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Will new higher grade skates help me?

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09-29-2010, 07:47 AM
  #1
Phoenix
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Will new higher grade skates help me?

Hi, I'm about 5'7, weigh about 60kg, and currently wear lower level grafs (207s). They are about 4 years old and I play rec hockey. I've been told if I get a new higher grade pair of skates it will improve my skating. Apparently my feet/ankles r flexing too much.

If I get mid-level skates Im told that they simply provide more support and someone else has told me that someone my size doesn't need this. The higher grade skates have more support and are lighter.

What do you ppl think? Would you expect improvement for someone like me if I upgraded?

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09-29-2010, 09:09 AM
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Jarick
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If your skates are soft and twisting or they aren't the right fit, new skates can help quite a bit.

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09-29-2010, 09:35 AM
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I don't know that high level skates do anything except the fact that they are quite a bit lighter than cheaper skates. Just find something that fits well and is decently priced. If you're playing rec hockey there's no need to get $400 skates.

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09-29-2010, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
Hi, I'm about 5'7, weigh about 60kg, and currently wear lower level grafs (207s). They are about 4 years old and I play rec hockey. I've been told if I get a new higher grade pair of skates it will improve my skating. Apparently my feet/ankles r flexing too much.

If I get mid-level skates Im told that they simply provide more support and someone else has told me that someone my size doesn't need this. The higher grade skates have more support and are lighter.

What do you ppl think? Would you expect improvement for someone like me if I upgraded?
Have to keep in mind that higher grades stakes are a lot more stiff and that could actually hurt your skating as well.

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09-29-2010, 10:24 AM
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Are you hearing this from other rec league guys or from people who you know to be more experienced or possibly coaches in a clinic league setting?

You have to consider that as well. If you're comfortable, stick with it. Worst case, I'd go talk to your LHS pro shop people, see what advice they have.

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09-29-2010, 10:36 AM
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Just some personal experience but...

When I was first playing I got a cheap pair of bauer chargers. They were okay, probably a little big. They were poorly made, though, as a medium powered shot cracked one of the runners in half.

I then picked up a pair of RBK 5k's. Ever since I have noticed I feel more confident skating, and everything about my game has picked up. They fit better, they feel better, and although I wouldn't say they are 100% responsible for my improved game, they do give me the impression that if I still had my old skates I'd be worse.

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09-29-2010, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
Hi, I'm about 5'7, weigh about 60kg, and currently wear lower level grafs (207s). They are about 4 years old and I play rec hockey. I've been told if I get a new higher grade pair of skates it will improve my skating. Apparently my feet/ankles r flexing too much.

If I get mid-level skates Im told that they simply provide more support and someone else has told me that someone my size doesn't need this. The higher grade skates have more support and are lighter.

What do you ppl think? Would you expect improvement for someone like me if I upgraded?
work on your technique more so than buying new skates.

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09-29-2010, 10:46 AM
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The absolute most important thing when shopping for skates is fit. You want them to fit tight, especially in the heel/ankle. If they are at all loose, your feet will roll around and cause stability issues, and you're not going to be able to use your edges or transfer energy properly.

I wouldn't really consider stiffness one way or another unless you're an excellent skater. You do want a good amount of lateral stiffness, which any boot in the $250+ range should provide (unless you're exceptionally heavy or powerful). If a skate doesn't give you enough forward flex, you can always skip an eyelet or two.

But the fitting is so vital that IMO you shouldn't bother getting new skates unless you are properly fitted. You don't want to waste $300 on a pair of skates that won't make you a better skater.

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09-29-2010, 01:48 PM
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They absolutely will. Guaranteed. I don't even know how to describe it, but high level skates just work magic on your feet. Even if you get the mid level x:30s it will make you a better skater.

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09-29-2010, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by kingpest19 View Post
Have to keep in mind that higher grades stakes are a lot more stiff and that could actually hurt your skating as well.
That can be true if you're a beginning skater. But stock stiffness for high end skates is pretty much never going to hurt an experienced skater. If you got custom skates at twice the stiffness of the stock ones at his weight, then yeah, it could hurt. But it sounds like his skates aren't giving him much support at all right now, stiffer would most certainly help him.

To the OP: when you do get new skates, make sure you're fitted right. But if your skates are flexing enough for somebody else to notice, you quite certainly need more support. If you're playing on any sort of regular basis, you should have mid level skates at least. Cheap skates are cheap for a reason.

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09-29-2010, 03:15 PM
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You dont exactly need a pair of high-end skates, mid-level ones that fit you properly would be fine.
The main differences from mid-end to high-end skates has to do with boot stiffness and weight.

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09-29-2010, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
Hi, I'm about 5'7, weigh about 60kg, and currently wear lower level grafs (207s). They are about 4 years old and I play rec hockey. I've been told if I get a new higher grade pair of skates it will improve my skating. Apparently my feet/ankles r flexing too much.

If I get mid-level skates Im told that they simply provide more support and someone else has told me that someone my size doesn't need this. The higher grade skates have more support and are lighter.

What do you ppl think? Would you expect improvement for someone like me if I upgraded?
Mid-level skates are probably the best for rec league players/players that play often but not all the time and more for fun but still in a semi-competitive atmosphere. As people have already said proper fitting is key. Skates fit differently from shoes, flip flops, anything else... so get them properly fitted. It sounds like it maybe one or a combo of: not properly sized skates, tying them too loose in the ankles and/or lack of ankle strength.

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09-29-2010, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post
That can be true if you're a beginning skater. But stock stiffness for high end skates is pretty much never going to hurt an experienced skater. If you got custom skates at twice the stiffness of the stock ones at his weight, then yeah, it could hurt. But it sounds like his skates aren't giving him much support at all right now, stiffer would most certainly help him.

To the OP: when you do get new skates, make sure you're fitted right. But if your skates are flexing enough for somebody else to notice, you quite certainly need more support. If you're playing on any sort of regular basis, you should have mid level skates at least. Cheap skates are cheap for a reason.
I agree but at his size if he goes too high end they could be end up way to stiff. He could get a nice pair of mid range skates that suit him better than going out and paying top dollar for high end skates.

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09-29-2010, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbkbghockey View Post
Mid-level skates are probably the best for rec league players/players that play often but not all the time and more for fun but still in a semi-competitive atmosphere. As people have already said proper fitting is key. Skates fit differently from shoes, flip flops, anything else... so get them properly fitted. It sounds like it maybe one or a combo of: not properly sized skates, tying them too loose in the ankles and/or lack of ankle strength.
Are you saying mid level skates are best for rec league players because they'll actually be optimal or because it wouldn't be worth it to go to top of the line skates? I'm kind of looking at replacing skates (I have Graf 735's, I feel like I need a stiffer boot). I've pretty much stuck to just playing pick up, although I'll probably end up playing in a beer league sometime. I probably belong in men's B or so.

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09-29-2010, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingpest19 View Post
I agree but at his size if he goes too high end they could be end up way to stiff. He could get a nice pair of mid range skates that suit him better than going out and paying top dollar for high end skates.
I'm about his size (shorter but with a little more muscle) and do just fine with top end skates (SE16 FYI), and noticed improvement in my skating when I went up from a mid range skate. Unless he goes and decides to get custom bauers and asks for stiffness level 4 (retail and most NHLers are at 2), he'll be just fine. We're not talking about a little kid here.

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09-30-2010, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post
I'm about his size (shorter but with a little more muscle) and do just fine with top end skates (SE16 FYI), and noticed improvement in my skating when I went up from a mid range skate. Unless he goes and decides to get custom bauers and asks for stiffness level 4 (retail and most NHLers are at 2), he'll be just fine. We're not talking about a little kid here.
I understand were not talking about a little kid but 5'7 and around 130 lbs isnt all that big. Not saying its a definite there going to hurt is skating but the possibility is real. What works for you may not work for him.

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09-30-2010, 05:12 AM
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Thanks for the responses everyone.

I'm fine on my feet but wouldn't describe myself as a brilliant skater either. I've played hockey for about 4 years now and skated in a figure/skate school 8 years prior for about 3 years.

They are my first pair of hockey skates so i don't really know what else to expect. I thought they did the job until another rec guy said my ankles flexed too much when I skated...he runs track and field a lot and is into sport if that means anything, but is not a hockey or skating coach.

Another guy in the league, of similar size upgraded and I asked whether he found much difference, and he said no - but I can't remember what his initial skates were.

I do on occasion have trouble making sharp turns, but I've always put that down to blunt skates, or not the best technique.

When I first got my skates, I was warned about getting heavier skates - told that it might be worse for me whereas of course bigger guys need the support.

Should I get high-end skates on sale over mid-range skates? Would that be better because they should be lighter?
Also I didn't know there was a stiffness grading?! What level should I be looking at, and is it standardly described for all skates?

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09-30-2010, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
Thanks for the responses everyone.

I'm fine on my feet but wouldn't describe myself as a brilliant skater either. I've played hockey for about 4 years now and skated in a figure/skate school 8 years prior for about 3 years.

They are my first pair of hockey skates so i don't really know what else to expect. I thought they did the job until another rec guy said my ankles flexed too much when I skated...he runs track and field a lot and is into sport if that means anything, but is not a hockey or skating coach.

Another guy in the league, of similar size upgraded and I asked whether he found much difference, and he said no - but I can't remember what his initial skates were.

I do on occasion have trouble making sharp turns, but I've always put that down to blunt skates, or not the best technique.

When I first got my skates, I was warned about getting heavier skates - told that it might be worse for me whereas of course bigger guys need the support.

Should I get high-end skates on sale over mid-range skates? Would that be better because they should be lighter?

Also I didn't know there was a stiffness grading?! What level should I be looking at, and is it standardly described for all skates?
No, don't do that. Let's be realistic, unless you're the 1 in 10,000 exception, a mid level skate is exactly what will best suit you. That means something like a 5K, S11, One70 etc. If you get a really stiff skate, it could cause you some real trouble.

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09-30-2010, 07:57 AM
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When I started skating (age 18 or so), I had entry-level Bauer Panthers. They were probably fine for a while, but fairly quickly broke down to where they would flex side to side. When I upgraded to Bauer Supreme 3000s (mid-level, I think), the difference was HUGE. I felt like my energy was actually going into forward motion instead of just making the skates flop.

When those wore down (the steel over time - not the boot), I went and got properly fitted for the first time, and found out that different skates have different shapes (what a shocker), and the Bauer Supreme line was good for people with narrow feet. I have wide feet, so I ended up getting some CCM Tacks. They were two sizes smaller than the Bauers, because the Bauers were narrow. It felt a little funny, but the very first time skating around the rink, I could feel another huge difference.

I guess my points are - in addition to a proper fit, if a skate is broken down and flexing side to side, it doesn't matter what level of skate you're talking about, it's time to get new ones, and probably any new ones will be better than floppy ones.

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09-30-2010, 08:00 AM
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I really don't think you have to worry about going too stiff. Unless you're under 150 pounds maybe.

But the difference between top end skates and the next model down usually isn't that much aside from price. Top end will be a little stiffer, lighter, and usually have a better liner or something.

The stiffness grading is only for custom skates...

Anyways, I REALLY wouldn't worry about it. If you can manage $300 for a pair of skates, that's as much as you need to spend on new ones. Do you have a good shop around you? Get fitted, get them set up for you (profile, pitch, radius, hollow, etc), get them baked, get them punched, ask them all this up front and if they don't sound like they're serious about it, go somewhere else. You may have to pay a little more for some of the work, but it's worth it.

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09-30-2010, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canuck44 View Post
Are you saying mid level skates are best for rec league players because they'll actually be optimal or because it wouldn't be worth it to go to top of the line skates? I'm kind of looking at replacing skates (I have Graf 735's, I feel like I need a stiffer boot). I've pretty much stuck to just playing pick up, although I'll probably end up playing in a beer league sometime. I probably belong in men's B or so.
How old are the Grafs? You may just want a higher cut boot. Sounds like you're a pretty powerful skater?

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09-30-2010, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Do you have a good shop around you? Get fitted, get them set up for you (profile, pitch, radius, hollow, etc), get them baked, get them punched, ask them all this up front and if they don't sound like they're serious about it, go somewhere else. You may have to pay a little more for some of the work, but it's worth it.
That's probably the best advice. Find yourself a reputable pro shop and let them answer your questions and fit you, that gives you your best shot at getting what you are looking for.

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10-01-2010, 06:01 AM
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I really don't think you have to worry about going too stiff. Unless you're under 150 pounds maybe.
Lol, yeah I am. I weight about 60kg = 132 pounds

Unfortunately hockey's not big where I live; there's only 1 shop that doesn't have a huge range. I'm actually looking at potentially getting something off the net, but of course am wary that it won't fit!

I was thinking the Bauer One70s might be nice. Do you think these would be suitable for me?

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10-01-2010, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
Lol, yeah I am. I weight about 60kg = 132 pounds

Unfortunately hockey's not big where I live; there's only 1 shop that doesn't have a huge range. I'm actually looking at potentially getting something off the net, but of course am wary that it won't fit!

I was thinking the Bauer One70s might be nice. Do you think these would be suitable for me?
do not buy skates off the internet unless you know exactly what skate you want and in what size.

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10-01-2010, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
Lol, yeah I am. I weight about 60kg = 132 pounds

Unfortunately hockey's not big where I live; there's only 1 shop that doesn't have a huge range. I'm actually looking at potentially getting something off the net, but of course am wary that it won't fit!

I was thinking the Bauer One70s might be nice. Do you think these would be suitable for me?
Are you talking about the new One70's? They look really good IMO.

I really wouldn't buy skates off the 'net...you still need them profiled, baked, punched, fitted, etc. See if you can get fitted at the local shop and ask about ordering skates and what they would charge for all that.

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