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Roller Derby Forum Discussions about banked-track and flat-track roller derby events, teams, skaters, and training methods.

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Old August 4th, 2012, 01:34 AM   #1
Ky Fried Carnage
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Default Skate advice for my husband...

Hey all! I've been skating for about a year now (rec league stuff, and now trying out for the Mad Rollin Dolls), and I have a set up that works great for me. Mistral plates and green Radar diamonds. They feel like joy!

My husband has just started getting into skating over the past few months, however, and he's now trying out to be a ref. He has been learning on a dinky R3 package. He's about 6" tall and 240 lbs or so, so we knew the R3 setup wouldn't last long. He also has pretty wide feet with a tall/high instep, so his feet look like loaves of bread in his skates! They just don't provide enough structure and support for him.

First and foremost, I'm wondering what boot is best for my boo's foot type. I've read a few posts on here that suggest Bont for wide feet. That's definitely an option. I do have a friend who has feet similar to my husband's, and though she likes her Bonts, she's thinking of going back to Antik boots. She says they work better for her high instep. Are Bont and Antik the best options? Are there any Riedell boots that are good for hobbit feet?

Second, I know that we need to get a metal plate. Since he'll be reffing (thus, doing a bit less juking/agility skating), I'm thinking 45s won't be his best bet. He's still working on stability (has trouble balancing on one foot for long stretches, jumping, turning around), so I'm thinking that Roll-Lines - maybe a Variant - might be a good option. Thoughts? I admit I'm biased... I love the hell out of my Mistrals.

Any and all advice is appreciated! Oh, and don't worry, we made sure to get him 187 pro knee pads so that his knees are protected from the hard impact of 240 lb falls.
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Old August 4th, 2012, 07:41 AM   #2
Acid Burn
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Antiks.... or if he wants to spend the extra dosh, Riedell will make custom boots in EE width. Sure Grip boots are known to fit wide.

As for plates, I don't think he can go wrong with Roll-Line Variants. Keep in mind I'm no expert, just offering my opinion

never tried Bonts, but stock 265s were too narrow for my feet, and I had to go a size UP in Antiks but they are definitely wider in the ball of the foot. Plus, I really like the AR-1's heel lock lace system once I got used to it. And I have screwed up feet that look like someone tried to bind them. yay all those years of ballet and ill fitting pointe shoes!
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Old August 4th, 2012, 07:44 AM   #3
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I wouldn't worry about the stability factor of DA45's. I could barely stand on skates when I got my invader plates. The wheelbase doesn't need to be too short and if he starts with the trucks firm (purple cushions should be stiff enough if tight to start with). I'm not saying that DA45 is the only way to go (though I love them) but not to right them off straight away.
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Old August 4th, 2012, 09:59 AM   #4
Darkjester
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Its easier to learn DA45's in the beginning, than after he's learned bad form habits. Plus the DA45 Avenger plate is a GREAT plate for the $, especially since parts for it are relatively inexpensive to change out (Cushions, Kingpins).

I highly recommend it, he will build up the ankle strength quickly and become comfortable and YES as a Ref, he will need a good bit of agility. Refs on the inside have a smaller track to skate, and just as many unexpected obstacles to swerve, juke, and jump over (last resort.)

Plus, if he ends up falling in love with Derby and starts practicing with either the Rec League or MRD, or a Mens team, he's already got a great set up to play as well.
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Old August 4th, 2012, 10:24 AM   #5
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For reffing, DA45s all the way. My Roll Lines are lovely, but not ideal for reffing where you need to turn tight and skate backwards a lot, which is stuff the DA45s excel at

I know some big fellas who skate DA45s and don't have stability issues. They do take a little adjusting to after crappy skates like R3s, but it's worth the effort!

Another vote for the Antiks here, too. Another alternative for European skaters are Reno and Meneghini boots, which are tougher than Antiks and have a bit more heel ...
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Old August 4th, 2012, 02:16 PM   #6
Ky Fried Carnage
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Talking Thanks!

I really appreciate all the information! I'll admit that I was thinking he should avoid the DA45s because of my own experience... I skated Invaders for about 6-7 months, but when I switched to my Mistrals I suddenly felt more stable and just as agile. I know it's a personal preference thing (and that I may feel differently after more experience), but since he's *so* new and unstable I thought that DA45s might be a little rough to learn on. Sounds like I was wrong! I'll see if anyone can loan him some to try out for a while. It also sounds like Antiks may be the way to go for his hobbit feet. Luckily there's a local skate shop that has some in stock, so he can try them on and see how they work. Thanks again for the words of wisdom!
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Old August 4th, 2012, 03:41 PM   #7
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Don't get me wrong, they do sake some time to get used too.. And if the pivot pins aren't set up right it can be a nightmare.
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Old August 4th, 2012, 05:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkjester View Post
Don't get me wrong, they do sake some time to get used too.. And if the pivot pins aren't set up right it can be a nightmare.
QFT, DA45s are less forgiving to being badly adjusted ... seems like Roll Lines work ok even if things are not dialled in 100%.
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Old August 5th, 2012, 08:33 AM   #9
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He has wide feet and you're considering a DA45. Seems like a no-brainer to check out one of the Sure-Grip packages. Their boots running wide is one of the only reasons I don't suggest them so much. Rebels if you're trying to be frugal, one of the S series boots if you're not. Thicker/sturdier leather than the old XL series, I gather, and I doubt you'd find an Avenger bundled with a discontinued XL boot.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 12:27 PM   #10
Lord Summerisle
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Ky Fried Carnage: did you ever adjust the pivot pins on your skates? After learning about how to adjust them, it made a big difference to how they skated.

I'm on an Avenger plate: and that inside track for pack and jam skaters is incredably tight, and you need to be able to move quickly when a skater is ejected from the pack by a well aimed block.

Equally - all i've known since starting is a 45 plate. Tried out a set of Bauer Turbos at a disco, and didnt get on with them.

With bonts you can trace round your feet, and send the scan off to Bont who will advise on the correct size boot.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 03:37 PM   #11
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I skated plastic soled 122 for too many years. Never thought their was anything better. Along came Bont Hybrid Carbon

It took me about 30 seconds skating around in a Bont boot to realize how much flex was in my 122. Some will say that it's too firm. But I loved it. They hug my feet like a second skin & give me a firm foundation for everything. The transfer of power & direction from my foot to the skate is seamless.

I have paired my Bont with a Proline plate, but I skate weekly with a girlfriend who has the same boot with a 45 degree plate. She has been skating her whole life and says that this is the best pair of skates she's ever had. Experimenting with truck bushing firmness and placement helped her get the stability at speed that she was looking for.

Just a little background I'm 5'8" 165lbs. I've been skating for more than 35 years. I currently skate session twice a week. Bont has my vote.
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