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Childs ice skates - anyone know anything about them?

(11 Posts)
Tangle Sat 13-Aug-11 17:28:17

DD (4) likes skating - inspired by seeing death spirals in the winter Olympics hmm. She's got her NISA level 1 badge although more by coincidence than design. We go about once a week, and I'm hoping to get her into a weekly group lessons in the autumn and we'll see how she gets on

She was lent a pair of figure skates but has recently grown out of them - the confidence they gave her over the hire skates was huge. The skate shop at the rink have suggested that due to her wide feet we look at skates by Jackson or Graff - which will cost about £65 new but should last about 18 months. Since then, another parent has suggested I look at adjustable skates. Does anyone know anything about these?

Since keeping a beedy eye on EBay I've seen a few pairs of much cheaper new skates, usually brands such as CCM and SFR - which tend to be very pink (which DD thinks is fantastic...), but I know nothing about them.

I don't want to spend money for the sake of it and I don't want to push DD, but I also don't want to buy her "pretty but useless" boots that will make it harder for her to learn the basics correctly.

Any advice?

OuchPassVodka Tue 13-Sep-11 22:21:48

Okay first of all I am going to ask a serious question. Has she got her NISA level one or her Skate UK level 1? Because the two are majorly different and the requirements in skate required will be different to reflect this.

CCMs typically tend to be hockeys. Jacksons are a good boot and are well liked in the figure skating world. Ds has adjustable skates which are hockey, not sure you can get them as figures. So if she has the NISA test and is already jumping I don't think that the suport available with the adjustable boot will be sufficient.

Will check back and answer any questions. Or feel free to pm me. HTH.

OuchPassVodka Tue 13-Sep-11 22:47:41

Right, my brain has been niggling at this. Below I have given you the difference between the Skate uk and the NISA level tests.

SkateUk level 1 requirements

Can't find the list of requirement for level 1 NISA but it includes, three jump/salchoe, upright spin, spiral and a straight line step squence.

As you can see huge difference. But have read and reread your op. I think she will have done the Skate uk level as they don't tend to do group lessons for NISA test levels. Although this does depend on the rink and the coaches.

The big problem you are going to have is that a lot of the cheaper boots and adjustable boots will be with a hockey blade and whilst she can learn to skate the basics, it will be harder and she won't be able to do the jumps and spins and death spirals. This would rule out the adjustables. CCM only hockey boot so no good for this.

SFR do make some figure boots. So this might be an option.
The graff boots are quite expensive and i think i only really seen coaches wear them. Risport used to do a wide fitting but you had to order it specially. Not sure if it is available in the UK any more though. Jackson is probably your best bet, although some rinks do a second hand list so it might be worth while asking about this at your rink.

<stirs the mud and goes off to think some more>

Hope i haven't confused you too much.

MsHighwater Tue 13-Sep-11 22:53:55

Are the group lessons through a club? DD goes to Skate UK classes through a club and they have second hand stuff for sale.

Tangle Sat 17-Sep-11 16:08:54

Thanks - sorry for the delay in replying, we've been away.

The ones she's been lent are these. Except they're the 13-3 and she's still about a 10. They're not too small, at least, but I do worry that they're so much too big the balance is going to be way off for her. I've added a cardboard insole, but I still find it really hard to get them laced in a way that seems supportive - I'm not sure if its me being incompetent or just the nature of the boot.

Yes - its SkateUK Lvl1 (sorry for the confusion - I should have been clearer). I don't think she's particularly close to jumping yet, but I'm still in awe of the fact she can get around by herself without falling over blush

IIRC the skate shop suggested the Graff 500, which is about £60 - so comparable to Jacksons.

I think I need to try and get the lessons going with what she's got and then get some advice from the coach. If the adjustable skates will do for a year or so then we may as well stick with those - I just know that DD will want to keep them because they're pink, even if they're not very comfortable, which makes it so much harder to try and get something that's helping rather than hindering confused

OuchPassVodka Sat 17-Sep-11 18:22:17

Actually one of my biggest problems as when working at the rink was people with too big boots. The boots need to fit properally to support the ankle. If they are too big there is an increased risk of a broken ankle. I can understand the reluctance to spend that much money on boots but I wouldn't let my son on the ice in boots that much bigger then he should be in.
Tbh I would probably just get the smaller size of the boots she has been lent. Ds has a size 12 school shoe but only comes out as a hockey size 9. The blade is sufficient for a lot of the stuff that she will be doing for a while and kids feet grow so quickly it seems silly to spend the higher cost when 1. it is not certain she will stick to it, 2. the standard of boot will do her for a while yet.
However, seeking advice from a coach is worth while. But honestly I would get the boot situation sorted sooner rather then later as that size difference, ime is potentially dangerous. Sorry. But there is a reason why a lot of the profession skaters have custom made, titanium re-enforced boots - its so the fit and support the ankle sufficiently to prevent injury.

Good luck and I hope that the holiday was enjoyable.

musicposy Sat 24-Sep-11 00:41:35

A couple of things.

First and foremost, I would get the advice of the coach. You then really can't go wrong.

Secondly, does your rink have a skating club which sells skates second hand? We got my DD2 some fantastic skates worth £150 for only £30 at our skate club sale and they were basically brand new. Once again, your coach will know.

A small word of warning about starting in leisure skates (which yours basically are) instead of proper figure skates. Leisure skates will be much softer and therefore more comfortable than figure skates - DD2 started in these which were given to us by a friend. Because they were pink and comfy, we didn't have to pay for them and she loved them, we used them. But skates like this don't offer you any ankle support and sooner or later you need proper ones. That's OK, except proper ones are uncomfortable compared to lesiure ones and DD2 didn't want to change. I went through about 6 different makes of figure skate trying to find one she would wear. Every time we put proper ones on her she cried, said her feet hurt, and refused to skate. She lost about a year of progress through refusing to wear real figure skates - she got to about her skate UK level 8 ish and really couldn't get on much more. So huge false economy because we wasted ££££ in lessons that were getting her nowhere because of what she had on her feet.

Finally she got a part in the ice panto and knew she would need proper skates, so she made herself. Since then she's flown through her UK skate levels, her bronze silver and gold, and now is NISA level 2. They were really holding her back. The coach said it's like trying to persuade someone who has worn slippers all their life to go out in proper shoes. She knows she could never go back now - if she did an axel in those damn pink skates she would break her ankle, but she still mourns the loss of them!

DD1, who started in figure skates from the word go, never had a moment's issue with the comfort of her skates. So I would always recommend the proper thing from the start. But do ask the coach.

madwomanintheattic Sat 24-Sep-11 05:33:50

just tootling around and being nosy. mine are all in hockey skates and there's a thriving second-hand market in kid's skates here, but i just wanted to go shock why didn't i know you could get adjustable skates? <wanders off bewildered>

as you were.... grin

OuchPassVodka Sun 25-Sep-11 12:57:38

Madwoman = because where you live there is a thriving hockey culture and unfortunately the skating cultre is not so here. PLus adjustable skates are as a previous skater only really good for a rec skater who isn't interested in taking it much further. Ds' are going to get replaced rather rapidly.

madwomanintheattic Mon 26-Sep-11 01:23:32

ah, ok. thanks! grin

Tangle Mon 17-Oct-11 22:09:37

Thanks for all the advice - I wound up taking the adjustable ones into the skate shop and asking for advice there (hadn't managed to get the coach side organised at that point). I did phrase it in a very open "I'm really not sure these are suitable re. ankle support" kind of way so feel I gave him every opportunity to say "Hmm, you're right" but he didn't. Which meant I didn't feel like a horribly cruel and negligent mother sending her out on the ice in them the last few weeks.

BUT, I still didn't feel they were a great solution for her ATM so kept my eyes open on EBAY. And finally (after looking since June...) managed to find a pair of Graf 500 skates in the right size that no-one else seemed to want and so we could afford. And for a lot less than the adjustable ones in the next size down.

I'm keeping the adjustable ones in the cupboard as a stop-gap for as and when she inevitably grows out of these, but at least when that happens she should be about the right size for them.

Gave them to her tonight and she was very excited. And insisted on trying them on. Now have photos of a child stark naked save pink socks, white ice-skates and sparkly pink blade covers grin Hopefully she'll still be enthusiastic after taking them on the ice later this week. And hopefully she'll be a bit better balanced and more confident on skates that aren't so over-sized.

Thanks again for giving me the confidence/kick up the backside to keep looking smile

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