Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by svfate, Feb 18, 2013.
Does your daughter still like the blades? Also, what make of boots did you purchase with the blades?
A lot of this is very similar to the information on the website. Do you have some commercial interests in these blades?
You know, you'd do a lot better to stop spreading lies about your competitors. Very few blades are carbon steel. All of the top ones are - you guessed it! - stainless steel. (I was just examining my Coro Aces to see if they needed a sharpen - yes - and they are very definitely stainless steel.)
Weird. Perhaps you could explain why so many male skaters who do not appear to be lacking in the foot-size department (I am particularly thinking of Mishin's men, who don't have dainty little Cinderella feet!) are able to wear lightweight blades?
Aaaaaaaaaand this is exactly why I would never buy your blades. I am certainly not going to buy anything made by anyone with so little knowledge of the actual sport that they believe "fast turns are bad". That's total bunk.
Yes, and the Coro Aces are still cheaper, still stainless steel, and don't come from a man with an ego the size of the Grand Canyon.
No, I don't have any commercial interest in the company, I just own the blades and happen to like them.
Please read the section in this article on the materials used in skate blades. If your Coro Ace blades were made stainless steel, they wouldn't need to be chrome plated. Note that matrix and paramount don't chrome plate the stainless steel part of their blades. I am not trying to sell these blades and have no reason to do so. I just have them and like them and know something about them that I would like to share with others. To get your level for your turn clusters in footwork you need to have an even rythm throughout the turns. That is the rule from ISU. An 11 in. blade fits onto my 11.5 sized Reidells. I know Plushenko wears Jackson but I've heard that Reidell has a slightly longer mounting surface. There is a good chance that these men's feet aren't bigger than this although mine are as well as several other guys I know. One guy I know had Matrix blades when he was younger but had to switch to John Wilsons later because he couldn't get the lighter blades above 11 in. The fact that when I just share info about blades and get insulted as a result bothers me.
I have read some very questionable things on that site before, so you'll have to forgive me for going with the "stainless steel" stamped on the heel of my blades...
Regurgitating information from the dodgy website of this guy does not encourage people to believe you aren't trying to sell them. Especially when said information is BUNK.
"even rhythm" does not say "fast turns are bad". In fact, the opposite is true. If a turn is fast and keeps the even rhythm, it counts. You're showing a gaping hole in your knowledge by persisting with this "fast turns are bad" line of rubbish.
Most people with oversized anything - feet, hands, height, legs, arms, etc - need to buy special stuff. You want hard? Try finding a pair of formal dress shoes for a girl with size 11 feet...
The fact that you continue to repeat lies and things that are not only patently untrue but demonstrate a total lack of skating knowledge bothers me.
I agree with you, finding footwear that fits is difficult. I'm guessing that the cost of getting custom made lightweight blades would be pretty high. I was just saying that for me, and others, the fact that these blades aren't lightweight doesn't make a very big difference since it's not within our budget to get any sort of lightweight ones anyway. I'm looking at a pair of my gold seals from six months ago and I don't see and stamp that says "stainless steel." Also don't see this on a pair of MK pros I just took a look at. Is this just a Coro Ace thing? The bottom line is that these blades don't make turning harder. To me it just feels more stable, like I can stay on an edge more easily without any wobbles or cheated turns. Also, for whatever reason, my twizzles feel A LOT faster with these blades, I can't pinpoint the exact reason though. I agree with you that the website is poorly made but I think that if customers look past this they may find that the blades are well made even if the website isn't.
Hi Mag- My daughter was in Harlick boots at the time with the Skate Science blade. She loved the blade for speed. Her twizzles and footwork were amazing but she struggled to maintain consistency in her jump combinations. At the time we didn't feel we could spend more time in the blades due to her competition schedule. We have since changed boots and blades. I am not sure but I do believe Jean Luc Baker is in their dance blade.
The following text is a snippet from the Professional Skater magazine, which can be found here:
"For many years, Reidell skates were the North American distributor for the John Wilson and MK brands for HD Sports. In 2010, that relationship ended. That decision brought several changes and additions to the market. HD Sports initially made a strategic decision to work directly with several independent skate technicians and coaches. One of those coaches was Warren Maxwell, a coach from the Dallas area. While the relationship was never finalized, Maxwell realized that the best-selling blades had all been designed over fifty years prior and for mostly double jumps. Maxwell suggested that HD, "...develop blades that would be more relevant to modern figure skating." Since the millennium, HD did make several changes and innovations to their blade like introducing the parabolic blade and more recently adding composite materials, the rocker profile remained the same on their models. Maxwell decided to design a blade and go into business himself. His company SkateScience designed the first blade specifically made for triple and quad jumps. Specifically, the "sweet spot" has been moved backwards toward the arch, allowing the drop pick to engage the ice quicker. The rocker profile is in fact similar to the now-defunct Strauss blade of the 20th century."
I just called up Warren Maxwell (creator of these blades) and spoke at length about them. He was friendly and courteous, and while explaining how his blades are designed, did not come off as presumptuous. I am sure that I didn't ask every question that others are interested in, but here's some highlights from our conversation:
The blades are completely stainless steel, without any chrome plating. They are highly polished and look like silver and reflective like chrome however.
This approach means that the sides of the bottom of the blade does not need the chrome plating removed - a process that is inherently prone to slight inconsistencies between blades. So the bottoms of the blade will be a more exact line.
He said that for an adult skater, he would not recommend the Axel Express model, as they are really engineered more towards lighter skaters who are focusing more on basics. At the same time he cautioned extensively against overblading, because the Triple Quad blade is really geared towards the jump techniques not used when doing singles or doubles, which are difficult to do and if not done, that blade would actually make things worse. That sounds a little different from what dkwall said in his first post here but perhaps the recommendations he heard were more for younger skaters.
The blades are not lightweight, and he does not think that weight of the blade is all that important and that if you want to save weight, you're better off doing it in the boot. However, they are lighter weight than traditional blades because the stainless steel is slightly lighter than carbon steel, and the cutouts in the stanchions reduce weight a bit (though mostly those are there for brand recognition). Personally, I don't like the cutouts being there, though he claimed it does not reduce the strength of the blades.
He claimed that the difference I noted feeling when switching from Gold Stars to Gold Seals (more secure edges, quicker turns, etc.), I should feel redoubled if I moved to the Double Plus blades due to their profile design.
My primary concern would be how spins are affected, since the blades seemed primarily optimized for jumps. He said that the spin rocker should actually be a benefit, and spoke a fair bit about the different rockers on the blade.
All in all, it was a nice, positive conversation, though I too initially felt turned off by the website. I have had past experiences where a person's website comes across totally differently than they do in person, and certainly we misunderstand one another in text-only mediums such as this forum, so I think it's always worth talking in person or on the phone before passing judgment.
Personally, although Gold Seals are an old design I am not sure it needs changed, and I have some attachment to what I know has worked well for other skaters. That said I do find the SkateScience blades intriguing and am feeling pretty inclined to give them a shot when I replace my current blades within the next few months. I'm a little leery of investing that much money into a relatively unknown thing, but every prior skate purchase I've done has been that. You never know how something will work until you try it for yourself, unfortunately. If I do end up getting a pair, I will be sure to post about my experiences here.
svfate - which model did your daughter try out of curiosity? EDIT: Nevermind, I found a post on another site where you mention that they were the Double Plus model.
I asked if he had a vendor near me in the DC area, and he said no, but said there were vendors in New York, Connecticut, Deleware...so I am sure there are various ones scattered around. It's a new brand and not popular yet, hard to say if it will become so over time...
From the unbiased PS magazine article I linked in my previous post:
"Step has been making blades for over 50 years. In fact, before Jackson Ultima began manufacturing their own blades, they were made by Step, who also produces the ISE brand for Jerry's Skating World. Another blade made by Step is Riedell's Eclipse brand."
Every blade MK and John Wilson make are carbon steel. They will all rust if neglected, and don't stay sharp as long as high-grade stainless (I am not clear on which grade the SkateScience blades are, but Paramount offers 440 and 420 grade runners - mine are 440 and have stayed sharp forever). Not saying that's bad because it's obviously worked well for a long time, but they're all hardened carbon steel, not stainless. The Revolution blades use carbon fiber for the lighter-weight portions of the body, which also gives the blades a bit of cushion. Some Paramount and Matrix blades use stainless runners. However these are loud on the ice (I know because I have Paramounts currently), which Warren claims is not a problem with the SkateScience blades. He says it is caused by the two different metals (steel and aluminum) expanding/contracting at different rates when temperature changes (e.g. they weren't assembled at ice temperature they end up at on the rink).
See this is what makes me suspicious that they don't have a clue about figure skating. Every coach I have ever spoken to including elite level coaches here in the UK, elite skaters turned coaches and skaters who perform triple jumps (and have landed quads in practice) say exactly the same thing - the technique on a jump is exactly the same whether you are trying a single, double, triple or quad. All of them say the only difference is the quickness with which you pull into the rotational position and how tight you pull in. Everything else remains the same. 100% of them. Never has anyone said the technique with the blade would be different for multi-rotational jumps.
Eys, that does sound suspicious to me, as well. I can see how the actual force that's applied to the blade would be greater for a triple/quad, but the technique itself should be very similar when you take off...
I think that the technique is the same if you're perfect, but you have more room for imperfection with single and double jumps. For quads you must have the technique really solid, and have mastered the things you could have gotten away with being sloppy about on singles and doubles. Basically the TripleQuad model is supposed to be optimized for someone with perfect technique. Warren said some details about the specifics of the technique (specifically about where exactly your weight should be for an ideal jump) that I don't recall clearly, but that this was difficult to do. If you did that great, the TripleQuad would be beneficial, but if you are doing jumps the way most people who don't do triples are doing, then it may be a hindrance.
I cannot stress enough that I'm only relaying what I heard and did not ask for much detail about (and I don't have a perfect memory) - I only asked enough to satisfy my own curiosity and doubts. I would suggest contacting Warren with any questions which he can answer directly. There may still be room for doubt but perhaps speaking directly would be best, since you would be speaking with the designer directly, so he should be able to adequately answer any design questions. The E-mail is on the skatescience.net website under the Contact Us link - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Besides the jump technique issue (which doesn't change with revolution, only timing like antmanb said and the obvious increases in strength to deal with increased force on the body/blade), I'd be really wary of spinning on a blade with a rocker further back. Sit spins especially would be terrifying if you were trying to spin farther back on the blade. There'd have to be a lot of adjustment to positions.
I think there is room for improvement with skate blades but I can't see how moving the rocker back works. You wouldn't be able to use your ankles as much or you'd be on your toe picks. It just doesn't make sense at all.
That's my biggest concern. I could spin great on Gold Seals which have the sweet spot pretty far forward, and have had a really hard time with Pattern 99-profile Paramounts in comparison. Warren assured me that spins would be easier on the Skate Science blades but there's no way to be sure without spending a fair sum of cash. I know that Lucinda Ruh used Gold Seals as well but perhaps blades do have room for improvement with modern analysis techniques. It sounds convincing but I would be heartbroken if I shelled out that much cash for new blades and they didn't work out. I've got a couple months to ponder on it before I can afford new blades anyways...
For the time that my daughter did skate with the double plus blades her speed, spins, twizzles etc were much improved......her problems were that her jumps became much more inconsistent. Now that she is a bit older and can deal with the frustration that changing blades can sometimes brings, she is thinking of trying them again......
Wilson blades are not stainless.
As for these new blades, it's interesting that the profiles are all copies of the established blades they are criticizing. Now, if top level skaters are still using blades like the tried-and-true Gold Seal and Pattern 99 and other companies are imitating these designs, it's clear they ARE still good designs. Skate Science just seems to be throwing around "technology" to make you feel like you're behind the times for using the originals. There is no indication on the web site to show HOW they are superior or what alloy they use. And that Warren Maxwell guy seems a little full of himself.
Why do you say these are copies of established blade profiles? That's what Paramount does but I didn't think that's what SkateScience does - it sounds to me like they have a pretty different profile from anybody else. I would be interested if there were any evidence of this...
I guess it depends what you mean by profile. In terms of the way the blade actually looks - the shape, the way it fits to the boots, then these blades appear to be exactly the same as every other blade out there. It's very difficult to say much more than that because the skate science website (which appears to have been revamped since I last looked at it) doesn't actually give you any information about the rocker size, radius of hollow or anything else that someone might actually want to know when buying a blade.
I also find it strange that wasn't it this blade manufacturer that claimed that their blades went up to much longer sizes than anyone else in the market, yet if you click through to each blade, most stop at 10" and the even the quad triple only goes up to 11" whereas all Wilson blades can be bought up to 12".
If they're going to try to differentiate themselves from other blades then they should specifically say how by providing information, not hiding information and coming up with meaningless sales puff.
Just look at them. They are the same profiles as the Gold Seal, Pattern 99, and Phantom. Also, they do not say what differentiates them from any of the others except for the use of stainless steel. Also, Paramount scares me. Their claim to fame is that the blades are "machined." Well, only the frame is machined. The runner itself is not. My husband, a machinist for over 30 years, says that the two metal types--aluminum and stainless steel--are incompatible. They contract and expand by temperature at different rates. This makes for an unstable blade. The fact that the two parts are only held together by brittle epoxy is also alarming. The epoxy is bound to break when the two metals expand and contract at different rates.
You're talking about Paramount blades, not SkateScience. I have Paramounts now and agree with your criticisms - I am looking forward to replacing them! They may copy Wilson's profiles but they sure don't feel the same on the ice. However SkateScience profiles are something new and unique - whether or not that is a good thing remains to be seen. The one nice thing about Paramount is that the stainless stays sharp a very long time - Skate Science should also have that advantage although I don't know which grade of stainless they use.
I have heard of people having the Paramount blades separate due to the stress of different expansion rates... I'm waiting for the day a Lutz sends one of my runners flying into another skater...
I agree, except for the bit about radius of hollow - as with any other blade, the ROH is whatever you want it to be. It would be nice if the tech specs were published...
I know nothing about these blades, but in searching for a Jackson retailer in the Chicago area (now that Rainbo has closed) i ran across a mention of them on the website for Gepetto's Skate Shop in Downers Grove. The owner of the shop, John Harmata, writes the "Ask Mr Edge" column for Skating magazine. Here is what I found :
You have to scroll all the way down to "New Technology ". I have no idea if he helped design the blades or has a financial interest in the company - just passing on this info FWIW.
Wait, Rainbo has closed?!
Yes, sadly. I don't know much about it, but there is a brief discussion in the "heat molding Jacksons in Chicago" thread in this subforum. The only thing I can add to what's there is that Jackson's website now lists their contact info as "Caleskater" so maybe they are attempting to get back up and running.
ETA did you get your skates from them?
I did. Their service was very good during the process, including letting me know almost as soon as I placed my order that they had to fetch my size from the warehouse which would take a week or so, and then keeping me updated through the process. I also loved their house brand footed tights, the softest and best I've ever worn. It was still cheaper for me to buy the boots from them in America and have them shipped here than buy them here.
Then I hope very much for your sake & theirs that they're back in business soon... They are very nice people, and were extremely helpful to me as a completely clueless newbie adult skater.
ETA I can't imagine how hard it must be to have to buy skates overseas. I felt very lucky that they were nearby. Unless & until they reopen, I plan on trying gepettos for sharpening (don't need new boots or blades at moment) and will report back on their service & whether they sell overseas. And, to bring things back to the topic of this thread, I will ask what they & their customers think of the Skate Science blades.
It wasn't actually as hard as you think. Because I wasn't changing brand or style of boot I knew the size exactly. So it was easy as 1-2-3. And even with the shipping and delay, at least $100-$200 cheaper than buying them here. My blades, when they need replacing, are the same - except I order those straight from Sheffield in England. tl;dr - if you are in a specialised sport in Australia it's much cheaper to buy everything from overseas!
I just had a read of that column and my guess is that the person writing it gets some kind of commission or payment from SkateScience, because a lot of that was basically the info from the website dressed up. Sigh.
Ah if you already knew your size that would make it much easier. I'm curious as to why it's so much cheaper to buy specialized equipment outside AU. Why is that ? Is it just that there aren't enough people skating for retailers to enter the market or are the import duties just high?
Re Skate Science, since they seem to be fraught with controversy, I will be very curious to see what the shop has to say and to see whether the owner is involved.