Thursday, September 3, 2009

HELMETS,..... what type?

When looking for a HELMET

I suggest a 'double impact' helmet for roller derby (not the strofoam lined ones) the 'single impact' ones with the squishy pads. Why you ask? The harder lined styrofoam helmets offer no protection after the first hit, however, it will offer more protection than a 'single impact' on that first hit to the head.

A 'double impact' helmet offers greater protection over time than the 'single impact' helmet.

My suggestion, S-ONE! Most comfortable, quality foam linings, variety of colors and styles,.. I've taken a couple blows to the head on this brand and have suffered NO concussion.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Feature 1, Reactor Plates

Ok, so i'm going to flash forward with 5 years experience of working on roller skates and talk about my favorite Plates!

The Reactor Plate by Powerdyne

Suggested Use: Roller Derby

Why people normally buy them:
Skaters that are serious about getting good or being faster choose Reactor Plates, or Reactors. This is because they are as light as they come (about as light as the plastic/nylon plates) and are the strongest, made of aircraft aluminum.

They are also, 'top of the line' plates. The truck adjustment is devised to keep your trucks stayed at your preferred setting until you adjust them again, whereas the standard nut-on-kingpin (i made that up, not sure what the 'proper' term is, but if you have gotten this far and you don't have Reactors or Roll Line, look at your trucks and see how the nut is at the end of the kingpin? k. it's not locked in place. will loosen up over time. ) adjustment tends to loosen up over time.

Does this mean I'll never have to adjust my trucks again? NO. But the maintenance on the truck setting will be WAY easier. Because your bushings are still going to wear, or squish, you will need to replace them for most accurate settings and best reaction.

What people don't normally know about them:
adjustable mounting slots, unlike other plates, these plates have slots instead of holes for the mounting bolts. this is so you can 'pre-mount them' which means, you just mount the bolts into the slots only, try them out, and then you can slide them forward or backward depending on your preference. Once you get your setting right, you mount bolts into the other holes.

A backward or 'speed mount' puts the ball of your foot just in front of the axles, so that your foot is cocked and ready for striding. Whether this makes you faster or not is hard to test, but I felt a dramatic improvement in my speed and energy.

interchangeable cushions, Now there are three different hardnesses for Reactor cushions that are made of poly-BD (best-quality polyurethane). There are RED (soft), BLUE (medium) and ORANGE (hard). Heavier skaters, or those really tough on their skates should go with HARD, lighter skaters should go with SOFT. The red is a little bit harder than the stock bushings.

What size you should buy: If you ordered a new plate today, for a standard mount, order the same size as your boots. If you are a half size, I would suggest to order the next size up if you've been skating less than 2 years or still feel beginner or intermediate and a size down if you know that you are an advanced skater with better control.

Reason why? is this- Imagine skating on a plate that extends in front and off the back of your boots. (HUMUNGO plates that stick out) Imagine it. Are you there? Okay, it feels like you are skating with flippers on. Like you are swimming through the floor, with your feet.

Now imagine a plate that is much too small. Liike, all 4 wheels are in between the ball of your foot and your heel. You have barely any control at this point because it is really hard to balance.

Those are the two extremes. Many very advanced skaters prefer a smaller plate so they have more agility, but it doesn't matter that there is less stability to them beacuse they have have better control over their skates, because they are skilled.

Jammers tend to feel a dramatic difference in energy.

I love less, so my plates are a full size (6) smaller than my boots (7).

If you are buying USED REACTORS and the person you are buying them from bought them in 2008 or before, the plate size is one size smaller than your boot should be. Now they are sized the same, but they used to be marked 1 sz smaller than the boot, like most other plates are measured. If you aren't sure what size they are, take a measuring tape and measure from the front axle to the back axle and checkt he "Reactor Sizing Chart"to be sure.

How to adjust them: They come with tools. DO NOT LOSE THEM! There are 4. 2 allen keys/wrench
adjusting the trucks-
trucks are adjusted by tightening the tension on the cushions. The more tension on the bushings, the tighter the turn. The looser the trucks, the slower and easier the turn.

There are two things you need to do to adjust the trucks. First, loosen the "hex screw" with the tiniest allen key/wrench. This screw locks the truck adjustment into place. You must loosen it first, before you adjust the the actual tension.

Next, take the larger wrench that comes with the tools, (oh, and btdub, don't lose them) and adjust the dial with the numbers on it. Unless you take the dial off and set the 1 at 12 o'clock, the numbers don't mean anything. They are a guide to help you keep track of how many times you are rotating the dial (tightening the cushions). It is a helpful tool, you just have to start by setting the dial at 12 o'clock before you start tightening.

The front trucks should be looser than the back ones. The way I remember this is that the words 'front' and 'tight' have the same number of letters contained in both words.

After you have tightened the trucks, YOU MUST TIGHTEN THE HEX SCREW! If you don't it will fall out. If it falls out, call me 267.374.9674,.. I have extras to send to you.

adjusting the toe stop-
The larger allen key/wrench is used for the toe stop adjust. Stick it in the hole, loosen the screw inside of there and adjust the toe stop stem closer to the ground or closer to the boot based on your personal preference.

After you have adjusted the stop, YOU MUST TIGHTEN THE SCREW! If you don't it will fall out. If it falls out, call me 267.374.9674,.. I have extras to send to you. sound familiar?

What to maintain:
Like all plates you have to maintain the cushions. When the cushions start to pancake, squish, become flattened or crack it is time to replace them.

Remember, you can order three different hardness made of quality urethane that will last you longer and perform better than the cushions that come stock with the plates.

What not to lose:


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Roller Skate Boots 1.01

There are several things to consider when purchasing roller skate boots. In effort to not confuse anyone, I'm going to keep this real simple and answer the most basic questions.1. High Tops or Low Tops? What is the difference???

Most high top boots come with a heel, as shown in the red skate above. Outdoor and dance skates have heels. I like to wear heeled skates for outdoors. This may seem silly, but I just feel a little prettier in them,.. as if you were on high heels compared to flats.

A higher heel is better for spinning and not as effective for leverage on your stride, which is why most speed and derby skates are flat. A flat sole allows you to dig deeper in your stride, using both the ball and heel of your feet to pick up speed. Where as a higher heel makes it a bit easier to turn into a spin on the balls of your feet.

Just because a boot has a low top does not mean it is meant for speed. For example, this skate is a low top, but made for casual skating.

You can actually turn any pair of skates into a pair of roller skates, and at Moxi we can do it for you. A basic pair of plates, wheels, bearings and installation will run you between $120 and $2oo.

Most casual sneaker type skates like the one shown above will not last you for every day use.

If you want speed for roller derby or competition, you need guts! And what I mean by guts, I mean built-in stiffeners that make the boots sturdy to withstand a good beating. Stay tuned for my article on derby boots.

2. Vinyl or Leather

Leather is far better but it is more expensive. The reason that leather is better is because it breaks down to the shape of your feet. To avoid getting blisters and for the most comfortable ride, you want your skates to fit GREAT! Almost as if your feet sprouted wheels :)

When the leather becomes softer and breaks to the shape of your feet it is called the 'break-in' period. Back in the day the break-in period for a pair of roller skates took about 3-4 weeks, but with recent boot technology, you can get a pair of leather roller skates and feel virtually no break-in period. What does a break-in period feel like? well, at first the leather is stiff and will rub against the curves in your feet until it remembers and builds pockets for the curves.

Vinyl roller skate boots are decent for casual usage. If you like to skate just a few times a month, find a vinyl boot with padding. Vinyl without padding can be painful since it is not very flexible and can rub and create blisters. Vinyl is also not breathable like leather is, so you're feet tend to sweat.

Stay tuned for more advanced info. on the different types of boots.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Roller Skates 1.01

Since this is my first entry, it will be the most basic advice on buying roller skates. Basically, you can buy roller skates from Big 5 for $35. , take them out once or twice come to find your wheels are made of plastic and absorb no shock from the cracks or bumps on the sidewalk, you'll get gnarly blisters and then you will probably hang them on a nail in the garage OR take them to Moxi to be fixed. We would love to help you get rolling by fixing your junk, but we've learned that changing the parts on cheap skates can actually make them even more dangerous.

Don't give up there, though! You had the right idea, Skating is one of the rare exercises that feels effortless and fun! (and it's the quickest way to get a great rear end just before summer!) Moxi's mission is to get peeps on skates, period! We sell used and vintage at affordable prices, and if we don't have something you can afford now, we will look for it!

You see, cheap skates are most likely made by the same people that make toy vacuums, checkers and ring toss games. What these people know about how much you are anticipating a smooth ride is NIL. SO! Our advice to you is to buy from a quality ROLLER SKATING MANUFACTURER.

All of our roller skates are made by roller skate makers. Most of our skates are HAND MADE in America by Riedell, located in Red Wing, Minnesota. We've been to the factory, we've met the people that make up the evolution of roller skate boots, wheels and frames and we want to outfit you on equipment that will last you loooooong time.

Sooo,... what if you HAVE old skates that might just need a tune up? Did you know that you can replace and upgrade every component on a quality pair of skates? Maybe you have skate boots that have holes in the toes,.. but maybe the plates just need a tune up? We can salvage your old parts and replace your old with new.

Components of Roller Skates
Very basically, there 3 parts to Roller Skates.
Boots (the part you put your foot inside)
Plates (the part that connects the boots to the wheels)

To learn more about the basics of these components, go to Basics of Boots, Basics of Plates and Basics of Wheels :)