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Old March 18th, 2015, 11:20 PM   #3
Smooth Roller
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sussex, UK
Posts: 111

I am exclusively a quad skater (hence my name). I started skating 4 and a bit years ago, and I have never tried inlines.

I don't do slalom, but I do quite a few slalom moves on my quads (mostly off the cones, but sometimes on the cones).

I took the stoppers off my skates the first day I started skating. I don't use jam plugs either (they're just a nuisance and get in the way). Even without anything at all in the toe stop holder, I was still catching the toe block of the baseplate on the ground during certain moves, so I ended up getting NTS plates. I still sometimes use my plates with a stopper holder, but I had to grind down the toe stop boss (semi-nose job) to make them usable.

My boots are hard shell hockey style boots that are very common in the UK. I can't say that they're particularly good for slalom, but they do suit my style of skating, and I've managed to do a good number of slalom moves on them (some of which even my inline skater friends cannot do).

Apparently there are a lot of quad slalomers in France and they trend to use quite stiff and less turny actions, which seems completely counter-intuitive to me, but they swear by it. My instinct would have been to go for soft cushions and as much response and turn as you can get, because the biggest problem that I encounter is being able to turn anywhere near as tightly as an inline skate. Getting through 80s is bad enough, but on 50s it can be a real struggle. Of course you need ensure that stability is not compromised otherwise other moves start to suffer (wheeling etc.). I suppose a lot depends on what kinds of moves you most want to do.

I did consider going for a shorter wheelbase plate in order to get a tighter turning circle, but doing so would mess up my ability to do my favourite slalom moves; I need the toe clearance and maximum forward tilt (particularly for the move I'm working on at the moment) which short plates don't allow.
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