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Beginning Skaters Forum This is the place for beginning skaters to ask questions and share their stories. We would love to hear about your experiences learning to skate. No question is too dumb!

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Old September 21st, 2011, 08:23 PM   #1
tailorrmade
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Hello fellow skaters!

I am very new to skating (Quads) and I hope to learn a lot from all of you.

I am 6'2", 235lbs and have only been on skates 3x in my life. The reason I got into skating was for my wife. She has been asking me to skate with her for 10 years now and I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I have to say, I kind of LOVE it now. I am by no means comfortable on skates yet but I am doing ok. I have taken a few lessons, watched Youtube videos, joined this forum and now, want to buy my own skates and PRACTICE! Here is what I found, please tell me what you all think:

Reidell 120 boot (I like the idea of leather but I have no idea of what synthetic looks and/or feels like so the 111 could be fine

Sure Grip Super X truck

Bones Redz Bearings

Roller Bones Elite Wheels (seems like these are very popular)

Do you all think I should go cheaper at first or go all out with these. I found these at a local shop but they promise that they can "get" anything.

Do I need any other equipment? Pads?

What else should I be doing to get better at this? I would assume PRACTICE is the key but you may have ideas on how and what to practice. Right now, I have only been in empty rinks and I suspect that when people are around the game changes. I am really excited to get better at this so any advice you can offer would be appreciated! thanks!
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Old September 21st, 2011, 09:30 PM   #2
rufusprime99
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On an every day basis, or every skate day, you will like leather better than synthetic. The Super X plate is a very low cost plate, you should not go lower or less expensive than this. Actually, I do not think that there is a cheaper metal plate than the Super X. You would have to get a nylon plate to save anything at all, and it would not be much, and nylon at your weight would NOT be good. You could improve the turning and feel a bit by putting 2 barrel urethane cushions instead of the stock cushions. Sure Grip purple urethane should do well for you. The urethane generally provide a nicer feel for turning. Everything else sounds great for starters. A padded football or hockey girdle will provide tailbone and hip protection. My Nikes also provide front of thigh padding. Wrist guards. Probably the most injuries, and worst injuries for new skaters happen to the wrists. Protect them. And, if you are fall prone, knee and elbow pads and perhaps a helmet.

Depending on how well you skate now, and/or if you think you will get better relatively quickly, you MIGHT consider getting a slightly shorter plate. You will be on a high heel boot, so you cannot go as short as folks go with a low heel, but one or two sizes smaller than normal. As you get a little better skating, a full length plate may hold you back just a bit. It is more to move, turn, lift, and the rear axle is fairly back. 1 or 2 sizes shorter than normal in the plate will just make your skate feel more responsive and fun. But if you expect to be really sedate and laid back, a full length plate should be ok.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 12:05 AM   #3
tailorrmade
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thanks for the response!

Is there any other plate that I may consider at a small price increase that would yield better results? I'm anxious to learn about one. Also, you mention going one or two sizes smaller . . . are you saying I will be a bit more agile than with a longer plate?

I will definitely consider a smaller plate.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 01:00 AM   #4
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The Super X is roughly $45. For $60, you can get the Sure Grip Competitor. It should roughly skate the same, but it looks a bit different and has an adjustable toe stop. That is a good feature. Both plates are cast. For about $110, there is the forged Sure Grip Century, or for about $95 the XK-4 Doubler. Prettier and a bit nicer, though you may not notice any big difference in performance. If the plate conversation goes toward Powerdine Dynapro or Triton, just say no. Neither plate will perform better the the SuperX or Competitor, they will cost more, and have a tendancy to have some annoying problems. I do, and pretty much always have, liked the look of the Dynapro. But, still, say no.

A note about boots. Now, you can double check this with the folks on the Artistic forum, but I believe the Riedell 120 may be on the narrow side. It is on the low end of the scale, but qualifies as a "real" art boot. What is the significance of that. A REAL art boot is supposed to provide superlative control, and therefore be quite tight and form fitting. It may take some painful breaking in. Again, double check with the art folk on that one. The suede boots by both Riedell and Sure Grip and not "serious" art boots, and are a bit more relaxed, fitting more like a normal shoe of the same size. They are designed more for a casual skater, which sounds like you.

You will be more stable with a long plate, a bit more agile with a shorter plate. The normal full length plate is, in my opinion, overly stable at the expense of some agility. A size or 2 smaller will not sacrifice stability for a normal skater, but provide a bit more ability to maneuver when you want to. Kid avoidance, skate dance, etc.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 02:12 PM   #5
tailorrmade
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Here's a BASIC question for anyone. I am just now learning the different TYPES of skates that are out there. I understand that the ARTISTIC skate is the regular/traditional high boot style and that is good for normal rink skating. But I go to the rink and 80% of the folks are on these low top skates (I'm guessing they are called Jam skates). What should I be looking at if all I am going to be doing is primarily going around the rink, grooving a little bit, you know, having a good time. I would say roller dancing but that may have a different connotation. The term artistic, to me, means something similar to what you would see on ice skates (the jumps and twirls) and I will NEVER do any of that.

Does the low top styled skate give you something that the higher boot doesn't.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 08:57 PM   #6
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Hi

Honestly I can not give you an answer for this one. Both boot set ups are used by many to do the same sort of things which complicates matters.

True Art, and True Jam are different than you speak.

OK, It sounds like your wife is an Art Gal. So you have your choice to go with an Art Boot, like your choice, to make her happy or to be the bad boy and go with a Jam (Low Cut Boot). Even if a good boy for awhile you can later pull down the tongues and again be a bad boy (to her).

At your level all things work and it depends on choice.

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 10:01 PM   #7
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The low cut boots are speed or jam boots. Could call them derby as well. There are some casual high top high heel boots, and then there are REAL art skate boots. A lot of the folks in the Quad Forum go for the low top and heel. There are some that go high. There are a few reasons for this. Probably the main ones are comfort, speed and weight. Generally a speed skate has a low or no heel boot. You do see some folks in high heel boots going fast. It is not impossible to go fast with a high heel, but it is not optimal. Also, as you get past the 2 hour mark of a skate session, the lower boots and heels tend to be more comfortable, and the lighter weight is also a plus. The high heels tend to get a little too much weight on the fore foot. But, having more weight on the fore foot is an advantage for the type of skating that is a little more dance orientated, rather than laps around the rink.

A LOT of folks like speed. But some don't worry about it. That may be one of the biggest reasons that speed boots are more popular now. Now if couples dancing were big in a particular rink, you would see a lot of traditional high heel high top boots. It is better suited for couples dance.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 03:09 AM   #8
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Hi,

OK Rufus is mostly OK on his note which probably doesn't mean squat to you since you are a beginner. The last line is probably the best since a slight heel even in a low top does help working with a partner. Spins and stuff are a tad easier when you are more on the ball of your foot than on your heel. You can do this also with a flat heel skate yet you have to work harder.

I do disagree with his 2 hour mark SINCE I know many skaters, one older than me, that can go forever fast skating with high heel boots. Now they are not quite doing quad speed skating yet they are going awful darn fast for longer than 3 hours.

All in all it is a good note that gives you information, yet it is cutting twigs unless you have skating experience.

Anyway I still think you should go with an Art boot yet it all depends on what you want to do with your gal and what she wants to do with you. Yet I do like low tops. 195 595 695

Yours in Skating, MA/NY Skating Dave
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 01:22 PM   #9
KMA
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Please don't get nylon. I had nylon plates for a short time and they flexed with me and made it harder to skate and I am smaller then you.

A shorter plate will help you turn sharper once you get used to it. Lots of info on this.

If you are interested in art boots lots of info in the art section, and lots of people who will bend your ear about this boot vs. that boot. Personally I love Harlick.

I like art boots. Lots of people at my rink use tall boots and jam, and rhythm skate in those. They don't really tie the tall boots regular like, they fold the tongue down and tie it to the top of the shoe part of the boot. I personally have really soft leather boots and can skate anything I want in them.

Tall or short boots I think is your preference. Don't go cheap get the best you can afford at the time.

Katy
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 05:21 PM   #10
tailorrmade
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Thanks for all the input. I ordered the skates!!! Here's what I ended up with:

Boots: Riedell 120
Plate: sure grip competitor
Bearings: bones red
Wheels: roller bones elite 101a 62mm

All this for the grand total of $271.69 + tax

Is this a good price or did I overpay? I'm sure they will be awesome!
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 05:28 PM   #11
KMA
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That seems liek a good price to me.

I wont tell you how much my last skates cost

Who is mounting them for you?

Katy
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:26 PM   #12
tailorrmade
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There is a local shop here in Capitol heights MD. They will be mounting and adjusting them. That's where I bought them so we'll try there first.

The guy showed me the retail prices for the separate pieces and it added up to over $100 more. Most things come with a discount when purchased together though so I wondered if this was a good deal.

I think so...
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 10:05 PM   #13
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Sounds like a good general rink/JB type skate. Should skate well and last a long time.
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Old September 24th, 2011, 11:30 AM   #14
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Thanks for answering where you are having your skates mounted, when "my" rink closed I lost the person who mounts my skates.

My dance partner needs to have his freestyle skates mounted, but that is a little far to go. We'll keep looking.

Katy
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