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Old May 3rd, 2012, 11:57 PM   #58
Armadillo
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Location: Chicago, Near the Lake
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Originally Posted by Yogi Bear View Post
Maneuverability is good. I will say that I haven't been skating that long and I don't have the balance of someone who has been speed skating for several years. That being said, what is recommended, a 10-15* plate of the DA45 where it may take me longer to get the feel for it.

Also, what do you get the maximum push off of, a stiffer plate or the DA45?

I am skating 12.5 seconds laps after a few months, but I want to get to sub 11.5 in the next year. Right now I am on nylon plates that came on my R3 boots. It is a dangerously unstable setup for a 200 lb man that wasn't that bad until I got to this type of speed in the corners.
As I just posted to SwisherTone, do not assume that the DA5/10/15 suspensions have to be "stiffer" because they do not have to be.

By fully optimizing the shallower action (steeper kingpin) plate suspensions, their stiffness (resistance to turning) can be reduced to the DA45 level. This does not mean that they will turn as far or as fast as a DA45 will at the same amount of plate lean angle, but it does mean that the foot force needed to swing the trucks through the full range of their travel can be similar to the foot force needed with a DA45 plate.

As far as plate design affecting the power levels of the strokes goes, this is a far more tricky analysis. Many things can affect how much power comes out of your stroke.

If you can't keep all four wheels down on the floor and your weight nearly evenly distributed across them, then slipping can steal stroke power. Without a plate having excellent freedom of action throughout the full range of the truck swing, wheels lifting from the floor at full stroke extension is a big issue. The DA45 is usually considered better for handling this issue, but that is only by comparison to the typically way too-stiff and choked up DA/10/15 actions that most people are familiar with. Once they are fully optimized, the DA45 plates have little advantage.

The other key factor affecting the level of power your stroke delivers according to the plate design, relates to the fact that the skaters who go fastest nearly always skate the lowest, and they direct the force vector of their push closer to horizontal, and consequently further laterally outward than other less speedy skaters do.

With this in mind the question should then focus on how do different plate designs and their performance characteristics impact a skaters ability to reach out to the widest point with their stroke, while keeping all four wheels down and still steering smoothly along the proper arc of travel for delivering optimum power onto the floor.

I assert that the DA5/10/15 speed plates are better able to facilitate a lower/wider power stroke. My basis for this is that to reach out wider with your stoke, while still keeping all four wheels down, requires a significant amount of ankle lean over. Since the DA5/10/15 plates allow more plate lean over with less turning, they allow the skater to keep their ankles more in line with their leg (less bent over) yet still hold the proper track with four wheels staying down.

With DA45 plates, as the stroke goes wide, the plate cannot be allowed to lean over as far or else the path of the arc turns inward too sharply & too soon. By having to bend the ankle more sharply in order keep the plate more upright to follow the proper arc, the DA45 plate design forces a compromise between keeping the stroke force vector low and nearer to the wheels, but with too much turning, versus holding the plate more upright to track the optimum arc, but then having a less horizontal stroke.

People with very strong and bendy angles may be able to pull this off with the DA45 plates, but even these people, IMO, will still be sacrificing some of their potential power by rolling with the DA45s

-Armadillo
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