Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble

Recommended Posts

Hi all, 

What does everyone think about the Marsblade holder coming out pretty soon? Think it will be the real deal? Is the Tuuk holder in for massive market share loss?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, reliability is the issue, Having seen many Bauer trigger holders have issues (as the blade becomes loose in the holder) I just wonder how well moving components in the holder will last and still keep the blade straight in the holder when it is under pressure on an edge. If you are at elite level and can afford to change holders every game then this isn't an issue but for the general public? I think the tech and the theory behind it is solid but the implementation is another matter.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Several other issues in play here....

(Full disclosure - I was asked by a friend and investor in Marsblade to fund the kickstarter campaign very early on, but ultimately chose not to after I could not get satisfactory answers to the questions I posed...)

Anyway.  To me, the biggest single stumbling block for Marsblade is the fact that the two major skate manufacturers (three, if you consider True/VH)* already have established, long term relationships with their holder manufacturers - relationships that they will not simply 'throw away' for the new kid on the block, particularly after the T-Blade debacle.  Put simply, Bauer and CCM won't offer Marsblade holders on their retail skates unless there's overwhelming consumer demand that they do. Until and unless that happens, the Marsblade holders will have to be purchased strictly on an aftermarket basis. As such, I suspect that, at least for the foreseeable future, these will remain a purely niche product that do not really catch on with the vast majority of the skate buying public that aren't going to go to the hassle (and expense...) of replacing blade holders.  

Additional issues are:

1) Cost:  High end senior skates now cost almost $1,000.  Add a Marsblade holder, and you're talking +/- $1,250 for a pair of skates.  That's bordering on the patently absurd.  Can the Marsblade performance benefit be enough to justify the extra cost?  If so, regardless of the soundness of the technology, how can they quantify this? How can they demonstrate this in a way that will convince the average skate purchaser get on board?

2) Suitability for the youth skate market, or "A new Marsblade every two years?  No thanks...":  It is no secret that the vast majority of skates that are purchased at retail are for kids.  And kids' feet grow.  As skate sizes go up, so do holder/runner sizes.  Regardless of whether or not there is a performance benefit, it is flat out madness to expect parents to shell out an extra $250 for each time their kids' feet grow enough to require skates with a new holder size.  If the skate manufacturers get on board, this may be mitigated somewhat...but Bauer sure as hell isn't gonna put Marsblades on a $300 pair of youth 180s and still charge $300 for them...the price will go up commensurate with Bauer's increased costs.  

3) Adoption by competitive leagues:  The major competitive hockey leagues in North America (NHL, AHL, NCAA, Major Junior, USHL) have not approved the Marsblade for use in games.  I admit that this may not be anything more than a formality, but until they are approved for use in these leagues, all of this discussion is really a moot point.  

4) Too damn many moving parts: As the TUUK Lightspeed Edge holders have proven, moving parts + skate blades/holders = potential for long term problems.  The Marsblade doubles down on this phenomenon and adds moving parts galore.  For elite players that (a) have access to new blade holders at the drop of a hat; and (b) can change their holders on a whim with no cost to them, this isn't a problem.  For the rest of us, if our Marsblades break, at the very least, we're going to be considerably inconvenienced at a decidedly inconvenient time.  

The above said, however, I'm not against the concept.  If it really works, awesome.  However, I just see way more potential for Marsblades to become the next T-Blade, as opposed to becoming the next big thing...

*Sorry, but Graf doesn't count as a "major skate manufacturer" anymore.  No, it really doesn't.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to give them a go.

@Vet88 I'm thinking just the opposite. I'm thinking they hold up better to the general public (less demanding play & less wear and tear). I also think the general public have the most to gain from something like that. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, stick9 said:

I'd love to give them a go.

@Vet88 I'm thinking just the opposite. I'm thinking they hold up better to the general public (less demanding play & less wear and tear). I also think the general public have the most to gain from something like that. 

To your points:

1) Yes.  They probably will hold up better under conditions exhibited by the general public.  That said, the general public also doesn't typically have the option to easily replace a finicky Marsblade if something were to go haywire.  Put differently, while the Marsblades may be less subject to problems when used by the general public; this benefit may be outweighed by the fact that if there is a problem, it's a MUCH bigger hassle for a member of the general public to remedy.

2) Possibly. It all depends on the magnitude of the benefit we're talking about.  Until we see what it does for the 'general public', I'd say the jury is still out, there.

All of that said, I'd love to try them, too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand and share some of the same concerns... I did jump on the kickstarter and I paid $179 for the holders. I got them for my bantam kid who's 14 and the way I look at it, with the money we spend on youth hockey, $179 is a drop in the bucket. If Marsblade will give him an edge over the comp, the price of the holders don't sound all that bad to me. Hell, a damn stick is 2x the price and luckily my kids only goes thru 2 per yr.

Regarding durability, yes, seems to be the biggest concern for most. But didn't the captain, Liam Reddox of Vaxjos wear a pair while winning the Swedish Hockey League championship? SHL is one of the highest level in Europe and he didn't seem to have issues playing with the Marsblade.

I should be getting them in the mail in June/July hopefully and I will let you know how they work out. If they work as advertised, great and if they suck, oh well then I wasted $179, but I have a good feeling about Marsblade...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see how it can be optimized for more speed AND maneuverability (smaller turning radius). 

If you have more blade on the ice, your stride is optimized for glide at the expense of tighter turns.

If you have a smaller radius and less contact surface with the ice, you optimize for tighter turns at the expense of speed.

I am fully open to the possibility but doesn't this fly in the face of conventional wisdom, that you can be faster AND have tighter turns?

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, stick9 said:

I'd love to give them a go.

@Vet88 I'm thinking just the opposite. I'm thinking they hold up better to the general public (less demanding play & less wear and tear). I also think the general public have the most to gain from something like that. 

Me too, I even had my finger poised over the invest button for kickstarter before I had a second thought. For my style of skating (lace free or game mode with just the bottom 3 eyelets done up) these I believe would be perfect for me. But having been thru the biggest thing since sliced bread for inline (sprungs) and seen the issues moving parts introduced to that sport and had some long term feedback about marsblade maintenance, add freezing cold and constant wet to the mixture and it starts to introduce an element of doubt.

I'm also surprised that they haven't got NHL sign off yet. Back in Nov / Dec this was mentioned as a 2 - 3 month time frame and I thought you might see a lot of pros trying this in the off season. If they don't have sign off now then I don't expect many NHL players to have tested them to their satisfaction for next season and as the NHL is the window dressing for the general public it will put a major dent in their attempts to get a foothold in the market. And as a lot of leagues use the IIHF rule book as their guide lines, you could spend a lot of time debating whether or not they are compliant until they get signed off in one way or another (rule 37, take your pick of sections 1, 3 or 5). Trust me on this, turning up at a game and getting into an argument with the refs and or the league director about your equipment and its compliance to rules isn't a good idea.

@DRR its all about weight transfer, balance and force. If you can keep a constant balance point on the ice for turns and speed yet still allow your weight to transfer back and forward as necessary then there is the possibility to go fast and turn tight.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reason I like the holder, well the idea of the holder is because the science behind it  is solid. This isn’t some kooky idea like heated blades or holes in stick blades or shafts. We’ve also seen something similar with clap skates in speed skating. That was a huge breakthrough IIRC.

It would be ideal if everything was contained into a piece that mounted directly to your exsisting holder. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, stick9 said:

Reason I like the holder, well the idea of the holder is because the science behind it  is solid. This isn’t some kooky idea like heated blades or holes in stick blades or shafts. We’ve also seen something similar with clap skates in speed skating. That was a huge breakthrough IIRC.

It would be ideal if everything was contained into a piece that mounted directly to your exsisting holder. 

 

How could you do that? I’m having a hard time picturing a piece that doesn’t consume the entire holder.

Also, what science are you thinking of, specifically?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, DRR said:

I don't see how it can be optimized for more speed AND maneuverability (smaller turning radius). If you have more blade on the ice, your stride is optimized for glide at the expense of tighter turns. If you have a smaller radius and less contact surface with the ice, you optimize for tighter turns at the expense of speed. I am fully open to the possibility but doesn't this fly in the face of conventional wisdom, that you can be faster AND have tighter turns?

I suspect they'll just allow you go with a larger radius for more glide without sacrificing tight turns as much because the (first-occurring) pivot point becomes the vector of wherever your weight is transmitted from the sole of your foot through the boot instead of where the blade meets the ice. The glide/turning trade-off will still exist, but I think you might just get tighter turns than you would normally for a given radius. So skaters who normally go with a flatter profile will be able to turn better on them and players who normally go with a smaller radius will be able to use somewhat flatter profiles without sacrificing as much maneuverability. I'm very comfortable on the dual 8'/13' radius done by No-Icing that I've been using for the last 2 years; so I'll ask them what profile they'd recommend on MB. 

All I know is I'll probably be the only asshole in the world with 2017 blade technology mounted on 1970s boot technology, because I kicked in for 2 sets about a year ago and already have a "new" spare pair of Lange boots ready and waiting for them. Not messing with the setup I have on my current skates until I've tested them out. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, YesLanges said:

All I know is I'll probably be the only asshole in the world with 2017 blade technology mounted on 1970s boot technology, because I kicked in for 2 sets about a year ago and already have a "new" spare pair of Lange boots ready and waiting for them. Not messing with the setup I have on my current skates until I've tested them out. 

 

 

Wait, you not only still use Lange skates, but you're hoarding them as well?

For the good of the community you must share pictures of your setup.

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, flip12 said:

 

How could you do that? I’m having a hard time picturing a piece that doesn’t consume the entire holder.

Also, what science are you thinking of, specifically?

Not having the holder to look at or study how it operates I'm not sure. They may have already considered it and for whatever the reason backed off the idea. Maybe there were design challenges, maybe there were legal challenges (see no Step Edge in the US).

The science as I call it is explained in the video. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will be (and remain) a niche product unless it ships attached to a flagship Bauer or CCM skate. The average player doesn’t change their holder.

Remember that us nerds/gearheads are a very very very small percentage of the market. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DRR said:

Wait, you not only still use Lange skates, but you're hoarding them as well? For the good of the community you must share pictures of your setup.

I consider it more "staying prepared" than "hoarding," but, yeah, I guess so. I probably have about a dozen pair, but they all cost me less than 1 new pair of modern skates. (I tried and already resold modern Bauer NXGs and Graf 5035s at a 50% loss on each...just couldn't skate the same in them.) Some of the Langes were close to $100, but I picked up most of them for $25 to $50, mainly just for the spare liners. Currently using the pair on the right. Backup pair is the other set of "Comps" in the yellow laces; and I also have the Laser IIIs on the left set up. The ones with the old tube blades are going to get the MBs when they come in (check out those 1970s laces). I rotate 3 sets of Icetek steels and wish I'd bought more holders and steels from the guy who had 10+ available on eBay a few years ago. 

Langes.jpg

Boots.jpg

Icetek%20Steels.jpg

Jeremy (How To Hockey) tried out a pair of Laser IIIs here and gave them a pretty good review, despite using only one with one of his modern Bauers on the other foot. I think he'd have liked them a lot better and he'd have been able to skate approximately as well as he normally skates if he'd have put an edge on them and just worn them on both feet for a real test. (He seemed to think that the plastic tips on the back of the blades were unique to Langes and said he couldn't fit them into his Sparx machine because of them. They were actually common to all of the old tube steels, regardless of manufacturer, before plastic holders came out in the late 70s.)

 

 

Edited by YesLanges
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do his Langes have an extra eyelet at the top compared to yours or just another one at the bottom of the hinged upper at eyelet-3?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Cavs019 said:

It will be (and remain) a niche product unless it ships attached to a flagship Bauer or CCM skate. The average player doesn’t change their holder.

Remember that us nerds/gearheads are a very very very small percentage of the market. 

 

I agree, but just because it's niche doesn't mean it can't be successful. You could say the same about third-party steel, 99% of the skates out there have stock steel, but that doesn't mean Step, BlackEdge, Tydan, etc. can't carve out a market for themselves. A company that specializes in one thing and can get even a small portion of a large market, will do very well for themselves.

I don't know how well it'll work but I wish them the best. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, flip12 said:

Do his Langes have an extra eyelet at the top compared to yours or just another one at the bottom of the hinged upper at eyelet-3?

He tested the model they called "Laser 3" like the pair on the far left of my first photo. They were a later (slightly cheaper) model to the original "Comp" (probably short for "competition") that all the pros wore until the "Laser 5" came out around '77. The Laser 3 had a thinner, less-protective felt tongue covered by a top layer of synthetic "leather" and the Comps had a thick protective tongue with some semi-rigid material inside. You can see the cheap tongue on Jeremy's model. I wore those tongues-out as in my avatar; the other tongue really can't be flopped over. 

The original Comp and the entry-level Laser 2 both had 2 eyelets on the upper boot; the Laser 3 and Laser 5 both had 3 eyelets. It's the Laser 5 that you see in most of the old photos of Esposito, Duguay, Greschner, and McTavish (the last helmetless NHL'r) with the Lange symbol on the outside of the boot near the toe-cap and the brand name going up the ankle instead of along the lower boot. The Laser 2 was shaped more like the other Lasers but only had 2 eyelets. My Laser 3s don't have the original tongue because I cut the tongues out of another pair of Comps to make an upgraded liner for them. All of them had removable liners but the tongues were attached to the boot in the  original Comp; all of the Lasers had tongues attached to the liners. One reason I've bought more skates than I need is that I've cut the tongues out of Comps and used them to create a half a dozen upgraded liners that all now have attached Comp tongues. Hey, think it's too late to start a review thread on these?:biggrin:

[Edit: I'm not 100% sure the other 2-eyelet model was actually the Laser 2; that's just my assumption about the earlier-looking Laser model with 2 upper eyelets instead of 3. I picked up a pair of those but there's was nothing indicating the model and I tossed them after harvesting the liners. They could be Laser 1, which I've never heard of but could have existed, in which case, I don't know what the Laser 2 was. There was also at least one other later model that seemed lower-end than Laser 5 but had a more modern leatherish liner. I bought and then resold a pair of those on eBay, too.]

Edited by YesLanges
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, great responses, a lot of interesting viewpoints. It seems the majority so far believe it will be a niche market, which is probably the most probable conservative assumption. I wonder if they do end up having enough success as a whole company (not necessarily just from this product) if they’ll look into offering a full skate. I see it as something possibly like a Graf, just the potential to stay ahead on tech and therefore stay relevant. It could happen, but only time will tell. I think I’ll have to at least give these a try. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, StacktActor said:

Wow, great responses, a lot of interesting viewpoints. It seems the majority so far believe it will be a niche market, which is probably the most probable conservative assumption. I wonder if they do end up having enough success as a whole company (not necessarily just from this product) if they’ll look into offering a full skate. I see it as something possibly like a Graf, just the potential to stay ahead on tech and therefore stay relevant. It could happen, but only time will tell. I think I’ll have to at least give these a try. 

 

They already have the inline deal with Verbero. I can see them going with them again on the holders, on sell them to be converted onto your current boots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, StacktActor said:

It seems the majority so far believe it will be a niche market, which is probably the most probable conservative assumption.

IMO, they're either going to explode if they make a very noticeable difference in skating or die out just like other failed technological "revolutions" if the don't work or if any difference in only marginal. I was already out of the game before composite sticks completely (or nearly completely with the exception of some old-timers) replaced wood sticks, so I didn't witness how long that transition took to filter down and become universal; but that seems like a comparable example. If composite sticks only made a slight difference, there wouldn't have been much of a market for them beyond the most elite levels where players don't pay for anything and where even the slightest advantage is worth paying around 5x to 10x more for each stick. The last time I played before coming back 4 years ago, there were only a few guys on my team even using composite shafts and replaceable wooden blades. How many wooden sticks (or blades) do you see nowadays, even in recreational leagues and pickup? If these things work as advertised, they're a lot cheaper compared with what everybody's skating on now than composite sticks are vs. wood sticks. Of course, if they work but don't hold up under playing conditions, then, they'll probably be used primarily at the elite levels (assuming they're approved for use) where neither cost nor inconvenience is an issue, exactly as suggested by Santos and others.

Edited by YesLanges
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×