Sunday, April 13, 2014

New Skates, Round 4

My first pair of skates was a pair I bought when I first moved into town. I had moved from the South where ice skating was not really a thing, to the North where outdoor public rinks were an attraction. My boyfriend (husband a few years later) bought hockey skates and I bought "figure" skates at a sporting goods store. I don't even know what brand they are, but I still have them. I'm thinking of using them as decoration for the holidays, Pintrest has a lot of ideas for old ice skates.

I actually did skate in these for awhile, but once I was doing crossovers and actually skating, I decided I needed something better. So I bought a pair of Riedell Blue Ribbons on consignment for $70.00.

Ignorant of such things as Rockers, I fell over backwards a lot in a 7' rocker for about a year in my Blue Ribbons. What precipitated me getting new skates was not the rocker issue, but rather me feeling loose in the boot and having to re-tie a lot. As in, every ten minutes.

i didnt get a lot of help with buying skates as I graduated into my first pair of "real skates." I managed to measure myself and find a pair of Jackson Competitors on eBay at a great price. Dumb luck. I got Aspire blades with a 8' rocker and the rate at which I fell off the back of the blade dropped. I've liked my Competitors. They've been great skates for the past two years, seeing me through three ice shows and far, far too much drama.

Well, I got loose in the boot at the heel, and started having to re-tie again (and again, and again.) More than that, I got pinched in the toe. My right foot developed an on-again, off-again corn problem that worsened to where it was more of an open sore than a corn. Aspirin before I skated and Anbesol on the sore spot is what made things tolerable. I also had a great variety of pads and gel cushions, which were annoying and variable in their effectiveness. Get them in the wrong spot and I'd be worse off than before.

As it came time to buy new skates, I really wanted some guidance to avoid the problems I had: heel slip, open wounds on my feet, and foot pain in the mornings that left me hobbling. I also wanted to avoid future problems, knowing I'd just be doing more, not less. But when I asked, I got told very little. When I pushed, I was told I wouldnt get any help at all. How nice.

Did I mention my foot really hurt?

I brought it up to my new coach, and he agreed with my internet researched choices; between a Riedell 910 or 1310 or Jackson Premiere. He mentioned the possible need for a new blade if I switched brands. An all-around freestyle blade would be fine, just longer if I went Riedell.

The Teri's were more dumb luck. I spent an hour this morning doing edge work, testing blade position, and everything feels as good as it can right now. My hands are bearing the brunt of things, with new laces and tight tying giving me three burst blisters on my fingers in less than 24 hours. My right foot pain is abating. I was Anbesol and gel pad free this morning. I was able to take off my right skate all at once, rather than in small painful stages, and I walked, not limped, all around and out of the rink. I think the Teri's will be just fine. Another few hours doing knee bendy things and I should be back in business.

That's the story of my skates. Sports store skates, to Riedell Blue Ribbon boot and blade combo, to Jackson Competitors with Aspire blades, and now SP Teri Dance Boots with the same Aspire blade. Now I'm actually looking forward to a blade upgrade! Who knows, maybe I'll be ready for some big scary picks by winter.

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