Kevin Reynolds will show up at the Autumn Classic booted, in one way or another, later this month.
His boot problems are legendary as he deals with a narrow heel that just does not compute in modern bootmaking, custom or not. “At this point, I’ve accepted that I might never have a perfectly fitted boot,” he said. “Really, up to that one season that I did have skates that did fit well for some reason, I’ve been dealing with it anyway and doing well enough.”
Remember that trip to Italy he took during the summer to work with the boot manufacturers to get a custom pair of boots? Optimism reigned. He had a couple of pairs made. They didn’t work.
So Reynolds has been training over the summer with a pair of old boots, sticking with their imperfections. His next step: he’s gone to a new equipment specialist, Brian Holtham, who has worked with Patrick Chan for several years. There has been more back and forth with the boot manufacturer.
Reynolds showed up at the national training camp with a pair of boots he’d had for a few months. “They are not ideal,” he said. “But I want to show this week that I’ve been able to do all the skills and if things don’t work out, I do have a backup plan and do what I need to do this season.”
So he’s dealing with the issue as it presents itself week by week. He sees big opportunities this year. With Chan sitting out the season, there’s a national championship to win. “Post-Olympic year is wide open,” he said. “There are some good chances that I want to capitalize on. “
He’s keeping his wonderful AC/DC short program from last year, with a few tweaks to accommodate rule changes. But his free skate should please Japanese skating fans, who are legion. He’s contracted Kenji Myamoto to design a program to a game sound track. It’s music that nobody has ever skated to before: the popular “Legend of Zelda.” It’s a high fantasy, action adventure game created by Japanese designers and one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises. Reynolds has played it. What could be more perfect for Reynolds?
“I wanted to pick something that I was able to enjoy every day in practice, with all the issues I have – and enjoy the music when it comes on,” he said.
One of his Grand Prix events is NHK Trophy in Osaka, Japan, the same arena where he won Four Continents during that season when he wore a perfectly fitting pair of skates. “I’m very excited about that,” he said.
So stay tuned for Reynolds’ next chapter. There’s always something.