How do you know what skates to buy for derby?
#1
Let's be honest; a new skater, or one who is getting back into it, is not aware of what is available and what is going to perform well and hold up. If you are not careful you will end up with an artistic skate or recreational setup that will make your derby life miserable.

As an avid rec skater, I spend alot of my free time learning about the various skate components (boots, plates, wheels) and the miriad of ways to set them up. There are several reliable vendors and at least as many experienced custom builders.

What I see quite often is girls buying what the others have simply because they don't know any better. To be honest, that is what I would probably do, too. I tend to get excited and just buy something that looks about right and go for it.

I am here to challenge you to read up on skates, ask newby questions, and end up with the skate that will help you be the best skater you can be, and still fit your budget.
You should also be made aware that you DO NOT HAVE TO BUY WHAT IS IN THE PICTURE on the websites. If a reseller won't sell you the skate that you want, set up the way you want it, find another vendor. If you want a Vanilla Brass Knuckle boot with the new short-forward mounted "Black Invader DA45" and Poison wheels, don't let a dealer tell you that it will cost you alot more or that you will have to put that together yourself if that is what you want. That is total BS.

In fact, if any of the approved vendors here on Southern Skater feed you that crap, you let me know. Sly

All that being said, if you don't know what to buy, ASK. Ask the skate geeks on the forum. Ask the really good skaters that you meet in derby and during sessions. Gather that knowledge and make an informed purchase.

I have seen derby skaters like Dammitgirl that can skate rings around others because she is on the right setup. There is no reason others can't do the same.

For the record, I don't get kickbacks from vendors, so my information is unbiased. My reason for bringing this up is to get you thinking and asking questions. I hate to see people buying stuff only to find out that they could have had something much better had they known. By then, they are stuck with what they've got because their money is spent.

To get the answers you need, begin by registering on this site and then posting a thread. Ask about components, boot or plate sizing, wheels, bearings, whatever. Maybe you have arch problems or shin splints. Whatever it is, ask. Chances are that someone else will benefit from the answers you get as well.
#2
I read the thread about your XK-4 DA45 build on your rink skates. Good thread, BTW. It would seem that you really did buy what looked good at the time only to have to upgrade later. At least you were happy with your boots.
Would your setup work for derby I wonder? Would they be too short? (unstable?)
Here is the link to the thread I was talking about. http://southernskater.com/showthread.php?tid=11
#3
(10-26-2010, 12:46 PM)Fun Ku Wrote: I read the thread about your XK-4 DA45 build on your rink skates. Good thread, BTW. It would seem that you really did buy what looked good at the time only to have to upgrade later. At least you were happy with your boots.
Would your setup work for derby I wonder? Would they be too short? (unstable?)
Here is the link to the thread I was talking about. http://southernskater.com/showthread.php?tid=11

The XK-4 is proving to be an excellent choice for derby. Too short? Absolutely not. In fact, there is a strong move toward shorter plates shifted forward in derby. It improves maneuverability dramatically.
Stable? They are MORE stable because you can keep your skates UNDER you much more easily than with a less cooperative plate.
I would even go so far as to reccommend using the softer yellow and/or blue cushions once you get used to them.

The invader is the same geometry, but in a one-piece casting where the XK-4 is an aluminum plate with separate truck hangers riveted on. For the extra few bucks, I like the bling factor of the XK-4, but I understand that it is slightly heavier than the invader DA45.

Let me clarify something: there are variations of the xk-4 and invader. There are single action (SA) versions of the 45º plates, and thre is a 10º or 15º version of the XK-4 called the doubler. Don't buy the wrong thing!
#4
It seems like most of the skates I see in the lower price ranges have plastic plates. They claim to be lightweight, but is that just an advertising ploy? Are plastic plates any good? I don't skate derby, but will probably eventually buy my own skates and I want them to be better than the rentals.
What are the rentals, anyway? How do they compare to invaders or xk-4? Probably a stupid, newby question, but I just don't know. Shrug
#5
Dolly, whether you play Derby or not, you would be hard pressed to get a better all purpose skate package than the Sure Grip Rebel Invader package, 45degree DA plates, good fugitive wheels, all round good skate, but if you know what you want, and you can afford it, do some research, ask some of us tech heads on the forum, and build your own custom set-up. There is something very cool, and satisfying about doing your own build.
#6
At this point in my illustrious skating carreer, my only frame of reference is rental skates. I may get lucky and get to try someone's "good" skates sometime to gain some perspective. Aside from that, I would probably just have to start somewhere and upgrade or plan a custom build based on that experience. I will definitely check into the Rebel Invader package when I get ready. Hopefully I will get a big tax refund this year. Thumbsupup
#7
(11-02-2010, 08:18 AM)Dolly Wrote: At this point in my illustrious skating carreer, my only frame of reference is rental skates. I may get lucky and get to try someone's "good" skates sometime to gain some perspective. Aside from that, I would probably just have to start somewhere and upgrade or plan a custom build based on that experience. I will definitely check into the Rebel Invader package when I get ready. Hopefully I will get a big tax refund this year. Thumbsupup
Dolly, if you do get a decent tax return the Invader package is great, but for about $160 you can get a straight forward SG Rebel fugitive package which just has a probe plate (no DA45) and fugitive wheels, as a first set of skates at a reasonable price you won't get better.
I wasn't brave enough to try rentals when I got back into skating! I waited til I could buy all the different hardware, and built my own, and I love em'. I do want to build new ones already though! The ones on the left are mine (very short and forward) the ones on right are the ones we built for my wife for Derby

[Image: DSCF4067sml.jpg][Image: DSCF4075sml.jpg]

#8
I'm loving those black ones. Bonts with the new black invaders. Nice!

What plates are on your skates, Nick?
#9
(10-27-2010, 07:16 AM)Dolly Wrote: It seems like most of the skates I see in the lower price ranges have plastic plates. They claim to be lightweight, but is that just an advertising ploy? Are plastic plates any good? I don't skate derby, but will probably eventually buy my own skates and I want them to be better than the rentals.
What are the rentals, anyway? How do they compare to invaders or xk-4? Probably a stupid, newby question, but I just don't know. Shrug

first question is your weight.... and foot size... if your light and a small foot you wont notice the diffrence between a metal plate and a plastic plate... all you will notice is metal is heavyer... then you want to compare them to rentals well it maters what rentals your on... there is many diffrent kinds... if the plate is orange its most likely a probe plate... if your rink has speed skates to rent then those are usually better then the cheapo skates($50-125 range)...
#10
(11-02-2010, 11:19 PM)buster23 Wrote: I'm loving those black ones. Bonts with the new black invaders. Nice!

What plates are on your skates, Nick?
Mate they are plain and simple Probes NTS, as you can see by my wife's skates, all my spare coin goes on her kit! I've got a pair of WIPS lined up, just need to save the coin!



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