Seek professional help! Your feet will appreciate it.Dec 17, 2000 Write an essay on this topic.
So you want advice on purchasing ice skates. I must state up front that I am not a professional sporting goods sales person but I have purchased several pairs of skates over the last couple of years and feel that I do have a couple of invaluable things to share. My experience has to do with purchasing hockey skates but I believe the advice I will present is appropriate for purchasing hockey or figure skates.
What level skater are these skates for.
Skates can be very expensive. I remember cringing when I had to spend the huge sum of fifty dollars on my sonís first pair of hockey skates. They were introductory level skates that he used for his first year of learn-to-skate hockey. At the time they seemed expensive considering I did not know if he would actually stay with the sport.
At the end of that first year it was obvious that my son was in this sport for the long run. I knew we would be needing a new pair of skates so I got busy familiarizing myself with the wide variety of skates for sale. I am fortunate that our home rink has a huge pro shop that stocks a wide variety of new and used skates.
Used skates may be a solution and offer a pair at a reduced cost but you will be subject to the stock available at your shop. In most cases you will be looking at new skates. New skates run the gambit with regards to price. You can expect to spend from $150 to $300 for a quality pair of skates. My son is now wearing his second pair of Bauer 3000ís. The current pair is the 2000 Supreme model and at $175 a pair are a high quality solution to the serious youth or adult hockey player.
Where should you purchase your skates.
Skates can be purchased via mail order, in a sporting goods store and in hockey pro shops. Unless you know exactly what you are looking for and your feet have stopped growing I would recommend you purchase your skates in a qualified hockey pro shop.
Sure you can save a few dollars by purchasing skates in a generic sporting goods store but you will be buying a secondary label and be fitted by someone that most likely doesnít even skate. Now I ask you is it worth paying a few dollars more to have skates that fit. I bet you do not purchase your shoes at your grocery store.
I am fortunate to have the large pro shop at the arena and a small pro shop right up the road. While the small shop is a bit more expensive the service I get is worth the price. The last Bauer skates I got for my son cost us $20 more than at the arena. For the twenty dollars we got a private 1 Ĺ hour custom fitting session. The skates were heated and then fitted to my sons feet. I lost track of how many times the skates were taken off and stretched. Eventually my son and the pro decided the skates fit. He has worn those skates from the first day and has never had a problem. The heating and fitting process breaks the skates in and is the equivalent of 30-plus hours of skating time.
As with most things in life you will get what you pay for. If you or your child is going to use these skates for long periods of time take the time and money to get them fit.
Skates do need to get sharpened!
Many people do not have a clue how often they should sharpen skates. How often will depend upon the amount of use and where you are skating. My son puts a beating into his skates and we get them sharpened after every six hours of use. If you are not playing competitive sports you may not need to do them that often. Conversely of you are skating on an outdoor pond you will need to get them done more often. Outdoor ice contains a lot of dirt and material that will make you skates dull fast and dull blades make for a poor skating session.
The point is when you purchase your skates make sure you know where you can get the sharpened. Sure you can ignore the fact that they will get dull but you will be doing it while you are sitting on the ice. Make sure you purchase skate guards and use them. Never, never walk on hard surfaces or through the dirt to get to the ice. Nothing dulls a blade faster than a walk across cement.
The final advice.
Skates cost money and your feet are going to appreciate it if you do not pinch pennies. Do your homework, get to know a little about what you are going to purchase before you buy. You will not be able to take the skates for a test drive before you buy so make sure they fit before you pay for them. In my case I paid a bit more for my sonís skates but I have the peace of mind in knowing that if we have a problem I can return to the shop and it will be taken care of. Sure it may cost but what is a sporting goods store going to be able to do for you, give you another pair of the same ones your having a problem with, I doubt it.
Stick to the pros they know what skates will suit your needs and should be able to help you find the right pair. Good luck, skating is great fun especially if your skates fit your feet.
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