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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 May 6th, 2016, 10:56 AM   #1
EoinCuinn
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Default Introduction and two questions regarding skate setup

My 7yr old has started regular skating, and I decided to get back into it as well. It's only been 23 years or so!

Seems I can still manage ok on the things, and got myself a pair of crazy art celebrity's to begin with. It's certainly nice to be back in a pair of boots, after using the rinks hire skates for a few weeks.

After doing some extensive reading, I still don't have a satisfactory starting point for the trucks and the toes stops. As these are an artistic skate, and I plan on resuming artistic lessons, I would appreciate some general advice on a starting point for how tight /loose I should have the trucks.

I'm also struggling on what height to start with the stops at. These skates will be used indoors on a rink only, well until my 7yr old decides the road will do for skating as well.

As for my daughter's skates, they are an older pair of xcore's that we got 2nd hand, still in surprisingly good nick. I am going to wait until she has a few more lessons, then I will be replacing her wheels and bearings. I'll probably take that opportunity to get hybrids for both her's and my skates.

Glad to have found such an active forum, I'm excited to have resumed skating after such a long gap.
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Old May 7th, 2016, 07:26 AM   #2
larryoracing
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Smile Wow I'm surprized nobody has touched this post with a 10ft pole?

What's the problem...forum?

First of all I'm sorry to say I have never heard of your skates.

But that don't matter. Let me give you a secret. For a beginner skater they don't need good skates. Let a kid develop some skills (1 year) and then decide what will be her first crack at a better pair of skates.

Secondly if you ever looked at a "artistic" skater they don't wear toe stops. The toe stop has been replaced with a very tiny small plug/piece of rubber.

You can buy medium size toes stops and the regular big ones. Those big toe stops where designed for jumping. And I assume the smaller ones were meant for youth skates.

In general "artistic" skaters stop with the "T" Skate Stop where one skate is dragged behind the other in "T" configuration.

The wheels on the Skate Forming the "T" are pressed lightly on the skating surface to slow the skater.

On my skates and I consider myself advanced my toe stops are as close to the floor as possible to aid in jumping where I 'pick'/pogo stick off the toe stop to give my body lift as I jump into the air and do some turns in the air.

Also for a "freestyle" skater the low toe stops can aid in cheating while spinning. You can lower you toe stop to the floor and spin on the toe stop instead of spinning on your wheels/edges...LOL! That's called cheating! And all the best skaters do it.

So, I guess the best place to start is to place the toe stop as close to the floor without tripping over them while you are learning artistic dance steps. Keep raising the toe stops where you get to the point you don't need them anymore. Then take them off and replace the thread hole in the plate with a small rubber plug.

In general you only need the toe stop in panic stops. The rest of the time the "T" Skate Stop works or you just slowly come to a stop before getting off the skating surface/floor onto the carpet/concession area.

Now, for tightness of trucks. I really want to hear the experts on this.
But I'm willing to bet most people set up their skates with the rear trucks tighter than the front trucks/rubber cushions. That is how my skates are set up. Don't ask me why but I think that is the way most skates are set up.

In general I think most skates are setup tight in general.

I will tell you this if the trucks are loose it's easier to make a turn/three turn/skating turn at slow speeds, but speed up the skater where he is really moving across the floor and the loose trucks become dangerous where you fall and hit your A$$ on the floor and lose your balance and that hurts...lol!

So, you can get away with loose trucks when learning but as you get advanced/ figure skating/doing turns on the painted circles on the floor and get to learning "artistic" dances and the dances follow a big figure 8 on the floor, tighter trucks will become the norm.

I think any advanced skater or pro or owner of the rink who works on skates can help you set up your trucks as you begin your skating career/learning "artistic" dance/school figures and freestyle.

Personally I have been thinking about truck adjustment and cushions and I have come to the conclusion a torque wrench setting would be a good place to start when trying to getting repeatability on truck/cushion adjustment, but I have never heard anybody on this forum talk about torquing the king pin bolt to a torque wrench setting/in-lbs/ft-lb setting for certain type of cushions being used or wt of skater skating on the trucks.

There are a lot of skaters on this forum with opinions and facts about different skates and wheels, bearing, etc and cushions, but if you really mean you want to become a Artistic Skater/Figure Skater/Freestyle skater it really not that complicated.

Your pro will tell you what to buy and it's a done deal. I have one pair of skates 50 years old. I can adjust the trucks if I need a little less cushion or a little more. What makes a skater is not the skates. It's the practice and time devoted to learning the craft.

Any good "artistic" dance skater could go out on the floor and do a pretty good dance on rental skates.

Sincerely,

Larry O and I'm sure happy your skating and your children are getting into the wonderful world of Artistic Roller Skating.
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Old May 7th, 2016, 08:18 AM   #3
EoinCuinn
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Thanks for the reply

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryoracing View Post

First of all I'm sorry to say I have never heard of your skates.
They're an aussie brand, well, designed here, but made in China. Pretty entry level, but good enough to get started on. They have decent components in them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryoracing View Post

There are a lot of skaters on this forum with opinions and facts about different skates and wheels, bearing, etc and cushions, but if you really mean you want to become a Artistic Skater/Figure Skater/Freestyle skater it really not that complicated.
I just started reading about cushion setups.. These have soft cushions in them, and I am quickly thinking about putting mediums in them. I don't feel stable enough on one foot, especially on my non dominant leg. I am 78kg, which is about 167 pounds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryoracing View Post

In general "artistic" skaters stop with the "T" Skate Stop where one skate is dragged behind the other in "T" configuration.
Did my first T stop ever today. I am used to (I think it's called a mohawk?) turning backwards, and using the toe stops, or turning backwards and ditching a bunch of speed. Not even sure how I do it.
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Old May 7th, 2016, 03:59 PM   #4
Armadillo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EoinCuinn View Post
Thanks for the reply

... I just started reading about cushion setups.. These have soft cushions in them, and I am quickly thinking about putting mediums in them. I don't feel stable enough on one foot, especially on my non dominant leg. I am 78kg, which is about 167 pounds ...
This idea represents a common misconception about skate suspensions.
The goal of having stability should be related more to the skater's muscles being in good control of the plate and with their focus of weight, not from the cushions controlling their muscles.

Learning to precisely control the position of your suspension at all times is accomplished more easily over time if the setup is tuned with softer cushions, such that it reacts instantly to changes in foot force applied onto the plate.

Learning control of your plates with this kind of instant feedback suspension response is so much better than tuning your suspension to MASK the errors you make with placement of your focus of weight onto the plate. With errors being masked, it is harder to improve and stop making them.

The more responsive the action, the more it amplifies our errors landing and shifting our weight on the plate, and the better the opportunity for correcting these errors.

It is true that stiffer suspension setups can help with the greater precision required for artistic skating, where masking errors of weight placement is helpful for keeping the rolling line of the skater less wobbly, but IMO, starting out on a softer setup, and then progressing gradually to a stiffer one might result in a faster rate of skills development.

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Old May 7th, 2016, 07:01 PM   #5
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Armadillo, what you say makes sense from a developmental perspective. If on the other hand you're just getting back into things and having difficulty balancing when doing basic moves, it might be counterproductive to start with too loose a suspension as it might kill your confidence, causing you to be more tentative. It might be best to start with the stiffer suspension with the intent to loosen trucks each session, eventually replacing the stiff cushions with the soft cushions with trucks tightened. Then repeat the loosening process with the softer cushions, practice for a while for development of balance etc and then tighten up or go to a stiffer suspension as your discipline dictates.

This is what I did and it worked quite well... Just started on quads earlier this year, and already I am doing everything I can do on my inlines (and more ) on a short forward DA45 setup with soft cushions and loose(ish) trucks. Would it have been FASTER if I had done what Armadillo suggests...? Maybe... but definitely would have had to reign in my speed and constantly monitor and adjust... Having said that, I went through multiple setups, each time progressing to the softest cushions with loose(ish) trucks within a few sessions, so the difference would have been minimal either way...
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Old May 7th, 2016, 07:29 PM   #6
Armadillo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trixton View Post
Armadillo, what you say makes sense from a developmental perspective. If on the other hand you're just getting back into things and having difficulty balancing when doing basic moves, it might be counterproductive to start with too loose a suspension as it might kill your confidence, causing you to be more tentative. It might be best to start with the stiffer suspension with the intent to loosen trucks each session, eventually replacing the stiff cushions with the soft cushions with trucks tightened. Then repeat the loosening process with the softer cushions, practice for a while for development of balance etc and then tighten up or go to a stiffer suspension as your discipline dictates.

This is what I did and it worked quite well... Just started on quads earlier this year, and already I am doing everything I can do on my inlines (and more ) on a short forward DA45 setup with soft cushions and loose(ish) trucks. Would it have been FASTER if I had done what Armadillo suggests...? Maybe... but definitely would have had to reign in my speed and constantly monitor and adjust... Having said that, I went through multiple setups, each time progressing to the softest cushions with loose(ish) trucks within a few sessions, so the difference would have been minimal either way...
Yes an adult total beginner may need to start at medium firmness suspension, but I say for kids who adapt quickly, start them on a highly responsive suspension. Their lower weight already disadvantages them at working the action, and, in fact, the vintage SA plates with only 7/8" diameter (less resisting) cushions are a big help for that concern.

My point is more to have people stop looking to firmer suspensions so much as giving some kind of stability benefit, but rather to realize what they also take away concerning our potential rate of developmental progress with our skating skills.

-Armadillo
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Last edited by Armadillo; May 8th, 2016 at 01:27 PM.
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Old May 7th, 2016, 08:03 PM   #7
Trixton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Armadillo View Post
My point is more to have people stop looking to firmer suspensions so much as giving some kind of stability benefit, but rather to realize what they are also taking away concerning your potential rate of developmental progress with your skating skills.

-Armadillo
Completely agree, good points for sure
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Old May 7th, 2016, 11:39 PM   #8
EoinCuinn
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Trixton, Armadillo, good food for thought, thank you. I'll give it a few more weeks and see if my muscles get back to where they need to be to control these skates properly. I'm certainly having a lot of fun on them
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Old May 14th, 2016, 06:32 PM   #9
everest
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Default ....cannot help too much...

Well...I read the post and seems the mother has questions on the figure skate, not other type of skates.....

I have to pass this as I know nothing about figure skating and no quad skating. But if you have questions on other types of skate, I will be glad to help with what I know and my experience.
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