Sunday, 16 March 2014

Adventures in Skate Shopping

OK, so I've had a pretty exciting week, lots happening. Let's get the skating out of the way first, as the other stuff will take a little while to get through.

Waltz jump is coming along nicely, and I've actually done the entire entry and jump sequence a few times now, without holding my coach's hand - woohoo! There are still things that we need to fix, like the fact that I'm sometimes not landing on the back outside edge, and not really landing or taking off from my toe pick - have you seen the picks on a Jackson Mystique? They're very small - I find it hard to get onto them properly for anything!

The one foot spin is, at the moment, the problem child, the work in progress, call it what you will. It's the one element for this spin, jump, spiral competition that isn't where I want it to be. I can do the entry, and I feel really confident with the entry, but the actual spin? Not happening very well yet. I think it's being on one leg that's the scary part. Anyway, hopefully we'll get there before April 26th - competition day!!

The spiral, I actually really enjoy! I need a little bit more height, but my skating leg and free leg are both doing the right thing, so that's good. Inside 3's are still an issue, which is not so good, but I'm sure I'll get there. I will, of course, blog about the competition, and hopefully be posting photos or video, if I can get someone to take them of me. 

So, that's the skating, now the good stuff. A couple of months back, I noticed some space in my boots that wasn't there before - I've been losing weight so not too surprising some has come off my feet. Anyway, it got to the point where I no longer felt secure in my skates, and was wearing two pairs of socks to compensate. 

A friend of mine also needed new skates, and offered me the chance to go with her to a very reputable skate shop, who fitted her and her son for their skates from day one of them being on the ice. I jumped at the chance, and we headed there yesterday.

It's over an hour away, so I really hoped they could help. I called in advance and told them a little about myself, my level, what I was looking for etc. They were really helpful on the phone, so I was looking forward to the trip.

After the drive, we walked in, and WOW! Dresses as far as the eye could see, Zuca's all round the walls, a wall of gloves, another of guards and soakers. Boots everywhere, a blade cabinet, a little corner for hockey skates (the main hockey part of the shop was in another building) and lots of space to try things on and walk around. 

First I got them to check what sharpening was on my current blades - apparently I could easily drop down a couple of increments, so I might do that with the new blades. Then I said I needed some new skates, explained why, and the real fun began. The lovely man who was helping us looked at my boots and said that the Freestyles and other higher level skates I was thinking of were out - I had barely broken the ankles in on the Mystiques. He then took out my insoles and commented that the boots were way too big for me - I had a lot of space at the end of the insole. 

Now, this is where I found out some stuff - when I bought my skates, I asked for a UK size 6, my shoe size. The shop I went to, sold me this, as far as I was aware. No, they did not. They sold me a size 6 1/2, and while that may have fitted OK when I was my heaviest weight, as I shrunk, and my feet changed, they became worse. Nice skate fitter man commented that he was very surprised at the condition of my skates. Boots that are too big will apparently break down quickly, and can even lead to injury, so really, I've been quite lucky. 

So, we decided we'd start at a UK size 5, and go from there. I tried the Edea Overture, in boot only form, and it actually fit, right there and then, better than my Jacksons did. No painful bits - pressure, but not pain, particularly in the ankles and my little toes. I was asked to lace them up, and the fit was checked - you can barely get a finger down the back of the boots when they're laced, and they felt very supportive. I was told to keep them on while he helped my friend with her skate buying, and then we'd see if I wanted/needed to try anything else, although he said we'd be hard pressed to find a better fit than that. 

It took a LONG time to find skates for my friend - she's got very unusual feet. She doesn't care if her skates are ladies or mens, so in the end she got a pair of Jackson Marquis on order. 

I decided I was VERY happy with the fit of the Edeas, and chose to have them teamed up with some Coronation Ace blades. My blades will be 

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