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  1. #1

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    When to buy skates

    So the title says it all. I'm an adult just started learn to skate classes and am really enjoying myself. I'm starting my second 6 week session this week (this tells you how new I am--6 weeks of skating so far). I don't want to get skates that I'm going to replace right away, but at the same time, I hate the rental skates. There's one pair that I can tolerate at best, one pair that hurt while I skate, and one pair that I cause my feet to cramp up the whole time I skate and seem to leave my feet hurting for a few hours after I'm done skating. I seem to rotate through these skates (2 different models) each week.

    Anyway, with my feet hurting and 4 rentals left on my card, my question is do I just deal with it until I progress far enough to justify buying skates or do I buy a pair sooner rather than later. In addition, what would be recommended for a beginning adult? There is a pro shop and I can ask questions there too, but thought I'd start here.

    Right now I'm in Pre-Alpha II but am doing the following:

    forward swizzles
    backwards swizzles
    backwards wiggles/skating
    backwards 2 foot glides from swizzles
    forward 1 foot glides on each foot
    2 foot snowplow stops from forward glides
    skating into a dip
    forward half swizzle pumps
    2 foot turn from standstill (each direction)
    started stoking from t-position
    started 2 foot turns while moving (not overly successful so far...)

    So not a lot yet, but I'm just starting out. Anyway, advice regarding skates would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    If you think you're in it for the long haul, buy some. Stock Reidells should be fine. With gold figure, freestyle and dance tests, I'm still using stock Reidells.

  3. #3

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    I pretty quickly got some stock Reidell (Bronze medallion, think they don't make them anymore), got a mid-level one. The difference is huge, even when doing small stuff - I don't think I would have ever learned backwards x-overs in rentals.

    If you are really enjoying it, and as an adult our feet don't grow, so if you take care of them you can use them for years.

    I stopped LTS when I got pregnant, and even with mini-viking being a year, it is hard to find time to get on the ice - but the skates are there waiting, and I am looking forward to him being old enough to take LTS, so I can take the adult class along side

    I think for the money (I *think* it was around $250) I paid, it was a good investment, given that I can use them for recreational skating for years to come.

  4. #4
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    Sounds to me like it's time for you to get your own skates - whee!

    Back when I lived in the same town as a rink, I got my first pair at about the level where you are at now. My first pair were some Jacksons that always seemed too stiff. My second pair were Reidells, (around 200ish, maybe the same ones maatTheViking had), and I remember that I had a much better sense of control over my skating than with the Jacksons. I could tell when I was doing something right with my 3-turns.
    Cigarettes are like squirrels. They are perfectly harmless until you put one in your mouth and light it on fire. -- @ciggybuttz on Twitter

  5. #5
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    What's a good entry level blade? I'm still using my Pattern 99s from the old days, but I've worn them down to the soft metal. I need some new blades.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Fever View Post
    What's a good entry level blade? I'm still using my Pattern 99s from the old days, but I've worn them down to the soft metal. I need some new blades.
    Pattern 99's are fairly advanced blades now. Depending on what your do (any double jumps, high moves), you might need a high-end blade. I loved Coronation Aces for a good advanced beginner/mid level blade.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ioana View Post
    Pattern 99's are fairly advanced blades now. Depending on what your do (any double jumps, high moves), you might need a high-end blade. I loved Coronation Aces for a good advanced beginner/mid level blade.
    I have always had Coronation Aces, and there are national-level skaters at my club who have done everything up to triples in them.
    We live in an ageist society where everything is based on youth, but I hated being 18. I don't like teenagers any more now than I did then. I'm 49 now and there is no way that I'd go back to my teens and 20s - even if I knew what I know now, I don't want to go through all that again. I found it a very difficult time. - Buzz Osborne of the Melvins

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    Good advice. Actually I haven't jumped in years and don't intend to. I do dance though, so maybe I should get dance blades.

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    I love my dance blades. Once you get them you won't go back to freeskate blades because they are just so different. And if you are only going to dance why not get the blades.

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    Aren't they shorter than freestyle blades and have less toe pick? Not that I ever use the toe pick, its just a security thing in case I'm going backwards and need to stop in a hurry.

  11. #11

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    Sarah, make sure you get boots that fit YOUR feet. Riedells aren't for everyone--they tend to run narrow (although they do come in different widths and split widths, if needed). Other reputable and popular brands include Jackson and SP-Teri.

    You should also ask your coach for suggestions. He/she knows your abilities well and would probably have some good recommendations.
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  12. #12
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    Ditto what LilJen said. It is extremely important that your skates fit like a glove, meaning no extra room anywhere, but also not pinching or pressing in anywhere. Wear thin socks or stockings for your fitting and also when you skate. Width is as important as length, and they need to be the right width for you in both the front of the foot (the "ball") and the heel. Do not compromise, even if it's more expensive to get skates that fit perfectly.

    I would also highly recommend buying a pair of gel ankle sleeves to protect your ankles from bruising and lacebite as you break the new boots in. They are sold under the brands "Bunga Pads" and "Silippos" at most skate shops and also on Amazon.com.

    I suffered through two pairs of new boots before I found out about the ankle sleeves and I suffered through 3 pairs of skates before I finally got boots that fit correctly in the ball and heel. I wish my boot fitter had been more focused on the comfort of my feet and not so focused on saving me money or getting me the boots that were more likely to be in stock!
    Last edited by Doubletoe; 04-12-2012 at 12:20 AM.

  13. #13

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    Thanks everyone.

    I'm going to go ahead and get skates and hopefully the right skates. One of the first things mentioned to me this week was if I was considering getting my own skates soon. So I have the name of someone to ask for and hopefully we can find something that fits. The coach did say that he's good about making sure things fit because otherwise people comeback with complaints which ends up with more work than finding the right pair the first time would be.

    My feet are currently alternating between pain and numbness from this weeks rental skates. Considering I took them off a half hour ago, not good. So I'll head over to look at skates during my lunch tomorrow or Friday. Nice thing about the rink being at the same place as the job.

  14. #14
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    Question

    Can anyone recommend a good website to buy skates?

    Looking at Jackson or Edea.

    Thanks

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah View Post
    Anyway, with my feet hurting and 4 rentals left on my card, my question is do I just deal with it until I progress far enough to justify buying skates or do I buy a pair sooner rather than later.
    When my husband started skating we got him his own skates before he even started lessons. Rental skates are evil. So it's never too early to buy them in my opinion. Worst case if you lose interest is that you sell them on ebay.
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Fever View Post
    What's a good entry level blade?
    MK Professional or Coronation Ace. They're essentially the same blade, just different brands. They're even made in the same factory. Reasonably priced and durable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Fever View Post
    Aren't they shorter than freestyle blades and have less toe pick? Not that I ever use the toe pick, its just a security thing in case I'm going backwards and need to stop in a hurry.
    Yes, dance blades are shorter, which is why I am not interested in getting them, despite only doing dance. Husband now has dance blades and I can confirm that the toe pick is smaller (although it varies between the different blade brands/types) and not using them to stop when going backwards has been part of the learning curve for him!
    The ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as gods, and the cats have never forgotten.

  16. #16

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    So I went over to the pro shop during lunch and now have new skates. I ended up with riedells (133 TS) which should work for me for the time being. Felt it was a good compromise between the cheapest model that I'd probably progress out of in 6 months or a more expensive model that might be a little too stiff for the time being.

    The only issue we had is that my feet are 2 completely different sizes. My right foot was a 5.5 and my left was a 5. There was no way my right foot was fitting in a 5, but the 5.5 felt OK on my left foot. Right foot was a nice a snug everywhere while the left foot was snug everywhere, but had more room at the toe (if that makes sense?). My heal and foot weren't sliding around when I was walking around.

    Anyway, I'm going to try and skate at a public session at the other local rink this weekend. I don't want my first time in these skates to be during my lesson. The shop owner mentioned that during my first class/skate in them to take them off briefly after a half hour (lesson part) and take a few minutes and put them back on for the rest of the skate.

    I have to say, finding skates wasn't as hard as finding tall boots. I'm just hoping breaking in won't be as painful, but I'm expecting it might be...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah View Post
    The only issue we had is that my feet are 2 completely different sizes. My right foot was a 5.5 and my left was a 5. There was no way my right foot was fitting in a 5, but the 5.5 felt OK on my left foot. Right foot was a nice a snug everywhere while the left foot was snug everywhere, but had more room at the toe (if that makes sense?). My heal and foot weren't sliding around when I was walking around.
    I have the exact same issue - one foot is a 7 and the other a 6.5, but my boots (also Riedells) are size 7. I use an adhesive heel liner (you can buy them at the chemist) in the boot on the smaller foot to stop heel slippage, but I've honestly never found having one slightly too big boot to be a problem at the level at which I skate. It would be different if I jumped, but as a low level non-jumper I've never had any issues with feeling like my foot was slipping around in the boot, apart from usually needing to re-lace once after a few laps of the ice. I'm then good for the rest of the session.
    The ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as gods, and the cats have never forgotten.

  18. #18
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    As your boots break in and loosen up, you may feel like you have a little too much space inside the boot of your smaller foot. If so, you can try inserting a custom footbed, as it will take up a little space and help keep your foot from moving around. Superfeet and Sole are two brands I know of offhand. I use the "Sole Sport" insoles in my skates and they hardly take up any room at all, so if you want to make your boot fit more snugly, you could order a thicker model. http://www.yoursole.com/products/footbeds/

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by RonC View Post
    Can anyone recommend a good website to buy skates?

    Looking at Jackson or Edea.

    Thanks
    I wouldn't recommend buying skates over the web, unless you know EXACTLY what fits and you're buying a replacement for what already fits. Find a reputable fitter and try boots on in person!
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny Hop View Post
    I have the exact same issue - one foot is a 7 and the other a 6.5, but my boots (also Riedells) are size 7. I use an adhesive heel liner (you can buy them at the chemist) in the boot on the smaller foot to stop heel slippage, but I've honestly never found having one slightly too big boot to be a problem at the level at which I skate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doubletoe View Post
    As your boots break in and loosen up, you may feel like you have a little too much space inside the boot of your smaller foot. If so, you can try inserting a custom footbed, as it will take up a little space and help keep your foot from moving around. Superfeet and Sole are two brands I know of offhand. I use the "Sole Sport" insoles in my skates and they hardly take up any room at all, so if you want to make your boot fit more snugly, you could order a thicker model. http://www.yoursole.com/products/footbeds/
    Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely consider that as I skate in them more. I skated in them Saturday. I really like the tight feeling so my smaller foot will likely need something. Some things were super easy in the skates and yet other things... Stopping just didn't work. With time though...

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