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Old June 14th, 2019, 05:18 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 131

I would like to see the history, too. Not boring, fun reading. But if not, Gorilla's generalizations were very good.

You CAN, tune a plate with cushions, spacers and king pin tightness. I think it is easier to turn a speed skate into a derby/figure skate than the other way around. So if you want one plate that can switch from one discipline to another, I would go with a speed plate. Be aware that I prefer a firm, speed set up, so my opinion is colored by a strong prejudice. Better still, pick one plate to match the type of skating you do most. That way there are fewer adjustments needed when you switch disciplines.

Plates also come in different sizes. They are generally sold to match your foot size, but you can buy shorter or longer ones to match a discipline. Long for speed/jam, short for derby.

There is another part of plate selection which is kind of fuzzy. If you learned to skate on a certain plate, that becomes your favorite plate. You love what you know, and you will make it work no matter how "wrong" the plate is for your discipline. You might use long, skateboard-like plates for derby and tiny wheelbase plates for speed. People are amazing.

More fuzzy stuff. I have been skating a long time, but I don't consider myself a good skater. I'm kinda sloppy and imprecise, certainly nowhere near textbook form. And my balance is not that great, it's just OK. I sometimes wonder if this is part of the reason that I like firm, stable plates. They are forgiving. They allow me to make mistakes and get away with it. For people who are the opposite of me - methodical, exact, highly skilled - those people like the more responsive, turny plates. Hmmm?
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