This week's column:
Is There a Tool for Aligning Skate Frames?
Nov. 2, 2011
Hi, Bill: Is there a device — or plans for a device — to measure the angle of my left frame relative to my right frame? I've got the rear of my frames centered with my Achilles tendon, as you've suggested in earlier columns. But I find it difficult to match the frame angle from boot to boot. What do the pros do? - Brent from Johns Creek, GA.
Hi, Brent: What I sometimes use to measure the angle of frames to boots is a goniometer. A goniometer is similar to a protractor and is used by physical therapists to measure range of motion.
You can buy goniometers online at sites like Amazon. They are inexpensive (under $15 USD) and easy to use. To find one, do a Google search for “goniometer.”
In your case, using a goniometer may be overkill. Most professional skaters simply eyeball the position of their frames, and that usually does the trick.
If you are going to use the eyeball method, align the back of the frame directly under the Achilles tendon and the front of the frame directly under the space between the big toe and second toe.
Lining up with the Achilles tendon basically means centering the frame below the middle of the heel. (See frame alignment drawing.)
Aligning the front of the frame takes a little more care. To get the right position, start by removing the lace from your boot and pulling the tongue aside.
Then put your skate on and place the point of a screwdriver between your big and second toe pushed up against your foot. Center the frame directly under the point of the screwdriver.
This position is optimal for 99 percent of skaters.