I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that I wanted to get a new pair of blades. My old pair was going on about 7 years, and I only had 1-2 sharpenings left in them. I asked other skaters and coaches for their opinion on what to buy next, and I received quite a variety of answers.
Some people told me to stick with what I had (Coach B being one of them), while others recommended Pattern 99s or Gold Seals. There was a $300 price difference between my existing blade (Coronation Aces) and the Gold Seals, so they would be a hefty investment.
I spoke with my blade fitter, who happens to be a world reknown boot and blade specialist, and he recommended that I stick with my Coronation Aces. He said that the $300 extra that I'd pay for Gold Seals would not be worth it for the level of skating I am currently at. In other words, I wouldn't see a $300 difference and would be better off keeping the same models of blades.
Since both my blade fitter and my coach recommended that I keep my Coronation Aces, that is what I did. I ordered a new pair and got them mounted onto my existing boots. It took me a few days to get used to the new blades since they felt "sticky." I'm still having a hard time stopping, but at least I have real edges now.
What is interesting also is that my axel seems more stable. I was skidding a bit into the entry on the old blades, and now I'm getting a better takeoff with the new blades. I can also do a fake-out outside spread eagle (my legs are bent and/or I'm on a flat), but it is eons better than where I used to be.
Maybe I'll upgrade in a few years, but I'm happy with my decision, and I'll see how things go from here.
Anybody have ideas on what to do with the old blades? Apparently, there is no blade recycling, which makes me sad. I've accomplished a lot in these blades so they have sentimental value to me. Ideas?