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Ask DocSk8 (Expert Indoor Skate Building Advice) This forum is different then the other SkateLog forums in that it is not a discussion forum, but rather a place you can ask skate building expert Fred "DocSk8" Benjamin about building and repairing indoor speed, derby, and jamskate quad roller skates. Please start a new thread for each new question.

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Old November 8th, 2011, 06:51 PM   #1
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Default kangoroo

how can you tell if a boot was made with the infamous kangoroo leather.......
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Old November 9th, 2011, 06:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapdaddy View Post
how can you tell if a boot was made with the infamous kangoroo leather.......
*Kangaroo
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Old November 9th, 2011, 02:37 PM   #3
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Default Hmm,

I used to think I knew but now I'm not so sure... Seems every time I turn around someone else comes up with a new way to tell..

Unfortunately there is no real way to tell that I know of..

Here are some facts.

Importation of Kangaroo hide was banned in 1974... I have no idea how much was available on shore at that time.

I have a 1976 Riedell Ad that shows what appears to be a 285 speed boot with no mention of what they are made of...

In 1979 ALL the high end Riedells were listed as Kango Tan..

Now, that presents a problem..okie had recently stated a early redline 395 was all kangaroo, however, there were no front flap 395s in 1979... The 395 was styled like a European track skate boot.. and the flap came later..

There is some mention of the ban being lifted briefly in the 80s..but I cannot find any details..

Based on what I have found out from checking history, I'm beginning to doubt any of the good Riedell (or Oberhamer, or 8 Wheels) speed boots were ever made with kangaroo leather..

I'd love for someone to show me documented evidence to the contrary....
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Old November 9th, 2011, 03:13 PM   #4
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Default thank you

i have a 695 that the interior leather that im used to seeing in a creme or tan or brown color, in this boot it is black, and i can tell at some point the boot was dyed white, originally black, and is mostly black once again, but the interior shows no sign of dye, but it is a blackish toned leather, i have seen leather like this before, and know it to be from animals other than cows, but this boot has me stumped, and at that, the leather is incredibly soft, like no other boot i have held........
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Old November 10th, 2011, 08:22 AM   #5
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Default Tommy told me

I had these made about 10 years ago but never put them to use Tom told me there Kanga .I have a used Pair that also have Croc around the rim(Yellow bit)
Leather just looks like a much finer grain
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Old November 10th, 2011, 05:20 PM   #6
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I recall reading somewhere that the kangaroo leather boots had twelve eyelets rather than ten or eleven. Though I really can't say that I know that to be true. I have taken to counting eyelets on all the boots claimed to be kangaroo leather on eBay.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 07:45 PM   #7
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Default All I'm looking for is something in print..

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I recall reading somewhere that the kangaroo leather boots had twelve eyelets rather than ten or eleven. Though I really can't say that I know that to be true. I have taken to counting eyelets on all the boots claimed to be kangaroo leather on eBay.
Somebody has got to have something about this in an archive somewhere..
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Old November 10th, 2011, 09:05 PM   #8
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I read it in an eBay auction ad claiming that a particular pair of boots was kangaroo leather. Hence that particular "rule" might be best taken with a sprinkle of salt.

It does sound more realistic than "Kangaroo boots all have jump bars and pockets."
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Old November 10th, 2011, 10:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poobah View Post
I read it in an eBay auction ad claiming that a particular pair of boots was kangaroo leather. Hence that particular "rule" might be best taken with a sprinkle of salt.

It does sound more realistic than "Kangaroo boots all have jump bars and pockets."
There was some 595's mounted to magnums a couple weeks back on Ebay that the seller claimed were kangaroo. I sent him a message asking how he knew they were real kangaroo and his response was that they are kanga....
There is currently some Oberhamer 41 featherweights on Ebay and the seller is claiming the same. I bought these same boots new back in 1980 and mine were cowhide. I remember the old guys on my speed team when i was kid talking about their kangaroo boots but they had them for years prior and that was 30 years ago. I'd love to find some but I don't believe anything I see on Ebay.
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Old November 11th, 2011, 04:14 AM   #10
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If you don't know much about leather then cow, pig, kangaroo, goat all look similar. But when you work with leathers its easy to tell the difference. Kangaroo is usually smooth on the outside and very thin but there is no way for you to tell if it is Kangaroo or not if you haven't been shown how Kangaroo looks different from other leathers.

David Beckham famously had Adidas stop making their soccer boots out of Kangaroo because Posh thought that it was cruel to animals. However, kangaroos are a pest to the farmers so they kill them anyway. So it is better to use the leather for something than leaving them to rot.

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Old November 11th, 2011, 05:26 AM   #11
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And they're tasty.
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Old November 11th, 2011, 05:38 AM   #12
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Doc, et, al.,

I first began skating back in 77 and hung around a few skaters who claimed to have Kangaroo boots. The skaters were all, at a minimum, in their late 20's or older, and had owned their boots for many, many years. Without exception, the boots were ALL 295's.

Upon close inspection of the boots the leather was ridiculously supple, with an almost crinkled appearance under the colored dye. Any place lacking dye was somewhat of a blueish-gray appearance. Not a single one of them would part with their boots when asked.

So in my experience there was a possibility that US made Riedell boots were, at least for a time, offered in kangaroo leather. It very well could have been a special order kind of thing not marketed to the general public. Still, those boots would surely have been from the wood wheel era and if by chance any still survive today they would more than likely be coupled with equipment from that time period.

I retired from skating in the early 90's and up to that time I can say almost with complete certainly there were no US manufacturers that I was aware of that were offering true Kangaroo leather boots between 1977 and approx 1992. All of the kangaroo boots that I was aware of during that period came from the southern hemisphere.

With regard to the "kango/kanga" tan stuff offered by Riedell I feel it was more of a marketing gimmick than anything else really. When all those cheap so-called speed packages began flooding the market from the distributors in the late 80's the leather was really stiff and and pretty low quality. To differentiate their upper end models from the entry level stuff I believe Riedell began using the kanga-tan moniker. That was also around the time Bont was making a name for themselves over here in the states so it wouldn't be a stretch that Riedell countered with a marketing label that could go up against Bont's choice in leather.

....HTH
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Old November 11th, 2011, 08:45 AM   #13
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Put the boots next to a country road and drive past at 110 kph. If its kangaroo you will be able to tell

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1wqT...eature=related
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Old November 11th, 2011, 03:26 PM   #14
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Question, if they are so difficult to tell apart,why get roo hyde? I have a pr of 295s from the late 70s and my O61 from 73. The 61a are plumb wore out but supple as can be. They were purchased as being roo hyde for sure but I can't recall on the 295s.
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Old November 11th, 2011, 04:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwilson29 View Post
There was some 595's mounted to magnums a couple weeks back on Ebay that the seller claimed were kangaroo. I sent him a message asking how he knew they were real kangaroo and his response was that they are kanga....
There is currently some Oberhamer 41 featherweights on Ebay and the seller is claiming the same. I bought these same boots new back in 1980 and mine were cowhide. I remember the old guys on my speed team when i was kid talking about their kangaroo boots but they had them for years prior and that was 30 years ago. I'd love to find some but I don't believe anything I see on Ebay.
them skates landed in my shop, and are not kanga, the bottom of the boot had the "KA" in the size area, but they are just regular leather, nothing special, it was another pair i scored with magnums that the owner said nothing about, but the boots were just different feeling than the norm, and were dark leather on the inside, but i sold em, they were in poor shape too
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Old November 11th, 2011, 04:47 PM   #16
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I had some XL 35`s back when (1980) and I remember them having a tag or something that came with them saying they were "perspiration resistant". Isn`t kangaroo supposed to be perspiration resistant?
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Old November 11th, 2011, 05:09 PM   #17
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Default OK folks,

Please stop with the speculation.. I know it's interesting but I really want someone to provide us with something concrete..

I'd love to see just one advert that said kangaroo leather..
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Old November 11th, 2011, 07:30 PM   #18
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Not related to Riedell, but an interesting read from 1964.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...6622/index.htm
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Old November 12th, 2011, 10:38 PM   #19
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I recall reading a post somewhere on SLF that Riedell's letter codes corresponded to the date the boots were manufactured, and nothing else. I seem to recall the source being someone who'd worked for Riedell in Red Wing.

So anyone pointing to a KA code and suggesting that means kangaroo leather probably needs to put down the crack pipe.
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Old November 13th, 2011, 11:03 PM   #20
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Heres a crap pic of cow and kanga.
Kanga on the left cow on the right .Notice the marbling on the cow and very fine on the Roo.Funny thing is my original old Internationals are half cow half Roo but not on the same side (outside on one inside on other)


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