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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 November 3rd, 2011, 09:56 AM   #61
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now i dont know a damn thing about journalism, but you'd think they'd talk to someone who actually skates short and forward or DA45. I know there are skaters on Bay Area and Denver Roller Dolls who skate that way... probably more, but i haven't stared at their feet live in person

it's like asking two mid-western white men what it's like to be African American in Los Angeles?

but whatever, like i said earlier, if they said the "other guys" plates were better, thats not a great sales pitch...
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 12:54 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Terror Australis View Post
Pretty sure Resurrector sent an email that was NOT rude but asked if Ivanna had actually skated a DA45 and how she was qualified to give an opinion on something she hadn't tried. She got back to him saying it was the first hate mail she'd ever received or some such nonsense.
This article on Debylife really pisses me off. Funny too but the jammer in the photo looks like she's got a bit of speedskater form going on, they obviously didn't notice that.
If thats what happened, then it's really not on. I do remember her article had several factual errors in it though, so she wasn't exactly flavor du jour on there
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 04:18 PM   #63
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I started writing a comment last night about my experience (which is all about balance, not about the smaller turning circles everyone talks up), but it got really long and I repented. I'm gonna edit it down this afternoon, I think, and post it.
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 07:53 PM   #64
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My response to the Derby Life article:

First off, there is no correct way to mount plates. There is what you like, and what works for you. I have many pairs of skates with many different purposes, and all are mounted differently. Outdoor, Jam Ref, Outside Pack ref, session, all are a bit different depending on what you want them to do.

Same goes for derby: What do you want out of your skates? Agility? Speed? Stability? Each of these things requires different mounts (as well as different kingpin angles and actions, but that's not what we're talking about here).

So I'll keep it basic, and talk about 3 different mounts that appear most frequently. I'll also try and break down what they do and why they do it.

But first, let's look at the foot!




The arrows above reflect the pressure/contact areas of your foot. They are where your balance is while you are standing/walking barefoot. Notice that the balance of the back of the foot is right about the outside ankle bone, and the front is just ahead of the ball of the foot (where the big toe joins the foot). If you stand up (right now, do it!) in your bare feet and shift your weight forward and back, you will notice these points.

An "Agility Mount" (sometimes referred to as short/forward) uses these points as a reference. It places the axles directly below these points. Since everyone's foot is different, every "agility mount" will look different. So it's not exactly short-forward, it's more "short-correct".

An agility mount mimics the contact/pressure points you already use, and places the axles in such a way to use those points to your advantage. I find that jumping, turning and sprinting are all more natural on an agility mount. After all, we all (or most of us) know how to walk, and translating those points directly to a roller skate helps immensely with jumping and hopping and overall control.

A good analogy would be this:




The feet are placed right above the axles, giving the maximum feedback, input and control.





Then we have the "standard mount" that Doug and Ivana are so keen on. That looks like this:




Notice that the front and rear axles are outside of the pressure/contact points of the foot. This gives it more stability, as the axles (which are in effect the place where the wheel hits the floor) are outside of your balance area. Longer wheelbase, more stable. However, the tradeoff is maneuverability. The further away from your foot contact points, the less energy is directly transferred from your foot. Your balance no longer gives direct input into the action of your skate, as the further away the pressure points, the more muscle/lean/input is required to turn the axle. This, combined with the longer wheelbase, make for a less responsive, less maneuverable plate. When you jump and hop, you are no longer using the natural balance points, but are using artificial points to the front/back, causing you to waste energy and time.

To use the skateboard analogy, it's like this:




He's not going to fall off the board anytime soon, but he's not going to make any sharp turns either. The weight and power needs to transfer through the board to get to the trucks instead of having direct input. And jumping? Heh.





Finally, we have the outdoor/track mount. This is the true "short-forward". It looks like this:




Take an agility mount, and move it forward. The reasons for this are quite specific, as it needs to do a few things:

1) Maximize the power transfer from a long stride
2) Roll over debris (rocks, twigs, etc) without catching or upsetting your balance

With the wheels shifted forward, the front will "lift" over small obstacles without them catching under your weight. It also allows you to push with a full stride (heel to toe) which is most frequently used outdoors (you don't get much time in a derby pack to use that kind of stride). As such, it's great for outdoor use, but I wouldn't recommend it for a derby track. It also has the disadvantage (or advantage, if using outdoors) of not turning nearly as well. With the wheels so far forward, it is difficult to transfer enough weight/energy to the front axle in order to turn it. Almost all turning is done with the rear axle, by digging your heel in. Skateboard analogy again:




He's not going to get tripped up by any rocks, but he'll have a damned tough time turning without lifting up the front. You can also see here how the turning is done with the rear axle, as the most weight (balance) is concentrated there.


So there's my take on mounting. Tune in next week for how this affects SA/DA/15/45/etc/etc
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Last edited by Gle8; November 4th, 2011 at 02:12 AM.
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 08:02 PM   #65
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I enjoyed that. Thanks for posting it!
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 08:18 PM   #66
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This is bloody brilliant!!! Thank you!!
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 08:33 PM   #67
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Brilliantly put together! Maybe you could put it up on FB so it can be shared?
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 08:38 PM   #68
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Brilliantly put together! Maybe you could put it up on FB so it can be shared?
Done and done
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 10:07 PM   #69
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Just on scrolldown, Knots: THANK YOU for writing something even longer than my 855 word partial draft that I repented of posting before I finished it. I like not being the biggest nerd in the room all the time ... (why I hang out here so much).

Personally, I love the Aussie-speed/true-short-forward/outdoor-track because it feels balanced when I have my weight on the balls of my feet - and having the weight on the balls of my feet is where I'm used to being as a 'ready stance' for any other sport (netball, volleyball, basketball, boxing...). It's the right place for being ready to GO, basically. But it's just what works for me.
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Old November 4th, 2011, 08:28 AM   #70
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Brilliant post, I'll take one of those over 100 Doug Glass blog posts any day

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But it's just what works for me.
And thats what this is all about - skaters being given the right info to make their own *choice* (take the red pill, etc etc)
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Old November 4th, 2011, 10:58 AM   #71
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Yeah Gle8, that was exactly specific enough without being too much and losing interest. That was great! I bet if you toss it towards 5on5 or somewhere they'll publish it.
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Old November 4th, 2011, 11:33 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gle8 View Post
My response to the Derby Life article:

...

So there's my take on mounting. Tune in next week for how this affects SA/DA/15/45/etc/etc
That is one principle. But the influential factors are manifold. You have to concern, that 90% of the body weight is under the ankle bone, if your are standing. The height of the heel is an important factor, few millimeters can make a large difference. The leverage and can shift the weight to the ball, which means more stability. The "derby stance" is indispensable, if you are skating without heel rise, to balance the weight between back and front trucks. So it seems, that short forward is the least recommendable mounting option for derby, because, different from speed skating, your position is not stable. You have to get in and out of the derby stance and shift sideways to block other skaters. In my view, only with DA-45 the short-forward is possible in derby. The turny DA-45 trucks manage agility with less pressure/weight at the front axles.

My opinion, far away from the US and Derby life: Mainly the DA-45 is popular in Roller Derby, because the skater can keep their feet on the ground and have less legwork. This means stability and less skilled skaters are benefit from this.

Maybe the skaters would benefit at most from a small heel rise. But this kind of boots are gaining unpopular. If you compare vintage speed boots with the current models, you see that in the 80s the most boots had nearly 1 inch heel, now quite none.
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Old November 4th, 2011, 12:59 PM   #73
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Thanks Gle8 for the well put together, nicely illustrated, and concisely explained description of these three mount concepts.

I believe that the Aussie style, far forward mount advocates will reject your assertion that it does not turn well enough to for good indoor short track performance, especially if speed and power stroke figure into the performance equation.

You overlook a key aspect of how mount location affects skating, and that relates to how well the mount allows the skater to keep their weight evenly distributed across all four wheels. Excluding skating moves that require tilting the plate up onto either one of the axles to spin or whatever, most of the time, having your weight equally distributed across all four (or eight) wheels gives the best results - grip, roll, etc.

In addition, staying low to the ground is the optimum position for many types of skating - Speed and Derby certainly.

A third concern is how to maximize the power of the push stroke? While you nicely illustrate the foot's pressure points, you do not make it so clear that the foot PUSHES much more effectively from the ball end than from the heel end. This means that more pressure, on average is coming down at the front end of the plate than at the rear end. This is why it is often suggested to have the rear action adjusted less stiff, since typically less force gets applied there.

When we combine these three considerations, and factoring in that skating low also tends to put our weight more forward, it becomes obvious that what you call the "outdoor/track" mount does the best job for assisting a skater to keep their weight evenly distributed over their four wheels when skating LOW and applying a long power stroke with a strong toe flick finish.

A am not saying that agility will also be optimum with an outdoor/track mount, but I am saying that it will do a better job of giving the benefits that having your weight evenly distributed onto the wheels can yield. While sometimes the other benefits that a different mount can give will be a higher priority, optimum grip and roll while skating low and fast
are something most skaters will want to have near the top of their list.

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Old November 4th, 2011, 02:23 PM   #74
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Dillo,

I do agree with your argument for aussie short-forward to a point. While in a low stance it can do all those things, especially coupled with a loose (ideally SA45) rear action. You can dig your heel in to turn fairly drastically this way.....until you stand up from that stance. I find that I have difficulty using that particular mount as a jam ref, as it doesn't give me the turning radius I need while standing up or leaning back.
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Old November 4th, 2011, 03:53 PM   #75
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Quote:
I believe that the Aussie style, far forward mount advocates will reject your assertion that it does not turn well enough to for good indoor short track performance, especially if speed and power stroke figure into the performance equation.
Some will, but most of them have just not really spent much/any time on anything different and reject them either as a matter of course, or simply because they feel strange and different at first (and after having a NTS plate flush with the front of the boot, you have a real tendancy to over-lean forwards and fall off the front of your skates).

I have a pair of skates mounted like this for road skates and wouldn't use anything else for that job (or for going fast on longish indoor rinks like I've seen here in the US) as they're awesome for that style of skating, but for general sessions and derby I can't get them off my feet fast enough! They just feel unwieldy and horrible for a short track (even more so for the derby track) and carving through through the lemmings at a session.

If I've spent a particularly large amount of time on one or the other it can feel pretty awkard at first, but it usually only takes a couple of quick laps and a few cuts and turns to get back in the groove either way.

Incidentally I also skate a different wheelbase for each of these (longer when hard against the toe of the boot, but still with the rear axle well forward of where I like it for derby and sessions).
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Old November 4th, 2011, 04:54 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by jbgerman View Post
Maybe the skaters would benefit at most from a small heel rise. But this kind of boots are gaining unpopular. If you compare vintage speed boots with the current models, you see that in the 80s the most boots had nearly 1 inch heel, now quite none.
Most skaters use a boot with a heel. I personally prefer the heel, it's only those with Bonts or Vanilla Freestyles or maybe a Riedell 195 that skate heel-less.

I had bont put a heel in my skates, but it's concealed within the boot. It's a high-impact foam, which is really nice because it absorbs a little shock and gives me the height that I need to keep proper balance. Anytime I'm in my Chesters, I feel like I'm falling backwards but I get over it enough to stay upright for most of the session.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 10:15 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Gle8 View Post

Notice that the balance of the back of the foot is right about the outside ankle bone, and the front is just ahead of the ball of the foot (where the big toe joins the foot). If you stand up (right now, do it!) in your bare feet and shift your weight forward and back, you will notice these points.
I agree pretty much with your whole post, except that your foot diagram indicates the "inside" ankle bone. Which is what I use for my determination too. Just being nit picky,
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Old November 7th, 2011, 06:51 PM   #78
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I agree pretty much with your whole post, except that your foot diagram indicates the "inside" ankle bone. Which is what I use for my determination too. Just being nit picky,
That's why I made my line at the back of the inside ankle bone, which loosely corresponds with the center of the outside ankle bone

Personally, I use the inside ankle, but that's farther forward than most and isn't a true agility mount (it's more a cross between agility and SF).
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Old August 14th, 2017, 11:38 AM   #79
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Heya,

Is there anyway to see the picture from Gle8 ?

I can't see them anymore
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Old August 14th, 2017, 03:25 PM   #80
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I just read the article. I disagree with almost everything this guy has to say about stability of 45 degree plates. If your talent and tuning is not up to par, you will not make any plate work. Different plates, different tuning. If you dont know how to tune da45, you may be on rock hard cushions forever. Different plates for different skaters, but one way better than the other, I dont buy that. What I will say is the more veryical kp angles make for more cushioned landings from jumps.

Everyone looks at this all a some kind of black art thing. Cushions are dampers, pivot angles/caster/action line... determines how quick the plate steers in combination with length of the plate. Shorter plates will incrementally tighten the turn radius. "Squirrely skates" is due to several things. But ALL skates are squirrelly if cushion changes are made without a good plan of progression. Improvements can only be made if the skater is improving with the changes. My skates are loose/soft due to so many changes in the suspension. My yellow cushions act like blues due to leverage and surface area affected. Traction is the dominant property I would say for my skates. And one skate does not "do it all". Slow speeds require quicker turning, higher speed skating requires "finesse" or you will be on your butt quickly. Going fast is not hard, going fast with good control and maintaining traction can be a bit harder. There are so many variables but 50% of it is the skater. If the skater can't handle the skates or the skates do not work with that particular skater, you cannot expect improvements in whatever your skating goal is.

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