02-04-2014, 12:59 AM
I tried to find some of these $10,000 per pair skates you refer to. On the face of it, if skates cost $10,000/pair, I don't think we would see many skaters on the ice. I did a quick search for Riedell skates, the most expensive ones I saw were about $630/pair without blades. I checked Risport, which YuNa and Mao advertise. The most expensive Risport had an MSRP of $850, but could be had for $799 without blades. I checked a dealer who sold Wilson blades and who had many models in stock, the most expensive being $499 for a set of blades. So the most expensive Risport skates with Wilson blades would run $1,300. I know little to nothing about skates, but unless I am missing something, it looks like you are just making things up again.
Originally Posted by chuckm
02-04-2014, 01:13 AM
I'm sure the skates used by elite competitors are custom made and would unlikely have a list price to start with. The skates you probably found are off-the-rack... That said I have no idea how much a pair elite custom made skates goes for.
Originally Posted by b-man
02-04-2014, 01:42 AM
No skater pays 10, 000 dollars for a pair of custom boots unless the blades are 14kt gold and/ or the leather part is encrusted with some precious stones and even then
Harlick custom mades are around $695 and other companies are in line with that:
02-04-2014, 01:43 AM
I checked another site which is selling the Risport Royal model, "Recommended for the following test levels: USFSA Senior Free, ISI Freestyle test 9,10". $599. It sounds like a top level boot to me. If there is a custom level boot above that, its possible sponsors or Risport itself might be paying for it. Poster Mskater93 claims to have a lot of knowledge about skating boots, I would like to here their opinion.
02-04-2014, 01:45 AM
Thanks, that is exactly what I suspected.
Originally Posted by Icey
02-04-2014, 04:59 AM
Former figure skater and HUGE figure skating fan.
I will honestly say from personal experience that Risport is FANTASTIC. That's what I wore and I love them.
Originally Posted by b-man
02-04-2014, 10:53 AM
At the rink. Again.
Custom Harlicks START at $695. My last pair (and I am nowhere near elite, but I do wear custom boots because of my feet) were $800 with the additions/changes I needed. Blades were $555 for mid-level MK FS blades, not top of the line (blade prices have seriously escalated in the last few years). A pair of skates at the elite level is between $1500 and $2000 right now, unless the boot manufacturer is a sponsor and the skater is getting them for gratis.
As I said in an earlier post, the reason why most skaters don't have two pairs of skates is the difference in shelf life of the blades between the two pairs (or the desire to move the blades from one pair of boots to the next if they aren't dead). Sometimes boot breaking is is the "easier" part of the two if new blades are needed (depending on how dead the previous pair of blades were). The blade rocker changes over the life of the blade and sharpenings, no matter how good your sharpener is and if the two pairs of skates have different life remaining on blades, can cause some serious havoc in switching between the two. In addition, boots cannot be broken in properly without blades. It is highly recommended that a skater not wear the boots around without blades to reduce on ice break in time because they will not break in in the right places.
There are some brands with virtually no break in period, however, those typically die at inopportune times. Risport, Graf, Jackson, and Edea are four brands that typically have virtually no break in, but a lot of elite skaters in the top level models of these skates go through them fairly quickly. I know Gold skates in Edeas and was going through a pair of boots every three or so months, but could jump all her triples the first day.
02-04-2014, 11:45 AM
Thanks mskater93, I learned a lot from your post. A couple questions, how many times or how often would blades typically be sharpened over the life of a pair of blades, for someone who skates 20 hours/week. If changing from a worn pair of blades to a new pair can cause havoc, would changing from some blades that haven't been sharpened in a while to freshly sharpened blades also cause havoc? I saw one add for blades that were either partially or completely titanium. They would be lighter, which could only help in jumps. What is the feeling in the skating community on titanium blades?
02-04-2014, 01:32 PM
At the rink. Again.
20 hours a week ~ sharpening every other week. Depending on sharpener quality (the person, not the equipment), ice quality, and whether someone is "good" to their blades, you can get a good year or year and a half out of a pair of blades with some life remaining on them (which will also make new blades less of a PITA) and a lot of pro shops will take blades with some life left on them in trade to discount new blades/boots and resell those to someone who'd like a pair of whatever brand but can't justify the cost of a brand new pair. Sharpening (if the skater doesn't wait too long) doesn't affect the skater (maybe a couple of steps initially feel "sticky" but it goes away quickly) as much as new skate rocker from flat blades. It's not as noticeable from sharpening to sharpening because the sharpener removes just a little bit of blade (that they are going flat) as it is more gradual and then - hoo boy! - new blades make you feel like you are on a rocking horse (or going to pitch over your toe picks onto your face) if the old ones are really flat. Also, you can feel if a sharpener has ruined a pair of blades by thinking you had hockey skates (clip the bottom toe pick, not a proper radius of hollow, round off the heel...) because they won't be right AT ALL.
b-man, if you are talking about the Paramount and Ultima blades, the runners themselves aren't titanium, but steel like MK and Wilson blades (different type of tempering, I believe, though). They've been made in the same profiles as popular MK and Wilson blades for the toe pick layout and rockering. Some skaters absolutely love them - their jumps are instantly easier (could be placebo affect, too, though) and bigger. The biggest complaints I hear from coaches and judges are they can pick out a skater on Paramount blades because they are LOUD. They have a different sound on the ice from standard brand blades. I understand that Paramount may be working on this issue with a new generation of blades. We'll see.
02-04-2014, 07:54 PM
Thanks, mskater93, you are a wealth of info I had not heard before, good info for a non skater.
02-05-2014, 04:46 AM
Mirai underwent a growth spurt after 2008 Nationals and struggled in 2009 because of it. She managed to get it back just in time for the 2010 Nationals and Olympics. You may have noticed that Mirai underwent a SECOND growth spurt after 2011 4CCs. Her body has changed noticably since that time. It can't have been easy for her to adjust to yet another body change as well as whatever personal struggles she was having with her skating. None of us here knows what Mirai's training habits are or if her family finances permit enough ice time, etc. never mind top choreographers (which she seems to have been lacking these past few seasons) and so on.
Originally Posted by mskater93
02-05-2014, 07:00 AM
The inflation in price for an elite skater doesn't surprise me. It makes me think of pointe shoes for prima ballerinas.
I'm a man, and as a result have never had the pleasure/pain of pointe shoes thrust upon me, however I have some friends that used to go to a store in Boston that provided a much more specialized fitting. They would get as specific as figuring how strong/weak a woman's foot was and what sort of arch they had and then find the right style (as you can imagine there's a handful of companies that provide very unique qualities) and then adjust certain things in the pointe shoe to create a custom fit. This always ratcheted up the price of the shoe.
However, even this is like shooting an arrow blindfolded compared to a professional ballerina in a major company. Principal dancers know the exact person who makes their shoes every time. When they order a pair of pointe shoes they always get made by the same person. And that shoemaker has very specific instructions that align to the needs of that ballerina. It's a true artisan craft. The wrong fit in a pointe shoe can do serious damage and put a dancer at real risk. Even I can feel when I have a bum pair of canvas ballet shoes. As silly as those things seem, they make a huge difference. In a way professional dancers are lucky that most pointe shoes have a shelf life of a few weeks. Some ballerinas are known to go through a pair of shoes in one performance if they're dancing Aurora or Odette... But I digress...
While this is all purely speculation, I wouldn't be surprised if that sort of specificity was necessary for Meryl and Charlie, Tessa and Scott, Mao, Yuna, Ashley, Patrick, Mirai...
They are doing E P I C things that rely heavily on the craftsmanship of leather boots with steel blades attached. I wonder how many seasons back we could go before we couldn't pinpoint at least one elite athlete who pointed to "boot problems" as affecting their ability to skate.
With such a risk to it I would understand why a skater would be willing to shell out $2000+ for a pair of skates. And if they really go through them in three months then that could mean at least $8000 a year dedicated to skates alone.
Just another thought... this is SO off topic... I'm sorry... since USFSA was supposedly involved in getting Frank and Gracie together, do they also help foot that bill? I know Gracie already gets a certain amount of funding by team envelopes etc... but I do wonder, since if USFSA orchestrates such a pairing if they also acknowledge the extra financial burden that is upon Gracie by setting her with Frank? But maybe orchestrating the pairing is help enough... Again... so so SO sorry for taking this WAY off topic but this discussion got me thinking about it.
02-05-2014, 01:32 PM
thanks so much, mskater93! It is so interesting, to me, to learn about these absolutely crucial, but somewhat behind the scenes, aspects of skating. thanks for sharing your insights!
02-05-2014, 03:29 PM
02-05-2014, 08:10 PM
At the rink. Again.
It doesn't make dealing with the frustration better if she's got issues, etc, she has the goods, she needs to bring the goods...consistently. don't tell me she didn't freak out during the LP at Nationals in 2011 when Czsiny laid it down right before her. don't tell me she's given up several opportunities to establish herself but for whatever reasons (personal, physical, whatever) she has not capitalized on them. People who become the absolute best at what they do capitalize no matter the odds. she was thought to be the best (or at least the likely heir). It IS frustrating. period.
Originally Posted by Sasha'sSpins