VampeRia 77 – Getting Decent Fresh Meat Skates
Choosing decent roller derby skates always throws up LOADS of choices.
I went for the Riedell R3’s over the Rio Rollers, (the Rios seem to be the favourite skate for people testing the water!) I figured that spending £40 on a pair and then upgrading to £115 skates a month or so down the line was false economy! I checked ebay and there weren’t any on there so that made the decision easier, if I didn’t get on with this whole Roller Derby lark they’d be easy to sell on once I got better and chose to upgrade to an even better skate – once I become awesome!
I’ve had them for about 10 months now and they’re serving me well! I got the white ones with pink wheels as I thought they looked prettier than the black ones!!
Although they were cool skates I wanted to personalise them a bit for me. Since getting them I’ve changed the laces to flatties with skulls on (I am a MASSIVE skull fan). I also swapped the square toe stop with a round Suregrip one. (I was advised to change this first as square ones aren’t the best for stopping on, I was told: imagine what happens if you stop on the corner bit! I didn’t fancy falling flat on my face so bought a pair online. Then I got the Suregrip toe guard. I found the Suregrip one better quality than the Riedell equivalent as they seem to be thicker and sturdier. Reidells were a bit ‘flimsy’ and didn’t fill me with confidence.
Next and most recently to be changed were the Cayman wheels, they were soooo slippery! Indoors, outdoors, different sports hall floors – basically they’re crappy on any surface! They were supposed to be the best of both indoors and outdoors but they just ended up being rubbish on both.
One online store in America was selling these for $5 dollars for a set of 8 and then offering to give them away if $5 was considered too much!
I plumped for Suregrip Fugitives after getting advice from the coach, a set of 4 92A red ones and a set of 4 89A grey pusher wheels online – the wheels are awesome and I feel so much more confident going in and out of corners with these babies!! Most people end up putting the pushers on the left hand side of the skate although other have one front left and one back right. I guess it’s just down to personal preference. I went for both on the left and they are great!
Next to go were the bearings! The skates come with ABEC3 which aren’t brilliant, after reading a stack of reviews I ordered 16 Bones Reds Bearings from ebay. £27.99 for the full set which was the cheapest I could find them for.
They are absolutely fantastic!
On my first skate I tested them on a few one leg foot glides, I was able to coast so much further that on the ABEC3’s. Doing stickys were a hell of a lot easier too. I certainly notice a lot less burning in my thighs now. I always struggled with the one leg stickys but with the new wheels and bearings it’s a breeze! Love love love them!!
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