, partly me not beign as clear as I should have been about my requirements), but there were issues with them that still would have been issues if I'd been in the next model down, mainly that I could never seem to do them up tightly enough that there wasn't a gap between the tongue and the boot, even with a wide fitting. I also got severe cramps in the arch of my foot which meant I pretty much had to sit down every ten minutes (though this was likely due to the fact they were too stiff for me).

    Fortunately, as I never even remotely broke them in, let alone break them down, I was able to sell them as hardly used.

    I swapped to Riedells which fit me much, much better. They're not similar to the Gams at all.

    Having said all that, other skaters at the same rink swore by their Gams, so as usual, it's really a matter of finding a boot that suits you. So I agree with Debbie, if you like the Jacksons I wouldn't be too keen to swap.
    The ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as gods, and the cats have never forgotten.

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    I had a pair of GAM, celebrity 050 model. It was the boot which was sold with my PICSkates but, unfortunately, they were too wide for my feet (I've got "Risport" feet, lol !) but, for the little time I skated on it while waiting for my Risport Perla, it was OK. They are heat moldable and yes, that trick works : http://icemom.net/2010/04/how-to-hea...s-at-home.html

    I offered them to my "skate friend's" daughter and she love them !

    And I agree with Debbie S regarding Riedell's, even if it's now manufactured by Jackson

    FYI, even if GAM is an "old" brand and had the reputation of being "crap" a few years ago, it's not the case anymore

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    GAM has gone back and forth between being a crap brand and a great brand over the years. When I was a young skater in the 90s I wouldn't have touched them.The only high-level skater I remember wearing them was Josee Chouinard. When I last got new boots in 2005, a lot of the high-level skaters at my rink were wearing either GAMS or Grafs, just before Riedell started to take off again with the 1500s. Joannie Rochette was in GAMs for a while too, IIRC. I got the GAM 400s and loved them. Easiest break-in period I've ever gone through. I used them for my skills tests (Sr Silver and Gold, I think), singles (single jumps, basic spins), and synchro (twice a week, competitive). I last skated in those boots in 2008, and they were still in great shape.

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    [QUOTE=Debbie S;3322883]I was in GAM skates 9 years ago and I thought they were garbage. [\QUOTE]

    This was my experience, also. I had always worn SP Teris but got GAMs on my coach's advice. They felt good at first - incredibly light weight and easy/short break-in period. However, as time wore on, I discovered that there was something in them that was pressing very painfully on my bony ankle. I had them punched, the punch wouldn't hold, and we figured that there had to be something that wasn't leather in them. My coach also bought a pair and he, too, discovered that they hurt his ankles badly. He split the top seam and pulled out a solid piece of plastic. No wonder they wouldn't hold the punch.

    On top of all of this, the gel in the skates leaked out. I was back in SP Teri in less than year and have never considered trying anything else since. SP Teri worked for me; why change?

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    The GAMS of today are not the same as a years ago. In fact, this years models are significantly different. They do fit a bit on the narrow side. Dd's foot is not particularly narrow but it is definitely not wide. She has been in them for 5 years and each pair has been better than the next. That said, I don't like GAM blades - stick with Coronation Ace or some other Wilson blade. Her latest pair has a slightly different look in the lacing pattern which she says keeps the laces tight even after two hours on the ice. She has also yet to break a pair down in the 12 months she wears them (she is still growing so we replace them every year.) We are very fortunate to have a fabulous skate shop with great fitters so the fit has always been perfect. They are heat molded which really helps. She has had no trouble with blisters; in fact, with this latest pair there wasn't even as much as a hot spot. She was landing axels the first day (she is working on double lutz and double axel) and was able to do sit spins by day two. She says there is lots of "spring" in her boots and I'm sure I couldn't get her to change them for anything.

    GAMS are not for everyone just as Jacksons, Reidells, SP Terri's etc. are not for everyone. Just because they fit, or don't fit, one person really has no bearing on whether or not they will fit you. I can't tell you if you will like them or not, but I can assure you that we have dozens of kids around here who skate in them and they are well liked and highly recommended by our local skate shop.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

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