Dance Blade Recommendations for Senior Level

RoyalTern

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Sep 27, 2020
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Daughter has Edea Flamenco's with MK Dance blades. She does still shift to Ice Flies with P99 knock off, so half time in each unless working on a test or competition. Finished MITF, three more partnered Gold Dances tests to do, beginning on working partnered freedances, and competes Solo Dance Series at Senior level. She needs new boots and blades and is questioning keeping the MK Dance (regular) for a few reasons. (Keeping the Edea Flamenco's.)

First is MK blade rust issues on sessions longer than an hour and a half; it has always been a problem and hence the P99 shift for freestyle - no issues there. And yes, she has taken to drying the blade during breaks and not leaving them in "wet" rockers, but that is a real nuisance on competition days.

Second is the MK dance rocker has overly worn in the 9months she has had them and that is with 3 off for COVID, and only 2/3rds in dance with 1/3rd in freestyle, and we only have about 10 to 12 hours of ice available for her each week in our area. Comment from a friend who also coaches still competes dance (partnered) ... her blades have lost their "dance." So now she is concerned that the rocker is not holding up to wear, but it is doubtful it is due to sharpening errors given where we get them done (people travel for hours to this shop).

She is fine shifting between freestyle and the dance with different rockers, toe picks and blade length, ... it is now just a part of her training regime. Her coach used MK Dance in Olympics and ever since, so no new suggestions from that quarter, but he is fine with whatever works for her.
 

WednesdayMarch

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I'd be asking MK about the issues you're having with the blades. I wore MK Dance for years, training, competing, coaching, etc and never, ever ever had issues with rust or rocker. More than one pair, obviously and I have to admit I was never overly protective of them. Never a problem. Beautiful blades. Ask MK for their advice.
 

tstop4me

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Second is the MK dance rocker has overly worn in the 9months she has had them and that is with 3 off for COVID, and only 2/3rds in dance with 1/3rd in freestyle, and we only have about 10 to 12 hours of ice available for her each week in our area. Comment from a friend who also coaches still competes dance (partnered) ... her blades have lost their "dance." So now she is concerned that the rocker is not holding up to wear, but it is doubtful it is due to sharpening errors given where we get them done (people travel for hours to this shop).
<<Emphasis added.>> This makes no sense to me. Even if, for the sake of argument, the steel were defective (e.g., abnormally soft), normal skating on ice would not change the rocker. If the skater, again for the sake of argument, were to practice a lot on a particular portion of the blade, the edges on that portion would wear prematurely. But the amount of metal removed due to edge wear is not enough to alter the rocker. Once the edges, in any portion, wear down enough, the skater would then get the blades resharpened; and the tech would resharpen the entirety of the blade, not just the prematurely worn spots. So maintaining the rocker is primarily a function of the skill of the tech and the number of times the blades have been sharpened.

The only other way I can conceive of the rocker prematurely wearing out is through accidental damage; e.g., the skater is walking (with blade guards on) across a concrete floor not protected with rubber matting, and her blade guards pop off.
 
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MCsAngel2

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MK Dance has been the biggest name in town for decades, I think all the elite ice dancers and former elite ice dancers still use them. Don't dance blades have to be sharpened more frequently because of how thin they are? I would expect them to wear out sooner because of that.
 

tstop4me

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MK Dance has been the biggest name in town for decades, I think all the elite ice dancers and former elite ice dancers still use them. Don't dance blades have to be sharpened more frequently because of how thin they are? I would expect them to wear out sooner because of that.
The thickness of a blade is the distance measured across the sides of the blade from edge to edge. The thickness of the blade therefore determines the distance between the inside edge and the outside edge. That, however, really doesn't affect how quickly each edge wears, because you still have two distinct edges. How quickly each distinct edge wears (and hence how often you need to get your blades sharpened) is dependent on the geometry of each distinct edge [under the usual caveat, all things else being equal]. And the geometry of each distinct edge is set by the ROH, finishing operations, and the skill of the tech. But note that for the same value of ROH, the edge geometry (e.g., as characterized by the included angle of the edge) will depend on the thickness of the blade. Since the ROH can be varied independently of the thickness, however, the edge geometry can be varied independently of thickness. If you're interested in the detailed math, PM me, and I'll point you to one of my posts in another forum; that post also has a detailed drawing.
 
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Ic3Rabbit

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The first thing I was thinking was it has to either be a defect of that particular blade or something with the tech shop working on them. I've worn MK dance blades for many years and to many an elite competition and no problems with them wearing down prematurely, nor the rusting issue that OPs skater is having. OP, the only other choice for a dance blade would be Apex Dance, many of the Gadbois ice dancers wear them including Hubbell/Donohue. I have worn them before and liked them, but ultimately went back to MK Dance because the rocker was flatter on the Apex and I wasn't fond of it. But if you daughter isn't completely established in dance and it isn't a big deal, she may do well with the Apex.

Good luck!
 
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tstop4me

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The first thing I was thinking was it has to either be a defect of that particular blade or something with the tech shop working on them. I've worn MK dance blades for many years and to many an elite competition and no problems with them wearing down prematurely, nor the rusting issue that OPs skater is having. OP, the only other choice for a dance blade would be Apex Dance, many of the Gadbois ice dancers wear them including Hubbell/Donohue. I have worn them before and liked them, but ultimately went back to MK Dance because the rocker was flatter on the Apex and I wasn't fond of it. But if you daughter isn't completely established in dance and it isn't a big deal, she may do well with the Apex.

Good luck!
I believe at one time you were also trying out the Skate Science Dance blades. The MK Dance is fabricated from plain-carbon steel; the Skate Science Dance is fabricated from stainless steel (Skate Science doesn't release any details about the grade of stainlesss steel, only that they are furnished by a Swedish mill). Stainless steel would eliminate the OP's rust problem entirely. And, with the proper grade and processing (unknown), stainless steel has the potential for longer edge wear. Do you have an update on your experiences with Skate Science Dance?
 

Ic3Rabbit

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I believe at one time you were also trying out the Skate Science Dance blades. The MK Dance is fabricated from plain-carbon steel; the Skate Science Dance is fabricated from stainless steel (Skate Science doesn't release any details about the grade of stainlesss steel, only that they are furnished by a Swedish mill). Stainless steel would eliminate the OP's rust problem entirely. And, with the proper grade and processing (unknown), stainless steel has the potential for longer edge wear. Do you have an update on your experiences with Skate Science Dance?
Other than what I said about them in the original thread on them, not really. I'm back to wearing my MK dance on my ice dance boots, still in P99s on my freestyle boots.
 

SmallAminal

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Out of curiosity, I went to the Skate Science website. They claim that the "original" dance blade designs were developed before the discipline required spins (at least ones that resemble Pair spins) and that their blades are easier to spin on. I didn't realize it was "hard" to spin on a conventional dance blade (?) Is that really a thing?
 

WednesdayMarch

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Out of curiosity, I went to the Skate Science website. They claim that the "original" dance blade designs were developed before the discipline required spins (at least ones that resemble Pair spins) and that their blades are easier to spin on. I didn't realize it was "hard" to spin on a conventional dance blade (?) Is that really a thing?
Yes, MK Dance blades were developed before spinning was a "thing" in ice dance. Back when Noah wasn't even allowed hammers, I remember being allowed a small "dance spin" of no more than 3 revolutions. I could certainly spin on my MK Dance blades, and a lot more revolutions than 3 but it wasn't as easy. I just did it when required. On going back to Phantoms (for different reasons), I was overjoyed to find that my spins came right back and now I love spinning again.
 
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