This week's column:
'How Do I Adjust My Frames to Correct Pronation?'
Nov. 9, 2011
Hello, Bill: I have been skating for several years, but only started focusing on my technique recently. I have found that I have a tendency to pronate (turn my feet outward). I try not to do this by paying close attention to my setdown. But I am wondering if I should also adjust my frames. Could you please tell me how this is done? - Sincerely, Everett from Cincinnati.
Hi, Everett: Skaters often use packers (also called wedges or shims) to tilt their frames inward to correct pronation. The easiest way to do this is with fine grade sandpaper. Just cut little strips of sandpaper and put them between the outside edge of your frames and mounting blocks. This will tilt your frames inward, making it easier to land on an outside edge.
If one layer of sandpaper helps, fine. If not, try two.
You can shim both skates or just the one that is causing the problem. But whatever you do, be sure to tightly secure the frame after inserting the sandpaper. If you don’t, the sandpaper may slip out. And if that happens, you will be left with a loose bolt and a high risk that your frame will fall off.
If you don’t want to worry about loose bolts, buy a set of carbon or steel wedges. They are held in place by the frame bolts, so they can’t go anywhere. Several skate companies, including Bont and Cado Motus, sell wedges online.
By the way, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about using packers. Lots of skaters use them, especially in Europe. In fact, many pros use packers, and one of the world’s biggest skate seller used to routinely install them in all their skates.
If shims don’t do the trick for you, there may be something else going on. One thing we have found is that skaters with flat feet tend to struggle with pronation. In that case, we send them to a podiatrist or other foot specialist.