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nyr386

Graf PK4700

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Has anyone tried, or currently have, the Graf PK4700?  My G75s are finally about done for (boot separating from sole) and need something new.  I did try on a few skates locally the other day and didn't really like any of the current Bauer or CCM high end skates.  Even in wide sizes they just didnt work for me.  I am entertaining True full custom skates, but have been wearing Graf for 20 years and might as well just stick with them.  I wore the 707/G7 line through high school/college hockey and my current skate is the G75 from around 2011-12.  I've found a dealer with the PK4700 in wide sizes and just wondering how the fit is on these if anyone has tried them.

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When I was shopping for new skates recently, I mainly looked at traditional Graf. The Graf fitter told me that I would be a good fit for G705 Wide which he didn't have on hand, and ok-ish on the G709 which I tried on (Graf footbed feels amazing! I will be getting a pair of these for my backups). He also told me that the PK series had similar dimensions as the G705 Regular. In the end I wasn't fully convinced that I would fit well in them and got True Custom. However when my backup skates finally go I will look at getting traditional Graf, maybe by then the company stock the shops better.

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Thanks for the response.  Interesting that he said the PK series fits like the G705.  The older G5 Ultra was the only Graf skate that didn't quite fit me right and have stayed away from the 705/G5 since.  The G75 that I have currently is working for me and after speaking to Mike @ Vaughn he said the G75 & PK4700 use the same foot last in production and have similar fit.  Materials are different of course but fit is close.  Not really sure what to do, really wish I could try these on but might have to just take a chance. 

How do you like the True Custom?  That's the other option I'm entertaining at this point.

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I would take Mike's word over my fitter's.

Your situation is similar to mine, I would have been on the hook for the skates if I ordered them, and I could not take a 700+$ chance when for a bit more I could get a custom fit (I'd still consider a Graf Custom in the future if the company turns around). My True's are a recent purchase, so far I really like them, it's pretty nice having skates that don't hurt my feet in the 2nd half. It feels like I have to do less work to get around if that makes any sense but that could just be all in my head. I recommend them, but it is certainly expensive.

If I were you and if you were really set on Grafs, I would contact them and tell them your dilemma and see if they could work with you somehow, where are you located?

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I'm in the Philadelphia, PA area.  Mike did say they could still do custom, but not sure how they would fit me for them as there are no Graf dealers anywhere close to me.  I did call HockeyMonkey up in NJ this morning and they said that have some PK series skates left in the store.  I think I'll go up on Saturday and at least make sure the boot feels right.  If so I'll feel a bit more confident ordering the exact size I need online without it being a total disaster.  

I definitely know what you mean about skating feeling more effortless when you have the right skate.  That along with a proper radius on the runner really goes a long way to preventing fatigue when skating and obviously helps with performance.  Skating was always my strong point and even though I've slowed a bit with age, adjusting my radius and using FBV for the past 5 years or so has really minimized the effects.  

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I wish you luck, I do recommend True, but I also think that you may have some buyer's remorse if you don't at least try for the Grafs.

As for the custom process, I imagine it would be to give a much info as possible, take pictures from various angles, foot tracings, measurements, mark pain/pressure points, etc.

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You said exactly what I was thinking.  as much as I'd like to go with the True customs and be done with it, I have been wearing Graf for so long and have always loved everything about them that I think I owe it to myself to at least give the PK series a try.  Hopefully they have some options in my size and I can get a firm answer for myself.  If they have updated the fit too much and they're similar to everything else out there they wont be for me and I'll know it right away.  One thing I wont do is buy a Graf skate just because of the logo, I just care that my skates fit my odd feet well and give good performance.  Just so happens that was always Graf in the past.

 

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On 1/31/2019 at 9:45 AM, Giltis said:

(I'd still consider a Graf Custom in the future if the company turns around).

I just had a pair of custom Graf's made.  Been skating on them for 6 months now.  Other than some tweaking when I got them and a bad decision on my part regarding some oversized holders, I'm beyond excited about the way they fit and feel.   

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11 hours ago, jgold47 said:

I just had a pair of custom Graf's made. 

Did you contact Graf directly? What was the process like (did you just send tracings and photos)? 

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I started by contacting Graf directly through social media, which may have made my process a little more unique.  They recommended a skate to me based on our conversations, so when I went to the local dealer (about 45 minutes away), I already had some framework in mind.  He had me try on a bunch of different retail skates just to hone down fit profile.  We decided on the Graf 9035's vs the G75's because the retail boot depth was perfect so we could use the retail uppers. I think they were a little cheaper too.   We did tracings and photos.   I got to pick the liner, the tongues, stiffness, and the holder size (more on that in a minute).  I got two different length skates.  Width was pretty close out of the box, but had to have a couple of punches right behind the toebox (my feet have a weird curve in them).  took about 2 months start to finish, and while I could have had the tweaking done locally, I wanted to keep going back to the original guy.  

I did decide to scrap the footbeds they gave me (the much nicer SIDAS ones) for speedplates.  

As for the holders, I've got small feet but I'm a big dude. Was coming from a 254 holder, but in skates that were a little too big. I told Graf to fit the biggest holder possible as the correct size holder for me would have probably been a 246.  I expected them to fit a 254 (+1) no problem (PS - I decided to do a Graf holder since the steel is cheaper and I dont need the trigger, plus I like the idea of a stiffer holder and the whole package matching), but they wound up fitting a 263 which is awesome, but it clearly overhangs the front of the left (smaller) skate.  Because its so big, I'm not convinced its mounted perfectly square, and I'm not convinced my profile is set right as the centerline of the holder/steel/boot would be a little off/inconsistent given the different mounting positions.   They came with the new Graf steel which is actually very nice steel.     I've got a new pair of step steel coming, so I'm going to break the boot down, make sure everything is squared off, and really work with my guy to make sure the profile is perfectly aligned given the unique holder setup.  

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On 2/4/2019 at 6:24 AM, jgold47 said:

I started by contacting Graf directly through social media, which may have made my process a little more unique.  They recommended a skate to me based on our conversations, so when I went to the local dealer (about 45 minutes away), I already had some framework in mind.  He had me try on a bunch of different retail skates just to hone down fit profile.  We decided on the Graf 9035's vs the G75's because the retail boot depth was perfect so we could use the retail uppers. I think they were a little cheaper too.   We did tracings and photos.   I got to pick the liner, the tongues, stiffness, and the holder size (more on that in a minute).  I got two different length skates.  Width was pretty close out of the box, but had to have a couple of punches right behind the toebox (my feet have a weird curve in them).  took about 2 months start to finish, and while I could have had the tweaking done locally, I wanted to keep going back to the original guy.  

I did decide to scrap the footbeds they gave me (the much nicer SIDAS ones) for speedplates.  

As for the holders, I've got small feet but I'm a big dude. Was coming from a 254 holder, but in skates that were a little too big. I told Graf to fit the biggest holder possible as the correct size holder for me would have probably been a 246.  I expected them to fit a 254 (+1) no problem (PS - I decided to do a Graf holder since the steel is cheaper and I dont need the trigger, plus I like the idea of a stiffer holder and the whole package matching), but they wound up fitting a 263 which is awesome, but it clearly overhangs the front of the left (smaller) skate.  Because its so big, I'm not convinced its mounted perfectly square, and I'm not convinced my profile is set right as the centerline of the holder/steel/boot would be a little off/inconsistent given the different mounting positions.   They came with the new Graf steel which is actually very nice steel.     I've got a new pair of step steel coming, so I'm going to break the boot down, make sure everything is squared off, and really work with my guy to make sure the profile is perfectly aligned given the unique holder setup.  

Thanks for posting this.  I'm thinking of ordering some custom Grafs and it's helpful to know your experience.

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I just wish Graf would do a monocoque boot, with an integrated outsole and quarter package.

Edited by flip12

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On 8/5/2019 at 2:29 AM, flip12 said:

I just wish Graf would do a monocoque boot, with an integrated outsole and quarter package.

They are very adamant about the two-piece construction being a big factor for why they fit so well, so i doubt they would stray from that.

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22 minutes ago, AnimalFear said:

They are very adamant about the two-piece construction being a big factor for why they fit so well, so i doubt they would stray from that.

I wouldn’t change the various Graf fits at all, just update the boots’ materials and construction.

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Just now, flip12 said:

I wouldn’t change the various Graf fits at all, just update the boots’ materials and construction.

I understand that, but they say that the two-piece quarter package/heel part is the reason why they fit so well, so going to a more traditional one-piece construction would require losing their calling card in terms of being such comfortable fitting skates.  Then again, Graf is basically just barely surviving at this point because of a perceived lack of desire to innovate, so perhaps you are right and they should offer a new line that has the one-piece construction.  

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Is there a way to see how the old Grafs compare to the new ones. I have a pair of G5s which I've had for about 10 years and they are starting to get old and beat up. So far, they are fine but in a year or two, I might need a new one. I've tried to skate in Bauers and CCMs but Grafs just work for me. I'm reading all this but is there a chart to tell what compares to what now. 

 

Andy in Peoria

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11 hours ago, AnimalFear said:

I understand that, but they say that the two-piece quarter package/heel part is the reason why they fit so well, so going to a more traditional one-piece construction would require losing their calling card in terms of being such comfortable fitting skates.  Then again, Graf is basically just barely surviving at this point because of a perceived lack of desire to innovate, so perhaps you are right and they should offer a new line that has the one-piece construction.  

Right. I’d try integrating the parts quarter A - outsole - quarter B into a butterflylike unit, leaving the heel part to be stitched up the same way they’ve been doing for decades.

Viking’s heel cup is similar, but I picture the approach I’d try changing less about Graf’s assembly process.

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The Graf insistence on 2-piece goes beyond fit. Actually fit would not be a problem in all plastic boot as that can be molded to whatever shape with modern methods. Graf's thing is also about that different parts of the boot need to have different stiffness and flex, which is not possible if the whole thing is made of one material. Bauer not into monocoque stuff either. Seems like CCM does it to be competitive with Bauer under assumption that it has something  more cutting edge. Not sure if they themselves believe into monocoque thing. I have not really heard any convincing argument for monocoque construction, just some waffle about the energy transfer which is rather questionable. But hey, heart wants what heart wants.

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11 hours ago, Kgbeast said:

The Graf insistence on 2-piece goes beyond fit. Actually fit would not be a problem in all plastic boot as that can be molded to whatever shape with modern methods. Graf's thing is also about that different parts of the boot need to have different stiffness and flex, which is not possible if the whole thing is made of one material. Bauer not into monocoque stuff either. Seems like CCM does it to be competitive with Bauer under assumption that it has something  more cutting edge. Not sure if they themselves believe into monocoque thing. I have not really heard any convincing argument for monocoque construction, just some waffle about the energy transfer which is rather questionable. But hey, heart wants what heart wants.

I wouldn’t change that either. That’s another thing I think Graf gets more than the other skate brands...though I suppose it’s impossiblebto refute the simple counter-argument that other brands only make their skates stiffer than stiff across the entire boot because that’s what the customer wants; on the other hand Bauer and CCM have begun to walk back their overzealous boot stiffening of late.

Again, look at Viking speed skates: they’re not nearly as stiff as competitors’ boots, but they’re still popular and skaters wearing them still figure in the medal count. They’ve meshed the integrated outsole-quarter piece and managed to maintain their optimal feel of stiff down low and softer on top.

The marketing of the one piece boot is often a bit wishy washy, but I definitely notice a difference in high speed turning stability and more immediate response wearing my MLX compared to Graf. There are still things, previously mentioned, that I still prefer from my Grafs. But when I swap them out for MLXs mid-session, I feel the performance boost instantly. I’m starting to wonder if this has less to do with there being less material or fewer parts in the boot-holder junction and more to do with the boot better resisting torsion.

I’ll add some visual materials to show where that thinking comes from in a little bit. I think I’ll have to dig around to find some images and also probably sketch some others. I just want to finish this monster post, “Sorry,” with this: whatever the cause, I definitely do believe in the benefit of the one piece boot...not that I think it has to be one chunk of a shell, but that the effect of those skates is very real, and I’d bet the future of hockey skates 10-years down the line.

Edited by flip12

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