Jackson Freestyles feel close to dead after 2 months (LTS adult w/no jumps) | Golden Skate

Jackson Freestyles feel close to dead after 2 months (LTS adult w/no jumps)

bibby

Spectator
Joined
May 23, 2022
Hey, so I'm a 55kg/121lb short adult female and I don't think I'm getting the life I should be getting from my Jackson Freestyles.

I'm Aussie so i'm not sure what grade I am, but for skill reference I've been doing LTS for 8 months-ish so semi-beginner.
Currently in class we are cleaning our forward 3 turns, forwards and backwards stroking/edges, and doing basic footwork sequences. I have not been taught any jumps or spins, and have not tried any before being taught.
I love pushing my edges pretty hard compared to others in my LTS (at best my blade gets 50 degree angle from the ice) when doing consecutive edges/turns/slaloms/crossovers, and can get good power and speed with loud ripping edge sounds. I used to do ballet so I have a lot of leg and glute muscle, and I can easily get strong strokes and knee/ankle bend.


I bought the Freestyles with stock Aspire blade just 2 months ago and I skate around 2-5hrs a week, pretty much just doing laps/edge drills/stroking/3 turns/circle exercises like in class. I was fitted at the pro skate shop and was told they would last me through my single jumps, which seems to align with everything i've read online. Had no problems with breaking them in or with the fit, and forgot to get them heat molded until 2 weeks ago oops. They are my second pair of skates.

I've begun to feel some loss of support around the ankles, particularly the main instep area and the beginning of the hooks.
I don't feel unstable yet, but the top hook where I tie my skates is beginning to press hard and bruise my shin (I have short legs so I always leave the top hook undone) so i think the tongue is starting to deform and die. My right heel is beginning to get some wiggle room. The footbed and toebox feel sturdy still.
At the rate LTS here is graded I'm probably going to finish LTS and start freestyle with waltz jumps in 2-3 months, and I don't think they will provide the support I expect I'd need from landing jumps. I feel like the tongue and ankle will die properly in a month if i continue skating how I do.


Is this rate that my skates are breaking down too fast or is this normal?
Should I start thinking about upgrading boots and how strong a boot should I be looking at? I have wide, squarish feet with a narrow heel and normal/flat arches. I wear a wide width Jackson boot.
I've read mixed things about heat molding making skates die faster as well, thoughts?
 

WednesdayMarch

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Given the description of your skating, I think that's probably normal. It's definitely time to be upgrading and I'd put you in Debut or possibly Premiere. Jackson sound like the right fit for your feet, but you might want to double-check that you've not been in too long a boot, because that can cause early breakdown. Take the footbed of the boot out and stand on it. If there's more than 5mm room at the front, the boots are most likely too long.

When you do upgrade, look at Coronation Ace or MK Professional blades.
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Country
United-States
OP: It does sound like your tongue (most likely, the tongue padding) is breaking down prematurely. Did you buy the skates from a pro shop? If so, you should bring it back there and have a tech inspect them. I don't know what the current policy is, but Jackson used to have a 6 month (?) warranty against manufacturing defects. If they aren't covered, let me know, and I'll give you instructions on tongue liners that may extend the life of your boots. Two months for the hours and level you're skating is way too short.
 

MCsAngel2

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Did you buy them brand new?? Because that doesn't sound right at ALL for two months. While it does sound like you have a very strong knee bend, I'd be more inclined to think that your skates are the wrong size and/or width, (too big), which will definitely make them break down prematurely.
 

bibby

Spectator
Joined
May 23, 2022
OP: It does sound like your tongue (most likely, the tongue padding) is breaking down prematurely. Did you buy the skates from a pro shop? If so, you should bring it back there and have a tech inspect them. I don't know what the current policy is, but Jackson used to have a 6 month (?) warranty against manufacturing defects. If they aren't covered, let me know, and I'll give you instructions on tongue liners that may extend the life of your boots. Two months for the hours and level you're skating is way too short.
Hey, I went back to the pro shop where I bought them and the verdict was just as you said - the tongue padding breaking down. They said its the normal breaking in process for skates and they're fine, but I probably have a preference for the tongue cushioning and stiffness to be like out-the-box. We all agreed the lateral support for the boot is still good, but medial support will probably be the first to go. I prefer having more resistance in the tongue to keep my heel locked when I bend, otherwise my heel shifts a fraction and throws me off. The boot size and width is fine however.
I was given some foam/felt square thing to pad out the tongue, so any advice for the tongue liners would be much appreciated.
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Country
United-States
Hey, I went back to the pro shop where I bought them and the verdict was just as you said - the tongue padding breaking down. They said its the normal breaking in process for skates and they're fine, but I probably have a preference for the tongue cushioning and stiffness to be like out-the-box. We all agreed the lateral support for the boot is still good, but medial support will probably be the first to go. I prefer having more resistance in the tongue to keep my heel locked when I bend, otherwise my heel shifts a fraction and throws me off. The boot size and width is fine however.
I was given some foam/felt square thing to pad out the tongue, so any advice for the tongue liners would be much appreciated.
<<Emphasis added.>> Precisely. Many skaters don't appreciate that a proper tongue is essential for good heel lock: the tongue applies pressure against the front of the foot, seating the heel of the foot into the heel pocket of the boot.

For tongue liners:

* Start with a sheet of soft, squishy foam (types of foam discussed below). I recommend that you make liners with sheets of two thicknesses, 1/4" and 3/8" (uncompressed thickness dimension). Try them both, and see which thickness feels better. The thinner one will likely work for now, and you can switch to the thicker one later when the tongue padding breaks down further.

* Each tongue liner is a simple rectangular piece cut from the sheet (readily cut with scissors). Width is about 3/8" less than the width of the tongue. Length extends from the top of the tongue along the front of the ankle joint and over a portion of the instep. Clip or round off the corners .

* You can extend the top of the liner up to about 1/2" above the top of the tongue, if you wish.

* To avoid cramping your toes, do not extend the liner over the instep past about 1" behind the rearmost toe joints.

* To avoid wasting material, start with an oversized rectangle, then do a couple of rounds of trimming to fit.

* For a trial run, see if you already have suitable foam used as packing (e.g., for electronics). Otherwise, some craft stores or fabric stores carry foam sheet, typically closed-cell polyurethane. [I'm in the US; I don't know about Down Under].

* If the trial run works, for durable liners, I recommend Poron foam, rated "Very Soft" in firmness (older stock may use the term "Ultra Soft"). "Soft" is also OK, but "Medium" or "Firm" is too stiff. Poron foam (open-cell polyurethane) is harder to find and a lot more expensive than packing foam or the stuff in crafts and fabric stores. But it holds up for a long time (I've had the same pair for 5 yrs now). It is typically sold through industrial supply houses (at least in the US). It typically comes in large rolls, but some retailers cut them into smaller squares (such as 1 ft X 1 ft) for resale.

* To protect the foam from shedding, wrap the liner with self-adhesive moleskin. [Inserting and removing an unprotected liner over and over will abrade the surfaces of the liner, causing the foam to shed.]

* To use a liner, loosen your laces a lot; open up the tongue; insert your foot into the boot; insert the tongue liner over your foot; close the tongue; adjust the position of the liner if needed; and lace up.
 
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