Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Buyer's Guide to Skates:
 "lightweight" Riedell She-Devils with PowerDyne Thrust plates

spartakris

THIS IS SPARTY!!! that is, SpartaKris, The Fury's fantastic rookie blocker, and her She-Devil skates. I like that Sparty opted for the "lightweight" She-Devils, which normally come packaged with aluminum Triton plates. I pretty strongly favor sticking with nylon Thrust plates until you can afford Reactors, but I will eventually have folks in who have the mid-level aluminum plates to advocate for them.

The 126 boot is based on the 125 or "RS-1000" speed boot, except that it is built on the D/B split last (wide toe, narrow heel) designed to better fit women's feet. It is a lower price point boot than the 265 Vandal or Wicked boot, which have an upgraded counter, slightly more padding, and tongue elastic to keep it from slipping.

How long have you been playing derby?
One glorious year. Since April of 2010.

What is your current skate setup?

Boots
The Reidell 126 boot (which is normally part of the She Devil package).

Plates
I switched out the heavier plate the package came with and opted for the PowerDyne nylon plate. I’m cheap and wanted more flex and a lighter skate without buying super expensive plates. They get the job done.

Cushions
Truthfully, I have no idea. I have whatever came with my skates. I sound like an idiot. Just another skate part I need to read up on I suppose.

Bearings
Kwik ABEC-9s. I totally need new ones. I’ve run these to the ground and never cleaned them. I really am still learning about all the things that matter on your skates. I guess bearings are one of them. You’ll be able to tell as soon as I can afford new ones because I’ll start being fast enough to jam. Ha.

Wheels
I'm currently trying out the Radar 92a Tile Biters. I was really hesitant to try out narrow wheels for some reason, but I’m a huge fan so far. I feel like it’s helped my plow stops and my work in progress hockey stops, or “plockey” stops as they look like at the current moment.

Toestops
I have the 2” Snyder toe stops. I’m a bigger girl, and smaller toe stops made me feel sooooo unstable and like I needed to walk on my tip toes because they were never low enough. It was so awkward. These are awesome, and I’m trying to get in the habit of using them more. Because I hated my old toe stops, I got in the bad habit of just avoiding using them. Apparently, they are beneficial for lots of things. Psssshhhhhh...

How long have you had these skates?
Since December, so about 5 months.

What skates did you have before, if any?
I had the Diablo skate package with G-Rod 93 wheels.

How does your current setup compare to what you had? What were you trying to improve from your previous setup, if anything?
It is like night and day. My old skates were fine to start with because I knew nothing about skates and it was in my price range when I started skating and it helped me learn the basics. Then I was told that the issues I was having with skating were because my skates were too big. I figured your skates should fit like gym shoes, with a little room, not like ballet slippers where your toes are touching the edge. I didn’t know any better, and if some fabulous veteran skaters didn’t help me out and try to fix my ridiculous looking crossovers, I still wouldn’t know.

My new setup has helped me immensely. I have a lot more control while skating, my jacked up crossovers have slowly gotten better, and I don’t feel like an idiot using my toe stops. I also no longer need to stuff Kleenex in my skates so they are snug!!

If you don't mind, what is your height and weight?
I’m 5’4, and as far as weight, I’ll choose the Myspace.com body type option. “More to love.” Hahaha. Truthfully, I haven't weighed myself since I started derby. I’d guesstimate 170ish? I should have one of those carnival folk guess it for me... or just buy a scale and weigh myself one of these days.

How would you describe your skating style--low, high, short or long stride, whatever comes to mind...
I’d say my skating style is a work in progress. I definitely stand up too much and I’m still working on making my crossovers as beautiful as Kola Loka’s. Someday... someday...

Are there any gear considerations that you keep in mind with regard to your body type and/or skating style?
Not really. I’m still in the process of figuring out and perfecting what I like and don’t like. It’s really a trial and error with me. What I’ve finally thrown together is working for me right now, but I don’t know how to correlate that with my size/build/etc. I don’t think there is a consistent across the board “if you are this size, then this is for you” in derby. There are tiny girls that skate on hard wheels, and heavier girls that skate on soft wheels, and everything in between with skates. It’s just really all about personal preference and what you feel most comfortable with and what just feels right when you go to skate. My skates feel right, for right now.

Anything else that you would like to share?
I don't have anything else to say about my skates, but I will advise people that they should never hesitate to ask another skater about their skates or for help or information. That’s how I have learned everything about skates and how I ended up going with my current skates. I found it to be suuuuuuper intimidating and way overwhelming with all the skate information out there, so it helps to ask around first and get some different feedback.

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