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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 July 6th, 2007, 12:24 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2
Question training wheel

hi everyone,
i'm new to roller derby,just bought my first pair of skates (riedell 265 "wicked"
package) worn them 3 times and just wondering how long does it take to break them in. They are fairly comfortable but as far as speed i'm a little dissapointed. i know i've got to build up my endurance but i got passed up by a chick on rentals. should i loosen the wheels to make them roll faster or just give them time to loosen on their own. I didn't get toe straps but i've taped up the toes. is this a good idea? Also a few girls have asked my opinion on purchasing skates. when i tell them how much i spent they are shocked. so did I spend nearly $300 for something that isn't going to hold up to the type of wear an tear. should i have gone for $150 range and replace them every six months? husband says i should've searched more threads before asking my question but still learning-thanks
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Old July 6th, 2007, 02:51 PM   #2
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Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 29
Default skates

The Wickeds are a good pair of skates. You didn't mention what bearing type you have on your skates. Most skates will come with ABEC 3's or less. Your best bet is to purchase ABEC 9's or Bones Swiss bearings. Those will speed you up quite a bit, but I really don't suggest doing this until you are sure footed and able to confidently skate with the other members of your league without falling. This helps ensure safety not only for you but also your other team mates. Other than that... great choice.
As for the tape on the toe, I have to do the same thing. There is a product out that attaches to your toe stop and to your laces that is made of leather and works the same way, it's just not as ugly as the tape.

Hope this helps,

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Old July 6th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by natas_sin View Post
As for the tape on the toe, I have to do the same thing. There is a product out that attaches to your toe stop and to your laces that is made of leather and works the same way, it's just not as ugly as the tape.
Here's what Natas is talking about:


As for speed, the suggestion of a better bearing type is a good one. Also, the Wicked skate package should've come with Radar Tuner wheels, which are a I believe to be a 93a durometer, which is the rating of the wheel's hardness. The harder the wheel, usually the faster it is. However, you also sacrifice some grip for speed. So, while a harder wheel might be faster, it might not grip the floor as well.

If the floor you skate seems to have plenty of grip, you might want to try a harder wheel, like the blue Hyper Witch Doctor at 95a or the Orange Witch Doctor at 97a.

A lot of the Boston Derby Dames swear by the blue Witch Doctors for bare concrete and sport court floors. Since derby tend to chew up wheels quickly, and depending on what your budget is, I'd stick near the price of the Witch Doctors, which you can find for under $60 per set. (lowpricedskates.com for $59, backstreetinline.com for $48, $58 at netskate.com, $59 at sincityskates.com, shipping varies)

The Radar Tuners also come in harder durometers, depending on the color. They're comparable in price to the Witch Doctors.
Indoor Inline: Pinnacle Full Customs | Simmons SR110 4x110 | TLTF/Simmons | NMB
Outdoor Inline: Simmons Full Customs | Simmons SR110 4x110 | Junk Wheels | NMB
Quads: Reidell 911 | Roll-Line Mistral | Corey Super-Ds/JG Hubs | Bones Swiss
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Old July 6th, 2007, 05:30 PM   #4
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Location: Ohio
Posts: 71
Default Wheels and bearings do play a factor, but....

The other thing is, with speed, it just takes time. If you want to be faster, watch some of the faster skaters. What are they doing? How many cross-overs per turn? How often are they moving their feet? How low are they? Are they swinging their arms?

There are a lot of factors that go into how fast a skater is. There are skaters in our league that are some of the fastest ones, but don't have $300 for Wickeds, and are skating on their $100 Torq's, with hand-me-down wheels. But they might be lower, or have faster feet. This just comes with time.

Wheels, bearings, and skating surface are all factors (but you did buy a very good type of skate - I'd say 30% of my league has those same ones and they all love them), but it could also be the way you're skating. Talk to those faster skaters, ask them about where they were when they first started derby. I'd put money on it that they tell you they didn't start out skating as fast as they do now. Ask them what helped their speed improve. In some cases, it may have been better wheels or bearings, but in some cases it might not.

Also, a lot of the girls in our league have different sets of wheels and bearings for different types of surfaces. You can talk to someone about that too. As far as parts go, it's just a matter of trial and error, and seeing what works for you. If there is someone that is willing to let you borrow their wheels so you can try them during an open skate or practice, do it. That way, you might find that you like Tuners better than Flat Outs, or Hypers better than Tuners, or whatever.

But Remember: Don't get discouraged so early in the game! Just keep working hard, and talking to your coaches and league-mates about what you want to improve, and listen to what they have to say. You'll do just fine!
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Old July 6th, 2007, 07:03 PM   #5
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Location: Suburbs of New Orleans, LA
Posts: 533

Give yourself some time to get your technique in line with the skate you are on. Right now, you are analogous to a new driver behind the wheel of a sports car. It might be a little too much skate for you just now.

These skates are meant for the intermediate, at least, skater, and have speed mounted plates (set back on your heels) which takes some time to get used to.

If you have not skated on speed mounts before, that is likely what is slowing you right now.

Give it time, and don't try to be super fast, try to be super good on technique, slowly. As another wise member of this forum once posted, in order to go fast, you have to first be able to go slow--but correctly.

So think about your stride--it should be out to the side and not pushing towards the back or behind you. Think of making a large "D" with your leg as you extend out and back to make the next stride.

CROSSOVERS and MORE CROSSOVERS. Speed in derby comes from crossovers, so practice these at all times. Try to find your stride on the track and keep a pace line. 5 stride crosses per turn on a standard WFTDA track.

Once you can do correct stride and crossovers slowly, you will see that you will speed up without even trying.

Speed comes from application of good technique, there's no need to rush into trying to be super fast. Be super good, and you won't be able to help but be fast.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 08:44 PM   #6
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Posts: 2

good news, the wicked package i have has the blue tuner wheels w/abec9 bearings. thing is they are very grippy which is one reason i do very well in the corners. mike@lowpriceskates is very helpful and filled me in. they have some inexpensive speed wheels that i can switch between and are also running a derbydealof the week green devil rays97a speed wheels$49. i definitly agree about my technique and try to stay in derby form w/long strides. Just wanted to be at the front of the pack. i've been on skates most of my life but never needed to much speed. i am small compared to most girls on the team so wanted to be able to fly around the track like a little car with a supped up motor. but i can conserve my need for speed and work on technique and strategy for the time. we are a new team ColumbiaQuadSquad
Columbia,SC. Check us out on myspace!
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