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Vapor XXXX Skate Q

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Old
08-16-2008, 04:36 PM
  #1
Blueshirt24
 
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Vapor XXXX Skate Q

I just switched from the CCM Vector 10 that I'd used for a couple of years to the NBH XXXX's. Every time I get on the ice I feel like there's something wrong; I've never had edges that seemed so awkward. I'm a fluent skater; I've played for 17 years and the question isn't my skating (playing DIII college), but so far the problem seems to be mostly with my right inside edge, but the left doesn't feel much better. The outside edges seem OK, but overall I wouldn't say the blades feel good at all. When I first get on the ice, everything feels terrible; crossing over or even just accelerating, I feel like my feet just slide. After I get used to it for a bit the problem is that I really can't put 100% into crossovers, going in either direction. If I skate around the net at about 80% speed my balance feels as tentative as if I was in a dead sprint going around the net. If I try skating at 100% I lose my edge without fail. This is a big problem right now because the new season starts just a couple of weeks into the semester.


My question is what is causing this? I know the XXXX's are a well liked skate and I love the feel on my foot, but if something doesn't change I'm going to replace the blades and runners. What I'm wondering is:

a.) Do the XXXX's have known blade issues that I overlooked?

b.) Bad sharpening? I mean, we're talking awful... like, the guy maybe forgot to do the inside edges. I've only skated in them three times and they've only been sharpened once.

c.) Could it just be that the steel is longer on the XXXX's than what I'm so used to?

d.) Maybe the guy sharpened them at a different hollow than I'm used to?

I don't know what the case is but the whole time I've been trying to break these bad boys in it's been embarrassing; I've been skating my whole life and with these skates I feel like I'm just learning to. It's maddening carrying the puck around the net, looking up ice for the pass and just having your feet slide out from under you over and over again. Any suggestions or opinions on what the heck's up?

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08-16-2008, 07:08 PM
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Timmer44
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*** a.) Do the XXXX's have known blade issues that I overlooked?

Not that I know of. I've heard nothing but good things.

***b.) Bad sharpening? I mean, we're talking awful... like, the guy ***maybe forgot to do the inside edges. I've only skated in them ***three times and they've only been sharpened once.

I would say most likely. Where did you take them. Look down the blade and the two edges should basically be the same height (ie, the hollow has equal sides). Look from both the front of the skate and the back as well.

***c.) Could it just be that the steel is longer on the XXXX's than what I'm so used to?

What size/type of skate did you have before and what size are your XXXX's?

***d.) Maybe the guy sharpened them at a different hollow than I'm used to?

If it's only your inside edge I would doubt it's just the hollow.

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08-16-2008, 07:58 PM
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Go find a shop that you trust with your skates and ask them to go over whether your edges are square (hard to gauge with just your eye). If you came from CCM's stock holder to the Lightspeed's, the balance is different as well as the LS' put you more on your heels relative to CCM's E-Pros.

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08-16-2008, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delorme View Post
Go find a shop that you trust with your skates and ask them to go over whether your edges are square (hard to gauge with just your eye). If you came from CCM's stock holder to the Lightspeed's, the balance is different as well as the LS' put you more on your heels relative to CCM's E-Pros.

I am going from E-Pros to LS, but this is more than just what I would call an "adjustment". It's more like a handicap; I feel like I've lost 15 years of my skating experience and am a novice skater still getting comfortable on the ice. Going into my fourth year of college hockey, I would say my game's greatest strength is probably my skating and I'm probably the best skater on my team. Most of my game relies on my speed and ability to take my turns tighter than other players and continue my crossovers at extreme speeds. If I don't get this sorted out I will look like the worst skater on the squad next month. Obviously going from the CCM V10.0's to the XXXX's there's the possibility that it's a difference in the runner/steel, but having played for my whole life this is easily the 10th time I've switched skates and I've never imagined, let alone heard of, such a drastic change, if it actually has to do with the make of the skate and not some kind of error on the sharpener's part (I can't imagine the problem is with the skates/my skating). I bought the skates at a reliable local pro-shop, but not the rink that I usually play at (which is also where I usually get my skates sharpened). They give you a free sharpening with the purchase of new skates though, so I had the guy at that rink do them. It's seeming more and more like a mistake now; I swear it feels like he didn't do the inside edges.

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08-17-2008, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetsyuk40 View Post
I am going from E-Pros to LS, but this is more than just what I would call an "adjustment". It's more like a handicap; I feel like I've lost 15 years of my skating experience and am a novice skater still getting comfortable on the ice. Going into my fourth year of college hockey, I would say my game's greatest strength is probably my skating and I'm probably the best skater on my team. Most of my game relies on my speed and ability to take my turns tighter than other players and continue my crossovers at extreme speeds. If I don't get this sorted out I will look like the worst skater on the squad next month
You'd be surprised how much a change in pitch can mess with your skating. I went from Graf (way foreward) to LS2 (on the heels) and I couldn't skate for 2 weeks. Look into getting lifts or ge tthe skate profiled.

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08-17-2008, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetsyuk40 View Post
I swear it feels like he didn't do the inside edges.
There's no such thing as 'not doing an edge'. (Unless the sharpener REALLY screws up...but that would be an extreme case)

You likely received a bad sharpening where your edges are uneven. Here's a good picture to illustrate what is likely happening...only one edge is digging in the ice...


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08-17-2008, 05:43 AM
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Z, the fact that you think it's possible to not do the inside edges suggests that some of the posters may be a little more knowledgeable about skates than you, so heed the advice.

I can only stress that it isn't just a "possibility" that there's a difference in the runners. There IS a difference in the setups between LS holders and E-Pro holders. They will throw off most everyone, and if you don't feel like adjust (as most people including myself wouldn't), then bring your new skates in with your old ones and ask for a re-profiling so that they match up.

Again, ask the sharpener to pull out the square to verify that you have even edges. Sharpenings definitely do an inside and outside edge, but there is the possibility that they're uneven. Don't discount the effect of a new profile and pitch either that we outlined above.

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08-17-2008, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delorme View Post
Z, the fact that you think it's possible to not do the inside edges suggests that some of the posters may be a little more knowledgeable about skates than you, so heed the advice.

I can only stress that it isn't just a "possibility" that there's a difference in the runners. There IS a difference in the setups between LS holders and E-Pro holders. They will throw off most everyone, and if you don't feel like adjust (as most people including myself wouldn't), then bring your new skates in with your old ones and ask for a re-profiling so that they match up.

Again, ask the sharpener to pull out the square to verify that you have even edges. Sharpenings definitely do an inside and outside edge, but there is the possibility that they're uneven. Don't discount the effect of a new profile and pitch either that we outlined above.
I never insinuated that I wouldn't be heeding the advice or that I knew more about skates than anybody, did I? I came here to ask because I don't know that much about skates; I know HOW to skate. I know a lot about playing, but I can't tell you all that much about the technical aspects of different pieces of equipment. I'm not surprised that there is a big difference between the E-pro and the LS, but I'll narrow this down to a more simple question now, based on all the information I have received so far:

Is that difference big enough that, keeping in mind that I have switched skates plenty of times in the past, I should feel like something is truly wrong with the steel right now? I fully intend on having them checked out to see if the hollow is un-even, because, while I don't know much about that, it sounds kind of like what I'm experiencing. It feels like one edge is touching on the right foot and the other isn't at all. Perhaps I have a poor sharpening combined with an adjustment period? I don't doubt that that would be enough to throw somebody this badly. All I'm trying to say is that, open as I am to the fact that I'm not qualified to give out advice on this kind of stuff, my gut tells me that this is not the normal adjustment; I might be a rookie when it comes to knowing *about* skates, but I'm as far from it as possible when it comes to knowing how my skates feel.

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08-17-2008, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetsyuk40 View Post
Is that difference big enough that, keeping in mind that I have switched skates plenty of times in the past, I should feel like something is truly wrong with the steel right now? I fully intend on having them checked out to see if the hollow is un-even, because, while I don't know much about that, it sounds kind of like what I'm experiencing. It feels like one edge is touching on the right foot and the other isn't at all. Perhaps I have a poor sharpening combined with an adjustment period? I don't doubt that that would be enough to throw somebody this badly. All I'm trying to say is that, open as I am to the fact that I'm not qualified to give out advice on this kind of stuff, my gut tells me that this is not the normal adjustment; I might be a rookie when it comes to knowing *about* skates, but I'm as far from it as possible when it comes to knowing how my skates feel.
The answer is yes. You can feel all out of whack trying to transition between different skate holders. Not a pissing match, but it is important to know about skate feel and skates themselves.

But just a checklist for you to over:
- even, square edges?
- holder pitch and radius?
- mis-aligned/mis-mounted holders?

Added that last one as it does occur from time to time that the manufacturer does an awful job of mounting holders correct so that they might be too far inside or outside than is tolerable. Would be good to take a close look -- sometimes the bad alignments are obvious.

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08-17-2008, 03:52 PM
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That's all fine. I'm not making it into a pissing match at all. I came here for YOUR advice, not to try to give out my own. I know my deficiencies when it comes to the topic; that's why we're here in this thread. Unfortunately, while I've played my entire life and done well for myself on the ice, I never had the resources to learn about the technical off-ice equipment issues that have inevitably arisen over the course of my "career". I was the first in my family to play ice hockey, including uncles, cousins, etc. so there was nobody in the family to look over my gear and what not. I never learned the differences is hollows or what any of it meant; I just kept getting my skates done the same way and it worked for me for 17 years.

The only reason I ask if it can be such a huge difference is that I wonder why going from Easton Ultra Lights to the Vector Pro's in 2006 didn't do anything to my skating, or why going from the 06 Vector Pro's to the 07 Vector 10's didn't affect me (that one has a more obvious answer; same runners). Like I said, the reason I've expressed concerns more related to the sharpening and such is because I've never personally experienced such a big difference from one skate to the next. By simply asking if there could be such a difference, I've already acknowledged that the answer could be as simple as adjusting to a new skate; the point is, I'm just checking all avenues here.

I intend to follow up on every piece of advice I've received in this thread from looking at the alignment of the holders, to having a more trusted sharpener look over my steel and to even considering re-profiling the setup if I can't overcome the problem by other means. I just wanted to get a full run-down, describe the problem as best I could, and get feedback concerning all possible causes of the difficulty since, like I've said, I pride myself on my skating when on the ice, have never experienced a transition so severe as this and having shelled out the cash for the new skates, obviously want them to be all they can be.

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08-17-2008, 04:33 PM
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Sounds good. This might help if you think uneven edges are the #1 culprit: http://www.blade-tek.com/Radius2.html
Best of luck.

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08-17-2008, 04:43 PM
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Thanks. I do appreciate all the input.

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08-17-2008, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delorme View Post
Sounds good. This might help if you think uneven edges are the #1 culprit: http://www.blade-tek.com/Radius2.html
Best of luck.

I agree. Likely a bad sharpening. Like I said before, the front of the skate can be different than the back. I've seen sharpeners look down the blade in one direction but anyone who sharpens skates knows that the edge can change significantly from the front to the back.

Also, try putting a straight edge down the side of the steel. It may be warped. It's rare, but I've seen plenty of new skates with a bent blade.

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08-17-2008, 09:32 PM
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Vapor XXX Skate Q

An inexperienced sharpening attendant, or one in a big rush with little concern for doing the job right can easily screw it up. . . . . . especially with out of the box new skates. These typically take extra grinding due to the rather lax tolerances on skate blade mass producion. The brand and model of the skate is of minor concern.

It is very likely that a poor initial skate sharpening plus an unfamiliar or poor blade profile both contributed to your situation.
My suggestion is to get them sharpened and profiled correctly at a reliable and professional shop.
If you were my client, it would speed up the process if you knew which hollow you prefer etc etc however, with no input from you, we would have to work out your optimal profile & hollow over three to four ice sessions . . . where based upon your feedback to me, adjustments are made until you achieve that special perfect feel on the ice.
The Vapor XXXX do not have issues regarding the blades, unlike their cousin the 'Vapor XXX goalie skate' where the blades easily bend.
Switching skates, then getting them sharpened by the same guy as last time may just yield the same results. . . . not the answer!
Find a good sharpener, and don't be shy in discussing what your skates feel like on the ice, or how you might want them changed.

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