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-   -   Is it worth upgrading really cheap skates if they're comfortable? (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1052669)

Knight 12-11-2011 08:06 PM

Is it worth upgrading really cheap skates if they're comfortable?
 
I just started playing this fall, and I'm a pretty good skater. Even though I still suck at hockey. The thing is, I'm rolling with a pair of Black/Green Rbk 1k's. (I can't even find these on the internet, I think they're from '07).

These skates don't hurt my feet or anything, they're comfortable (not like perfect, but no pain or whatnot). I'm wondering is it worth dropping the dough to upgrade to a higher level of skates if these are comfy? What's the difference, weight, protection?

Thanks!

ArrogantOwl 12-11-2011 08:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knight (Post 40810575)
I just started playing this fall, and I'm a pretty good skater. Even though I still suck at hockey. The thing is, I'm rolling with a pair of Black/Green Rbk 1k's. (I can't even find these on the internet, I think they're from '07).

These skates don't hurt my feet or anything, they're comfortable (not like perfect, but no pain or whatnot). I'm wondering is it worth dropping the dough to upgrade to a higher level of skates if these are comfy? What's the difference, weight, protection?

Thanks!

The thing I believe you'll start to encroach is the skates start to breakdown. This'll cause a loss of stiffness and protection. If they fit well, a higher level skate of the same series should fit you, but since they're so old, the design of the foot they used for the shape may have changed. I'd recommend going to a LHS and trying on higher-end models and see if they'll work for you. A higher-end skate will put more energy into the ice, be lighter and provide more protection, but how much will depend on the skate.

r3cc0s 12-11-2011 09:44 PM

the lightness gives you better endurance and speed

the stiffness gives you better transfer of power and better edge to ice contact

pretty much what sums up lower quality skates to higher quality ones

usually holder and steel isnt' a big difference, its the boot

if you fit RBK, the 9k's can be had for pretty cheap, I got mine new from Sportchek for $225 CAD and may just buy another pair if they have any

cptjeff 12-12-2011 02:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by r3cc0s (Post 40814953)
the lightness gives you better endurance and speed

the stiffness gives you better transfer of power and better edge to ice contact

pretty much what sums up lower quality skates to higher quality ones

usually holder and steel isnt' a big difference, its the boot

if you fit RBK, the 9k's can be had for pretty cheap, I got mine new from Sportchek for $225 CAD and may just buy another pair if they have any

Going from a 1k to anything halfway decent, the holder and steel will make a difference.

And the higher end skates will be comfortable too, and they do help your skating. A lot. I notice the difference between a $300 skate and a $700 one. You may not be at that level, but I would bet good money you'll notice the difference between a 3 year old $50 skate and a brand new $300 one.

Guffaw 12-12-2011 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by r3cc0s (Post 40814953)
the lightness gives you better endurance and speed

the stiffness gives you better transfer of power and better edge to ice contact

pretty much what sums up lower quality skates to higher quality ones

I agree, but "just started playing" and high end skates don't go together. He would be better off spending the $400-$800 on a camp or a few clinics. Beginners just don't have the leg strength or ability to exploit the benefits of a high end skate imo.

izzy3 12-12-2011 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Guffaw (Post 40824691)
I agree, but "just started playing" and high end skates don't go together. He would be better off spending the $400-$800 on a camp or a few clinics. Beginners just don't have the leg strength or ability to exploit the benefits of a high end skate imo.

I second this, a good camp will do you much more good then some new skates. I know a lot of really good players on a budget, and they keep to their old, cheap skates. Get yourself to a level where you feel that the softness of your skates hinder you, then you can move to a mid level pair. If your skates fit and feel comfortable there is no reason to change them yet. For me this point didn't come until solid 2 years of play, and even then I did not notice a world of difference, except for protection when hit by a puck. Simply I am still not good enough of a skater. Oh, and braking in my new pair was a bi@tch, even though it was fitted. It was simply much stiffer then my old pair, so I had to relearn lacing.

Stickmata 12-12-2011 09:30 AM

Lesson, not skates. The best player on my team skates on 20 year old skates made of technology many of you have never seen. And he's played 3-5 games a week over those 20 years.

goalie29 12-12-2011 09:55 AM

Another vote for keeping them if they're not worn out, because comfort is the most important thing with skates.

I've been skating my whole life, and when skate shopping have noticed that modern skates are amazing compared to 10, 20, 30 years ago. $700 skates are not necessary to be a good skater. I get around in my $130 ones just fine.

11MilesPerJohan 12-12-2011 10:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knight (Post 40810575)
I just started playing this fall, and I'm a pretty good skater. Even though I still suck at hockey. The thing is, I'm rolling with a pair of Black/Green Rbk 1k's. (I can't even find these on the internet, I think they're from '07).

These skates don't hurt my feet or anything, they're comfortable (not like perfect, but no pain or whatnot). I'm wondering is it worth dropping the dough to upgrade to a higher level of skates if these are comfy? What's the difference, weight, protection?

Thanks!

What you most likely have is more of a "pond skate" than a hockey skate. Those types of skates are designed for the people who might lace them up a handful of times a year. They should be comfortable because they are designed to be easily broken in and to keep their shape for someone who does not wear them that often. However, if you are planning skating at a high level, with speed and quickness, you should prob. think about upgrading at some point. A hockey skate is designed for the player moving at a high speed and demanding a high level of performance from their skate. Hockey skates have a much stiffer boot, that's harder to break in, because the boot is designed to give you more support, protection, as well as be more response to your movements. The steel on these skates is also superior to what you likely have.

r3cc0s 12-12-2011 10:39 AM

its like going to a multi-flex composit pro-stock stick... you need the technique to load it and play to a level where you'll benefit from the lighteness of new composite materials

the flex of the boot, as you extend your heel at the end snap is important, but you guys are right... no point unless your technique warrants it, and no point for the weight savubgs unless you're actually moving your feet (where beginners have a tendancy to glide alot)

also full composite upper boots take longer to break in, and are not as comfortable out of the box even with baking.

but... if used properly, are the most important part of the game bar none

& yes, its not like the skates people used in the "old" days were terrible... just heavier
Supertacks, protacks, Bauer 5000s, even the Graf 700 lines are stiff boots made of traditional materials.. just newer is lighter, but may not be as durable.

I'm almost certain most people can never break down a Graf 703 boot... I know people who've replaced blades and holders up to 7 times, and still use the boot

Jarick 12-12-2011 11:10 AM

Even jumping up to the $150-200 level will improve your ability to use your edges, transfer power, etc. It was night and day for me. Find better skates that are comfortable if you're serious and have the money.

mbhhofr 12-12-2011 01:04 PM

I had a 35 year officiating career at every level of the game. I worked up to 100 games a year and was on the ice for the whole game, not just 1-2 minute shifts. My skates had to be comfortable and I would keep them for at least 4-5 years. If it aint broke, don't fix it.

Jarick 12-12-2011 01:54 PM

Also, those skates will likely start to fall apart soon.

My first skates were $70 Bauers and they lasted six months before they broke down and were unusable. Basically the outsole was made of rubber and the boot material was flimsy, so they would twist instead of digging into the ice.

Skates today typically use materials that are stiffer and lighter at the expense of durability. Older skates (and Grafs) use more material to achieve stiffness, which makes the skates heavier but more durable.

That's different than cheap skates which use inexpensive materials and feel like shoes with blades. They will fall apart once you are on them regularly. At that time, spending $200-300 is a great investment in your sport.

Knight 12-12-2011 03:59 PM

Thanks for all the feedback!

So far my consensus is to keep an eye out for some nice mid-level skates, but not rush to the store. As far as skating ability, I can do pretty much everything (crossovers, backwards with crossovers, hockey stops on both sides). The idea of being able to transfer more of my energy into the ice with upgraded skates definitely appeals to me. I'm a pretty fast skater compared to my peers, though I accelerate really slow compared to my top speed. I'm confident that not all of that is due to my technique.

I was thinking of shopping in and around the $300 range. Anyone know of a place in western/central MA?

ProV1 12-20-2011 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stickmata (Post 40826409)
Lesson, not skates. The best player on my team skates on 20 year old skates made of technology many of you have never seen. And he's played 3-5 games a week over those 20 years.

....just think if he went a bought $300 skates how much better he would be.

Guffaw 12-20-2011 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ProV1 (Post 41253427)
....just think if he went a bought $300 skates how much better he would be.

Barely if any.

If the beginner/intermediate buys $300 worth of powerskating clinics/lessons and works hard...much better.

Equipment is talked about way too much in regards to performance. That's marketing by big companies doing it's job.:shakehead I'm guilty of it too at times. Equipment is for protection, should be comfortable, and not to hinder movement. It doesn't make you a better player. Practice, training, being in better physical condition, hours and hours on the ice working on skills, etc. That's the only way you get better.

Could lighter skates, a better stick potentially make a slight difference? Sure. However it's so small especially at the beginner level. It's like putting lipstick on a pig. Lose 20 lbs, interval and weight train, become flexible, work on your game. Stop obsessing over skates other than finding the ones that fit correctly.

AIREAYE 12-20-2011 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Guffaw (Post 41267587)
Could lighter skates, a better stick potentially make a slight difference? Sure. However it's so small especially at the beginner level.

key point here, with an emphasis on BEGINNER.

A competent (and I mean able to skate forwards, backwards, hockey stop and crossovers) skater will definitely benefit from better skates.

neksys 12-21-2011 04:03 PM

As a relative beginner myself (I played hockey for a couple of years as a 6-7 year old but that is where my skills stopped) I can tell you that the money IS better spent on lessons.

A few months ago my skating abilities were maybe a 2 on a 10 point scale. I could move forward and backward but anything more was really a no-go. I was a grown man skating like a 6 year old.

I had an old, comfy pair of entry level CCM Tacks. I thought I might benefit from new skates so I went out and blew $400 or so on a mid-level pair of Graf skates.

Long story short, I returned my Grafs after a single skate (thank you, flexible return policy!)

Why? I noticed ZERO difference. The Grafs were marginally more comfortable and much lighter but didn't (obviously) improve my skating in any noticeable way at all.

Anyways, I took that money and invested in a 14-session beginner's skating class. My skating has improved dramatically to the point where I have a good handle on all of the fundamental skills. I will do additional lessons in the new year - there is an beginner-intermediate power skating class I would like to take as well as an Intro to Hockey session.

Anyways, I still do not feel limited by my equipment - I am limited by my confidence and skills. I expect that after all these lessons are done that I will benefit from new higher end skates, but until then.... save your money!

sanityplease 12-21-2011 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knight (Post 40810575)
I just started playing this fall, and I'm a pretty good skater. Even though I still suck at hockey. The thing is, I'm rolling with a pair of Black/Green Rbk 1k's. (I can't even find these on the internet, I think they're from '07).

These skates don't hurt my feet or anything, they're comfortable (not like perfect, but no pain or whatnot). I'm wondering is it worth dropping the dough to upgrade to a higher level of skates if these are comfy? What's the difference, weight, protection?

Thanks!

If they're comfortable, keep with them. They sure don't sound like they're holding back your play, a few ounces less weight or some space aged materials aren't going to make a difference in your game right now.

If you have to spend the money, look @ a practice matt for stickhandling & a green biscuit. Or renting the ice with some buds. Or lessons/camp if they're available.


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