Shorter blade = better rocker position? | Golden Skate

Shorter blade = better rocker position?

sk8dreamzzzz

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Hi Skaters,

I've been skating in a Jackson Premiere (old stock, but bought new) 6.5W with Coronation Ace 9.75. I struggled to really find the rocker and when my coach asked me to feel where it was, I felt it was between the ball of my foot and the pads of my toes. Basically, not on the ball at all. I knew when I said it out loud that it didn't sound right. I also roller skate and have always used a plate 1 size shorter than normal for that because of my freakishly long toes which means the ball of my foot is positioned further back. On quad roller skates, the plate is positioned so the front row of wheels is directly below the ball of the foot (for spinning).

I didn't think much about it then. I figured I am not on the rocker in my spins because I'm a beginner. However, I recently got a pair of used boots and dance blades, Risport Royal Elite (men's) 250 and Coronation Dance Parabolic 9.5. To my surprise everything was easier! Part of this is because the boot fits my arch better and part of it is the rocker seemed to be further back (toward the ball of my foot) and I could actually spin on the rocker without struggling to find it in the spin. I'm not sure if this is due to the blade length or perhaps the blade, being so used, is slightly flatter now?

I'm wondering if I should change blades on my freestyle skate to a 9.5 to be able to progress faster. In the future, I should change the boot as well, but mine is still in really good condition. I can't financially change both unless I can find a growing child to switch blades with me for the smaller size. Mine are only a year old!

What do you think? Is this a sign the 9.75 blade length was too long for me or could there be another reason?

Thank you for your thoughts!
 

WednesdayMarch

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
So you want to stick with the Royal Pro/Coronation Dance set up for dance, but also have a freestyle set up?

If you're set on keeping the Jacksons, then my advice would be to switch to some 9.5" blades. They should fit fine. I have 9.5" MK Dance on my 6.5W Jacksons (although they are the Elite Pro with the fusion sole, so slightly different. I think the sole on the old Premiere is a little shorter, because the heel isn't the flare, Cuban style, so I think that 9.5" would be perfect. Do measure first, though!

PS: Dance blades make everything easier. Although, to be fair, so does having the right size blade in the first place...
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Olympics
Hi Skaters,

I've been skating in a Jackson Premiere (old stock, but bought new) 6.5W with Coronation Ace 9.75. I struggled to really find the rocker and when my coach asked me to feel where it was, I felt it was between the ball of my foot and the pads of my toes. Basically, not on the ball at all. I knew when I said it out loud that it didn't sound right. I also roller skate and have always used a plate 1 size shorter than normal for that because of my freakishly long toes which means the ball of my foot is positioned further back. On quad roller skates, the plate is positioned so the front row of wheels is directly below the ball of the foot (for spinning).

I didn't think much about it then. I figured I am not on the rocker in my spins because I'm a beginner. However, I recently got a pair of used boots and dance blades, Risport Royal Elite (men's) 250 and Coronation Dance Parabolic 9.5. To my surprise everything was easier! Part of this is because the boot fits my arch better and part of it is the rocker seemed to be further back (toward the ball of my foot) and I could actually spin on the rocker without struggling to find it in the spin. I'm not sure if this is due to the blade length or perhaps the blade, being so used, is slightly flatter now?

I'm wondering if I should change blades on my freestyle skate to a 9.5 to be able to progress faster. In the future, I should change the boot as well, but mine is still in really good condition. I can't financially change both unless I can find a growing child to switch blades with me for the smaller size. Mine are only a year old!

What do you think? Is this a sign the 9.75 blade length was too long for me or could there be another reason?

Thank you for your thoughts!

Hello and welcome, my first question is are you wearing or getting dance blades b/c you are an ice dancer as well?
 

sk8dreamzzzz

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Hello and welcome, my first question is are you wearing or getting dance blades b/c you are an ice dancer as well?
Thanks @WednesdayMarch and @Ic3Rabbit,

I'm learning pattern dances with a partner and synchro. I got the used boots/blade so I don't trip myself or other people, and because it was a good deal. I wouldn't call myself an Ice dancer yet, I'm truly just beginning.

Interestingly, the group classes are only in the winter and are freestyle, so I will be jumping (attempting!) in those classes. I know professionals can do single jumps on dance blades, but I assumed I shouldn't try and should keep a pair with long tails for freestyle. Ideally, I would love to not need 2 sets, but I don't have anywhere near the precision it looks like is needed to jump on a dance blade.

What do you think?
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Olympics
Thanks @WednesdayMarch and @Ic3Rabbit,

I'm learning pattern dances with a partner and synchro. I got the used boots/blade so I don't trip myself or other people, and because it was a good deal. I wouldn't call myself an Ice dancer yet, I'm truly just beginning.

Interestingly, the group classes are only in the winter and are freestyle, so I will be jumping (attempting!) in those classes. I know professionals can do single jumps on dance blades, but I assumed I shouldn't try and should keep a pair with long tails for freestyle. Ideally, I would love to not need 2 sets, but I don't have anywhere near the precision it looks like is needed to jump on a dance blade.

What do you think?
Have your dance blades for dance/synchro but you really don't need them. You could easy do everything on your freestyle blades. There are many low level ice dancers who do this including pattern dances, just remember you are not on short tail dance blades when doing so, and please never attempt to jump on dance blades.
 

spinningdancer

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
It's probably not the blade length per se, but also the blade placement. Since the blade is shorter, it may be positioned differently on the sole. It's also really hard to compare since the boots are a different brand, and likely slightly different size, as well, so your feet are sitting differently in the boots too. If you want to try and mimic this set up on your freestyle skates, I'd probably switch to another pair of Risports in addition to switching the blade. You can also try moving around the current blade on your Jacksons. Usually there is a bit of "wiggle room," but you'll want an experienced skate tech to do the moving for you.
 

sk8dreamzzzz

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
It's probably not the blade length per se, but also the blade placement. Since the blade is shorter, it may be positioned differently on the sole. It's also really hard to compare since the boots are a different brand, and likely slightly different size, as well, so your feet are sitting differently in the boots too. If you want to try and mimic this set up on your freestyle skates, I'd probably switch to another pair of Risports in addition to switching the blade. You can also try moving around the current blade on your Jacksons. Usually there is a bit of "wiggle room," but you'll want an experienced skate tech to do the moving for you.
You're right, the soles on the Jackson are longer than those on Risport, but the length of both boots (inside) is right for my foot. However, the arch and toe shape is different and the Risport arch is more comfortable to me. On the Jackson there is 0 wiggle room, the blade is flush with both ends, which does make me think it couldn't possibly be placed right for my long toes. I'm going to spend the next few months just learning on the dance blade + Risport combo as it's so comfortable. Maybe I can sell my longer blade before the next season of freestyle classes.
 

spinningdancer

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
You're right, the soles on the Jackson are longer than those on Risport, but the length of both boots (inside) is right for my foot. However, the arch and toe shape is different and the Risport arch is more comfortable to me. On the Jackson there is 0 wiggle room, the blade is flush with both ends, which does make me think it couldn't possibly be placed right for my long toes. I'm going to spend the next few months just learning on the dance blade + Risport combo as it's so comfortable. Maybe I can sell my longer blade before the next season of freestyle classes.
If the blade is flush on both ends, then yeah, you're usually kind of stuck with it where it is. That's why some skaters intentionally buy a slightly shorter blade (1/4 inch) so they can move it around more. Toe length can definitely play into it as well. And I know what you mean about the Jackson vs Risport length. I went from custom Harlicks, to Edeas, and the Edeas have a shorter sole, and are just more compact boots overall. They make the Harlicks look really bulky. It is weird to see how my foot fits in both, since compared to the Harlicks, the Edeas look like they should be too small, but they're not. Blades tend to be fairly easy to resell, so as long as the blade is in good condition, you can probably sell it.
 

kolyadafan2002

Fan of Kolyada
Final Flight
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Nobody has yet bought up the fact one is parabolic and the other isn't. Parabolic blades tend to have less drag (noticeable to some skaters, not to others) that can result in easier/smoother turns. I personally haven't felt the difference too much, but I know some skaters who swear by parabolic blades.
 

sk8dreamzzzz

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Nobody has yet bought up the fact one is parabolic and the other isn't. Parabolic blades tend to have less drag (noticeable to some skaters, not to others) that can result in easier/smoother turns. I personally haven't felt the difference too much, but I know some skaters who swear by parabolic blades.
Oh that's interesting! I tried reading about the parabolic blade, but didn't find any technical explanation of how it effects skating. What does it mean when a blade has less drag? I can feel that the dance blade is thinner, though I can't say if that makes anything easier at my level. I can feel the middle of the blade is different to my CA, but I can't tell you how. Might this be the parabolic part? Maybe I can find myself a parabolic CA in the shorter length if/when I replace it.

I certainly do feel the rocker position is different with the shorter blade, which must make it more similar to the roller skate spin position. It felt slightly further back and more natural and controlled. Or it might just be less rockered since its used... !
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Olympics
Oh that's interesting! I tried reading about the parabolic blade, but didn't find any technical explanation of how it effects skating. What does it mean when a blade has less drag? I can feel that the dance blade is thinner, though I can't say if that makes anything easier at my level. I can feel the middle of the blade is different to my CA, but I can't tell you how. Might this be the parabolic part? Maybe I can find myself a parabolic CA in the shorter length if/when I replace it.

I certainly do feel the rocker position is different with the shorter blade, which must make it more similar to the roller skate spin position. It felt slightly further back and more natural and controlled. Or it might just be less rockered since its used... !
Parabolic blades differ from traditional parallel blades in the fact that: They (parabolic) are thicker on each end and thinner in the middle (talking lengthwise here) as to where a traditional parallel blade is one thickness the entire length of the blade. They help some who know how to use them (like Patrick Chan) have better edge grip when cornering. Unless you are say Jr level elite or higher, parabolic are no use to you. Just get a parallel blade.
 

cds327131327

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 8, 2017
I'm having the exact situation as you.
I have a pair of 260 Edea ice fly with 9.75 gold seals from end to end without any space, and I too struggle with spins as the spin rocker is positioned too forward. I tried a pair of 9.5 Pattern 99 and I instantly have better control.
I think there are two possible reasons for your case:
1) Shorter blades allow a more accurate heel position. I have compared both sizes of the blades and found out that the only difference is at the heel plate. The front plate and the rocker position are the same, while the heel plates of the 9.5 blades are simply shifted forward 1/4" together with the tail. This results in the heel plates being positioned right under the heels, closer to the pressure points, and allows a better transfer of energy to the blades. As I'm stepping right on top of the heel plates, it puts my weight further back towards my heel and makes it easier to the sweet spot.
2) Risport skates are known to have lower heel height, which put your weight backward even more.
 

sk8dreamzzzz

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
I'm having the exact situation as you.
I have a pair of 260 Edea ice fly with 9.75 gold seals from end to end without any space, and I too struggle with spins as the spin rocker is positioned too forward. I tried a pair of 9.5 Pattern 99 and I instantly have better control.
I think there are two possible reasons for your case:
1) Shorter blades allow a more accurate heel position. I have compared both sizes of the blades and found out that the only difference is at the heel plate. The front plate and the rocker position are the same, while the heel plates of the 9.5 blades are simply shifted forward 1/4" together with the tail. This results in the heel plates being positioned right under the heels, closer to the pressure points, and allows a better transfer of energy to the blades. As I'm stepping right on top of the heel plates, it puts my weight further back towards my heel and makes it easier to the sweet spot.
2) Risport skates are known to have lower heel height, which put your weight backward even more.
Oh that's really interesting, thank you for sharing! I've spent the last 2 months only on the Risport/dance blade combo. It's very comfortable. I switched to the 9.75/Jackson skate today to feel the difference and my heels hurt immediately. Coincidently, I read your comment well after my skate session. I was thinking the heel pain was from the inserts or I've been skating too much. My arch was painful as well, but that's a Jackson thing. I always have arch pain the first 20 mins in Jacksons and then I'm fine.

Ridiculously, my spins were better today on the longer blade, possibly because I finally understood something with the free leg. There were much more toe pick catching moments, but it really didn't feel terribly different other than being sharper than my dance blade. I'm going to try it again tomorrow with a little more time to figure out what is different.

I wouldn't mind just keeping everything as is and not spending any money.
 
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