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indaslot

Skate pitch

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Next season, my son will be required to switch from Graf G5 Ultras to a CCM or RBK skate.Based on suggestions from the gurus on this board, I am considering the 9K pumps.I spoke to the manager of my LHS about swapping the holders so that he would have the same forward pitch as the Grafs.He told me that the pitch comes from the boot and not the holder.Excuse my ignorance, but I was under the impression that the pitch was determined by the holder.Was he mistaken and if so,would swapping the holders make the boot feel more "familiar"? Also, is the steel on the RBK better than the Graf (I would change the perforated blade to a full blade.)Thanks.

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It would help him be familiar for sure, guys like Horton in Florida puts cobra on 9K, i saw guys do it on Vectors quite well...

Pitch is a combo of both boot and holder...

Maybe he should try the E-Holder for a couple of skates first, who knows he might like it...

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I've spent the last little while experimenting with pitch on my skates and here are my findings. The complete tech series is on our site.

Adjustment of Skate Pitch or Lie

Skate pitch is relatively complex adjustment in terms of skating dynamics and important for several reasons. Your skate pitch determines the center of contact of the ice on the blade's rocker. A skate blade is like a rocking chair. The chair/boot can be tilted forward, sit at neutral, or be tilted back.

The key to achieving the best possible performance in terms of power generation, agility, glide, balance and stamina is to fine tune the contact zone into the "sweet" spot for you.

Depending on what your doing on the ice, skating power can generated off the toe the mid point and the heel of the blade. If the pitch of your skate is maladjusted, you'll be short on generating power off one end of the blade.

For example skates that are pitched forward develop proportionately more power from the heel area of the blade. This is called a bias. A forward pitch requires that a skater actually move his center of gravity (COG) back, in order to stay balanced. This can be tougher on the knees and back as well as increasing fatigue. Many skates if not all have a forward pitch built-in, some steeper than others. Carrying a stick, gloves and pads forward of the COG aggravate the situation.

A truly neutral stance allows a skater to be naturally balanced on the ice, and have full use of both ends of the blade to generate power. There is also even pressure on heel and toe of the foot reducing fatigue, knee pain and other joint issues.

A negative lie is opposite of the forward pitch. A negative lie will bias power to the front of the blade and increase the feeling of being closer to going out the back in hard heel driven turns. Since defensemen need to typically drive off their toes more, neutral to slightly negative pitches are preferred. However, some of the best skaters ever to play the game have been defensemen, which says something.

How to Determine Pitch.

With the skater standing on a flat hard surface, knees slightly bent, shine a light behind the blade and mark the contact zone with a Sharpee. You may also stand on a piece of paper on a true flat surface and mark the center point of the contact patch against the blade. These measurements will give you a rough idea of your pitch.

How to Adjust Pitch

Several options are available. Mission skates have an adjustable holder, which is a great idea. There may only be a few settings depending on the model. Shims or platforms may be put under the boot to raise the toe effectively decreasing pitch. Heel lifts can be added inside the boot to bump up the heel effectively increasing pitch.

The blade can be profiled manually by your local skate sharpener, provided your radius is measured and restored. Tough to experiment with a quick turnaround, and it costs more, but it is a clean option.

Also note that if the boot is positioned forward on the holder, the pitch of the skate will increase. Similarly if the boot is position back on the holder, the pitch decreases.

A decrease in pitch allows the skater to transfer more weight toward and develop more power off the toes.

A increase in pitch allows a skater to transfer more weight toward and develop more power off the heels.

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Great post Shark!

One consideration in the whole "Pitch" is that (as you correctly point out), one tends to adjust body position to accomodate the pitch in order to get their body into a position of balance.

One thing that I have observed is that a more forward pitch tends to make the skater bend his knees more. This is generally a good thing as it helps the skater develop power and length in his stride. Of course there can always be too much of a good thing.

I am sure that JR, OTG, Jimmy and a few others can add a great deal more than me to this discussion.

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Great post Shark!

One consideration in the whole "Pitch" is that (as you correctly point out), one tends to adjust body position to accomodate the pitch in order to get their body into a position of balance.

One thing that I have observed is that a more forward pitch tends to make the skater bend his knees more. This is generally a good thing as it helps the skater develop power and length in his stride. Of course there can always be too much of a good thing.

I am sure that JR, OTG, Jimmy and a few others can add a great deal more than me to this discussion.

Well....Not going to say much at the moment as I am working with some people that due this testing for a living and when I have more details I will elaborate on the post.

However the information as a whole is pretty acurate.

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Also note that if the boot is positioned forward on the holder, the pitch of the skate will increase. Similarly if the boot is position back on the holder, the pitch decreases.

Shark,

Now this is an interesting thought. In fact, the way that CAG machines adjust this is by moving the balance point (and the % of the middle section of blade) forward and backwards. I had never considered the idea of moving the entire blade.

This becomes much more like (your other area of expertise) water ski set up/tuning. What about designing a holder with a screw type of set-up that simply allowed the blade to be moved fwd or back in a track/groove (within the holder). it would not be very hard to design. That combined with a pitch adjustment would make an infinite number of set up combinations possible.

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Hey thanks. I sure would like to see an adjustable holder that way. You could really fine tune it. Front to back but also side to side available for alignment. But doing both would be really tough.

The mission skates I've got here are pitch adjustable of course, but there are 3 settings.

I use anti-rivets to mount my blades along with 3M VHB adhesive tape to bond the holder to the boot. This gives it a very strong connection.

If the holder or the boot had slotted holes it would work the same as water ski boot.

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Shark that just may have been the most informative post I have ever seen on here. Long time ago I had this incredible guy at a shop ask me if I ever had my skates rockered. He did the same thing with light shining down the blade and asked me to tell him what I thought. I couldn't believe the difference it made. Incredible really.

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Thanks. I was looking at some skating video and picked on up this...

Another quick way to identify pitch is to look how the snow deposits on your blade and holder. It should collect in an evenly distributed pattern around the contact center point.

FMpitch.jpg

The above pix is my "before" setup which has quite a forward pitch. It'd be interesting to see how a Graf compares.

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I've spent the last little while experimenting with pitch on my skates and here are my findings. The complete tech series is on our site.

Adjustment of Skate Pitch or Lie

Skate pitch is relatively complex adjustment in terms of skating dynamics and important for several reasons. Your skate pitch determines the center of contact of the ice on the blade's rocker. A skate blade is like a rocking chair. The chair/boot can be tilted forward, sit at neutral, or be tilted back.

The key to achieving the best possible performance in terms of power generation, agility, glide, balance and stamina is to fine tune the contact zone into the "sweet" spot for you.

Depending on what your doing on the ice, skating power can generated off the toe the mid point and the heel of the blade. If the pitch of your skate is maladjusted, you'll be short on generating power off one end of the blade.

For example skates that are pitched forward develop proportionately more power from the heel area of the blade. This is called a bias. A forward pitch requires that a skater actually move his center of gravity (COG) back, in order to stay balanced. This can be tougher on the knees and back as well as increasing fatigue. Many skates if not all have a forward pitch built-in, some steeper than others. Carrying a stick, gloves and pads forward of the COG aggravate the situation.

A truly neutral stance allows a skater to be naturally balanced on the ice, and have full use of both ends of the blade to generate power. There is also even pressure on heel and toe of the foot reducing fatigue, knee pain and other joint issues.

A negative lie is opposite of the forward pitch. A negative lie will bias power to the front of the blade and increase the feeling of being closer to going out the back in hard heel driven turns. Since defensemen need to typically drive off their toes more, neutral to slightly negative pitches are preferred. However, some of the best skaters ever to play the game have been defensemen, which says something.

How to Determine Pitch.

With the skater standing on a flat hard surface, knees slightly bent, shine a light behind the blade and mark the contact zone with a Sharpee. You may also stand on a piece of paper on a true flat surface and mark the center point of the contact patch against the blade. These measurements will give you a rough idea of your pitch.

How to Adjust Pitch

Several options are available. Mission skates have an adjustable holder, which is a great idea. There may only be a few settings depending on the model. Shims or platforms may be put under the boot to raise the toe effectively decreasing pitch. Heel lifts can be added inside the boot to bump up the heel effectively increasing pitch.

The blade can be profiled manually by your local skate sharpener, provided your radius is measured and restored. Tough to experiment with a quick turnaround, and it costs more, but it is a clean option.

Also note that if the boot is positioned forward on the holder, the pitch of the skate will increase. Similarly if the boot is position back on the holder, the pitch decreases.

A decrease in pitch allows the skater to transfer more weight toward and develop more power off the toes.

A increase in pitch allows a skater to transfer more weight toward and develop more power off the heels.

This is one of the best and most well-informed post I've read on this site. Should be required reading for all skaters at every level. Well said sir!

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Hey thanks. I sure would like to see an adjustable holder that way. You could really fine tune it. Front to back but also side to side available for alignment. But doing both would be really tough.

The mission skates I've got here are pitch adjustable of course, but there are 3 settings.

I use anti-rivets to mount my blades along with 3M VHB adhesive tape to bond the holder to the boot. This gives it a very strong connection.

If the holder or the boot had slotted holes it would work the same as water ski boot.

I agree that was a terrific and informative post.

Shark, are you still out there? Can you (or someone else) elaborate on the "anti-rivets" and the adhesive tape? I've never heard of anti rivets. Is that just for testing purposes to make it easy to shift and retest? Or is that your permanent method of attaching the holder to the boot?

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As a skate tech, I certainly appreciate Shark's post as well. Although when speaking on a defenceman's pitch specifically, I often recommend a neutral or slightly forward pitch rather than a negative one. I actually tried a slight negative pitch on my skates for a game where I was supposed to play defence. While I did get a decent amount of drive from my toes, I found it really difficult to stay balanced while skating backwards, which, arguably, defencemen do more than centers and wingers. I thought about why a negative pitch didn't work out for me, and realized how difficult it was to skate backwards with weight placed primarily on my heels. It's not easy getting a nice, low knee-bend when your COG is shifted back.

On the other hand, that's my experience with a negative profile and I'm sure there are a bunch of defencemen (and probably a handful of forwards) who prefer to be rocked back slightly.

Since I usually play on the wing, I've since gone with a profile that rocks me forward 2mm AND I've also added a 3mm heel lift. Absolutely perfect for myself, but might put other guys on their faces!

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As a skate tech, I certainly appreciate Shark's post as well. Although when speaking on a defenceman's pitch specifically, I often recommend a neutral or slightly forward pitch rather than a negative one. I actually tried a slight negative pitch on my skates for a game where I was supposed to play defence. While I did get a decent amount of drive from my toes, I found it really difficult to stay balanced while skating backwards, which, arguably, defencemen do more than centers and wingers. I thought about why a negative pitch didn't work out for me, and realized how difficult it was to skate backwards with weight placed primarily on my heels. It's not easy getting a nice, low knee-bend when your COG is shifted back.

On the other hand, that's my experience with a negative profile and I'm sure there are a bunch of defencemen (and probably a handful of forwards) who prefer to be rocked back slightly.

Since I usually play on the wing, I've since gone with a profile that rocks me forward 2mm AND I've also added a 3mm heel lift. Absolutely perfect for myself, but might put other guys on their faces!

I would have to agree I have never seen a neg pitch on d's skate. All I know are N. In fact I am not sure there is anyone teaching that Negative works to much strain on back and lower joint muscles. you can get the same affect by not blending the toe and leaving the skate Neutral in my experience.

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As a skate tech, I certainly appreciate Shark's post as well. Although when speaking on a defenceman's pitch specifically, I often recommend a neutral or slightly forward pitch rather than a negative one. I actually tried a slight negative pitch on my skates for a game where I was supposed to play defence. While I did get a decent amount of drive from my toes, I found it really difficult to stay balanced while skating backwards, which, arguably, defencemen do more than centers and wingers. I thought about why a negative pitch didn't work out for me, and realized how difficult it was to skate backwards with weight placed primarily on my heels. It's not easy getting a nice, low knee-bend when your COG is shifted back.

On the other hand, that's my experience with a negative profile and I'm sure there are a bunch of defencemen (and probably a handful of forwards) who prefer to be rocked back slightly.

Since I usually play on the wing, I've since gone with a profile that rocks me forward 2mm AND I've also added a 3mm heel lift. Absolutely perfect for myself, but might put other guys on their faces!

Well said - this is why considering one's own body type (among other things, skating style, etc.) is so important: a guy who has a relatively heavy, long torso (when compared to his legs), is going to respond differently to a given pitch than a guy with a relatively light, short torso (again, compared to his legs).

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that's a good advantage of roller skating, to find your perfect pitch, you just play around first from a flat setup, and then you add some variations back and forth, I'm sorry I'm not being very helpful, but that was just an open thought.

According to

Bauer would be the only brand (graf isn't covered, I wonder why ^^ ) to have an aggressive stance...but why? doesn't make sense to me, Ah well, great post by Shark, very helpful, but it's hard to play with your skate stance as you're playing with $$$$/blade thickness and that's never too nice, plus you have to take it back & forth to your lhs... until you find a perfect setup, which can take a long time...

Not really going forward, but I'm trying to adjust my skates stance as well.. as I feel that my bauer are nice, I'd like them better a little bit more pitched forward, and my ccm U+ are just too flat..

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I've been fooling around with my skate pitch a bit; after a bit of experimentation I found that "neutral" on my runner put me in a great position: on balls of feet, great snappy acceleration/lateral movement, feel very dialed in.

However, there are always trade offs. :cool:

Two things I've noticed with my current set up. first, it's requiring some adjustments for stickhandling - I'm not really sure yet what it is, I think my hips are more forward, so my upper body is a bit more vertical, and so my stick is feeling too short. I think I'll get used to this without much problem.

Second, and more importantly, you know how when you stop with your feet exactly parallel, you can immediately start rocketing backwards? This can be very useful - for some reason, there is much less tendency for that now. It may just be that it's going to take a few hours more hours of getting used to.

So I guess I'm wondering if I've gone too far. Here's a pic of where my blade has contact when I'm in a bent knee, "playing" position; this is where I stop and do most of my acceleration/lateral movement. Does anyone think my contact is way too forward? Anyone have a similar blade contact?

photowcg.jpg

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