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Thread: Boot/Blade Combo for 6 year old boy

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    Boot/Blade Combo for 6 year old boy

    I'm looking for help. My son is currently in USFS Freeskate 1, and he currently skates in Jackson Mystiques. His coach mentioned that I might think about getting a better blade the next time we replaced his skates as he is working on beginning toe jumps. Next time is now. The problem I'm finding is that although he is six, he is tiny. He's the size of an average four year old. He is very short and very light for his age. So, I feel like going up a level in the Jacksons to the Marquis would be over booting him. That's a change of stiffness rating from his current of 15 to 45. (His current boots have helped up very well for him BTW.) So, what is a person to do when there is this blade level v. boot stiffness mismatch? I feel like I've got to be overlooking a simple solution . . .

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    Rinkside sneakypie's Avatar
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    If you want to stick with Jackson and he doesn't have a problem with wearing "girl skates" (provided they fit his foot, I don't know if there is a difference between boy's skates and girl's skates) you could try the Elle. They have a stiffness rating of 30 in the Misses version and a leather sole, so you can attach any blade you want.

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    I don't have a specific recommendation for you. But here is some info and issues for you discuss with your coach and your skate tech.

    (1) If you purchase a pre-assembled stock boot & blade set, what determines whether you can readily swap out the blades is not whether the sole is made out of leather, but whether the blades are mounted with rivets or screws. If they are mounted with screws, a skate tech can easily remove the stock blade, plug up the holes (if necessary), and mount the blade of your choice. According to the Jackson website, both the Mystique and the Marquis have PVC soles, but the blades are mounted with screws, so you should be OK (but double check with your skate tech in case Jackson has made recent changes).

    (2) So, if you simply want to stick with the Mystique boot and upgrade the blade, you can. Of course, you will be paying for a stock blade that you won't use. You could also ask your skate tech whether it's possible to special order a Mystique boot without a stock blade pre-mounted. If so, check carefully on delivery time and price. You said your son needs a new pair now. Special orders may take too long, and special orders may not save you much money (or even cost more than the stock boot & blade); so be careful.

    (3) Check with your coach whether he really wants you to upgrade the blade only, or whether your son needs a boot upgrade as well, if he will be starting jumps. Also, if you consider the Marquis, check whether the coach is happy with the stock blade.

    (4) Does your shop stock the Marquis? It's not clear to me how stiffness ratings work (which varies among boot makers). For example, is a 30 boot twice as stiff as a 15 boot, and is a 45 boot three times as stiff as a 15 boot? I don't know. So, before you automatically dismiss a stiffer boot, find out how much stiffer it actually is (that is, just don't look at the numbers).

    (5) I don't think you are overlooking anything obvious. This is an inherent problem in which low-end boots and blades are generally sold as pre-assembled sets. Higher-end boots and blades are generally sold separately. But if your son is not ready for a higher-end boot and blade (or you can't justify the price for now), what are you to do?

    (6) Some shops also carry good quality no-name brand separate boots at a better price than brand names. Many moons ago, my daughter started with boots from Czechoslovakia; we purchased Wilson Majestic blades separately. There are also lower-cost alternatives to MK and Wilson for separate blades these days.
    Last edited by tstop4me; 11-11-2015 at 07:44 AM.

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    My daughter started skating at 3 and by 5, she was working on her singles (had her axel at 6). I always struggled on what boots to get for her because her size and skating ability never matched to the manufacturers recommendations.

    Her first "real" skates were some pink and white Jacksons. From then on, I got used Jackson Freestyles off ebay (the more broken in the better). The issue was she did not have enough weight to "break in" a new pair of leather skates so by going used, someone else did that for her. I think I got her next 3 rounds of skates that way. One pair was "too new" and that caused back problems since they prevented her from bending her knees on landing - so I went back to ebay for better broken in pair. As she got better, I started upgrading the blade in the ebay skates. I think she was 7 or 8 (well into her doubles) before she had enough weight so we could buy new.

    As an fyi, I was told by my pro shop that you cannot swap out blades if the boots do not have leather sole. At the time, Jackson Freestyles were the lowest boot with leather solds. That was why I targeted them.

    I believe even in kid sizes, boy skates are wider than girl skates. So if your son has a narrow foot that may be an option. I know of one mom that would buy girl skates for her son and then got them dyed black. Not exactly sure how you go about dying them.
    Last edited by concorde; 11-11-2015 at 10:09 AM.

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    Thank you, everyone. I'm a little relieved to know that there isn't an obvious answer I'm missing. He is actually in white skates dyed black right now because the Jacksons don't come in half sizes for boys. But he hates that it's slowly scratching off and showing white. To be fair, it does look pretty bad. So, we are going for "real" black skates this time. And that seems to just limit things further, from the sizes and models available to the number of used boots listed for sale. After some further looking, one of the only brands I can find that sells boots separately at the lower levels for a reasonable price is Edea. Obviously they are known for the ice flys, but has anyone tried the lower level boots like the motivio or preludio? I'm trying to decide whether that option is even worth considering.

  6. #6
    Rinkside
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    Quote Originally Posted by concorde View Post

    As an fyi, I was told by my pro shop that you cannot swap out blades if the boots do not have leather sole. At the time, Jackson Freestyles were the lowest boot with leather solds. That was why I targeted them.
    I don't believe that's correct. For example, EDEA Ice Fly does not have a leather sole. I believe at one time, sufficiently high-end boots that were sold separately generally had leather soles, and low-end boot/blade combos had PVC soles with blades mounted with rivets. But that's not true anymore. If Jackson sells Mystique and Marquis with PVC soles and screwed-on blades, there's no reason why you can't swap blades. If by chance someone makes a combo with leather soles and riveted-on blades, I wouldn't entertain swapping blades, just because of leather soles. Grinding out the rivet heads and patching up the through holes wouldn't be worth the bother. The dispositive factor is whether the stock blades are mounted with rivets or screws, not whether the soles are leather or not.
    Last edited by tstop4me; 11-11-2015 at 12:21 PM.

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    Have you a) talked to any other parents who might have faced similar issues; b) taken him into a shop to try on the marquis and see how he feels in them; c) investigated other brands and tried them on; d) contacted Jackson directly to see what they would suggest? If the Jackson last is a good one for your sons feet, and particularly if he still needs a half size, perhaps they could make the girls Elle (35 rating) in black for him. I know they do semi-custom stuff on other models (eg men can get the coaches skate in black for an extra charge). It might be a fairly nominal cost (of course it could also be more than you want to pay, too).

    Good luck!

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    Well, the problem with most of that unfortunately is that we live in an area that is grossly underserved. Our only local proshop specializes in hockey, although they can order the Jackson. But unfortunately there is no trying on here. We did call Jackson and were told there is no specialization available below the freeskate model. I'm open to any suggestions for other brands we should consider. My son has flintstone feet: wide, square-like feet, with virtually no arch.

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    When my daughter first stated skating (7 years ago), I bought a pair of jackson Mystiques for myself. The factory mount did not work for me. I took those skates to two different pro shops and spoke with the manager at both. Both managers told me they could not make any adjustments to the mounts since the soles were plastic. Plastic was their words not mine. Maybe technology has changed in the intervening years.

    I would definately speak to your local pro shop people before making assumptions either way.

    Jacksons are better for those with wide feet; Riedells are better for those with narrow feet.
    Last edited by concorde; 11-11-2015 at 03:55 PM.

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    Just did a bit of internet reaseach.

    Jackson Mystiques (low end skates) have a PVC outsole - that is what I would call plastic.

    The Edea website says says the molded footbed is made of nylon fiberglass structure. The Edea footbed is covered on the bottom of the sole by waterproof man-made materials like rubber. On some higher end models, a duel density sole skin is used to reduce Ice chatter. So to me that sounds like Edeas have a fiberglass base covered by rubber. And with Exeas, you have to use their spe ial mounting screws, not the screws that come with the blades.

    So if the skates are mounted with screws, it looks like you can swap out blades on fiberglass and leather soles but not on PVC soles.
    Last edited by concorde; 11-12-2015 at 11:17 AM.

  11. #11
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    An acquaintance had a super tiny skater talented skater and she just went for custom skates - I want to say harlick. Junior size entry is $395. That plus the blade is expensive. But she was already in 3 lessons plus a week at 4.

    But, you could also try riedell, I think they start at size 9.

    It sounds like the coach is happy with your current stiffness, she just wants a better quality blade.
    Last edited by loopy; 11-12-2015 at 01:23 PM.

  12. #12
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    The problem with spending a lot of money on skates for skaters that age is that they're likely to outgrow them quickly

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    It's a hard decision - is this a hobby? How much are you investing in coach and ice time? Every family has to make that decision. In the case of the family I know that spent it, it was fine for them to pay that and get 2 pair of skates a year due to growth. Their skater is an excellent skater and very talented. They have resources to fund a highly competitive skater.

    In my case, I'd make due with the least expensive skate that has a removable blade. For us the skate came with an unattached stock blade but the pro shop kept it and gave us a $20 credit towards better blades. It might mean getting an insert to make the boot feel smaller and heat molding.

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    Yes, his current stiffness is definitely fine. He couldn't handle much more stiffness, if any. He has a tendency to not bend his knees enough already, so I'm sure stiffer boots would only make that worse. I'm trying to get an answer from the pro shop here as to whether I can just rebuy his current boot in a larger size and replace the blade, but the man there yesterday said he "thought they could," which makes me a little nervous that he couldn't say for sure.

    As for how serious he is, I would say moderately. He takes two lessons a week, a few practices beyond that, and one group lesson. He's not supremely talented and that's fine with me -- we are a very low pressure family. So, obviously I don't want to spend $$$$, but I would like to be able to get him the blade he will need for the skills he is working on now. I'm still trying to figure out how exactly to do that. The edeas that I looked at yesterday don't start small enough for his foot, so that is out.

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    Are you, or is your son, a member of a USFS figure skating club? There's one in Dallas:

    http://dallasfsc.org/

    Perhaps they could help you find a better skate shop or provide other assistance.

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