Heel height? | Golden Skate

Heel height?

berry

Rinkside
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Country
Canada
Hi everyone,
I am a ballet dancer who started taking figure skating lessons this past summer when our rinks opened up, and I currently skate 4x a week. I was fitted in the spring for Jackson Elles, which I have been fairly happy with, other than my right heel and ankle sliding up and down a bit (even with Bunga pads; I have quite narrow ankles and heels). The greatest learning curve for me, and aspect that continues to hold me back, is that my weight is naturally 'up and forwards', on to my toe pics, because of my dance background. I have worked hard to develop a sense of 'down and back' and have made improvements, particularly recently in my back crossovers and back spirals. I continue to struggle though with my 3-turns; once in a while I can turn on the 'sweet spot' but typically I turn on my toe pic, and then try to push back down with the back of my foot to continue the backwards edge. I really have to focus in general in skating on keeping weight down in my heels, but I still tend to shift to my toe pic. Similarly with one-foot spins, my coach tells me I'm a natural spinner, but I am always spinning on my toe pics.
One of my coaches told me that my heels were too high for me (Jackson fusion heels) and that because my weight is naturally so far forwards that I would do better with a lower heel. I realize that most of the issue is likely focusing on my skills and technique, but I was wondering if there is any truth to my heel being too high for me? And whether this is something an issue consider in my next skates or blades?
Thanks for your thoughts!
 

gliese

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Country
United-States
It's entirely possible but this is presenting more like a blade issue. What blade are you on?

ETA:
1) Your boots don't fit you properly.
2) You really have to learn to skate properly. You cannot fix your weight placement problem effectively with equipment. It will put a bandaid on the problem.
 

berry

Rinkside
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Country
Canada
It's entirely possible but this is presenting more like a blade issue. What blade are you on?
I am using the stock blade which is an Ultima Mirage.
Once I attain all my single jumps my plan was to upgrade to another boot TBD and a coronation ace blade.
 

gliese

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Country
United-States
I am using the stock blade which is an Ultima Mirage.
Once I attain all my single jumps my plan was to upgrade to another boot TBD and a coronation ace blade.
Your blade is 99% the problem. Anything by Ultima is notorious for sending you right onto your toe picks.
 

berry

Rinkside
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Country
Canada
ETA:
1) Your boots don't fit you properly.
2) You really have to learn to skate properly. You cannot fix your weight placement problem effectively with equipment. It will put a bandaid on the problem.

Thank you. So are you saying there is a boot problem or it's more that I need to focus on technique?
 

berry

Rinkside
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Country
Canada
Your blade is 99% the problem. Anything by Ultima is notorious for sending you right onto your toe picks.
Thanks. Would you suggest any other blades for me at this point? Would a CA be too advanced for me to invest in now?
 

gliese

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Country
United-States
Thank you. So are you saying there is a boot problem or it's more that I need to focus on technique?
It's a blade problem but you need new boots and can't expect your blades to fix your technique.

I'd recommend coronation ace.
 

looper

Spectator
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Hi everyone,
I am a ballet dancer who started taking figure skating lessons this past summer when our rinks opened up, and I currently skate 4x a week. I was fitted in the spring for Jackson Elles, which I have been fairly happy with, other than my right heel and ankle sliding up and down a bit (even with Bunga pads; I have quite narrow ankles and heels). The greatest learning curve for me, and aspect that continues to hold me back, is that my weight is naturally 'up and forwards', on to my toe pics, because of my dance background. I have worked hard to develop a sense of 'down and back' and have made improvements, particularly recently in my back crossovers and back spirals. I continue to struggle though with my 3-turns; once in a while I can turn on the 'sweet spot' but typically I turn on my toe pic, and then try to push back down with the back of my foot to continue the backwards edge. I really have to focus in general in skating on keeping weight down in my heels, but I still tend to shift to my toe pic. Similarly with one-foot spins, my coach tells me I'm a natural spinner, but I am always spinning on my toe pics.
One of my coaches told me that my heels were too high for me (Jackson fusion heels) and that because my weight is naturally so far forwards that I would do better with a lower heel. I realize that most of the issue is likely focusing on my skills and technique, but I was wondering if there is any truth to my heel being too high for me? And whether this is something an issue consider in my next skates or blades?
Thanks for your thoughts!
As a ballet dancer you have a big advantage in training. In general you are used to using your entire foot and musculature to jump. Your Achilles is critical in jumping and control of landing pressures. Being able to extend your feet in jumps and landings is both a safety issue and a performance one. That extension increases your proprioception, or "feeling", and gives you added landing time to absorb g-forces.

Skates that are too stiff and do not articulate with the foot actually send the shock of landing pressures up the leg to the knee and hips. Over time this becomes a very serious issue causing long term and chronic injuries. In addition with loss of ankle flexibility you lose both jump control, height, and landing time to absorb the shock or deceleration.

So in addition heel height is a big issue. If you can imagine skating in a "spiked" heel say 4" tall you would lose a large amount of ankle articulation. That simply takes away control, height, landing absorption and makes your job as a skater much more difficult. So a lower heel actually is a good thing to a degree helping with all of the issues. For those who say you can't adapt to a different heel height that is silly. Many of us do it every time we use our hockey skates versus our figure skates, and it only takes a few minutes to feel normal again.

We need to begin to look at skates with a little knowledge and I think we all would benefit. In general we need skates that allow ankle flex, provide lateral support, and resistance to landing g-forces (sometimes called "return"), with a slightly lower heel height than currently is "standard". The new wave of boots that have no flex and are light weight have some benefits but landings are not one of them. Watch replays and see how the legs are totally unsupported at the top of the boots and they wobble around with no control.
 

berry

Rinkside
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Country
Canada
It's a blade problem but you need new boots and can't expect your blades to fix your technique.

I'd recommend coronation ace.
Thanks for the advice. I picked up my skates with the new blades (CA) today and tried them out. I noticed a big improvement right away! It's easier for me to find the rocker and I am no longer leaning forwards on to my toe picks. Thanks!
Our province is closing down rinks tomorrow night for the month, so I am glad I got to try them out first.
 
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