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Old December 27th, 2017, 10:01 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1
Smile Refurbishing 1985 women's 297s

Hi Doc,

I'm new here. Like many, I'm coming back to skating after some decades away.

To save a few hundred dollars to get back into it, I ordered some vintage 297s from ebay (sent pics to Riedell, they said they are from 1985) and am trying to make the myriad decisions to assemble them into a skate that will get me out of rentals. The questions I have come up with are:

* The tongue foam is disintegrated and I'm wondering whether I can just give these to my local cobbler to re-line or is it better to send them back to Riedell to have this work done?

* These came mounted on Cleveland Skate Co Gloria Nord branded Model 200 plates. Are these worth refurbishing in any way? I kind of imagined I would get some posh new plates, but wanted to check. (Kwitite FoMac wheels.) One of the axles spins when I try to unscrew the axle nut, so I haven't figured out how to get 2 of the wheels off...

* Can you make some plate and wheel suggestions for me? I have a feeling I've never skated on higher-end plates and would like to try something better than I had as a kid (suspect it was whatever came standard on my figure boots, whose maker I don't remember) without getting something I either couldn't tell the difference in or wouldn't be able to handle. I'd like to be able to do more weaving back and forth, but I still want to go fast. I'm very confused about all this standard vs short plates, single vs double action, clicking vs non-clicking, forward vs. standard mount, 7mm vs. 8mm axles, and the varying kingpin angles, and don't know exactly where to start. After reading up for a few weeks, I have been looking at everything from the Sure-Grip Classic or the Roll Line Variant to the Snyder Advantage. I'm likely to keep the toe-stop option. Here's my skating background:

Mom was a NYC ice figure skater from the 30s to the 60s and put us kids on ice skates from about age 2 forwards (pond in back yard). Roller rink from about age 4, I think. I had some "artistic" roller training (we used to call it all "figure skating") around age 6-8, but was mostly a session/pond skater up until college. At college I didn't like the local rink (U-shaped??!) and stopped skating. After college I eventually gave in and got roller blades, but I've never been crazy about it. I've also gone ice skating a few times, on rentals. So, mostly a big break for 35 years with just enough sporadic skating to keep my skills intact. I guess now I'm mostly a fast-ish "shuffle skater," (which we used to just call... "skating" when I was a kid,) but I'd also like to learn this jam skating in the center thing (but I'll always prefer forward motion and wind, I think.) I'm not planning on doing any major jumping but I have found occasion to jump over limbs of people who wipe out right in front of me (eek!) I'm female, 5'6", 130 lbs.

It seems wheels have changed a lot since I was a kid, too. As a kid I skated on those hard brown clickety ball-bearing wheels on rentals in the late 1960s on an uncoated wood floor, then All American Dreams on figure boots on the same floor in the early 70s and some weird much-hated blue plastic floor in the late 70s/early 80s. The 2 floors I'll skate on now are "wood with a traction coating" and maple with no coating. The current rentals at the "traction coating" rink are Radar 95A (it's the brown Reidel rentals) and I appreciate the grip as I start back but they are not what I am used to in terms of T-stopping and moving my feet around on the floor during shuffling (or it's the "traction" floor?). The rentals at the uncoated floor are excrutiating and I can't go back there until I have my own skates again, so it's hard for me to judge what I need there. I'm wondering if there are wheels that will give me a little more freedom to move my feet and do a proper T-stop and still give a little grip for both these floor surfaces. I want to be able to do 3-turns comfortably and so forth. Also wondering if there is such a wheel, or am I going to have to have 2 sets for these 2 surfaces.

Thank you for any guidance or suggestions you have. Much appreciated!
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