Today I went to my skate tech to pick up a pair of new boots. I presently skate in very low end freestyle boots, but in a year they'll be trashed. Since it will take me a year to break in a new pair of boots I bought a pair of dance boots to replace them. A year from now dance boots will be appropriate for me to take lessons in, and it will take me that long to break them in.
So I put on the new boots and my skate tech walked me to the ice. I got on.
Scary. New boots, new blades of a different length, new sharpening. I didn't fall, but it wasn't as comfortable as my old freestyle boots.
Dance boots are low cut in the back, since the shaft is lower there's only 3 hooks. First time out I just laced up the first two hooks since for freestyle you leave the top hook undone in new boots. That was a tactical error. It was like skating on blades on sandals--no control at all. I retied them all the way to the top and did some edges and crossovers. Then I tried some 3 turns.
Ooops! That's not gonna happen!
The new blades are the same model as my present blades but they're a quarter inch longer. I couldn't believe that made such a difference. It felt like the rocker was too far back. My skate tech showed me how my old blades had not a much rocker left (they're 4 years old) so that may have some impact too. He offered to move the blades but I decided to get used to the skates first and let my coach comment on them. I've made the mistake before of messing with my blade position when it was ME not the skates. I've learned my lesson not to mistake my lack of skill for equipment error.
I guess I've got a year of using these boots for warmup while I break them in. I'll be like a skater in the sixties hauling two pairs of boots to the rink: one for patch and one for freestyle. It will build up my shoulder muscles :-).
Still if any of you do ice dance and can give me suggestions on getting used to dance boots, I'm all ears.