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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 May 11th, 2012, 01:03 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2
Default Pair of advanced skates for a half-beginner?

Not a complete newbie, had inline skates about 12 years ago for some time and have done ice skating every now and then also. Just got to try Fila fitness skates with 84mm wheels and appropriate frame size for it and after getting used to them I started to get the gist of it again. Now I need new skates though, those Filas were too narrow fit and felt wobbly and unresponsive.

Basically I'd like to try everything inline skating related, from slalom to speed-ish/fitness skating to freeride, but I'm pretty set on just getting one pair of skates. Season lasts only so long here. So I have to make compromises. There's quite lengthy bike paths to skate around here, but they are bit rough. There's also some city area to play around in and two very simplistic skate(board) parks. Slalom I suppose is doable on any relatively smooth pavement surface(?) Indoors are out of question completely.

So I've been reading here and I'm looking at couple of skates; Bont Semi-Race and Seba FR1. My main questions would be... Are Semi-Race safe and controllable to skate through city with? Not a very busy or large city, but aggressive drivers and couple of fairly steep descents. Are FR1's with 84mm wheels and 255mm frame usable for practicing freestyle slalom? Do the Bonts feel like going on rails and any kind of tomfoolery becomes out of question? And just wondering which would you in general recommend for somebody getting into the hobby? I really don't know, part of me wants maneuverable skates to fool around with, but considering the pavement inconsistencies and my desire to just cruise around effortlessly from A to B the speedier skates might be something I'd be likelier to use in the long run. Especially I love the idea that Bonts allow heat-molding. FR1's on the other hand look extremely versatile. What about second frame for some of these skates? Not the Bont though? Seems like it has proprietary mounting system. Too bad, I think the Semi-Race looks very similar to slalom boot. Are there any other similar skates that I could change a slalom frame for, when need be? Any other ideas for keeping the budget down, but at the same time having ability to try most types of skating more or less? Not pure aggressive though, that I'm sure of, and not specialized slalom or speed, but if slalom and speed boot are pretty much same thing, then... not to forget the comfort though! The skates pretty much should be able to alter laws of physics.

Any piece of wisdom would be welcome, thank you in advance!
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Old May 11th, 2012, 01:14 AM   #2
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There's a trade off between manoeuvrability vs speed. Sounds like you are more interested in the former?

Slalomers tend to run a rockered wheel setup, i.e. typically 76-80-80-76 or 80-84-84-80mm wheels. This is the main thing that gives slalom skates their amazing turniness. The frame length does matter, but if a rockered wheel setup is used, it matters much less than otherwise.

If you can scrounge up 4 80mm wheels (anything will do, even $1 wheels), I'd highly recommend trying it out on your Filas. Takes an hour or two to get used to it, and it's an either love it or hate it thing, but I'd say most definitely worth a try.

As for boots: The semi-race boots don't have (much of) a cuff. Not sure I'd be happy doing any urban tomfoolery in a boot without a cuff, but then again I've never tried. Maybe you should try not doing up the cuff straps on your Filas, to see how you'd go?. I also believe they are a 3pt 195mm mounting, which means only bont 100 or 110mm speed frames fit on them. Slalom/urban frames (like the sebas) are almost universally 165mm.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 01:41 AM   #3
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As much as I love my bonts, I have to agree with Hemppa.

The semi race are more speed then recreation, and while I have seen experienced speed skaters do spins and slaloms, it was not easy.

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Old May 11th, 2012, 02:31 AM   #4
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Location: Washington DC
Posts: 666

When I got back into skating after many years off (and pounds of weight gained) I tried to step up into a pair of Bonts. I pronated so bad that I blistered right away and could never stay in them long enough to get anything done. So I sold those and went through a few fitness skates trying to find something that worked. I was able to get my weight down and increase my ankle strength to the point that I've ordered a custom pair of Bont Zs.

Meanwhile, I bought some Seba Trix with two sets of frames - one for 90mm wheels and the other for 76mm. I skate the 90mm outdoors and the 76mm indoors. A bit dangerous making the transition back and forth since the lack of anything behind your heel with the shorter frames can incite a fall if you're used to the longer frames.

If the Bonts just don't work out, I'll look at 100mm wheels/frames for the Trix since I'm chewing through wheels pretty fast and there are more material selections for the larger wheels.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 05:04 PM   #5
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Default Getting Back Into Skating

I would recommend something in a 90mm. If you have past experience, you'll likely get back to form fairly quickly if sticking with it.

K2 and Rollerblade do a great job at making some skates great for long distance skating and performance skating, without going as far as going to a traditional speed boot. Meaning you can keep the support of a higher boot profile and not feel like you are losing out on high perfomance.

The Rollerblade Tempest line for example. The Tempest 90 I would recommend if getting back into it after a long hiatus. The Temp 90 and Temp 100 are the same boots, but the 90mm will be more manageable and then when ready, you have a good boot and wheel size to continue training. The Rollerblade Tempests are a narrower feel which capture more energy than Rollerblades Crossfire/Activa 100 or 90 which have additional support. The Tempest is more performance oriented.

K2 has the Mach 90 and Mach 100 to compete with the Activa/Crossfire 90 and 100. The soft boot is VERY comfortable. Not as performance oriented as the comfort allows a little more boot stretch which loses some energy. But if comfort is paramount, K2 is not a bad way to go for you. Radical 100 and Radical Pro are their skates to compete with Tempests. Some of the same here where the K2 possibly may win in comfort, where the Tempest would in performance.

Again, this is an opinion and of course different feet will feel different in different skates. But if I can be of any help, let me know.

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