Back to skating after 35 years
I have started skating again after a long hiatus. Was fairly advanced as a kid, skated all the time, indoors and out, won some simple local contests. We didn't know it then, but I guess now you would say we were artistic/rhythm/jam skaters kind of all in one - we did any and every kind of move we could think of on our skates, although not as good as the videos I've been watching lately of those ladies who skate outside in Long Beach...wowza. Impressive.

I had a pair of probably the lowest model Riedells - I never knew enough to know what specific model, but they were ladies high boots. They were my most prized possession as a kid and it took a LOT to convince my folks to drop the money to buy them (used, of course). Even though they wouldn't fit me now, I sure do wish I still had them...

Anyway, I'm 35 years older and nearly 100 pounds heavier, but my daughters have taken an interest in this sport that I had all but forgotten about, so I've been getting my skating legs back over the past several weeks with them. We have been session skating and renting skates, but wow - do those leave a lot to be desired. I would like to get some skates for all of us so we could skate outdoors to get more hours in (not many rinks left around here, and what few there are are barely open other than weekends). There are four of us, so I need to keep the costs in check. The youngest two (12, 13 yrs) are very much beginners, but improving so quickly with time spent, the 20 year old is a moderate beginner (she is starting to work on crossovers), and then me, not as agile as I used to be - yet! - but getting there, although not sure I'll ever be doing jumps and spins again....

I would like to get some skates that could go outdoor AND indoor, I would plan to change out wheels for this, but I don't know if that is practical. Thanks for any guidance and thank you for this forum - I have learned SO much in the past few days reading here.

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Great story.  I have to admit, that my story is almost identical, but with two sons.

At the risk of reiterating threads that you  may have already read here, I will toss you some pearls of wisdom that came to mind as I read your intro.

For the younger ones, buy half-decent skates with good wheels.  Most skates can be adjusted to steer properly, and they will grow out of them before you get your money's worth.  Good wheels, however, can transfer to the next pair.
As they mature, lean toward good skates that will help them improve, and that they might have for a while.  By then, you will have a better understanding of what to get.

For you, I would suggest buying comfortable boots that fit snugly, metal plates for good performance and because plastic plates are best left to lightweight skaters, and good wheels.  

You can buy through the local rink to support them, and because you can try them on there.  Or, if you are willing to do your homework, which it sounds like you are doing, you can order online and put together a package with exactly what you need.  Doing that, you save money by not buying skates with a component that you have to upgrade soon after purchase.

As for what is the best deal at the moment, I really cannot say.  I've been using the same skates for some time now, because I am really happy with them.  Also, I haven't been skating in a while, so I am out of the loop.
But I will recommend that you spend the money on skates, and do this now while your kids are still young.  You will have some great times together, and will teach them a skill that they can pass on to their kids when they are grown up. 

One more thing.  Because us grown-ups don't fall as gracefully as we used to, you should seriously consider wrist guards as minimum safety gear.  No one will laugh at you, and who cares if they do.  The first time you fall, and put your hand down to break your fall, you will thank yourself for taking this advice.
Knee and elbow pads are a great idea, too.  Especially outdoors, where the surface will skin you up.

There is a TON of info on here, but don't hesitate to ask specific questions.  I'll help you anyway I can.

Oh, and one last thing for the one who is learning crossovers; here is a shameless plug for an old, terrible, but effective video on how to understand crossovers.

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