Ask any skater who's spent time competing in the Elite ranks of our sport and they'll tell you, they'd kill to shave even the smallest fraction of a kg off the weight of their set up. Less weight on your feet translates into that ever-elusive 5th gear you hear so many speak of, but see so few engage. You need every watt of power you can generate just to remain competitive, let alone be able to pass someone at high speed in that last corner. But you know this...
Marchese uses complex layers of pioneering technologies and processes to achieve product specifications that, before now, could not have be reached. CadoMotus engineers have worked with Marchese using intelligent design to innovate in that one, all-important area where all manufacturers crave greater efficiency: weight. We're focused on it, like lasers. In this regard, we've brought significant and ground-breaking weight savings to skaters the world over through our carbon compositions and mag brazed welding. While these are just two of the advancements that Marchese and CadoMotus have implemented for the sport, the weight savings they provide are measurable, and the results on speed are impressive. They're the focus of our deep-dive into finding your next competitive edge.
You've no doubt tried many different boots and have your preference. But never before has anyone ever presented a fair, sound comparison for you to consider in understanding what makes boot selection so important.
For your consideration:
Popular boot model: Viking gold 2005
weight: 389g (13.72oz)
Disruptor model: Marchese Ikazuchi
size: 43 - larger than the popular choice
weight: 336g (11.85 oz) - lighter than the smaller popular model
Viking is the traditional brand using a technology adapted in the '90's. They use sheets of thermoplastic reinforcement to make the composite shell of the boot heat-moldable. The moldability is generally excellent, which is a critical part of the boot concept. To do this, the boot must be heated in the oven before fitting. That's because the ankle part doesn't have pockets to accommodate your foot's bone structure when taking the boots straight out of the box for the first time.
Thermoplastic sheets are heavy, so there's a limited stiffness that can be provided for the shell, unless 5-6 layers have been stacked on the ankle area to make it more robust. But doing so would make the boot too bulky, impacting your angle of attack in the turns, among other things. So what you're left with is a preference for feel, but with many skaters reporting a lack of stiffness when skating the corners at their highest speeds, they don't have the support they need to step with confidence.
This is perhaps the greatest area of distinction between the brands. Marchese and CadoMotus believe that boots need to be stiffer to keep pace with the dynamics of modern racing. Today's racing circumstances find skaters reaching speeds up to 60km/h (37.28 mph) on clapskates in low friction indoor ice rinks. This is a very different environment from where traditional boots evolved.
To make boots stiffer, Marchese boots are made using a thermoplastic resin to bond the carbon and glass fiber layers. The boots are produced on a last that's been specially developed by Davide Mariani and Paul Marchese for ice speedskating, and it includes pronounced ankle pockets. We leverage Paul's 15 years of knowledge in making custom ice boots for the best Elite skaters of the world, and as a result, our boots can be used straight out of the box without heating/molding. Our boots are lighter and stiffer because we know that's what you need to meet the challenges of the ice today.
Because they're stiffer, the moldability is not as extreme as a Viking boot, but its good enough to adjust at any particular spot for a more comfortable fit when needed.
Innovation in the world of ice blades has come forward in recent years. The innovations of today challenge tradition, pushing the sport forward. Manufacturers of traditional blades fold their tube around the runner. The runner is locked within the flanges, either welded or glued. This production method forces you to find the right balance between stiffness and flexibility in three very distinct areas: in the tube, the flange, and the blade. Finding stiffness in all three areas is almost impossible within the engineering constraints of the old design, and makes it very hard to find your optimum bend. With the Marchese Record, we've pushed past these constraints, taking the sport into the future. The future is now.
The Record 853 solves the critical balance equation, making all of this a lot less complicated. With a new welding technique called MAG brazing, the blade is directly fastened on the tube. No flange needed. The tube no longer needs deformation; it's one piece (Reynolds™) of drawn steel. The result is a stronger, not necessarily stiffer, and solid tube. Once bent, it retains its bend, making the job exponentially easier with the Marchese Record. The Marchese Record blade is a bimetal, or full PM. This is the part of the blade that gives you the control you need for easy carving, pressure and above all: superior glide.
Innovation came from eliminating the flange. By eliminating the flange, we shaved weight in that all important transition area, and in doing so, we're bringing the innovation the sport needs to become faster and more competitive.
To understand the significance of that statement, consider the calculus Hans Gijsen, Dutch ice speedskating technician, puts forward. Using long-established laws, he makes the following calculation to explains the importance of weight for skaters:
Total leg mass of 13.1kg/28.9lbs and a skate mass of 1kg/2.2lbs (boot+blade)
Newton's Second Law of Motion states: F = ma (Force = Mass * Acceleration)
If your Force is constant then ma is also.
If Mass decreases, and Force remains constant, then acceleration should increase!
Saving 0.075kg/75gr/0.1653lbs of mass on the skate will result in a 1% faster acceleration at the start.
Speed is the integral part of acceleration, so if we integrate acceleration over the time of your first steps you will reach 1% more speed. This might not seem significant, until you stop for a moment and consider the spread between gold, silver, bronze and noting...
With this increase in efficiency, your first 100m in 10seconds becomes 9.9 seconds. Are you tracking with us? This is huge!
Your speed at 100m becomes 40.4km/h (25.1mph) instead of 40.0 km/h (24.85 mph). Do you see the medals potential?
Consider this: a speed + 0.4km/h (+0.2485 mph) higher over the remaining 400m results in a 0.3s faster time on the 500m - at worldcup speed!
Equipped with this understanding, you now have the knowledge you need to skate smarter and faster. From a strictly scientific standpoint, you now have the keys to the next level on the podium. Time to experiment for yourself, and gain the physical proof you need to push your own performance to it's optimal result.