The first week wearing my new skates was pretty painful, mostly because they needed to be punched out in a few spots and I didn’t feel stable enough to do much jumping in them. Spinning was doable, though not for long periods because of the pinched boots. I got them stretched over the weekend and added an insole, and now I finally feel like I’m ready to resume the stuff I was practicing before switching skates.

I took some video of my most recent practice session, just to see if there were any visible differences. I was a little let down to see that the jumps don’t look that improved since the last video, but at least I know that they FEEL 10 times better than they used to. They’re more secure now, and the toe loop no longer freaks me out. I liked the toe loop before too, but it did scare me a bit. The new blades make a big difference, because the toe pick on the Coronation Aces are so much better at gripping the ice than the old Mark IVs. I used to have a lot of shaky toe loops when the toe pick didn’t quite go in the perfect way, and I missed the pick a couple of harrowing times – one gave me a mild concussion when I hit my head. Now, though, even if the pick-in isn’t quite right, I feel secure. So while toe loops aren’t much higher, they’ve become a lot more consistent.

The biggest difference is in spins, though. I used to struggle with getting 3-4 revolutions, which means I never spun long enough to finish a scratch spin with my legs properly crossed. That’s starting to improve now, although I can see lots of places to work on. And the camel is slowly, slowly coming along.