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My Skate Progression

skatey-mark's picture

Was thinking about the various changes in my own skating setups over the years, so I thought I'd post them here and give other s a place to post their own histories...


1990? - 1999? Rollerblade Lightning TRS skates... (Bought used for $100.) I think they could take up to 80mm wheels, but it might have only been 76 or 78mm. I didn't pay much attention to what I was skating on back then, being just a "rowlerblayder"...


1999 - splurged and bought some soft-boot K2 fitness skates for maybe $160 or so. Liked them, although they did hurt my arches. Still a nice step up from the Rollerblades though. This was about the time that I started to skate more, mainly on a 5.5 mile loop around RTP. Although a "long" skate was 3 loops -- 16.5 miles...


2000 - sold the K2s and upgrade to K2 Kinetic skates... *Really* splurged this time at like $250 I think... Found out about this crazy event called "A2A" and started training for it in 2001. Did my first A2A in September of 2001 on these skates, as well as my first Eddy workshop in the spring of 2002.


2002- discover the wonderful world of speedskating while attending the Eddy workshop. Order my first speedskates 2 weeks later. Bont Pyros and Ultimate Attitude 5x80 frames. Everything arrives just in time to train on them for A2A 2002.


2003 - Upgrade to Ultimate Attitude 5x84 frame. Same boots.


2004 - Upgrade to Millennium 3x100+84 frame. Same boots


2005 - First year I didn't change my setup, but A2A was cancelled... Needed new boots, so got molded in November...


2006 - Now on custom Bont Vaypors with the 3-point mounting ad S-Frame. Awesome, awesome setup... Had boots made to accomodate my slightly sloppy technique, so they're very comfy... :)


Hopefully, this latest setup will last a while, although I could maybe see myself getting the 4x110 S-Frame if 110mm wheels get more popular and there are decent wheels to choose from that don't cost an arm and a leg...


- SM -


eebee's picture

My 4 pairs of skates...

1995? - A pair of clickety-clack plastic Wal-Mart skates with miniscule wheels. I skated on them probably twice in a parking lot, couldn't do it and gave up.


1999 - Guilt-ridden at paying $30/mth for a gym membership and never going...I joined the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training A2A program, slapped down $400 at Skate Escape (www.skateescape.com) by Piedmont Park, for some women's 80 mm K2 Kinetics, knee, wrist, elbow guards, helmet and socks, all as recommended by the TNT coaches, Cindy and Paul. Did my first 38 mile A2A in the pouring rain in 1999. Skates felt like mattresses the whole time!


2001 - Other skaters told me I had a good enough skating technique to be in speedskates, so I went back to Skate Escape to try some on, instead of going the custom or stock-boot-off-Ebay route. I came out of the store 3 hours later with some men's Riedell boots and a Verducci 5x80 frame. Cost about $300. I mistakenly thought that having plodded around the store in the boots for 2 hours and not having felt any major twinges in my feet that I should be able to skate in them no problem. Not so! For starters, I didn't even have the frame on the boot, and I didn't skate in them either. These boots were good enough only for me to get used to a low cuff, not to skate with happy ankles. Tried molding them to no avail.


2003 - Test-rode a pair of Verducci V-Maxx boots that Lisa M in Atlanta bought off Ebay 2nd hand but they gave her problems. Ended up buying them for either $75, or $175 (can't remember). Still wearin' 'em! I had problems with them grinding my inner ankle bones to death from 2003 to 2005, but for some reason this year I have had no problems whatsoever. Maybe the boots finally molded themselves to fit my feet during all those hot skates, or maybe, -and this is even less likely-, my technique improved finally to where I don't hurt my ankles when I skate any more. Never tried molding them.


2006 --> I'm sure a 100mm wheel set up is in my future, but at this point I'm neither good enough, nor competitive enough for wheel size to make a difference in my event times, or to warrant the wallop in my pocket book. At this point, changing my set up would be purely in the name of keeping up with the Kimberlies - i.e. It would be purely aesthetic.


Disclaimer - I just mean there are a lot of girls named Kimberly who skate. Most of 'em kick major butt. I could have said Jessica, Lisa, Beth. If I chose a guy's name, probably Eddy, Eddie or some other version, oh or Barry/Barrie...OK I'm gonna shuddup now and quit editing this thing to death.

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