The first word that comes to mind for a figure skater when they think skating is “life.” The first word that comes to mind for the parents when they think skating is “money.” Figure skating is a very, very expensive sport. Some families flush even more money down the drain by not investing in quality equipment.
The cost of figure skates and blades together is enough to make even the richest mans stomach curl. It seems like an epic amount for a stiff shoe and a piece of metal, but it can make a world of a difference in you’re skating. I have seen it over a dozen times where the parents do not want to spend a lot of money on a pair of skates. They end up buying a cheaper pair, or a pair that doesn’t fit correctly just because they were on sale. This can and does effect the skaters ability to perform and skate correctly! The hours of ice time and lesson time wasted far exceeds the price of a proper pair of skates. Not to mention the hours of frustration and disappointment that can be avoided.
Having a quality and correct fitting skate not only will save money on lesson time but also on medical bills. There are a number of injuries that can occur that may not even cross your mind due to ill-fitting skates. Achilles tendentious, knee and back problems (if your foot sit incorrectly in the arch it can cause strain on the rest of your body), bunions and the list goes on. Make sure to pay attention to the blade length as well. Having too short or too long of blade can cause major issues with you’re skating and your body wellness.
Growing up I had a coach that fed me some nonsense of how longer blades were better for you because you had more to land on. Not knowing anything about skating equipment at the time and trusting my coach, I believed her 100%. My coach also happened to be a reseller of the blades and was trying to retire from selling. She used the excuse of the blades being longer as a good thing for the pure reason of trying to clear out her inventory. Thanks to her I was in the wrong size blades for four years and now have chronic Achilles tendentious due to it. When I joined my first show, one of the skaters had the same size skates as me so we decided to swap skates for fun. With my skates still having the incorrect size blade, the other skater could hardly do a waltz jump let alone spin. For me on the other hand, wearing their skates was the easiest that skating had ever felt. I could spin faster, jump higher and stronger and even the little things such as stroking with a pointed toe were easier. During the time period when I had the wrong size blades my spins always struggled. As soon as I had the correct size, my spins were much faster and more centered. The difference was like night and day. I don’t like to make excuses or hear excuses from skaters, but sometimes it really is the equipment.
Skates are a big investment so make sure that you are going to someone who is knowledgable. I know that these people are far and few in between, but sometimes it helps to have a second opinion. It may take an extra road trip but having the correct equipment will save you more money and frustration in the long run.