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Which skates and blades for a teenage beginner?

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by Bunny_Hop, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Bunny_Hop

    Bunny_Hop New Member

    I've been skating for 9 or so months now (once to twice a week for 90 min). I using second-hand figure skates, which have Coronation Ace blades, but I can't determine the make of the boots. They seem quite stiff though -- hard to bend my ankles -- and are too big. Not ideal, but the public skates were blunt and slippery, and once I got over the big toepicks I could do things on them better than on public skates.

    I can now get my own skates and I'm thoroughly confused. As I've only skated in plastic public skates and the used figure skates I described, I don't really have any preferences myself. I also can't really predict what I'm going to want to/be able to do in a few years (there are heaps of variables -- I'm a teenager, but I have muscle tone problems, I'm not sure how often I'll be able to skate and how that will change, whether I'll be more interested in freestyle or dance/synchro).

    Boots: I'm mainly worried about boots because my feet have stopped growing, so I'll probably have them for a few years. If I get the absolute entry-level boots, I'm worried I'll have to replace them relatively soon, but I don't want to get ones too advanced, either. In fact, I'm definitely worried because of the problems I've had bending my ankles (I try and it just hurts/stops being able to bend because the boot is so stiff) in the used skates, and I don't want this to happen because it seems to be problematic doing crossovers.

    Blades: The same problems as boots, also complicated by the fact that I have been on the Coronation Ace blades and one coach expressed the possibility that it might be better to have them than go back to beginner blades. Would smaller toe picks make it harder or easier to learn basic jumps? Again, I have absolutely no idea, as I've only been on the public skates (beginner/recreational, but blunt and flat), and the used skates, which are sharp, but the grinding edge is almost gone and I think this makes less rocker (at least, they look less curved than new blade).

    What I can do now skating is relatively basic -- crossovers, some long outside edges, bunny hops, messy attitudes and low spirals and a really tiny waltz jump on the spot.

    Thanks for reading,
  2. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Coronation Ace blades will be perfectly suitable for what you want to do. I have skated on them for years. Just keep in mind that if you get new boots you may need new blades because the boot sizing could be slightly different. But CA are really good quality but inexpensive blades that suit most types of skating.

    Not sure about boots though. Depends whether your foot is narrow (which Risport suit) or wide (which Jackson suit). They are my only experience of boots. But others here may have other suggestions.

    As for bending knees, part of the problem sometimes arises because people use every hook and do them all up really tightly. When you get your new boots, I would suggest not doing up the top hook. Before I got dance boots, I never did up my top hook on my previous skates. New boots are always going to be a bit stiff so I would send some time really bending at the ankles (not necessarily bend the knees) whilst wearing the boots to get them broken in.
  3. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Best advice I got was find a skate fitter who specializes in FIGURE SKATERS, not the guy at the sporting goods store who sells whatever they have and mostly hockey. He or she will know the brands and how they fit--for example the man I went to told me he just had to look at my feet to know he wouldn't bother even suggesting Reidel as they'd never fit. He also knew how to pick the right size, and ordered split widths (the ball of my foot is a D, but my HEEL is a A.) The boot is so important. And to be honest, I would err on the side of a little more boot than you think you need than a little less--I trashed my first pair in nine months (Jackson Elites cut down to dance height) and my fitter admitted he'd underestimated how much support I'd need. If you get the heat-molded kind it will cut down breakin time.
  4. Bunny Hop

    Bunny Hop Perpetually learning Dutch Waltz

    Other Bunny Hop here.

    You're right to be concerned about getting boots that are too stiff. I inadvertantly went down that road and it really set me back. When I downgraded to a lower level boot my skating improved. They're not 'entry level' boots though - you need ones to suit the level of your skating, and if you do that they should last you a decent amount of time.

    The other important thing is to find boots that you feel comfortable wearing. I wouldn't get too drawn in to generalisations about boot brands. A lot of people swear blind that Riedells run narrow, but my wide feet find them really comfortable. And you only have to search through old threads here and on other forums to find a lot of disagreement about the quality of various brands. If you are lucky enough to live where there is a decent skate fitter who stocks a variety of brands, take advantage of this to try them on, ask advice, and most importantly, get a proper fitting!

    With regard to blades, either Coronation Ace or MK Pro (they're basically the same) are considered to be good general blades. I find the MK Pros fine at my low level (I barely jump, and do some dance), but people can learn up to double jumps in them.
  5. Bunny_Hop

    Bunny_Hop New Member

    Thanks for the advice guys! :D

    I think I will go with the Coronation Ace blades -- I'll definitely need new ones as I will probably have significantly smaller (well, by skating standards) boots, plus the current blades have almost no metal left. I think it might actually be harder for me to do jumps, even my tiny waltz-bunny hop repetoire, with a small toe pick now I'm used to the bigger ones.

    I'm still not sure about boots, so I might just go in with no pre-expectations and see what the skate fitter recommends (the only place to buy skates here is rink pro shops). I like the general shape of the boots I have now, as they're wider round the toes, which matches my foot shape.

    Again, thanks for the advice. Yippee, three days until new skates! I'm so excited! :D
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  6. silverstars

    silverstars New Member

    You might want to save that excitement until the boots are broken in ;).

    Good choice with the Coronation Aces--they can definitely take you through your singles, and I found them to be good spinning blades too.
  7. Bunny_Hop

    Bunny_Hop New Member

    I got Jackson Freestyle and Mirage blades. :D We considered transferring the old blades, but the Coronation Aces were too long for my boot size (which kind of shows how much the old boots were way too big for me).

    I only got to skate on them once for an hour, before they'd been sharpened. I kind of stroked/swizzled around a bit and did some forward crossovers and 3 backward ones and a couple of random glides/two foot spins. Spins felt easier; I don't know if this was because of the rocker (the old blades were old and kind of flat instead of rounded). Now they're sharpened I can't wait to skate again!

    My ankles sort of hurt while I skated, from the stiff boot, but there are no major bruises/blisters yet. I'm so used to rentals and second-hand skates, the brand new stiff ones felt good just because they fit!

    Thanks for all the advice everyone! :)
  8. southernskater

    southernskater New Member

    I have mirage blades on Jackson competitors and I really like them. I'm working on my axel in them now they're a great boot and blade set and a great value. Im sure the freestyle is just as good!!
  9. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    WIFA are good boots for beginners.