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Beginning Skaters Forum This is the place for beginning skaters to ask questions and share their stories. We would love to hear about your experiences learning to skate. No question is too dumb!

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Old September 3rd, 2007, 06:28 AM   #1
2LeftFeet
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Default Introduction, and same old questions. Long.

Hi Guys and Gals. Registered yesterday. Got permission to post tonight, so here goes.

I am 59 and haven't exercised in 7-8 years. I would like to start skating around the complex where I live. There are also a couple bike paths nearby that I think skaters are allowed on. I ice skated a bit in my extreme youth. Enjoyed roller skating at indoor rinks, but the last time was probably close to 15 years ago with my daughter.

I need to start doing something to get in shape. Also I want to lose some weight. I felt that inline skating might be something that I would continue once I got started in it. Something that doing alone wouldn't cause me to lose interest and quit. I've found going to a gym by myself doesn't last very long. Skating should be different as it is something I always enjoyed.

I am going to ask questions that you've already seen many times. What skates to buy? Which helmet? What protective gear? Please try to give specifics if at all possible.

I did read the post by 'fastskater' and a couple others. However, I don't feel that what is good for them would necessarily be good for me in my situation. I did a little research on skates here, http://www.consumersearch.com/www/sp...tes/index.html but not sure the information is up-to-date. I tried to find information on the Ultrawheels Biofit SQ8, but couldn't which is why I think the information on this site is outdated.

I will not be doing tricks. I don't think I will be doing aggressive skating, although I don't really know what that is. I will not be participating in speed skating competitions. I will not be sliding down railings with my skates. What I will be doing initially is skating on sidewalks and pavement. I must admit to liking to go fast when I skated at the indoor rinks.

2LeftFeet will probably be an apt name for awhile. I found out years ago that being out of shape, and heavier than I use to be has a negative affect on my balance, my jumping, and my ability to float through the air like I could 40 years ago. (Played lots of basketball.)

From what I've read so far, skates with 76mm wheels (4 of them), high boots (for support), plenty of ventilation (I get hot easy in this weather) are a good place to start. $300 for skates is out of the question at this time. However, I learned long ago to buy the best I can afford. It usually pays in the long run. It would seem I should be able to get decent skates for around $150. Maybe as low as $120 from what I gathered from 'fastskaters' post. BUT...which ones?

Right now I think $200 for skates would be pushing it given the fact that I probably will need another $100 on protective gear. Don't plan on falling, but it is a possibility given my previous statement about 'floating through the air.'
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 10:09 AM   #2
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I think that article is a little out of date. It refers to the Salomon TR rage, yet Slaomon dropped out of the skate market over a year ago.

In my opinion these are the key things to look for if you want to buy a skate that will last you a long time.

• Try on plenty of skates and buy a pair that fits properly, and is comfy.
• Aluminium frame - NOT composite or plastic. Alu frames are stronger and not so liable to flex (especially if you’re a few pound overweight).
• Decent size wheels (minimum 80mm). The larger the wheel, the smoother the ride. Also with larger wheels it requires less effort to maintain a reasonable speed.
• Good ankle support.
• Try on plenty of skates and buy a pair that fits properly and is comfy.

Don’t buy and aggressive skate unless you want to do aggressive skating – you said you didn’t in your post so stay away!!!

I can see you may be tempted by speed skates, but these do not generally have good ankle support, which will be important while you’re learning to skate. In addition if you’re on the sidewalk, I can imagine pedestrians not being happy at you mowing them down!!!

Hockey skates are designer for indoor use and don’t generally have a comfortable foot bed. Look for a skate which has a foot-bed that can absorb all the lumps and bumps of the road.

You might be best going for a recreational skate (rec skate). The frames are long (but not too long), the boots are generally comfortable.

Right now you may be being a bit optimistic with your budget. However over the next few months manufacturers will be releasing their 2008 ranges, which may lead to discounting of the current ranges.

Don’t forget that it’s really important that you try on plenty of skates and choosse a pair that is really comfortable.

When you find a skate that you’re interested in, post it up on the forum and people will be sure to have an opinion. In the meantime have a look at K2 and Rollerblade brands
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 02:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply Mr. Speedstar. Hockey skates, speed skates, and aggressive skates are off my list. Aluminum frames are in, composite are out.

I had read that a beginner should start with 76mm or smaller wheels. However, I bow to your superior experience. A smoother ride is definitely a bonus in my book.

Not many people on the sidewalks in my area. But not to worry, I won't be using them much. I wouldn't think all those cracks between sections would make for fun skating.

Don't know if I can wait months for the new lines to come out, and prices to drop on the old line. Once I decide to do something, I like to get started NOW.

Not sure if you mentioned this, but shouldn't I try on as many skates fitting my intended use as I can find, and buy the most comfortable? BTW, what models would this be?

On a side note, I am envious of your computer knowledge. I haven't the faintest idea of how to arrange photos in an album. I see by your photos that skating with others can also be fun. And that skating doesn't have to be confined to concrete or pavement. I'm from the States. Would you mind telling me why the painted lines in the South Wales & Bristol photos look like the outline of a roof?

Sorry to 'hear' about your problems with the Student Loans buffoons. Lots of unnecessary work on your part. That is probably part of their plan. Tire you out to the point where you just give in and pay it. Seems like you are in the right. Keep up the good fight.
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 04:26 PM   #4
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Welcome! Follow the advice and go to a store that has multiple brands and try them on, if possible. Every body is different and sits different inside a boot. Get one that feels good to you. Get and use good clean socks for each skate. I actually use light hiking socks with extra support in the arch and Achilles that I got at Sport Authority.

Be careful on concrete sidewalks. Joints are dangerous and can make you "float through the air", until you find the earth again. Asphalt is the best surface. Take a look at the How to Skate With Cars on this forum before heading to the street.

Rollerblade and K2 are the most popular brand and make reasonably price skates that will support your ankles.

Smaller wheels are much less forgiving than larger but do not get carried away. Something like a Rollerblade Astro is a good start skate with 80mm wheels. As you get more experience, they do handle a larger wheel - 84 mm - when or if you choose to.
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 06:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2LeftFeet View Post

From what I've read so far, skates with 76mm wheels (4 of them), high boots (for support), plenty of ventilation (I get hot easy in this weather) are a good place to start. $300 for skates is out of the question at this time. However, I learned long ago to buy the best I can afford. It usually pays in the long run. It would seem I should be able to get decent skates for around $150. Maybe as low as $120 from what I gathered from 'fastskaters' post. BUT...which ones?
:
These appear to be the best choices for a beginner. I am personally a RB ("Rollerblade", you might see "RB" posted on the forum, now you know what it means) person but K2 is very similar. If you have no skating experience whatsoever, go with the cheaper ones that have smaller wheels (76, or 78 mm), but if you have some skating experience, and want to persevere with this endeavor, I would get the better ones with the 80mm wheels.

Ignore the ratings on the bearing, they mean nothing to you at this stage. Also the hardness of the wheel rating is of no consequence for a beginner.

I would choose a skate the you like and order it in he size you think would fit you, plus a half of a size smaller. A good snug fitting boot is more important than, wheels, frames, snd/or bearings, as long as it doesn't squash you foot bad enough to cause pain. You should try them on, and just sit around on a couch for 10 – 15 minutes, (no need to stand on them) and see if they feel okay and not causing pain from being to tight, or the other way around, they are too loose that the heel of your foot can move up and down, if you pick up your skate.

When trying on the skates, do it on carpet, so as not to put any scuff marks on the wheels. This is critical! If you try them on a hard surface, it will show on the wheels, and THEY WILL BE DEEMED USED AND RENDERED UN-RETURNABLE.

Next item on the list. Protective equipment. To me, helmet and wrist guards are mandatory, knee and elbow pads, just plain old common sense. If you are trying to save the $30, you are wasting you money because the first fall, (usually within the first few hours of skating) might cost you a $30 doctor copay anyway, and then you will be left with nothing. Wal-Mart has bike helmets for as little as $10 - $15 dollars. This was good for me until the weather got real hot and I was skating hard, day after day, for at least an hour. So I got a great helmet at PerformanceBike.com for under $50 that keeps me cool. Better helmets for woman, are made with a larger vent hole in the rear for the pony tail to hang out.

The first few times out on skates can be a little scary. It takes a lot of practice in an awkward position to be able to learn how to use the rear brake on an inline skate. Ironically, a new brake with more rubber left on it, is harder to stop on, even for the experienced user. So it is imperative, that a beginner find a flat area only, for the first few times out. I mean dead flat. You will be amazed how fast you can pick up speed on the slightest of hills, and by the time you realize it, your in trouble. Parking lots are great. Enclosed tennis and basketball courts come to mind. Having grassy areas next to you practice areas come in handy if you need to bail out and stop. It also is useful to practice just walking around on in your skates, while getting used to the feeling of things.
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 06:44 PM   #6
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Helmet, Helmet, HELMET!

Don't forget wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads


SAFETY FIRST!!
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 06:47 PM   #7
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Another great advice tip. Seek out skating clubs or groups in your area. They are usually friendly and want to help newbies.

Where do you live?
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 07:44 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies. 'streetsk8r' & 'BWI-Sheldon', there seems to be only 2 places locally where I can try on more than one make of skate. One of them being a pro shop located at a rink. So, BWI, this might be a good place to start, yes? I think I will be sticking with this sport for awhile, so I will take BWI-Sheldon and Davey_speedstar's advice about the 80mm wheels.

'ncsk8rgirl' & 'BWI-Sheldon' Not to worry. If you read my post on the main forum, you will see that I still bear the scars from not wearing protective gear. I will be doing my best not to let that happen again. Road rash is painful.

Thanks for the link to PerformanceBike.com. One thing I will be asking in a separate thread so that I can get more answers is where do you guys buy your equipment online?

Edit: Forgot to answer the question as to where I live. I live on the PA/NJ border in the ABE area. (Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton)
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 09:04 PM   #9
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In the US, Rollerblade and K2 skates seem to be widely available. They should provide you the ankle support and forgiveness to get started in the right direction. Regarding aluminum frames, they may be lighter and maybe cooler looking, but they probably don't provide you as much cushioning and forgiveness as a good composite frame. 76mm to 80mm wheels are good for learning. The larger wheels are a tad less maneuverable, but will absorb bumps and grinds on rough roads better.
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 10:38 PM   #10
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I like what Davey said.

As far as sizes, I think skates tend to run small. My K2s are at least half a size smaller than a street shoe of similar size. So I would not recommend dropping down a half size. I'd recommend going up a half size. But that may depend on brand.

Definitely only try them on on carpet. Once you are sure you want to keep them, then you can venture out.

If you feel lucky, you can get a good deal on eBay. Got my skates for $50 and they woulda been at least $150 in a good online store.

Wear good protection. One fall could have you laid up for too long. Don't want to miss any chances to skate...
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Old September 4th, 2007, 12:07 AM   #11
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The K2 Radical 90 or 100 is probably too much to start on, but there's nothing stopping you from putting smaller wheels on one while learning. I only mention this particular skate because it's popular enough that you can find them on eBay for under $200 on a regular basis, and a cheap set of 80mm wheels can also be had. I'm still debating this very plan of action to learn inline skating myself, I'm already an avid quad skater hehe.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 12:34 AM   #12
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The K2 Radical 90 or 100 is probably too much to start on, but there's nothing stopping you from putting smaller wheels on one while learning. ..
Except for the brake being to low to the ground, and very far back, and a longer frame. For a beginer it's not a good idea.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #13
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Welcome to the sport 2Left. I would just add my caution about skating on sidewalks ... I would avoid it at first if possible. I've had a couple good pairs of K2s, and I agree that those and RBs are good brands for you.

I would stay away from the knockoff brands if you can - stuff like Roller Derby and off brand names. They are generally built with less quality components. Even if you aren't looking to set the world on fire with your skating, you want to have a quality skate so you are comfortable and able to concentrate on skating, and not the pain in your feet.

Good luck!
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Old September 4th, 2007, 05:30 PM   #14
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I'm generally a very strong advocate of avoiding cheap stuff as it always costs more in the long run, but thse are some pretty good K2s for $80, in spite of their plastic frames:

http://www.inlinewarehouse.com/descpage.html?pcode=K2E7

And you can get combo packs of all three sets of pads for $20:

http://www.inlinewarehouse.com/FitPGCombo.html

So that puts you at $100 plus helmet. Practice for a few months, then drop $50 on some better wheels.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 07:06 PM   #15
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And for a few bucks more, you could take the next step up and have a skate you could be very happy with for quite a long time:
http://www.inlinewarehouse.com/descp...ml?pcode=K2EA7
Good prices at that site, wow.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 08:48 PM   #16
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Default Appreciate all the help.

I am starting to get excited about getting a pair. Makes it hard to hold off on not going out and buying the first skate that fits. However, thanks to all of you, I will persevere.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 03:54 AM   #17
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Update on your pursute please, Mr 2leftfeet. I'm learning also, here's my .o2. I haven't skated since 10 ish? & now 50, I need to slim down also. I started on quads at rink & skated about 8 sessions, before my fat feet couldn't take the rental boot pain. Had to decide on quads or inlines for the purchase, if I can get boots that'll fit. I chose inlines. (hope to fly some year like the rest of inliners at rink) nothing against quads. I bought RB Astro 50's. (comfy) I have been out on rink about 12 times now approx 2-3 hr each. Good thing I bought skates, because it forced me to stick with it. Much harder than I thought it would be. I'm just starting to get a little more used to using them now. The only thing I dislike about the Astro 50's is the heighth of sole from ground. I would think a lower skate with the smaller wheels would have helped me learn faster. Stick with it & find a fellow skater to push you to go out & skate. My little girl just started & cant wait to go, even if I dont feel like it. So I go & glad afterwards.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 08:15 PM   #18
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Update on your pursute please, Mr 2leftfeet. I'm learning also, here's my .o2. I haven't skated since 10 ish? & now 50, I need to slim down also. I started on quads at rink & skated about 8 sessions, before my fat feet couldn't take the rental boot pain. Had to decide on quads or inlines for the purchase, if I can get boots that'll fit. I chose inlines. (hope to fly some year like the rest of inliners at rink) nothing against quads. I bought RB Astro 50's. (comfy) I have been out on rink about 12 times now approx 2-3 hr each. Good thing I bought skates, because it forced me to stick with it. Much harder than I thought it would be. I'm just starting to get a little more used to using them now. The only thing I dislike about the Astro 50's is the heighth of sole from ground. I would think a lower skate with the smaller wheels would have helped me learn faster. Stick with it & find a fellow skater to push you to go out & skate. My little girl just started & cant wait to go, even if I dont feel like it. So I go & glad afterwards.
Bork, I am a few years older than you are. Glad to see you getting into skating. It is a chance to spend quality time with our children. In my case grandchildren!

Local Sports Authority has K2 EXO (Composite), K2 Moto, RB Zetra (composite), & RB Astro 50. Astro fit the best. Am going to start another thread about fit & what to buy.

My research suggested starting on 78mm or smaller wheels. Others have suggested 90mm to start. Glad a previous poster mentioned the lower brake height as I had considered going that way...buy 90mm skates & put 80mm wheels on them at the beginning. Now it doesn't sound like such a good idea.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 08:39 PM   #19
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If the Astro feel good, then buy them and start skating! The standard setup on the Astro is the 80mms but can handle the 84mms. Larger wheels are more forgiving when you hit cracks, sticks and debris but 80mms are small enough to learn on. When you wear these out :-) you can replace them with 84mms.

Make sure you get a good helmet and a set of pads.

There was a thread where a person used a shopping cart to help balance themsleves when they first started out. Personally, I used a jogging stroller. It helps with your confidence when getting started.

Have fun!
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 10:11 PM   #20
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If the Astro feel good, then buy them and start skating! The standard setup on the Astro is the 80mms but can handle the 84mms. Larger wheels are more forgiving when you hit cracks, sticks and debris but 80mms are small enough to learn on. When you wear these out :-) you can replace them with 84mms.

Make sure you get a good helmet and a set of pads.

There was a thread where a person used a shopping cart to help balance themsleves when they first started out. Personally, I used a jogging stroller. It helps with your confidence when getting started.

Have fun!

Thanks for the reply. Helmet & pads are definitely on my list. Still have scars from going head first over a bike at less than 10 mph without protection. Besides all the brush burns, it tore the top of my ear like you would rip a piece of paper.

Would you mind looking at the new thread I started & make a skate recommendation? Thanks.
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