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Thread: Has anyone tried Eclipse Aurora blades?

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    Has anyone tried Eclipse Aurora blades?

    I've skated on Wilson Coronation Ace for many years now. Eclipse at one time had a knock-off, the Mist. But it was also carbon steel and cost more than than the Coronation Ace. No motivation to try it. The Mist has been discontinued and replaced with the Aurora. It is only $25 more than than the Coronation Ace, but it is made of 440C stainless. Very tempting. Anyone here switch from Coronation Ace to Aurora? Is the blade pattern essentially the same? Does the Aurora require less frequent sharpening?

  2. #2
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    Hi.. sorry don't know about the Aurora itself. But familiar with Eclipse blades. As they are stainless steel vs carbon steel, it is harder and hold edges longer. They should go upwards of 50-60 hrs between sharpening depending on level of skater and how they skate. The blade patterns in the Eclipse are profile to the Wilson blades.
    Also Eclipse comes with a 60 day money back (in Canada and I think same in U.S.) so there is no harm in trying. These are very sharp after sharpening. So you if you don't like them as sharp, I recommend that you ask them to be taken down a little after you get them sharpened -better than you trying to do it yourself on benches or the side of the boards and damaging an edge.
    My son has a higher version blade and goes about 4-6 weeks (upwards of 60 hrs) between sharpening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sk8DSmom View Post
    Hi.. sorry don't know about the Aurora itself. But familiar with Eclipse blades. As they are stainless steel vs carbon steel, it is harder and hold edges longer. They should go upwards of 50-60 hrs between sharpening depending on level of skater and how they skate. The blade patterns in the Eclipse are profile to the Wilson blades.
    Also Eclipse comes with a 60 day money back (in Canada and I think same in U.S.) so there is no harm in trying. These are very sharp after sharpening. So you if you don't like them as sharp, I recommend that you ask them to be taken down a little after you get them sharpened -better than you trying to do it yourself on benches or the side of the boards and damaging an edge.
    My son has a higher version blade and goes about 4-6 weeks (upwards of 60 hrs) between sharpening.
    Thanks very much. That makes the Aurora even more tempting. I like my edges razor sharp. I always need to remind my sharpening guy not to intentionally round them off a bit (his default style).

  4. #4
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    Update: Here's my review.


    The Riedell Eclipse Aurora blade was introduced in early (Jan/Feb) 2015. So far, I have found no reviews on it. That’s not too surprising, I suppose, because figure skaters are conservative and are reticent to try out new products, especially given the time it takes to get used to new gear; furthermore, coaches naturally recommend tried-and-true products that they are familiar with.

    Riedell markets the Aurora as an intermediate freestyle blade, a category long dominated by the John Wilson Coronation Ace and the MK Professional. Intermediate freestyle blades typically sell in the ~$200 range. The Riedell website lists the Aurora as comparable to the Coronation Ace. A survey of several online stores indicates that the price of the Aurora is slightly higher than that of the Coronation Ace ($229 for the Aurora vs. $219 for the Coronation Ace standard parallel model). I’ve skated with the Coronation Ace for many years, but I recently decided to try the Aurora, even though there’s plenty of service life left in my current pair of Coronation Ace. Why? The potential for substantially longer edge retention.

    Both the Coronation Ace (standard model) and the Aurora have a traditional blade construction. Each blade is fabricated from three piece parts: (1) the blade body, including the edges, the toepicks, and the stanchions; (2) the sole plate; and (3) the heel plate. The stanchions are attached to the sole plate and the heel plate by brazing. The braze joints on both the Coronation Ace and the Aurora are smooth and uniform.

    The Coronation Ace is fabricated from carbon steel. Carbon steel blades are susceptible to corrosion (rust) and are typically chrome plated to protect against rust. Since chrome is relatively soft, the chrome plating is removed in a region on the sides of the blade body along the edges (and, of course, there is no chrome plating on the sharpened hollow). This region is referred to as the chrome relief. Typically, the entire blade body is not hardened; only a region along the edges. The chrome relief further demarcates the portion of the blade body that has been hardened; that is, it indicates the usable portion available for sharpening.

    The Aurora is fabricated entirely from Type 440C stainless steel. Type 440C stainless steel has a well-tested track record in the manufacture of high-grade knife blades: it has a good combination of hardness, toughness, and corrosion resistance. Knife blades fabricated from Type 440C stainless steel can be sharpened to a sharp edge and can maintain the sharp edge under hard use. Therefore, it is also a good choice for skate blades. Some write-ups imply that stainless steel is inherently harder than carbon steel and that stainless steel will inherently provide a longer lasting edge than carbon steel. Not quite. The physical properties of steel depend not only on the composition but also on the mechanical and thermal treatment. The edges of the Aurora blades are hardened to Rockwell C 55 – 57 (this information was supplied to me by a Riedell representative and is being disclosed with permission); I have found no published hardness values for the Coronation Ace or similar carbon steel skate blades. For some knife blades, Type 440C stainless steel is hardened up to Rockwell C 60. Manufacturers, however, need to balance hardness, toughness, and processing costs: as the hardness of steel increases, it tends to become more brittle, and edges become more susceptible to chipping; maximizing hardness, while maintaining toughness to reduce susceptibility to chipping, requires more expensive processing. For the target application and price point, the hardness range of the Aurora is a reasonable choice.

    No chrome plating is needed or used on the Aurora. The sides of the blade body and the bottom (exposed after mounting) surfaces of the sole plate and the heel plate are polished to a mirror finish. In particular, the sides of the blade body are mirror polished all the way to the edges. Since there is no chrome relief to demarcate the hardened portion of the blade, Riedell provides a simulated chrome relief by laser etching a profile boundary on the outside surface of the blade body. The profile boundary runs along the entire length of the blade body from the drag pick to the end of the heel. This is a clever feature, providing a reference profile for the skate sharpener and the skater; that is, the skater can readily determine whether the sharpener has maintained the design profile. According to a Riedell representative, the depth of the hardened region is at least 4 mm, providing for a long service life; on both of my blades, I measured 5 mm out of the box. A sharpener, though, will likely need to touch up the drag pick and the spin rocker to maintain the proper profile when a significant depth has been ground down.

    The Coronation Ace is available in a parallel edge geometry (standard) or in a parabolic blade geometry. The Aurora has a parallel edge geometry. According to a Riedell representative, the blade thickness (distance across the flat sides of the blade body from inside edge to outside edge) has a design value of 0.150 inch. I marked off 13 spots along the length of the blade from the drag pick to the end of the heel. I used a micrometer (resolution 0.0001 inch) to measure the thickness at each location. Along both of my blades, the thickness is within +/- 0.001 inches of the design value. This indicates good manufacturing quality control. Uniformity of blade thickness is particularly important if you use the Pro-Filer hand sharpener, since that sharpener uses the sides of the blade as a guide for the sharpener.

    The Aurora has a 7 ft radius main rocker; same as for the Coronation Ace. The pick design on the Aurora is also similar to that of the Coronation Ace: a pronounced straight-cut drag pick, a pronounced straight-cut top pick, and an array of cross-cut intermediate picks. The intermediate picks on the Aurora are much sharper than those on the Coronation Ace. They are razor sharp; be extra careful when you wipe the picks or when you stretch soakers over the picks. The spin rocker on the Aurora is flatter than that on the Coronation Ace (this is by visual comparison; I don’t have instruments to measure rocker profiles). The Aurora comes out of the box with unsharpened edges. Prior to your first skate, you must have the blades sharpened. The recommended radius of hollow (ROH) is 7/16” (same as the recommended ROH for the Coronation Ace). I have mine sharpened to 3/8” ROH, however.

    I have skated on the Coronation Ace for many years. I concentrate on edge work and spins; I don’t do jumps. For edge work, I didn’t need any transition time after switching to the Aurora. For spins, it took me about ten sessions to get used to the flatter spin rocker (this will vary with the individual skater).

    Now for the key advantage. I like my edges almost razor sharp. With the Coronation Ace, after a fresh sharpening, I would touch up the edges by hand after ~15 hours, and resharpen after ~30 hours. With the Aurora, I have gone about twice as long. This is an isolated data point: frequency of sharpening will depend on many parameters such as the skater, type of skating activity, ice conditions, radius of hollow, desired degree of sharpness, and conscientious use of skate guards off the ice.

    If you are upgrading from a beginner blade to an intermediate blade, you should definitely consider the Aurora on your short list of candidates. If you are already skating on an intermediate blade, but are unhappy with frequent sharpenings, and do not plan to soon upgrade to an advanced blade in the ~$500 range, you should also consider switching to the Aurora. In my area, sharpening for figure skate blades runs from $20—$30; fewer sharpenings can result in substantial $ savings, greater convenience, and greater consistency. The Aurora comes with a 60-day full refund guarantee if you are not happy with it; that reduces the risks of trying it out.

    If you are considering switching from the Coronation Ace to the Aurora on an existing pair of boots, note that the geometry of the sole plate and the heel plate are different in the two blades. You will probably need to plug the old mounting holes in the boot and drill new ones. Also, the angle between the sole plate and the heel plate is shallower in the Aurora than in the Coronation Ace. For my boots (Jackson Elite Suede Men), the angle in the Coronation Ace was a better initial fit. When I mounted the Aurora, I had to progressively torque down the screws over the course of ~6 sessions before the boot conformed to the blade. Which blade is a better initial fit will depend on the boot.
    Last edited by tstop4me; 10-09-2016 at 04:29 AM.

  5. #5
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    An excellent review, thank you!

    I think I'm ready to purchase a set of Aurora blades, but wanted an opinion first on one issue.

    I'm a beginner recreational skater. I'm now comfortable doing laps around the rink without being on verge of always falling, and working on one blade glides and backward swizzles.

    I have 2 pairs of skates that I alternate, Riedell Diamonds and Riedell 225 Motions, both with Eclipse Astra blades. Both pairs of skates are fairly new. I weigh around 210lbs.

    On Riedell's website, it lists the recommended ROH at 7/16" for the Aurora blade.

    I don't know the exact figure, but when I had my skates sharpened, I asked them to sharpen them at the largest ROH that was on the chart. I'm guessing it was a 1" radius.

    I think they work well at this grind, as I'm not having any issues as I'm not a really strong skater yet and am not doing a lot of hard edges.

    Would there be a problem using this ROH on these blades?

    Slowpoke
    Dublin OH

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowpoke View Post
    An excellent review, thank you!

    I think I'm ready to purchase a set of Aurora blades, but wanted an opinion first on one issue.

    I'm a beginner recreational skater. I'm now comfortable doing laps around the rink without being on verge of always falling, and working on one blade glides and backward swizzles.

    I have 2 pairs of skates that I alternate, Riedell Diamonds and Riedell 225 Motions, both with Eclipse Astra blades. Both pairs of skates are fairly new. I weigh around 210lbs.

    On Riedell's website, it lists the recommended ROH at 7/16" for the Aurora blade.

    I don't know the exact figure, but when I had my skates sharpened, I asked them to sharpen them at the largest ROH that was on the chart. I'm guessing it was a 1" radius.

    I think they work well at this grind, as I'm not having any issues as I'm not a really strong skater yet and am not doing a lot of hard edges.

    Would there be a problem using this ROH on these blades?

    Slowpoke
    Dublin OH
    If you (or someone you know) has a micrometer or pair of vernier (or digital) calipers, measure the thickness of the Astra blade across the inside and outside edges in the chrome relief region; measure it at say 6 spots equally spaced starting ~2 inch in back of the toepick and stopping ~1 inch in front of the heel. If they are approximately the same value as that of the Aurora (.150 inch), you can keep the same ROH value that you have now. If they are significantly different, you may need to adjust the ROH to maintain the same blade edge angles as you have now on the Astra. If you post the thickness measurements and verify with your sharpener what the actual ROH is, I can advise you better. But a 1" ROH is a very shallow grind, so even if you start off with that value and then need to change to a different value, you wouldn't lose much metal anyway.

  7. #7
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    Thank you for the reply. I placed my order for the Auroras with Riedell today. After I read your reply a couple of times, I realized how the blade thickness would affect the edge angle - I never considered that. You are right, a 1" ROH is very shallow. I have to look at the blade with a magnifying glass to actually see that the blade has a radius in it. I can feel it with my finger, as I'm a machinist and used to that, but visually, it looks flat. My Astra blades measure .165" - that is the outside thickness of the blade at the area that I think is called "the runner"?

    A lot of the posts that I've found about the blades says that the hole pattern is the same as the Astras, and I've watched a video made by Riedell on how to mount blades. Since the boots are new and I can use the same screw holes, would I be wrong in mounting the blades myself?

    Slowpoke

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowpoke View Post
    Thank you for the reply. I placed my order for the Auroras with Riedell today. After I read your reply a couple of times, I realized how the blade thickness would affect the edge angle - I never considered that. You are right, a 1" ROH is very shallow. I have to look at the blade with a magnifying glass to actually see that the blade has a radius in it. I can feel it with my finger, as I'm a machinist and used to that, but visually, it looks flat. My Astra blades measure .165" - that is the outside thickness of the blade at the area that I think is called "the runner"?

    A lot of the posts that I've found about the blades says that the hole pattern is the same as the Astras, and I've watched a video made by Riedell on how to mount blades. Since the boots are new and I can use the same screw holes, would I be wrong in mounting the blades myself?

    Slowpoke
    I'll crunch the numbers assuming you have a 1" ROH now, but it would be better if you called the skate sharpener and asked him what ROH setting he used.

    Did you buy the Auroras online or from a skate shop? Different skate shops have different policies on what they will throw in as freebies (e.g., mounting and sharpening) when you buy blades alone, boots alone, or both blades and boots.

    Since you're a machinist, you should have no problems demounting the Astras and mounting the Auroras. If you're very careful removing and inserting the screws, you might get away with the existing holes. But the Motions have leather soles and the Diamonds have PVC soles, so it's easy to damage the mounting holes.

    I've only had boots with leather soles. If the holes get stripped, and the screws won't bite, I drill out the holes (5/32" diam bit) and plug them with 1/8" diam wood dowel rod. I use JB Weld steel-filled epoxy (original formula, not quick set) to epoxy the dowel rod plug into the leather sole. After the epoxy has fully hardened (allow 24 hrs), you can re-drill fresh holes. The patch is stronger than the original leather.

    On PVC, I don't know whether the wood dowel and epoxy would work (try some on scrap PVC). If not, use PVC dowel rod and PVC cement; in that case, you'll probably want a tighter fit between the rod and the mating hole.

    You may also want to consider using stainless steel screws.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tstop4me View Post
    I'll crunch the numbers assuming you have a 1" ROH now, but it would be better if you called the skate sharpener and asked him what ROH setting he used.
    Assuming a 1" ROH for the Astra, you would want a 15/16" ROH (if that setting is not available, then 7/8" ROH) for the Aurora.

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    Got my Auroras from Riedell today! I got both sets mounted without any issues. The screws went into the existing holes and felt like they still had good bite. They sure do look nice.

    I'll head into the rink early tomorrow and get them sharpened.

    Thanks so much for all of the advise.

    Slowpoke

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowpoke View Post
    Got my Auroras from Riedell today! I got both sets mounted without any issues. The screws went into the existing holes and felt like they still had good bite. They sure do look nice.

    I'll head into the rink early tomorrow and get them sharpened.

    Thanks so much for all of the advise.

    Slowpoke
    Hope they work fine. Just curious: You're a beginner; why are you alternating boots? Way back when, some advanced skaters had one set of skates for patch, and another set for freestyle. Today, some advanced skaters have one set of skates for freestyle, and another set for dance. I would think that having two sets, with different boots, would impede your progress as a beginner ... as well as being expensive.

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    I bought my first pair, the 225s, and about 5 days later the eyelet that holds the tongue to center tore out of the leather. They had to be sent back to Riedell for repair. I couldn't bear the thought of going back to rental skates, so I bought the Diamonds to use while waiting for the 225s to come back. Both pair fit like a glove and are very comfortable, I really can't tell much difference between the two.

    The new blades are great! Thanks again for all of your help.

    Slowpoke

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    Thanks to those who posted info. I didn't realize there was a post about them here until just now.

    I just had an order put in for Eclipse Aurora yesterday, to put on my new full custom Jackson boots. I hope the blades come in fast, because I'm too excited to keep waiting. I loved my Coronation Ace blades, but picked the Aurora over them, because of the 440 steel. I have to drive an hour each way for sharpening, so the 440 steel will help save gas money as well as cutting the cost of sharpenings.

    I did not know about the spin rocker being flatter than CA. Does anyone know how it would compare to the 8ft rocker Legacy blade? (My CAs got damaged, but I already had the Legacy blades sitting around, so I have been using those for a whille, but don't like them.

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    Treesprite,

    I can't comment on the 8ft rocker issue, as I've only used blades with a 7ft rocker. When I was researching replacing my blades, I saw a lot of posts saying that changing to a different rocker was a big adjustment.

    I ordered my Auroras directly from Reidell and received them in 3 days. I mounted both sets myself and really like them. I've had them about a month now. I skate everyday, and am still on the original sharpening.

    Yes, they are stainless steel, but they will still rust! I've been wiping them down with a light coat of WD40 when I get home from the rink.

    Slowpoke

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    I am SO happy with these blades! I wish I could say the same of the full custom boots I got last week, which are probably going to be sent back to Canada for re-lasting.

    These 7 ft rocker Eclipse Aurora blades are such a big relief to me. I could not get used to the 8 ft rocker Matrix Legacy blades, even after a year of skating on them. As soon as I started skating on the Auroras, the ice felt miraculously smoother under me, and I am not hitting my toe picks like I was in the flatter blades (I never did it in Coronation Ace or MK Pros, both of which are 7 ft rocker models). It has only been a week, so I haven't been able to do any spins or jumps in them yet, but I don't think there will be any problem other than feeling less supported on jump landings (feeling more secure on landings was the only thing I appreciated about the flatter 8 ft rocker blades).

    I hope skate guy can put them on my old boots temporarily, while my new ones are getting re-done. Those boots are a whole size smaller than the new ones, so I'm not sure what he will say. I definitely don't want to have to skate on the old blades after having a taste of these new ones.

  16. #16
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    Necro'ing this thread:

    So I have the Aurora on my old skates and switched the CA on my new ones because my sharpener doesn't love sharpening Stainless Steel as it wears out his materials quicker. Well, I've been having trouble adapting and have decided that I'll be going back to the Aurora when I need blades again.

    So the Aurora's sping rocker is slightly flatter than the CA, but another difference that was not noted in TStop's review is that the Aurora has a higher heel stantion than the CA.

    So I was feeling lower in the heel in my new skates and not liking it at all, and I thought it was the boots. However, the boot heel heights are the same but the Aurora's higher heel stantion was what was making me feel like my old skates had a higher heel. It's so much easier for me to spin in the Aurora as I don't have to try to get to the ball of my foot.

    This could be a positive or a negative depending on the skater, but I wish this was known info!!!

    ETA: Specifically it was 4mm taller than the CA.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nimyue View Post
    Necro'ing this thread:

    So I have the Aurora on my old skates and switched the CA on my new ones because my sharpener doesn't love sharpening Stainless Steel as it wears out his materials quicker. Well, I've been having trouble adapting and have decided that I'll be going back to the Aurora when I need blades again.

    So the Aurora's sping rocker is slightly flatter than the CA, but another difference that was not noted in TStop's review is that the Aurora has a higher heel stantion than the CA.

    So I was feeling lower in the heel in my new skates and not liking it at all, and I thought it was the boots. However, the boot heel heights are the same but the Aurora's higher heel stantion was what was making me feel like my old skates had a higher heel. It's so much easier for me to spin in the Aurora as I don't have to try to get to the ball of my foot.

    This could be a positive or a negative depending on the skater, but I wish this was known info!!!

    ETA: Specifically it was 4mm taller than the CA.
    How did you determine stanchion height?

    Perhaps due to manufacturing variation, how you’re doing the measurements, or how the blades are mounted. As I noted in my original review, the angle between the toe plate and the heel plate is different for the Aurora compared to the Coronation Ace (CA). I can’t do a direct comparison, but here are stanchion-height measurements of three blades: Aurora (10-3/4”), CA (11”), and CA (10-1/2”). The measurements are actually tricky to do, because of the curvature of the blades, and because each of the blades have been sharpened several times, so different amounts have been ground down. Judging from the simulated chrome-relief boundary on the Aurora and the actual chrome-relief boundaries on the CAs, however, they’re not worn down too badly. It also depends on what you are measuring as the stanchion height. I've done it two ways for comparison (each has its pluses and minuses).


    [ETA: Corrected some errors in the description] Measurement 1: Blades are demounted and placed on a flat glass plate, mounting plates against the glass, edges up. An adjustable combination square is used to measure the vertical height of the edges above the flat glass plate, end of ruler against the flat glass plate, square head resting across edges (a) near center of rear toe stanchion (away from the picks) and (b) near center of heel stanchion. This scheme provides a well-defined reference surface and allows for reproducible measurements. The total distances, however, depends on how much of the blade has been ground off during sharpening; and the actual bottom of the boot is not flat.


    [ETA: Corrected some errors in the description] Measurement 2: Thickness of toe plate and heel plate are measured with a micrometer. Distance between top of toe plate (surface away from the boot) and the chrome-relief boundary measured with a ruler near center of rear toe stanchion (away from the picks). Distance added to thickness of toe plate to give total distance. Distance between top of heel plate (surface away from the boot) and the chrome-relief boundary measured with a ruler near center of heel stanchion. Distance added to thickness of heel plate to give total distance. These total distances are independent of how much of the blade has been ground off during sharpening, since the chrome-relief boundary (simulated or actual) is used as a reference instead of the edges. Also, since the total distances are measured with respect to the local positions of the toe and heel plates, they do not depend on the surface on which the blade is resting. But, the measurements are harder to do and less reproducible. Also, the actual chrome-relief boundaries on the CA are not as precisely controlled as the laser-etched simulated chrome-relief boundary on the Aurora.


    Measurements are in inches rounded to nearest .05 inch. For my small sample of blades, taking into account the various errors, my conclusion, based on both measurement schemes, is that the stanchion heights are either nominally the same, or that of the Aurora is slightly less than that of the CA. [ETA: Note: The Aurora has longer edge life than the CA and was likely sharpened fewer times than the CA.] Note: a 4 mm (.16 inch) inch difference would be detectable under my schemes.

    Aurora (10-3/4”) Stanchion Height

    Measurement 1
    Left Toe: 2.00
    Left Heel: 1.90
    Right Toe: 2.00
    Right Heel: 1.90

    Measurement 2
    Left Toe: 1.60
    Left Heel: 1.65
    Right Toe: 1.60
    Right Heel: 1.65

    Coronation Ace (11”) Stanchion Height

    Measurement 1
    Left Toe: 2.00
    Left Heel: 1.90
    Right Toe: 2.00
    Right Heel: 1.90

    Measurement 2
    Left Toe: 1.70
    Left Heel: 1.70
    Right Toe: 1.70
    Right Heel: 1.80

    Coronation Ace (10-1/2”) Stanchion Height

    Measurement 1
    Left Toe: 2.05
    Left Heel: 1.95
    Right Toe: 2.05
    Right Heel: 1.90

    Measurement 2
    Left Toe: 1.70
    Left Heel: 1.75
    Right Toe: 1.70
    Right Heel: 1.75

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nimyue View Post
    So I was feeling lower in the heel in my new skates and not liking it at all, and I thought it was the boots. However, the boot heel heights are the same but the Aurora's higher heel stantion was what was making me feel like my old skates had a higher heel. It's so much easier for me to spin in the Aurora as I don't have to try to get to the ball of my foot.
    By the way, if you want to effectively raise the heel stanchion height on the CA, you can insert spacers between the heel of the boot and the heel plate of the blade. Depending on the length of the existing heel mounting screws, you might also need to get longer screws. I did this modification for a high-level ice dancer at my rink (different boot/blade). She and I have the same coach. Our coach knows that I tinker with gear, and she asked me to help out the ice dancer. For the spacers, I glued several fiber washers together (stacked on top of each other) to get the right height. One stack of washers per mounting screw ... you need to use all four mounting screws on the heel plate, if you do this. Worked out really well. [ETA: I brought spacers of four different heights with me to the rink; this way she could compare them all in a short period. She tried them all, and picked the height that felt best. But if you have to go back to the tech shop for each change, it'll take longer; and you won't get as good a comparison because you have to remember how the previous spacers felt during the previous session.]

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