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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old February 28th, 2016, 08:50 PM   #1
Skater40
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Default Progress on transition from rec skates to speed skates

I am following up on my progress transitioning to speed skates.

The good is that I am pretty comfortable on them finally. I no longer feel like I am about to break my ankle and did a 5 mile or so skate today. I have two problems:

1) My left foot is a little flat, so my left skate wants to pronate. I bought the highest foot beds from REI and have pulled the frame way in. I've reached a point when my skate is landing a little pronated and it is pretty comfortable or, if I pull it in in more, I have a fight between my foot collapsing one way andthe skate collapsing the other, feeling unstable and uncomfortable on my ankle. For years I pronated on my rec skates, partially because I didn't know any better, partially because the frames were fixed, so I am sure I picked up some bad habits. Is this something that I can work through and it will eventually feel better or is there some better way to stabilize my foot? My foot isn't even terribly flat. Once I get a good feel in the skates, I can start some drills to improve my technique.

2) I get terrible blisters on the ball on the side of my foot (not my ankle) after just a few minutes of skating. The size of the skate feels pretty good with my toe just brushing the front, though my feet are borderline wide. Is this a sign that I need a bigger boot?

Thanks to everyone for their advice. Learning the skates feels like learning how to paddle my racing kayak. In the beginning, I felt like I was imminently going for a swim, but now I blast up through rapids with no problem.
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Old February 28th, 2016, 09:40 PM   #2
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A couple of things to possibly try to overcome the pronation:

1) A thin leather shim to cant the frame. You would put the leather on the outside edge of the frame mounting bolts.

2) Pad the outside ankle with something like a 2-3" round piece of neoprene, something cut from a mouse pad. This really helps.

Do you find that the collar of the skates are slightly loose? If so, option #2 would be the better option.

Option 3 would be to try different frame positions. If you're pronating, then move the offending frame inward toward the inside arch.
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Old February 29th, 2016, 04:58 AM   #3
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Can you get an extended glide on each foot or after a brief moment are you forced to put down your other foot to keep from falling over? Is your body geometry (primarily hips to ankle) symmetrical? You'd be surprised how many folk's leg lengths are slightly different. Is one leg a touch knock-knee or bowed?

I second what chuck says about canting your frame... if you have to. But first I'd work some more on feeling yourself riding the frame, letting the wheels roll, getting on top of the wheels rather than just putting your foot down however. It can be a difficult thing unlearning an ingrained feeling.

I know of a competitive downhill skier who had to cant his boot/binding interface to his right ski because of a difference in the angle of his lower leg from knee to ankle. My wife has cants on her right and left frame because of her leg geometry.
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Old February 29th, 2016, 09:45 PM   #4
Skater40
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Thank you for the advise.

The mouse pad idea sounds like it is worth trying. The skate is not super tight around the ankle.

The shim is just a piece of leather I stick on one side of the frame? I haven't taken the frame off the boot, but I can give it a try, but I guess after the other fixes.

I have moved the frame way in. It is not that far off from the limit on how much I can move it.

I don't get great glide on my skates. I do begin to fall over and skate a little pigeon toed. Once I get used to the skates, I thought some drills might help with this. Last time I tried drills, I nearly broke my tailbone, so I need to progress slowly.

I don't notice a difference in leg positions when I skate. I am guessing my left leg is a little higher as I only have a foot bed there. It just feels like the wheels are always to the left of my left foot. Maybe there is a sweet spot with the frame position.
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Old March 1st, 2016, 01:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skater40 View Post
The shim is just a piece of leather I stick on one side of the frame? I haven't taken the frame off the boot, but I can give it a try, but I guess after the other fixes.
Correct. You loosen the frame bolt and slide the leather between the frame and boot so that the leather is positioned to the outside of the mounting bolt. It should be really thin (<1mm) leather, so that you can add in increments, if required.
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Old March 6th, 2016, 12:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckboucher View Post
Correct. You loosen the frame bolt and slide the leather between the frame and boot so that the leather is positioned to the outside of the mounting bolt. It should be really thin (<1mm) leather, so that you can add in increments, if required.
You can also use pieces of sand paper. If you need thicker, fold it.
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