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Hadsdad

Newbie skate question...(I have searched)

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Hi all,

 

I have searched the site but cannot seem to find an answer to my question...

 

About a year ago I bought my first pair of skates on closeout, Bauer Supreme one20. They were cheap and several model years old, but they were fine for my occasional public skating session. About 4 months ago I decided I wanted to play ice hockey. Since then, I have skated 3-4 times per week and taken many "Adult Hockey" classes. I have progressed and now am playing in two leagues this summer. My question is would I benefit from buying better skates, something like a Bauer Supreme 170? I am not stuck on Bauer, and will try on other brands, and buy the one that fits best, but will I see any benefit from  moving up to a higher quality skate?

 

Thanks for your help,

Hadsdad

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Yes. It will feel very stiff at first, but you will eventually be able to accelerate quicker and turn sharper.  It will also support your ankles far better than the One20.  The 170 is a pretty solid sweet spot for a bump-up to a next level skate.  Not so stiff that you're in pain but stiff enough to support you for somewhat competitive (beer league level) hockey.

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I think you're on the right track, since you're following the 1st rule of thumb, going with what fits the best regardless of brand.  In regards to your question, yes, you will absolutely feel a difference in upgrading to a higher tier skate.  The skate will be stiffer (which is a good thing in developing your skating) and it will probably be more comfortable after you break them in due to the better materials/liners/etc. 

 

In terms of stiffness of skate, you want to go as stiff as you can without hindering your skating, because the stiffer skate will give you more return in energy.  However, since you're still relatively new to the sport, and unless you're a big/heavy guy, I wouldn't go too stiff at this point.  I think a mid-tier boot would be perfect for you.  When you're trying skates on (and always try them on and try different brands/sizes), get into your skating stride and see how much give the skate is allowing.  If you're getting no movement around the ankles...too stiff.  If it's bending a lot, probably not stiff enough.

 

As an aside, you can always go a little stiffer and then not lace the top eyelet (or two), which I recommend anyway for improving your skating.  Also, be prepared for your skates to be a little uncomfortable the first couple of skates when breaking them in (even after baking) with going to a stiffer boot.

 

 

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I was in a similar spot last year. The skates I picked up for casual open skates did not have the protection I wanted after taking a couple pucks to the ankle when I joined a league. My experience going from a low quality to high quality was there can be a bit of a learning curve. I wanted a stiffer stronger skate for the protecting but never thought about how my foot would need to be able to flex the boot also. Learning how to skate with the stiffer boot took some time to develop the muscle strength.

 

You may see a drop in your abilities when you first start out, especially if the runner, holder, and boot have a different geometry from what you're in now. For me, I didn't realize how much better I was skating until I put my old skates on just for fun. I could hardly believe how floppy they felt when I had to lean into them for quick starts and hard turns.

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