Be Edgy!

Are you a beginner?

Unless your coach is telling you otherwise, beginners and low level skaters do not need to worry about buying blades separately.  You can focus on finding a good boot brand.  Beginner and even some intermediate boots already come pre mounted with blades that are appropriately matched to the skating level the boot is intended for.

When Do I need to start buying boots and blades separately?

This will definitely be a question to ask your coach, but here are general indications that it is time to consider choosing boots and blades:

1. You are landing or beginning to land single axels

2. You are passionate about figures, dance or synchro and have invested in testing or joining a team

     *IMPORTANT

       -if you switch to a synchro or dance blade, it will be extremely difficult to continue 

       free skating (jumps and spins)

       -If you wish to pursue both synchro/dance and freestyle, consider a freestyle      

        blade with a more acute rocker (like a Coronation Ace)

3. You are an adult skater who is confident your feet are done growing and you're comfortable investing a little more money in a higher quality blade.

     

Ok, I need to buy blades: Now what?!

1. First and foremost, ask your coach. Often times, coaches have blades that they are used to teaching and coaching with.  Chances are they will have some recommendations.

2. Consider your level and skating style...what do I mean by style?

      -I'm a synchro skater

      - I do ice dance

      - I'm strictly a freestyle skater

    

3. Consider how the structure of the skate is going to affect your movement and balance on the ice: Toe pick, rocker, heel

How do these parts affect me?

1. TOE PICK - this one seems obvious - it is mainly to help you dig into the ice for jump take offs. Many people think the bigger the toe pick, the bigger your jumps will be. 

   -This is partially true, the toe pick can help, but many skaters make the mistake of getting a toe pick that is unnecessarily large or jagged and their skating skills suffer because they are constantly dragging their bottom picks in edges and cross overs.

 

*Bottom Line: a bigger pick won't magically make your jumps higher and stronger.  But a pick that is matched with strength training and good technique can make for a winning combination!

2. ROCKER - this piece is truly the most important part of your blade, but few skaters give it much thought.  Smaller rocker radius (more curvy) blades allow skaters to turn and move with less friction, but it can also require more concentration to maintain balance.  Rockier blades are suggested for skaters who focus on dance, synchro or any skater that is trying to reduce drag and clean their edges. 

    

3. HEEL - most freestyle blades have a standard heel length, but syncrho and dance blades are shorter for skaters who skate very close to a partner or team mates and don't want to catch blades. 

How do these parts affect me?

1. TOE PICK - this one seems obvious - it is mainly to help you dig into the ice for jump take offs. Many people think the bigger the toe pick, the bigger your jumps will be. 

   -This is partially true, the toe pick can help, but many skaters make the mistake of getting a toe pick that is unnecessarily large or jagged and their skating skills suffer because they are constantly dragging their bottom picks in edges and cross overs.

 

*Bottom Line: a bigger pick won't magically make your jumps higher and stronger.  But a pick that is matched with strength training and good technique can make for a winning combination!

2. ROCKER - this piece is truly the most important part of your blade, but few skaters give it much thought.  Smaller rocker radius (more curvy) blades allow skaters to turn and move with less friction, but it can also require more concentration to maintain balance.  Rockier blades are suggested for skaters who focus on dance, synchro or any skater that is trying to reduce drag and clean their edges. 

    

3. HEEL - most freestyle blades have a standard heel length, but syncrho and dance blades are shorter for skaters who skate very close to a partner or team mates and don't want to catch blades. 

Consider the Gold Seal and Pattern 99....

These are the two most popular advanced freestyle blades on the market. They're an excellent example of two very different blades (structurally), but there are World Champions who all do the same elements, but some prefer the rockier feel of the Gold Seal while others opt for the larger pick and stability of the Pattern 99.

Ok, so what are some options?

While Pattern 99 and Gold Seal tend to be the advanced skaters' top two choices, you can achieve a similar style that is better match for intermediate levels:

*Note, there are hundreds of options for intermediate and advanced skaters, but the ones we list are ones that I have had personal experience with as a figure skater and are most recommended by our coaches in the Boston area:

ROCKIER INTERMEDIATE BLADES:

MK Professional

Wilson Coronation Ace

FLATTER INTERMEDIATE BLADE: MORE AGGRESSIVE PICK

Ultima Legacy

Ultima Protege