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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 4th, 2007, 03:14 AM   #1
RS Dave
RS Dave's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,102
Default Old threads from DocSk8Brightforums.com

Do Sure Grip Century plates come in half sizes (5, 5-1/2, 6 and so on)? Or only whole sizes (5, 6, 7...)?

Doc Sk8: Only "whole" sizes. Please note, the plate sizes are NOT shoe sizes. Some of the more expensive plates can be had in size increments as short as 5mm (or 1/4" ) but 10mm is more common.

Ive recently revived my Oberhamer/PowerTrac/Shaman quad from my rink guard days.

Doc Sk8: Revived? (OK I won't even go into my dislike for the PowerTrac as a RECREATIONAL plate....Sorry ) Anyway welcome back to sk8ing!!.....

The older guys (i was a high schooler then) showed me how to lace them, but i have since forgot.

Doc Sk8: Senior Moments already? I have 'em but I'm an antique!! )

What is the standard pattern,

Doc Sk8:
1) Center the short lace through the back slit.
2) Run each lace through the lower loop so the lace goes in from the back and out through the front (loop up) .
3) Run the lace up through the upper loop from the backside (loop down).
4) Run the lace down through the bottom loop from the front.
5) Run the lace through the upper loop from the backside again.
6) Tie away.

and are there any variations?

Doc Sk8: What ever trips your trigger.... I have seen almost every pair I have run into done differently.

Each boot has a slit in the heal and two d-rings on each side.

Doc Sk8: You have a pair of Oberhamer 351s...The Winners Choice. Nice boots. Take real good care of them......and don't let anyone talk you out of them. No other boot feels like an Oberhamer. They are not MY favorite but I do like my 1 pair I still have. Yes I have sold off some of my others to deserving young sk8rs!!

HI Doc, first post and great forum.

Doc Sk8: Thank you


Doc Sk8: Ahh the infamous THEY

said you were the guy to ask. I am looking for an Oberhamer Size 9 speed boot and a Labeda Proline plate 675. Do you have any available?

Doc Sk8: Nothing now. I have a 351 but it has a Paioli Meccanica dance plate on it. Much more maneuverable than a Pro line.

I wear a size 9 in Riedell speed boots if that means anything.

Doc Sk8: Only that you could wear any of mine.....

Also any good or new condition old highend wheels? "LIPS" interceptors,ninjas?

Doc Sk8: I have some pink and yellow lips but they won't be cheap....I do have several sets of Ultimate Weapons

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Doc Sk8: You need to contact me directly, I am not big into doing business on the forum....

Doc Sk8: Hi James,

I'm a 140 lb skater with a red cushioned power trac. What tips do you have for adjustment for speed use. Start loose or tight? Front vs. back truck firmness?

Doc Sk8: This is classified as how high is up question..... But My experience (all second hand I admit, but came working with champion quad speed sk8rs.) is that the stiffer the better. Racing is about putting power to the floor. Soft cushions eat power when they flex. One of the fastest quad sk8rs I know kept his Boens stiff as a board. He was also a champion inline sk8r and was almost as quick on his quads. His running starts were inline style, no running on stops with a Boen. When all is said and done, the answer is what ever works for you.
Sooo I would keep them as stiff as I could without hindering your cornering ability.

I can see how this best solved with live help, but since Ive gotten back into skating all speeders are on inlines now.

Doc Sk8: Gee I wonder why??? Could it be because there is a definite advantage to racing on inlines, like cornering speed? Not to mention the roll from the bigger (as in 84-110mm) wheels ....

Doc Sk8: Since you brought it up, the inline racing sk8 is a quantum leap from the best the quad speed world has to offer. Let's say the plate technology is equivalent. The boots still are a big difference. It is really sad that Riedell and Vanilla continue to build glorified street shoes to put on quads. Talk about NO tech...... Compare that to the inline speed boot of today...... Composite materials, cool colors, lighter stronger and far superior technically. .... I wish I could afford to have Dave Simmons build me a set of quad boots. He knows how..... I asked him at the 2000 Indoor Nationals

Any advise will be appreciated.

Doc Sk8: Hope this helped. If it seems I am down on quad speed, I really am not. I am just facing a reality that speedsk8rs figured out years ago.

Doc, I'm thinking about getting some new quads and was wanting to get your opinion on equipment. I've pretty much decided on a Riedell 595 boot,

Doc Sk8: Good start.

but I'm up between the Power Dyne Aluminum

Doc Sk8: The Dyna Pro or Reactor? They make 2 aluminum plates. The Reactor is far superior to the Dyna Pro....

and the RC Sunlite plates.

Doc Sk8: Say what?? Sunbites?? Those are close to the bottom of my favorites list.....

Any thoughts?

Doc Sk8: See above...

Also, do you have any other suggestions on plates or thoughts on aluminum vs nylon?

Doc Sk8: Yessir, Roll Line Variant. Best bargain in sk8ing today. If your supplier can't get 'em I can.

Wheels will probably be something like Blue Witch Doctors with Bones Reds.

Watch the Witch Drs close. Check 'em before you sk8 'em. If they wobble at all take 'em back.

Doc, thanks for the quick reply...I'll check into the Variant! Is it still being made I did not see it on Roll Line's website?

Doc Sk8: http://www.roll-line.com/artistico/indexp.php?id_l=2
I hope they still make 'em. According to the importer I sell more of these than everyone else in the country put together..... They always restock when I order....

What do you think of the Variant vs. the Driver vs. the Reactor?

Doc Sk8: I've posted this a zillion times. The Driver is a Variant with a fancy bling bling finish and the click action. Don't know about the Reactor just yet. I only finished mounting them yesterday. Used a brand new old stock old school 395, my favorite blue LA Skate cushions (I had to substitute cushions. The stock ones are waaaaayyy too stiff!! ) Bont Samurai ceramic bearings and of course a set of Crossfire wheels. One of the advantages of the Reactors 8mm axles..I can use some of the more exotic inline race bearings without a lot of goofing around....

You also said to be careful with the Witch Doctors...any wheel you recommend? How about the Tuner or Fugitive?

Doc Sk8: How about a Zodiac or Devil Ray. They still seem to be the roundest of the bunch.I like the Matter Omegas and Lightspeeds but they are not cheap. In fact I think they are way overpriced for a plastic hub wheel, no matter how trick the hub is...

Also bearings...what do you think about the Bones Reds?

Doc Sk8: Fine by me. I sell a lot of them...

As you probably can tell I want to go fairly high end with my new quads but not crazy.

Doc Sk8: Really...... Why not save your money a little while longer and go totally NUTS.

Doc, is there any advantage going with a 7MM axle vs. an 8mm axle or visa versa for a Jam/Speed skate?

Doc Sk8: The main advantages of a 7MM bearing are:
1) The precision of the 7MM axle. The bearing fit to the axle is usually better.
2) The better to best grade 7MM axles are as strong or stronger than the typical 8mm axle...
3) I have never seen an 8mm clip axle.
4) All the superior quad plates come with 7MM axles except the new Power Dyne Reactor.

Are there any disadvantages?

Doc Sk8: Many but you must weigh how important these are.
1) 7MM bearings are not easy to come by. You can't pick 'em up at Wal-Mart.
2) There is no 7MM equivalent to the 688 micro bearing.
3) The selection of 7MM bearings is quite slim compared to 8mm...unless you like playing with used bearings....(I do!!)
4) American 7MM axles are threaded 9/32 x32tpi. (8mm is 5/16 x 24 a common fine thread) Finding re-threading tools is not easy. NOTE: European MM axles have a different thread. The nuts are NOT interchangeable Euro and US axles.
5) You can't get 9/32 x 32 (7MM US) axle nuts at the hardware store. You can get the 5/16 x 24 (8mm US) nuts at the hardware store.
6) You have to figure out what to do with your old 8mm bearings when you switch.

Hope that helped.

Doc Sk8: I just spent an hour and a half on my new Reactor plates. 6 1/8" wheel base on my NOS (pre skunk boot) size 9 395s. I did make a concession to my love of soft cushions and replaced the stock cushions with some of my favorite blue LA Skate cushions.

I was really impressed. Took about 15 minutes to get 'em dialed in. Real responsive..on a level with my Snyder Royals (that also use the blue cushions). In fact, when the new 395s started breaking in my ankle, I switched back to my 377 / Giottos and discovered they felt a bit stiff. That is grim because I have the soft green cushions and the click nuts are backed all the way out....In other words, I can't loosen the Roll Lines any more.

Next step is set my 395 / Pro lines up with the same suspension and see what the differences are....

I note on Riedells web site that the plates are made of a 6061 T6 alloy extruded to shape. This is not as high tech as the 7075 machined billet the Pro line springs from and I should be able to discern a difference...

I'll keep us posted.......but so far these get 2 very big thumbs up!!

Once I had gotten my pair of new skates last year, (595/Navigators) I couldn't get over the length of the axle compared to my old Satellite/595 setup. The threads went all the way down on my Satellites and were extremely wide. BUT they always gave me grip on our floor with any wheels I use. MY Navigators wouldn't grip. The wheels would just slide on the floor when you did a T stop! Many of the other skaters that have an axle width similar to my Navigators have the same problem. NO GRIP!

I have some grip with my 911 /Proline which the axle is slightly wider.

The 911/ Ultimate 2 setup from you gave me excellent grip and they had very wide axles! I have found a pattern with wider axle setups compared to a more narrow axle. Is this normal? I have tried the same wheels on all differnt set ups!

Doc Sk8: I don't think the width of the axle has beans to do with what you are seeing. The truck housing width and the rigidity of the axles probably has a lot more to do with it. Stiffness of the suspension has some input as well. Have you tried the green cushions in your Navigators yet?

When did they (skate companies) stop using those wide axles?

Doc Sk8: When they quit building real speed quads...

Nahh I didn't get the chance to try out the green cushions, I will Tuesday night though! I will keep you posted! I did put them on though.

Doc Sk8: Keep me posted.

Doc wouldn't you say a "WIDER TRACK" would provide more grip as the wheels are further apart from one another? Someone also told me that the wide axle "MAY" help with corners!

Doc Sk8: Maybe we are failing to communicate. Wide axles are one thing. Wide trucks are another.

BUT you may lose ,say stability. I mean back in the day or at least my day you (LOL) could always tell an art plate from a speed plate by looking at the axles! Again this is from experience! You could do a nice jump in an art plate and land nicely. With a speed plate or "WIDE AXLE" the same jump may wind up making you constantly trying to correct yourself or stop from swaying from side to side! Basically the landing may be hairy!

Doc Sk8: 45 degree king pins and loose trucks? Vs tighter trucks with 5, 10 or 15 degree king pins.... Steeper king pins and loose trucks make wobble. Strong ankles counter wobble....as does the shallower suspension angle on an "Art plate".

Todays "SPEED" plates seemed to have eliminated that but at the same time, every TOM, DICK, AND HARRY complain to me of "NO GRIP" on the floor. Even in humid and warm weather! A good part of skaters that do have grip are the skaters with the older, wider "axled" Satellites and Laser plates!

Doc Sk8: Some times grip is more a skill issue than an equipment issue...... Just like loose trucks. You can tighten them and give up the "snap" or develop the strength and skill to use the loose action.

Was it you or someone else said that the Navigator kind of became a hybrid? Meaning, it was an art plate and jammers fell in love with it?

Doc Sk8: It's not a hybrid. It's an art plate (Mistral) marketed (different finish and colored trucks) as a jam plate.... BTW they play mad roller hockey in Europe on Roll Line art plates too...

Doc Sk8: Here is an idea. Jump over to RinkSkate and ask Wade. He has Roll Line Giottos on a 395 and a pair of and 220s I think. He also has a Sure Grip White Magnum on 695s. He took arty lessons and usta do all that jumping stuff. He may be able to explain it better than I can. His sk8ing style is a whole lot more unique than mine is... RinkSkate has several other folks that have a wider range of experience with some of this stuff than I do... Good conversation too... http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/RinkSkate/

Just wanted to let you know that I tried the Navigators with the green cushions. Much more "SPRINGY" LOL! BUT, I still like my 911/Pro Lines. I still feel like I am muscling those Navigators around. Doc it reminds me that the Navigators would be superb if I was doing spins and jumps but for the basic "flea hopper" like myself they feel very big compared to my Pro Lines. My Pro Line set up is the equivalent of a nice light pair of track shoes and my Navigators is the equivalent of my Caterpillar work boots! LOL I hope this is making some sense to you!

Doc Sk8: Actually, it is. I have been on a 170 Roll Line more than once. Part of the reason I sk8 a 155. (Note to other readers: Tom and I wear about the same size boot. He is about a half size smaller than I am. Going from a 170 to a 155 is like dropping 2 sizes on a Snyder Advantage.)

The Pro Lines and the Ultimates gave me the performance that I like. Similar to my old 595/Satellite set.

Doc Sk8: I can understand the Ultimates working like your Satellites...they are supposed to. But the Ultimates should do it even better......I still don't see the Pro Lines working the same. I have not been able to make mine do it.....but they are a lot closer now that I have put some gooey cushions in them....

Hey Doc, your comment about the Pro Lines performance. Remember both of mine are the "ART" Proline. Many say it is ten times more maneuverable than the "SPEED" Proline.

Doc Sk8: Interesting

Would the 10 degree vs. 15 degree make that much difference?

Doc Sk8: Speed Pro Lines have a 5 degree action...... I have worked on a couple of the long nose Pro Lines and didn't notice a difference.... But all that aside, more king pin angle equates to more "snap" in most cases...

(for your skating anyway) The most I can see when it comes to truck degree is in corners! The cushions on my Pro Lines are very "GOOYEE" !! Nice and soft.

Doc Sk8: Pink? 80 Shore A. They are 5 points durometer harder than the custom ones on both my Pro Line and my Reactor.

Hi. I'm 46 and just getting back into the rink after almost 30 years. I primarily want to skate for fun and fitness. Don't know if I'll ever be doing any fancy moves. I'm sort of built like a little T-Rex. I hate rental skates. They always feel clunky. I've read all of your posts on how much adults should spend. And I am aware of your opinion on the high boots.

What do you think of the Riedell 121 Rink Runner?

Doc Sk8: If you are aware of my opinion of high boots why are you asking....about high top boots ??


I am just looking for a basic skate that will not break the budget. This is about the limit of what I can spend.

Doc Sk8: Let me be honest here. I am not an expert on anything with high tops. I do know this. There are a lot of really decent art sk8s floating around on ebay right now. Things that cost between $500 and %1000 when new going for 10-20% I'd look there first......Look for sk8s with Snyder, Roll Line or Labeda Proline plates. Snyders are about the easiest to find.

my friend got me a set of Snyder double (Action?) advantage plates. I don't know anything about them.

Doc Sk8: They ain't cheap...have a lot of bling assuming they are new, and suffer from the usual maladies of Snyder sk8s based on the Super Deluxe action. Slow and smooth...did I mention slow?

I have been skating on a Sunlite and HATE them ( I just can't figure out why)

Doc Sk8: Because they are a lame excuse for a plate? Too much flex and usually the suspension is way too stiff.

I skate derby and I want to know everything about them.

Doc Sk8: The Sunlites or the Advantages?

I was also emailed about Core fusion plates. do you know anything about them???

Doc Sk8: Those are designed with the look in mind...NOT performance. They are essentially a Sure Grip Competitor with a fancy finish. Until Core puts a real suspension under them I won't give 'em a second look. Right now they are about 250.00 too much for the performance offered.

Doc, was wondering if you could give me some sizing advice on buying a pair of Riedell speed boots.

I'm looking at getting a pair of 595s, but cannot find anyone locally who has them or something close in another Riedell boot in stock to try before I buy. I did try on a pair of fairly new 395s from someone I know in a size 10 and lost all feeling in my toes in about 2 minutes. I then tried on a pair of 395s with the side overlay in a 12 and had about an inch between my toes and the end of the boot. Just for reference I usually wear a 10 in men's dress shoe or sometimes a 10 Wide. I did also measure my feet and they are about 10 12/16 inches long if that indicates anything.

Doc Sk8: Get thee to ye olde shoe store and measureth both feet on a Brannock device.

My questions are; how much space do I want to have between my toes and the end of the boot when they are new? Will 595s stretch much over time? What is the jump in size in boots...if I had an inch of space with a 12 would I have a 1/2 inch with an 11 or 1/4 inch with a 10.5? Would you recommend that I order a 10.5 or 11?

Wish I could try them on side by side in a shop!

Doc Sk8: I know the feeling......but then I know what size Riedell I wear. Get back to me with the Brannock size. Telling me what size shoe you wear is meaningless. Almost every shoe brand made is different from the next one. The Brannock tells me the right numbers every time.

Doc, I took your advice and went to the Ye Olde Shoe Store and got measured on a Brannock Device this afternoon.

Doc Sk8: Good, I like it when the Doctor's advice gets followed..

Here is what the guy at the store who measured me said. My left foot is a 10 in Heel-to-Toe length and a 10 1/2 in Arch Length (Heel-to-Ball). My right foot is a 10 1/2 in Heel-to-Toe length and an 11 in Arch Length (Heel-to-Ball). He said that both feet are at the far end of a C in width going towards a D.

Doc Sk8: OK

With all that being said what would you recommend in a 595 boot size? I would like to have a little wiggle room for my toes.

Doc Sk8: I'd spend the extra to get a split size pair. Or you could go cheap and get 10 1/2s... That will ensure toe room on the 10 1/2 foot but may be a tad much on the 10. Or go for 10s and be a bit snug (but not uncomfortable) on the 10 1/2 and right on on the 10. Balls in your court!!

Hello. I've skated on the Laser Nycon for several years now, but I would like to begin skating outside on a stiffer plate. I was looking at the Sure-Grip Classic and noticed that the Snyder Super Deluxe is nearly the same.

What are the differences between these two plates besides their price tags?

Doc Sk8: Quality of build and materials. The Snyder is all tricked out polished etc. The Classic is not..... But you really want a Roll Line Variant. It will hand either of the afore mentioned plates their back sides in a heads up comparison....

I'm thinking about an upgrade to my current set up and would love to hear your take on the good, the bad and the ugly on each of the below plates. Also, which would you put under your boots?

Doc Sk8:

PowerDyne Reactor,

Good. Pretty,pretty, plate. Almost exact knockoff of the Labeda Pro Line. (All the parts from King pin on down fit. Watch out for the threads on the truck end of the king pins though. you have to use Pro line parts or Reactor parts together.) Mine sk8 almost exactly like my Pro Lines. Lotta snap with soft cushions.

Bad???? Don't know of any unless you like mushy cushions like I do. The ones that came with mine were pretty but about 10 points shore A too hard for me..... had to make my own.....

Ugly: Riedell used an unusual axle spacing scheme on the first go round. They also have redesigned the front of the plate to move the toe stop forward. The metallurgy is unknown at this point and may change with the new model.

Snyder Advantage,

Good: Shiny plate. Uses the tried and true (Pat applied for in 1946) Super Deluxe action. All the SD double action trucks fit it... including the fat old ones...Smooth predictable action, not as snappy as the Reactor though. (My Advantages use the same custom cushions as my Reactors)

Bad. Nothing really.

Ugly...The dog leg in the plate to center the toe stop.

Roll Line Driver,

Good.....Its a Roll Line. Smooth predictable response. (Smoothest of the bunch out of the box) Almost smarter than you are. (my various Roll Lines over the years Mistral, Driver, Navigator and Giotto) have saved my but on quite a few occasions..... After all, I am NOT a super sk8r

Bad. They ain't cheap and Roll Line does NOT support the earlier models (non click action) with spare parts any more... I am also finding I have run out of adjustment on the action..using the gooey green cushions.

Ugly. The Driver just isn't as pretty as the plates with the "Laser Slots" in the sides.

Sure-Grip Power-Trac

Good. very light and cool looking. Extremely stable at high speeds...It truly is a pure bred racing plate...

BAD. Turns like a truck. I have HAD 3 pair and sold 3 pair......

Ugly. Some of the parts are not interchangeable between the Hyper (orange truck) and Sure grip (black truck) versions. If you have the Hyper version and break a pivot pin you may be in trouble. The mounting thread is smaller than the Sure Grips and does not interchange..... The Hyper pins are very hard to find.


Good: Really light. My 105 pound daughter sk8s on a set of customized Elites. (Titanium axles and king pins, aluminum cushion retainers and nylon axle nuts...) Very snappy single action.

Bad. Bouncy and weak if you are over about 150. I can't hang on 'em. I use Ultimate Is or IIs for my single action fixes.. BTW, my daughter just blew a truck doing a hockey stop last week.

Ugly: Status of manufacturing is un known. I hear rumors all the time. Last I heard Laser was closed down. If this is wrong folks, Please let me know.

Also, which would you put under your boots?

I sk8 the Roll Line Giotto. It is basically the figure version of the Energy Steel. Lighter than any of the others. NOTE: I have not tried the Matrix yet but may not. (I don't like the looks of the shortened action) and jeez, the price..... I can't afford it at my (dealer) cost.

I sk8 The Reactor. In fact my Reactors are really starting to crowd my Giottos for floor time....

I sk8 the Advantage, but have not been on them for a while. I prefer the Imperial action over the Super Deluxe action.

P-Trac and Laser? I pass.

Do circlips on the backs of Labeda and Vanguard Fan and Jumbo jets ever throw off the balance of the wheel? To a point on which they wobble?

Doc Sk8: Not that I have ever noticed. There is not enough mass to make any difference at normal sk8ing speeds...... You have not been up to psycho speed have ya?? If you can see something wobble, it isn't balance, it's bent. I have seen the tires come unseated but they should go right back into place. Ya can always send 'em down for a check up.... I can put 'em on the lathe and have a look.

As a Newbie to yer new site, need your expertise to determine what size Roll Line Driver plate to get for my Riedell 336 arty boot, Size 10.5W
I know you like a snappier response (shorter plate length) than what the mfgr. recommends and I like your thinking.

I'm currently skating on a Snyder Imperial, size 11, titanium trucks and luvin' it, but my girl (and the rest of you) just raves about her Navigators, so I gotta know for myself which is the best for me.

I am a bit skeptical, though. How much better can they be than my beloved Imperials...

Doc Sk8: A bunch!! Now to the meat. My current sk8 stable includes a pair of size 8 Snyder Royals (the "Racing" Imperial) and a pair of size 9 Dance Imperial lites. The 9 is a bit bigger than wanted to go, but the price was right. I love my Royals and like the Dance plate a lot. BUT I also have a pair of Roll Line Giotto 155s and an pair of upgraded Variant 160s (I put the click action and urethane suspension on it.) I spend most of my time on the 155s.

So what is the main difference? The Roll Line action has a very special characteristic. It has about the same snap (but not quite) of an Imperial, but the rebound of the action is better. My Giottos are so loose (I use the floppy green cushions) I think I am going to loose control sometimes but I don't. My Royals would throw me on my head in the same situation. In fact, the Royals have been nick named "NO Mercy" by some of my friends that have sk8ed them.

If you have the regular Imperial king pin, the Roll Line click action is way easier to use. If you have the click on your Imperial, then there is no real difference.

If you don't use a toe stop I would suggest a 165 Giotto. (The Giotto is a stopless Energy steel.) If you do need a stop, a 165 Energy steel. At retail, the Energy is 90.00 more than a Navigator, Giotto about 90.00 less ...but who pays retail. The Energy and Giotto are not quite as pretty as the Navigator but the 7075 alloy makes a noticeable difference in the plates reaction to input.

If you can't bare the thought of parting with the Imperial, I would drop down to a 9 . That 11 has got to fell like a sk8 board...but the longer wheel base has probably minimized the Imperials nasty habit of showing "no mercy".

Just as a side note, The last boxed Royal I got my hands on (found in a dusty warehouse corner about a 2 1/2 years ago) had a supplementary instruction sheet that indicated the new Royal sk8r may want to go up a plate size or 2 in order to adjust to the snappy behavior of the Imperial action, and offered a sweet exchange deal to get back down to your original size after figuring it out.....

Bottom line...Either plate is right at the top of my list (although my modified Reactor is sneaking in too)

Isn't it great to have so many choices??? ....Now if I could just convince Snyder to make an Imperial action Advantage...without the ugly dog leg front foot pad. Actually a stopless Power Trac with the Imperial action would be the bomb......or better yet, an old Ultimate 1 or 2 (magnesium so they are way stiff and way light) with Imperial action....It's possible, I have already fit the trucks etc but the wheel base increases by about a 1/2 inch.... So I have to find some tiny Ultimates.

Hope this helps.

I had my foot measured using the Brannock device and even though the size may seem obvious, I'm wondering if the width might indicate I need a larger size or a wide width. Maybe it doesn't which is why I'm asking you.

I measure for a size 4 in toe length and arch on both feet and just barely for an E on width. Yes, I have a small foot and yes I'm full grown and have been for years. LOL

So what do you think? D is medium right? so do I need a wide or to go up a half size or will leather stretch enough to compensate for the little extra width? I'm partial to Riedell speed skate boots.

Doc Sk8: Generally, you could get by with a medium...unless you have a very high arch or a very thick (top to bottom) foot. Then you may want to double check with Riedell.

I currently have the old style Carreras in both a 4 and a 5. The 4s are new and not broken in yet so I can't be sure if the leather will give enough.

Doc Sk8: The leather in the Carreras is NOT the same as the good boots....

The styles I've considered are mainly the 911s and 395s, but I've also considered just getting the newer Carreras. Are all the Riedell's pretty much the same when it comes to size.

Doc Sk8: Mostly, but I have been surprised in the past...

I know the newer Carreras are a little tighter until the padding breaks down, but other than that, I would think the sizing would be pretty consistent.

Doc Sk8: I hate to say it but I have not sized / sold a pair of Carreras in 3 or 4 years......

I've also been intrigued by the vanillas lately. What do you think of those?

Doc Sk8: I like my Classics but am NOT thrilled with my Freestyles..first or second generation....The Gen 2 fits a lot better than the Gen 1 but the flap is always flapping. I understand that is now considered cool ......Sounds like crap to me!!

One more thing, I know you sell complete set ups and I believe you sell various parts like wheels, bearings, cushions, etc. but I'm not sure. So do you?

Doc Sk8: I prefer to do complete sk8s.... although I have been known to sell parts that are not readily available in the market place. What I don't do is competitive quotes. I would not have time to breath if I answered every request for these wheels or those bearings......when the buyer is just looking for the cheapest price.

My Christmas shopping list seems to consist of mostly skate items this year - like that's different - and if you do sell items separately I'll email you my list and find out how much the damage will be if I order from you.

Doc Sk8: What the heck, send me your list...... I'll make some time to check it out....

I like your forum. Thanks for having your Q&A on the net for skaters!

I play flat track roller derby (blocker & jammer). I need new quad skates! I want a boot that will really resist holes and a truck that won't fracture apart (both faults of my Riedell R3 boots & nylon PowerDyne plates).

Doc Sk8: Toy sk8s don't hold up well to derby.

I'm 5'1" & 145lbs. I'm constantly improving my agility(i.e. quick stops & starts at sometimes odd angles to get through a pack of people). I'd also like to have skates that will last me longer than a year. The ability to go fast on a very small/tight track is important too.

Doc Sk8: Actually I have built a derby sk8 or 2 so i understand the concept...

Of course, I'd like to keep costs down, but I'm really ready for something light-years above the R3s.

Doc Sk8: Great derby sk8s are NOT cheap.

So far I have researched:
Boots: Riedell 265s, Riedell 695s, Vanilla Classic
Do you know of any that are similar, but a better value? Have you heard anything really bad about any of these, especially for derby? Do you have any other recommendations (for a wide size 5)? I like the price & look of the Vanilla's, but Riedell seems to have the derby market.

Doc Sk8: The Vanilla is wider than the Riedells but if you are really wide we may want Riedell to build s special....

Plates: Ultimate III,

Doc Sk8: Not for derby. The trucks are cheap, easy to get (Nova) and not real strong...

PowerDyne Reactor,

Doc Sk8: I have one pair on a derby sk8r in Detroit. Have not heard anything bad back yet....


Doc Sk8: I just scored several sizes of new Satellite plates. Similar to a Laser but i can put better trucks on them....

Hard Candy,

Doc Sk8: Sure you jest.... It is a plastic Proline and the trucks break ALL the time.

Sure Grip PowerTrac

Doc Sk8: Those don't turn. I hate 'em!!!

I can't decide! Anything comparable at a good price? I am also intrigued by your emphatic endorsement of the Roll Line Variants. Do you know if anything is really bad about any of these for derby?

Doc Sk8: I put variants on 95% of the derby sk8s I build. Some of the more expensive ones (up to and including an Energy in Rhode Island) are used as well!!

Will double action or single action trucks make a difference in maneuverability & quick speed? I've also read that 45 degree vs. 10 degree angle of the truck affects agility, but I don't understand why.

Doc Sk8: Simple geometry. Difficult to explain but easy to demonstrate.....All else being equal a single action will turn faster than a double. A Roll Line is NOT equal.

Also, any suggestions on a wheel that will actually stick on an inline hockey sports court? I've heard the Hyper Dualies as pusher wheels are nice.

Doc Sk8: Check out the Matter wheels. I have a couple of sk8rs on Omegas and they love 'em. BUT check around where you sk8. I don't sk8 there so I don't know.

I am a thirty-something skater that is just getting back into sk8ing.

Doc Sk8: Welcome back

I still have my old set up, but my wheels are worn, I think that my boot is too tight, and my plates seem heavy as all get out. I currently have a 595 boot size unknown. (is it the number under the Riedell on the left?)

Doc Sk8: Are you talking about the inside or the sole?

Sure grip Magnum 7 plate

Doc Sk8: That is a heavy one....

and a wore out set of Labeda Psych wheels.

Doc Sk8: Certainly time for new wheels.

I have a bum knee

Doc Sk8: How bum a knee??

and I am hoping that a new set up with better grip and lighter weight might help.

Doc Sk8: Grip can be as dangerous as slip. Just depends on what you do with it. The 595 is still made but not like the old Kangaroo boots..... There are a lot of good plates out there but the current crop of Roll Lines is by far the best. I do think the new Power Dyne Reactor is a real contendor though.....

What do you think of using bearing sleeves to adapt 8mm bearings to 7 mm axles?

Is that a workable solution or asking for trouble in the long run?

Doc Sk8: WARNING: Deep technical content. Did ya know there are 2 different diameter 7MM axles? One is the regular one we are used to. The other is a loose-ball bearing axle...which I hope none of us are used to.... This loose ball axle is slightly bigger than the regular 7MM axle so regular 7MM bearings don't fit.....
Sooo...we have 2 different bearing spacers. One that works on the regular axle and one that works on the loose ball axle. Don't mix 'em up!!! That is issue 1.
Issue 2. If anyone works on them and does not notice the spacers, you could wind up with the wrong axle nuts....
Issue 3. The width of the spacer limits how tight you can make the axle nut..... Depending on the bearing spacing in the wheel, you may not be able to tighten the nuts all the way down.

If you can get past that, then it isn't an issue.... I have one of my sk8rs on a set while she wears out her 8mm Swiss bearings...It may take a while....

My current setup consists of Size 12.5 Riedell 595 boots on Sure-grip Century size 9 plates...

Doc Sk8: You like sk8 boards? I seldom put an 8 on anyones sk8s...much less a 9.....

Bought these last summer when I started going back to the rink with my 6yr old (I'm 34yr old, 5'11" 235lb male FYI).

Doc Sk8: Hmmm, other than bigger feets, about my size...but a lot younger.

Skates were OK at first, but now feel "heavy"

Doc Sk8: I'm guessing the inch or so of extra plate has something to do with it.

and feels like it takes a bit more "effort" to skate in them than I remember when younger...Mostly skating sessions with the kids with some shuffling and "trying" the old dance moves..lol

Doc Sk8: Yep, it's the sk8 boards.

Was thinking of upgrading my plate to a Roll Line, but wasn't sure which plate would serve me best...variant-m, driver, navigator, etc...

Doc Sk8: The Variant is the best value for money for a rec sk8r. My wife and I sk8 on Giottos but we don't use toe stops....

Also want to upgrade my wheels (maybe Radar Devil Ray x-firm) and bearings (thinking of Bones Swiss), but want to make sure I get something that will handle my weight OK..

Doc Sk8: I am liking the new Vanilla wheels. Great roll and excellent grip, especially considering the roll...

Could I mount whatever new roll line plate I choose on my current 595's (or are there any compatibility issues I should know of)?

Doc Sk8: Could you??? Mebby,,,, Could I? It's what I do best....with sk8s that is...

Whats the turn around time should I send them to you for the mounting?

Doc Sk8: Turn around is generally 4 -6 weeks. Contact me directly to discuss ways around this...

And what size plate would you recommend for me (guessing 180-190 from what I've gathered on other places)?

Doc Sk8: If you are chicken...ooops, conservative , 190. If you are brave, 180....
David A. VanBelleghem

"Of course I talk to myself. It's nice to talk to somebody sane."
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