A Skater’s Line of Power
Skaters have a power line that goes through the hip, knee and ankle. When standing straight each joint has a unique contact point that sets up this power line and can vary from individual to individual. In general when the power line is extended onto the foot the main balance area is centre to the heel and follows a line inside of centre above the arch and extends between the big toe and second toe. PBHE refers to this positioning as the “standard blade position” and is the starting point for blade positioning. PBHE may tweak this position slightly if the skater pronates or supinates. Major blade manufacturer also recommend to position blades center of the heal and inside of center at the toe.
Given the different sole widths from different manufacturers some toe blade plates may be very close to the inside edge of the boot when mounting a blade to take advantage of a skater’s line of power. In boots with a wider design there may be up to a centimeter clearance from the inside edge of the boot to the edge of the toe blade plate.
Pronation vs. Supination
Most competitive skaters pronate extensively and this issue should first be addressed by having good insole support. We recommend soft orthotics with a good heel socket and proper arch support. It is our experience that trying to do a proper blade alignment when the foot is allowed to roll in the boot is a no win situation. After getting proper insole support the skater may still desire the blade to be mounted slightly more to the inside then the standard blade position.
PBHE has some skaters that are bow legged causing the foot to roll out or supinate. In this situation the blade should be more central to the foot. It is still important to have proper orthotics to keep the foot in one spot.
Blade Plate Length on Boot Sole
It is general practice to maximize the length of a blade without the blade plates overhanging the boot heel. When mounting a blade, the toe blade plate should be approximately 1/16" back from the front of the sole. Since blades come in ¼" increments the largest gap between the heel plate and the back of the boot heel should be no greater than ¼".