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Old May 9th, 2017, 02:15 PM   #1
AZSHOT
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Default Why were old school plates long?

I'm still getting ready to build that pair of Riedell 295 boots, size 9. I found a Snyder Advantage plate for sale. They owner says they're a 6 3/4" axle base. Very good price.

I've been happy on very long plates, without knowing anything was "wrong." I'm a very experienced skater, and do speed and mostly rhythm session skates. I just measured my skates around the house, all old school 20 to 30 years old:

9 1/2 Oberhamer - 7 1/2" DA plate.
9 Riedells 695 - 7 1/4" SA.
9 Riedell 265 - 7" SA

Why were wheelbases so long in the day? Did skaters discover this short forward trend only after 100 years of trying everything else? I ask because I want to save about $300 on a Snyder plate, but everyone is saying 6 3/4" is "way too long"....yet it's anywhere from 1/4" to 3/4" shorter than everything I currently use. And is one size shorter than the Snyder chart recommendation.

Question: What would I be losing on a 6 3/4" plate, vs the super short forward mount 6 1/4? I measure my foot, and the axles would seem to fall right at the ball of the foot, then the back one somewhere near the outside ankle bone. That seems right to me. Should I buy the plate, or pay $300 more for a brand new one, slightly shorter? I'm 53 years old, and don't want to risk falling or a steep learning curve - I can skate VERY well on any of my current skates.

Last edited by AZSHOT; May 9th, 2017 at 05:30 PM.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 06:27 PM   #2
emtdpf
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I had this problem when I swapped over from a Snyder to an Atlas.
I measured the axle distance, and called Atlas and they matched up the axle distance.
The Atlas plate ended up being short by about 1/2-3/4 of and inch. The guy at the shop mounted them as best he could based on the axle distance and they worked fine for me, but at the toe of the plate, where the toe stop went, I would go to put my toe down (I use dance plugs), and by the end of the 3rd season, I managed to wear right through the leather sole, almost into my toe box, because of the difference in axle and toe stop placement.

After he mounted them, and I was looking at the differences in the plates, it seems that the older styles had a lot more "things". the Axle hanger seems to be the biggest victim of taking up space. On the Snyder, a large area was used for the axle hangers, on the Atlas... not so much. Also, the way that the different companies locate their toe stop threaded area (Sorry for not being so technical).

Like I said I used them for 3 years, when I finally needed new boots, I decided to go with a new Plate.... from my past experience, I let the shop match the plate to the boot.

So, I would say yes... be prepared for the plate to be different size based on the brand of plate.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 12:48 AM   #3
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Thanks, good story.

But what I'm asking is not what a particular size is for different brands. I'm asking why the measurement between the axles in the old days was pretty long, and today is quite a lot smaller. A lot of people say "ignore the factory recommendations...go 2 sizes smaller." And them mount them with the rear wheels pretty far from the rear of the heel, towards the center of the foot.

Don't knock it til you try it, I know. But I don't want to drill another set of holes in a classic 295 boot, nor buy before I try. I'm worried that Short Forward is a passing fad, or a mount for extreme experts. I consider myself an expert skater...but I'm too old to be falling over on my back trying to learn a radical new style.

Maybe I'll "ease into" a shorter mount by getting this 6 3/4 plate for my size 9 boot. But I've heard people say they use 6 1/4. That seems a LOT shorter to me.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 01:40 AM   #4
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Default It depends....

On your style. Shorter plates make you give up front or back balance points. If the plate is too far back you will not be able to push as effectively. Plate Too far forward and you might fall on your tail. At least til you get used to it. I like my axles where I like them and separation of axles is the measurement wherever these fall. I like a longer plate but tune them to turn better than what is expected.
Not all old school plates were set up long either. I have some old Snyders that were pretty short, for figures.

Last edited by fierocious1; May 10th, 2017 at 02:56 AM.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 05:53 AM   #5
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Short plates require less effort to turn. Thats the only advantage really. Weight can be debated, but its pretty miniscule.

I don't buy into the short plate idea. Im a firm believer that agility is made from the skater, not the plates. This is done by your lateral prowess. If you end up using shorter plates with softer suspension to try to get more agility, where you're not able to create your own agility, those super maneuverable plates can get ya into trouble when your speed is higher.

Where the front axle falls makes a huge difference though. I have seen plates mounted far back which made the front axle WAY too short, by shifting the plate forward just a 1/2 inch it helps keep the front from being as "tippy"


Personally I run a 193mm wheelbase, which is just over 7 1/2 inches. This is on a true DA45 (Arius). She's bolted on a size 10 vanilla freestyle. My feet are 283mm in length, which are actually too big for that size 10, but I made it work.

The long axle spread combined with DA45 gives great fore/ aft stability while retaining good turning. Thats my experience. Not sure how many people know what size wheelbase they need based on the plates action/KP angle.

If I was always skating slowly, and didnt have good foot speed/footwork, i might need a short plate with super soft cushions. Though thats not my style

We all skate VERY hard and fast where I'm from, so a somewhat firmer more "race car" like suspension is what we use. The softest persons suspension in the group is a probe plate with yellow SG supers.

At least if you buy this plate and hate the length, its so cheap you could easily resell it. Heck Im sure I know someone that would buy it.

A lot of people may say ignore the factory recommend size. I know I do. Lol, by 1 to 2 sizes larger.

Get a goodwill cleat and try it out that way? Then if you like it, drill that old boot.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 08:47 AM   #6
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Default Personal preference

The biggest thing is, what do YOU like, because it doesn't actually matter what other people like for their skates. Get the size YOU like and mount them well and enjoy YOUR skating.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 11:40 AM   #7
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I was used to a longer plate before I had Doc build my latest skates. My old skates are a 10.5 Reidell 911 w/ a 180 Roll-Line Mistral (now used for outdoor skating).

The new skates are a size 42 Bont (equivalent to a 10.5 US approximately) w/ a 7" Snyder Advantage. So, the 6.75" Advantage for a size 9 would be slightly longer on the boot than my setup (we're talking fractions of a inch here). I would actually like my plate slightly longer in back, but the boot doesn't allow it, since it's the Carbon Hybrid and has a rounded heel, as opposed to the flat heel of the Reidell.

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Old May 10th, 2017, 11:52 AM   #8
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Thanks all, glad to hear I'm not making a mistake not trying the short forward. I'll let you know. Great idea to try it on some old cleats...I'll look into that.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 01:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckboucher View Post
I was used to a longer plate before I had Doc build my latest skates. My old skates are a 10.5 Reidell 911 w/ a 180 Roll-Line Mistral (now used for outdoor skating).

The new skates are a size 42 Bont (equivalent to a 10.5 US approximately) w/ a 7" Snyder Advantage. So, the 6.75" Advantage for a size 9 would be slightly longer on the boot than my setup (we're talking fractions of a inch here). I would actually like my plate slightly longer in back, but the boot doesn't allow it, since it's the Carbon Hybrid and has a rounded heel, as opposed to the flat heel of the Reidell.

Pretty much the same size and setup I use.....
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Old May 11th, 2017, 06:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZSHOT View Post
Why were wheelbases so long in the day? Did skaters discover this short forward trend only after 100 years of trying everything else?
Actually? Yeah, pretty much.

It started out with figure plates. Those were intended to have the back of the plate at the back of the heel, the axle well behind the ankle joint, and the front axle directly under the ball of the foot. That became convention and was not challenged.

In speed applications, turning was not necessary or particularly desirable. Longer plates meant that the skater could focus more on putting power to the ground and less on balance. The Power Trac is the pinnacle of that design mentality.

Enter Doc Sk8.

I'll let him tell the details, but he bought skates based on "the chart" and was wholly unsatisfied with the results. The engineer geek in him sought out a way to improve that and that led him to shorter plates moved farther forward than standard. He's not the only guy to experiment with it, but he is certainly the most active and has the most experience of anyone I know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZSHOT View Post
Question: What would I be losing on a 6 3/4" plate, vs the super short forward mount 6 1/4? I measure my foot, and the axles would seem to fall right at the ball of the foot, then the back one somewhere near the outside ankle bone. That seems right to me.
I can explain it, but you won't really know until you try. It would be like me trying to explain how soup tastes.

I would not necessarily advocate crazy short. Leave that to me. I skate a 7" (178mm) wheelbase on a size 13, and wouldn't do it any other way. But that fits how I skate. It might not fit you.

Shorter puts the axles under the places on your foot that generate the turning forces. Thinking of a longer plate, the turning force from your foot has to travel along the length of the plate some distance before it gets to the action. By locating the action more closely to the point on your foot that directly affects it, you in effect turn up the sensitivity and it requires less effort to turn.

And the front axle should fall slightly ahead of the ball of the foot in this application.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZSHOT View Post
Should I buy the plate, or pay $300 more for a brand new one, slightly shorter? I'm 53 years old, and don't want to risk falling or a steep learning curve - I can skate VERY well on any of my current skates.
First, I would not advocate a 6-1/4" on a 9 unless you're a short plate heretic. You probably aren't. 6-1/2" is plenty. Will you feel 1/4"? I don't know, but I can feel a lot less than that. 1/8" in length and 1/16" in placement are not lost on me.

And I'm 56, so I understand. Some forum members have seen me skate and can tell you I'm not scared of short plates. And I have broken things to worry about.

And before you buy, let me look. I have a couple of Advantages I took on trade, and I think one of them is a 9. You could try it and see.

And worst case, if you skate very well on what you have, stick with it. There's no badge of achievement for surviving a short forward setup. There is however a ton of fun to be had having your plates be the correct size and the correct placement, and what you have right now just might not be it.
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Last edited by dvw; May 11th, 2017 at 10:40 PM.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 09:28 PM   #11
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Thanks for the courteous and in depth reply. It turns out the guy sold that Advantage plate to someone else, so I'm free to choose any length I decide on. The main plate I was interested in was the Snyder Royal anyway, I have always liked aprox 45 degree plates. My one reason I'd consider the Advantage is they say (you and Doc) it can be set up to feel about as maneuverable.

I can believe it if experienced skaters like yall say the short will feel better. And I fell a couple months ago due to not being able to maneuver or stop in time from a gaggle of slow talkers on the floor. My finger will never straighten out again, but that's nothing compared to breaking a hip of something. That's what I don't want, a long learning process or lack of stability. Some other thread likened it to an F-16, which is inherently unstable, but turns on a dime. I don't need that at this point, but want "somewhat" more maneuverable than my current, LONG XK-4. Maybe about like an A-10 instead....

I think I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a Royal. It sounds like a 3.5 or 3.75 would be find for a sport mount.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 11:00 PM   #12
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I can believe it if experienced skaters like yall say the short will feel better.
Once you reprogram your brain, it will feel totally correct. Then you'll put on a long plate and feel like your feet are glued down. Seriously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZSHOT View Post
And I fell a couple months ago due to not being able to maneuver or stop in time from a gaggle of slow talkers on the floor. My finger will never straighten out again, but that's nothing compared to breaking a hip of something.
Yeah, I feel ya. I fell at work a couple of years ago and broke my elbow, my face and a couple of minor things.



Quote:
Originally Posted by AZSHOT View Post
That's what I don't want, a long learning process or lack of stability. Some other thread likened it to an F-16, which is inherently unstable, but turns on a dime. I don't need that at this point, but want "somewhat" more maneuverable than my current, LONG XK-4. Maybe about like an A-10 instead....
I don't care what it is, there will be some measure of a learning process. If you're content where you are, then go with a size 10 Advantage.

I'll spare you the whole rant, but stability is your responsibility, not your skates'. Who's in charge anyway? My skates work for me, not the other way around. You can tune just about any plate to be as mild or as wild as you want within its inherent design limits. Want a Royal to skate like a Super X? Possible. It's up to you to set them up commensurately with your skills. It's also up to you to decide whether to maintain the status quo or push those limits a little.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZSHOT View Post
I think I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a Royal. It sounds like a 3.5 or 3.75 would be find for a sport mount.
I'd say size 9, 6-1/2" wheelbase. That's actually kinda conservative. Then tune it down and get the hang of it. Once you do, you'll wonder how you ever did it any other way.

And before you buy, PM Doc or me or one of the competent skate builders who hang out here. Just sayin'.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 12:04 AM   #13
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Default Well, I would add to the pile....

However, I have pretty much typed this to death. A quick search of the ancient history archives will reveal all..

dvw makes a couple of key points that bear repeating.

Quote:
1) I'll spare you the whole rant, but stability is your responsibility, not your skates'. Who's in charge anyway? My skates work for me, not the other way around. You can tune just about any plate to be as mild or as wild as you want within its inherent design limits. Want a Royal to skate like a Super X? Possible. (yeah up to a point, but I'm not going to get into that again. Lotta sk8rs confuse ease of steering w/ rate of turn. One is adjustment, the other is action design.) It's up to you to set them up commensurately with your skills. It's also up to you to decide whether to maintain the status quo or push those limits a little.
These will not be your old sk8s, don't expect them to act that way. BUT, do not take your old sk8s with you when you go to try out the new ones. ( I have hidden folks sk8s to ensure they don't bail on learning.)
Quote:
2) Once you reprogram your brain, it will feel totally correct. Then you'll put on a long plate and feel like your feet are glued down. Seriously.
Gospel. Every time this discussion starts, the naysayers crawl out of the woodwork. They can come up with all kinds of BS excuses why this or that won't work for them and by extension, will not work for anyone else either. Ignore them. I'll paraphrase rsfaze here.. Just because you cannot do something does not mean I cannot do that same something. It's all up to you... and no one else....

Now if yinz will excuse me, I have to figure out what I want to put on my new Solaris boots.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 12:41 AM   #14
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Thanks Doc, and for the emails we had going a couple weeks ago. I'm almost there, probably the next week.

As far as what I can do, this is me this week on my super long XK-4 DAs. Short backwards clip, the girls like their cell phones nowadays, don't they?

https://youtu.be/5v24afBwmlg
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Old May 12th, 2017, 02:18 AM   #15
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Thanks Doc, and for the emails we had going a couple weeks ago. I'm almost there, probably the next week.

As far as what I can do, this is me this week on my super long XK-4 DAs. Short backwards clip, the girls like their cell phones nowadays, don't they?

https://youtu.be/5v24afBwmlg
Looks like a nice rink. Arizona?
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Old May 12th, 2017, 02:55 AM   #16
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Enter Doc Sk8.

I'll let him tell the details, but he bought skates based on "the chart" and was wholly unsatisfied with the results. The engineer geek in him sought out a way to improve that and that led him to shorter plates moved farther forward than standard. He's not the only guy to experiment with it, but he is certainly the most active and has the most experience of anyone I know.


AHEM.......Short plates .Short forwards have been around way longer than Doc.
Altough Docs king its not hus idea....
Just sayin.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 05:02 AM   #17
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Now if yinz will excuse me, I have to figure out what I want to put on my new Solaris boots.
Show off.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 05:21 AM   #18
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AHEM.......Short plates .Short forwards have been around way longer than Doc.
Altough Docs king its not hus idea....
Just sayin.
Didn't mean to leave you guys out, Paul. You whackos take it to a whole different level and have for a long time.

I tried it once upon a time. I totally get why you like it. Believe it or not, I didn't kill myself on these.

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Old May 12th, 2017, 07:25 AM   #19
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Thats more like it ,And a kangaroo plate to boot.Thats what i learnt on...
Size 10/5-11 with a 6.25 plate.
Now i run 6.7 -162 - 170mm Boen.

Ive seen guys with size 10/11 with 140 plates...5.5"
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Old May 12th, 2017, 03:27 PM   #20
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Default Odd how this works.

One of the issues with short forward in the US is the lack of mutual support. Most of the Aussies I know run that kind of sk8 so a new sk8r showing up with a pair is greeted as one of the family.

One the other hand any thing even vaguely resembling that in the US was typically (and still is on occasion) greeted with "WTF!!?? You some kinda dumbass??" flavor of typical elitist sk8 snob jibber jabber.

Big diff between being part of the family and being a space alien. Oh... my typical response?? "I don't need no stinking sk8board to hold myself up."
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