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Thread: Opinions on the Graf F4000?

  1. #1
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Question Opinions on the Graf F4000?

    I'm in the market for new boots and I'm really interested in the new hinged boot Graf has out, the F4000. Can anyone give their opinion on them?

    I blew through a pair of Edmonton Specials in 2 months, but continued wearing them for 6 months through a few rebuilds. It was the most comfortable boot I've ever tried (Wifa, Rose, SP Teri, Harlick, Reidell). The problem was that it never creased properly when I bent. It bowed outwards at the ankle notches - opening the boot, rather than creasing inwards and further hugging my ankle. The angle of the back of the boot was also a problem as it dug into my achillies tendon and I still have a painful lump from it 18 months later.

    I was hoping that these new hinged boots would break in better and crease properly - it looked promising when I tried them on, but I can't really tell for sure. Also the back seems to be more vertical at the top rather than angled forward like the Edmonton special - so hopefully it won't cut in when I point my toes.

    Does anyone know how they compare in stiffness to the Graf Edmonton Specials? I've been known to be tough on boots because of skating with deep knees and having high jumps. Any suggestions???

    Thanks in advance for your help,

    Cassie
    Last edited by cborsky; 03-06-2005 at 08:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Fan of The Incomparable Sonja Henie Glacierskater's Avatar
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    Cassie,

    Sounds like you have been around the block with boots. I don't know that I would go with the same maker. Have you considered Klingbeil's? I moved to customs from custom SP Teri (the worst boot I have ever used). I love the Klings. I just don't know about the hinged boot...

  3. #3
    Tripping on the Podium
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    I've always been curious about Klingbeil's. They get such rave reviews on this forum, people I've spoken to that skate in them say they are bullet proof, and Sasha Cohen seems to do well with them. I'm in Vancouver Canada, and Klingbeil's are pretty uncommon here. The skate shops have said a few negative things about them as well - maybe just because they don't carry them and want to push other products instead. The most common thing I've heard is that they are really heavy. Although I was just reading recently that they've been constructing them with lighter weight materials, maybe that isn't an issue any longer. Do you know where I could get my hands on a pair of Klingbeil's to try on? I'd love to see how they fit my feet!

    I'm a little skeptical about the hinged boot myself, even though it felt really good when I tried it on... that's why I'm asking people here for their opinions. Perhaps I'll also try going down to the Center of Excellence (home to Emanuel Sandhu) and see if anyone is skating in these new F4000's.

  4. #4
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    At least the hinged boot in your picture is very attractive. From the reading that I have done, that was the knock on the hinged boot design, they just didn't look as nice. But this on does.

    Cborsky, what about the hing feature itself? Is that a factor in your choice?

    Mathman

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    http://www.jacksonskates.com/html/fr...eset-prod.html

    The Graf boot looks much nicer-the Jackson is very bulky and clunky looking.

    Just my 2cents worth.

  6. #6
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Yes, I see what you mean. In fact, on the Graf boot I don't even see the hinge.

    (To see the boot, click on "return to Jackson.skates" at the top of SkateDeleware's link, then click on the picture of the hinged boot.)

    MM.

  7. #7
    Tripping on the Podium
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    It's too bad that you can't see the inside of the boot. The outer ankle part you see actually goes over an inner boot, so there are no pinch points or joints to hurt your ankles. It seems very solid. It has more lateral stability than a conventional boot but it still allows you to bend your knees relatively easily. In theory, it sounds like a good idea, but I'm unsure of how it will actually work.

    In answer to your question, Mathman, it is a factor in my choice but only with respect to performance. Will it work better for me than the traditional graf, or will the hinge allow me to bend too easily? I'm not concerned about how it looks, from far away I don't think you'll be able to tell... not like the Jackson!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cborsky
    I've always been curious about Klingbeil's. They get such rave reviews on this forum, people I've spoken to that skate in them say they are bullet proof, and Sasha Cohen seems to do well with them. I'm in Vancouver Canada, and Klingbeil's are pretty uncommon here. The skate shops have said a few negative things about them as well - maybe just because they don't carry them and want to push other products instead. The most common thing I've heard is that they are really heavy. Although I was just reading recently that they've been constructing them with lighter weight materials, maybe that isn't an issue any longer. Do you know where I could get my hands on a pair of Klingbeil's to try on? I'd love to see how they fit my feet!
    I have heard people say that Klings are heavy also. However, Don Klingbeil was shocked at how heavy my S.P. Teri's were when I took them to the lab with me....where, incidentally, he was building a new pair of skates for Sasha. I don't get it. They do not feel heavy to me. I had to actually compensate for the lighter weight of the Klings when I first got them. I was used to horsing my foot around on a sit spin, or camel, or any element that required the lifting of the boot. I was flinging myself off balance due to the fact that the boot was lighter than the Teri. I have heard some naysayers about Klingbeil. Either they had someone that could not fit them, or there were extenuating circumstances. I don't buy it. I have thrown more money at custom boots than I care to think about and Klingbeil is the only maker that I have been happy with. After 3 years of skating in Teri's I still could not be in my boots for more than an hour or two and I was constantly relacing. I would recommend contacting Klingbeil directly to find out where you can get fitted, or if the can send you the info to get it done. I hope that this insight helps. Take a look at the Jackson hinged boot...it looks like a science fair project.

  9. #9
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glacierskater
    Take a look at the Jackson hinged boot...it looks like a science fair project.
    Hahaha, I had the same thoughts when I followed that link and saw a picture of it for the first time. The flex that they show seems rather extreme. The tongue cuts way into the ankle at a sharp angle - what were they thinking? I'd really like to know how they develop skate boots... do they work with skaters on the design, refining it until it's right? Sometimes I wonder...

  10. #10
    Fan of The Incomparable Sonja Henie Glacierskater's Avatar
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    I remember seeing some sort of documentary type thing during a skating event when they were first talking about the hinged boot. It looked weird then too. I did not actually think that they would do it. Kind of like crash helmets with pairs skating....it can be done, but should it?

  11. #11
    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    If you look on the back cover of the most recent International Figure Skating magazine there is a big picture of the "Jackson Ultima" hinged boot. Also on the back cover is a new blade called the "Matrix" that has a interchangeable blade. I wonder how that blade would perform.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dlkksk8fan
    If you look on the back cover of the most recent International Figure Skating magazine there is a big picture of the "Jackson Ultima" hinged boot. Also on the back cover is a new blade called the "Matrix" that has a interchangeable blade. I wonder how that blade would perform.
    We were looking at this in the pros' room yesterday at my rink, and wondering which would be worse, the boot or the blade! Suffice it to say that none of us volunteered to try them out!

  13. #13
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Thanks for your opinions everyone. I tried on the F-4000 in my size today, but decided against it. The boot just didn't fit my foot as well as the Graf Edmonton Special.

    I bought the Edmonton Special, and I'm sending them to the shop tomorrow to get the backs flared out at the top so they don't dig into my achillies. I should be skating in them on Saturday!

    I'm excited!!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cborsky
    Thanks for your opinions everyone. I tried on the F-4000 in my size today, but decided against it. The boot just didn't fit my foot as well as the Graf Edmonton Special.

    I bought the Edmonton Special, and I'm sending them to the shop tomorrow to get the backs flared out at the top so they don't dig into my achillies. I should be skating in them on Saturday!

    I'm excited!!!
    And I'm excited for you, Cborsky! As some of the posters on this thread know, I've been very interested in the hinged skate boot for a couple of years now. I'm late right now and can't write much--awww, too bad, lol--but I would love to hear every detail of how you respond to the Graf. At least now figure skaters have some choice in the type of boot they decide to use. Good luck, Cborsky!

    Slightly OT: Does anybody know if any top competitive or pro skaters have tried the hinged skate boot? I heard Timothy Goebel had tried a pair, but this was about a year ago and I don't know which brand it was.

    Rgirl

  15. #15
    Skating Soprano
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    Both the Graf and the Jacksons look ugly to me. The Graf is slightly less ugly, though.

    The way I look at it is "if it isnt broke, dont fix it." I mean...Im very happy with my current skates, so why should I try something else that might not work at all. I also dont like being able to bend my knees much

    PS: Cborski-I know exactly what you mean about the boot creasing outwards. My Reihells-opps, I mean Reidells-did exactly that.

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