Skating and ankles

Discussion in 'The Rink' started by nukethewhales, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. nukethewhales

    nukethewhales gotta nuke something

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    As a minor, my parents always believed in letting me grow into equipment. So, equipment that I received was always too big.. skates included. My skates always had 1-1.5 inches of extra room before the toe, meaning my foot was sliding around, and I could barely skate (explains why I never made it out of house league and hated playing). As a result, I always taped my ankles, or tied the laces twice around them to give them extra support.

    Now that I'm an adult and developed a late passion for the game, I purchased my a pair of Bauer Supreme One60s that actually fit - well, they're actually a bit snug.. but after having 1.5 inches of free room, I figured I would benefit from the snugness.

    I tried them out today, and I was just curious.. are your ankles supposed to have free 360 degree flexion? The skates feel very, very loose, even when tied tight (except I can't loop the ankles). It may be because I'm not used to have no support there, or that I lack the conditioned muscles, but I really felt my ankle muscles working to keep a proper balance.

    Is this normal? Or should I have a bit of tightness around the ankles?
     
  2. gifted88

    gifted88 Dante the poet

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    I knew some guys that liked their skates loose so it's personal preference really.

    I'm surprised your parents put you in skates that were too big, as a kid your skates should always fit well. I know my parents must have hated buying me skates every year or two for my giant feet.
     
  3. ponder

    ponder Registered User

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    Did you have them baked, and baked well so they really molded? Some shops/employees don't heat them enough for a proper mold. Pre-baking a lot of new skates are a bit too stiff to really be able to tie tightly/snugly around your upper ankle, it's hard to get the eyelets to really wrap over, but with a good bake they should wrap firmly. Also, after baking you can switch to waxed laces (I use "elite laces," they're good, but do all baking with non waxed laces so the wax doesn't melt out), waxed laces make it easier to tie skates tightly, which will increase ankle support. Some people like to wrap their laces around the ankles or tape the ankles as you used to, but with a good fitting skate and good laces this should be unnecessary, and will just overly restrict front to back mobility. You need serious leg strength/unreal technique to properly flex a new skate that is taped around the ankles, something that most of us just don't have. With a proper fitting, properly baked skate and waxed laces tied tightly you should be able to get good lateral ankle support just from a normal lacing. By not doing any extra wrapping/taping you will have better front/back mobility, allowing for a deeper knee/ankle bend, which is a good thing.

    I also used to tie and tape the ankles when growing up when my parents had me in skates that were often too big, and carried on this bad habit for quite awhile after I stopped growing, but now that I have good fitting skates I just tie them normally, no laces wrapped around the ankle, and no tape around the ankles either. I still get good lateral stiffness, but the greater front/back mobility has definitely helped my skating. Takes a bit to get used to, but once you do (with a proper fitting, well baked, tightly tied skate) I think most people will benefit from not taping/tieing the ankles.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011

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