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Old July 20th, 2018, 12:30 PM   #3
markwphoto
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Sacramento, CA
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Hi Maggie and Welcome!

Boots

I've skated on a few boots over my years of skating. I started with a Riedell which was a 120. It was a horrible boot but it was given to me for free. Fortunately I wasn't in it very long.

I then went to several Risport boots which were the Diamonte and Super Cristallo. They were great boots but I started to get quite a bit of cramping in the toe box of my Diamonte boots. I had these boots since around 1995 and they were still in great condition after I started skating again 3 years ago (had about a 12 year break from skating). I started to get more demanding with double jumps and spins and I felt all kinds of pressure that was causing more pain off skates.

The two Super Cristallo boots I have are used for my figure skates and the other for a pair of artistic inlines. My figure skates still look new and feel great on my feet. I don't skate as much in my inlines at the moment but I know they will need to be replaced if I decide to compete in them again.

Last year at Nationals I got fitted for an Edea Fly. They were sold by US Skates. They are a bit pricey boot but OMG they are the best feeling, most comfortable skate boots I've ever worn! It's like wearing a comfortable pair of tennis shoes and they fit like a glove. They give you all the stiff support needed for jumps and spins.

My wife also got fitted for Edea Suano boots. She uses these boots for figures. It was great getting the boots custom fits because my wife does have a wide foot and they were able to heat mold and stretch the boot exactly to her foot. More on this later! When we go back to Nationals again this year she plans on getting dance boots, probably the Edea Classica.

Now my wife also has a Riedell 120 for dance at the moment that she got when she first started skating. She hates them after skating in the Edeas. My wife and I have almost the same size foot and I've worn both her new skates and old Reidells. What I don't like about the Reidell is they have a slightly lower heel than the Edeas and they flex too much for me. This is the issue I had with my Reidells when I first started skating.

I can say from now on any boot I buy from here forward will be Edeas. They offer some key things that are different than other boots I've worn. The soles are shorter in height and wider allowing more edge control. The boots mount flat to plates. Other boots tend to curl up towards the toe and this leaves a gap between the boot and plate. The boot mounting is super simple and strong. They have a short break-in time. I could go on with more but that's a lot to chew on already.

Plates and Wheels

There's no question that the Roll-Line plates are the way to go right now. I started skating with Atlas plates. They're big, heavy and clunky. I gave my old Atlas plate to my wife to use on her dance boot for now. She will be getting a Roll-line plate for her new dance boots next week. I switched to Roll-Line Mistrals on my freestyle skates last year and I haven't looked back since. The plate has a much quicker response for edge changes than my Atlas plates and they feel so lightweight (that combined with a lighter boot. I plan to get a Roll-Line Giotto Figure plate next week. I'm currently using an Atlas figure plate on my current setup.

The Variant M would be a great start for getting intro freestyle. It's not too expensive and works well.

The Mariner Cup is a step up from the Variant M but adds click action adjustment for the trucks.

Now the Variant plates and Mariner have just about the exact same plate design and the only difference is the click action setup adjustments on the Mariner Cup.

After the Mariner Cup you start getting to the mid and upper tier freestyle plates.

The design of the Mistral, Energy and Energy steel is exactly the same the big difference is the weight and material of the plates/hardware.

The Mistral is a great middle of the road plate and the one I'm using. While it is heavier than the Energy and Energy Steel, it's still way lighter than my Atlas plates used to be. I didn't feel the need to go to the Energy plates just for a little bit of weight savings. They have help up well for my double jumps, spins, and falls.

The top tier plates are the Matrix, Matrix Steel and EVO. If you must have the best than these are the ones to go with!

Personally I think the Variant M, Mariner Cup or Mistrals are really the most that beginner to intermediate skaters need. Unless your working on triples and quads you should be find with these.

I've pretty much been on Roll-line wheels for over 20 years for my freestyle skates. Mustangs seem to be the go to for most freestyle skater. I use a mix of Mustangs and Leopards. The Mustangs provide more grip while the Leopards are used for sliding making it easier on spins. I keep a Leopards on my Right, outer back wheel and Left, outer forward and inner back wheel. This allows me to spin my spins faster but still have the grip of the Mustangs for jumps and general skating.

The only other wheels I've used are Star HD80s and they're on my figure skates. I've played with the Giottos figure wheel from my wife's skates and I love the way the slide but not sure about the grip for take offs.

If you're doing freestyle then the Mustangs are usually recommend to start with.

A note on bearings. They can go expensive to cheap. For years I have only used Bones Reds. They give me more than enough roll to complete two figure circles on one push and keeps me fast enough for freestyle as well. I personally don't see the need for expensive ceramics when Reds have been good for me for many many years.


I would highly recommend US Skates for getting your equipment and service if you want to go with Edea and Roll-line. They are not necessarily the cheapest on the net but they have taken care of us. Now my wife and I both had custom fittings at Nationals and it was an awesome experience. We both had custom heat molding for our boots to make sure they fit perfectly. I know getting a custom fit may not be an option for your unless you drive to their location in Indiana but they do have some other options for a good fit as well. You can take a tracing of your foot and send it to them and they can recommend the size of boot and other options for you.

You can also order everything yourself; boots, plates wheels, etc and mount it all yourself if you want to save a buck or two. After you get your boot you can heat mold it yourself with a high power hair driver. Don't use a heat gun as they get too hot. Mounting skates is not that hard but it does take time ang patience. I've mounted my wife's skates as well as mine for the past 3 years and so far nothing has fallen off. :-D.

I know this is a long post but hopefully this will give you some ideas of how to proceed. Any other questions feel free to ask!
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Mark Warren
A blog of observations that helped improve my skating
https://www.thezenofrollerskating.com
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