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roller blade advice.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi all, After all the improvements on skiing this year, I am planning on getting into a new sport... Roller Blading. Looking for that "cross over" workout to keep me going into the next season...

My question is what kind of rollerblades, soft boot, hard boot, long blades (more wheels?) What types of wheels are good for training. I will be on paved roads (our local park closes the main drag on weekends for bicycle and skaters) and will probably not be on city streets much except for getting over to the park (2-3 blocks)

Thanks for any help.
post #2 of 19
Dchan, we're in the same boat. But as I know after 5 years of biking - I can't stand the feeling of a pavement under my wheels. Does XC rollerblading exist? Any advice on equipment? Thanks

Sergey ( 2pizza@usa.net )
post #3 of 19
Eddy, yes. I've seen an offroad inline skate with huge knobby wheels at my local Sport Chalet. Try their website. May have been a K2? Also, someone in the Boston area has developed and is selling an off road - how do I describe this - cross-country ski trainer with big knobby wheels and a disc brake. Bet they've got a website. Can't remember the name of the product.
post #4 of 19
Thanks, Steve, I found Trail Skates and will give them a try. That's probably what you descibed as a XC trainer: two 8" wheels and hydraulic brakes? They are in Washington: http://www.gateskate.com/

Sergey ( 2pizza@usa.net )
post #5 of 19

I'm also just getting into this. If you're interested, H. Harb's site (HARBSKISYSTEMS, i think) has some helpful stuff re: inline/rollerblading as it applies to skiing.
post #6 of 19

My personal preference is hard boots with ratchet buckles, big wheels (80mm) and top of the line bearings (I have been in-line skating for 10 years, by the way). I have Tecnica in-line skates, but the model I have is 2 years old and Tecnica (like most others) do not make hard shell boots for cross training any more.

Today, most in-line skates come with soft boots and laces, which are comfortable, but also have a certain degree of lateral flexibility which is not ideal when riding hard or when making small jumps (when you land you want maximum support for your ankles). On the positive side, soft boots have lower cuffs, they are better ventilated and are more forgiving for most people.

You will probably end up with a soft boot (as hard boots are rare) so here are things to look for:

1. Laces that "lock-in" after you pull them tight. This will help you lace up quickly and without effort.
2. Powers straps over the shin (some models have power straps over the forefoot as well to keep the ankle locked in).
3. Large wheels (at least 76 mm) with good bearings (good bearings are critical to a smooth easy ride).

As you get better you will want "harder" wheels (higher durometer rating) that last longer and are faster, but are less forgiving on rougher roads. As for "off-road" skates, I know of a model (I think it was called "the coyote") which had a hard boot and 3 huge wheels that were inflated with air. I would not advise you to get something like that unless you are an expert. The height alone will be very intimidating (think 150mm of lift on a very short ski ).

And that is my $0.02. Good luck!
post #7 of 19
Currently I'm skating on K2 Escapes with the Klop frame. I'm not totally in love with them yet. The flexible frame is taking some getting used to.
I have some demo wheels on them called "Parabolics". They are designed for specific placement on your frames and each position features a slightly different profile.

You can check out their web site at http://parabolics.com/home.html

The profiles alter a skate's turning characteristics which in the case of my Escapes is a good thing. My friends who tried them on more conventional skates reported improved turning w/o giving up stability. This mirrors my experience, though as I mentioned, I'm not dialed into these things.

post #8 of 19
I'll agree with TomB's advice on equipment. Don't buy the cheapest pair. Some other food for thought - Take a lesson or have someone show you how to stop. It is an acquired skill, but a very valuable one. It is necessary if you want to get ski-like training. You get great excercise skating up hills, and going downhill is great fun, especially if you make ski turns. But you have to be able to stop to avoid being a hood ornament. Helemts of course are a good oiidea - I think even more important than for skiing because a road is a lot harder than the ski slope.

I think you will find skates a great cross trainng tool for skiing. Sometimes I even bring along an old pair of ski poles with rubber tips. Of course my neighbors in Marin may think I am strange. Also keep in mind to work up gradually. The slope of a green ski hill is more like a black diamond with asphalt and rollerblades.

I didn't do as much skating as I should last year. Maybe this summer I'll do more of those PMTS drills so I can ski better than 95% of the skiers.

Have fun! Maybe I'll see ya at GG some weekend (now that Tahoe skiing is fading fast).
post #9 of 19
Hey dCHan, I see you are in SF too. You don't work over by the Embarcadero, by chance, do you? I am looking for a lunchtime rollerblading partner now that the weather is soooo nice.
post #10 of 19
get yourself some roller-hockey skates, and a stick. Its unnatural to skate without a hockey stick. Roller-hockey will be a much better workout. If that doesn't appeal to you, try and find some huggy shorts, long rainbow socks and a headphone radio, head on down to the wharf and rip some ski ballet tricks for the tourists.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am overlooking pacbell park. I don't have blades yet. still skiing. Maybe in May my wife will let me buy some.
post #12 of 19
Let me know when you get them dchan. I am not too far away. I am not very good on rollerblades, but I love to play slalom course with the tourists!
It makes for some good exercise and a nice mid-day break
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great tips.
Heres a question that has not been answered yet however.
How do I know if I should be buying a beginners type skate or go ahead and purchase a higher end skate.
I have done some ice skating and rollerskating in my past and except for skating backwards and spinning I am pretty good. I can stop using both hockey stops on ice skates, Tip drags, and right angle drags on roller skates and ice skates, as well as spinning to a stop but not so good with that.
According to HH site, they say need to be able to turn on inside skate? I can do on rollerskates and ice skates two footed turns quite easily.

I am an expert skier (PSIA lvl 9 for the most part) I kind of wonder if I need to get a "beginner" inline skate which may be a waste of money that would have to be upgraded too quickly?
Any one have any thoughts on the xtrainer or trainer line of Salomon. www.salomoninline.com <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited April 03, 2001).]</FONT>
post #14 of 19
my guess is buy what is comfortable, other than wheels and bearings how much different can skates be? Really the rollerhockey skates are very comfy and like a good pair of skates will be for a long time.
post #15 of 19

My experience is tat former ice skaters pick up inline skating easily, they just need to work on stopping. I, and others, recommended NOT buying the cheapest models on sale at the local sporting goods store. The Salomon Xtrainer would seem to fit the bill - it looks like it has enough performance to make it fun. So since you're gearing up to get ready for next ski season, have you given any thought to recreational ski racing in North Shore Tahoe?
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
RE Racing, Probably not. I don't log enough days in Tahoe these days to do much of that. I was thinking of getting some SL skis though. the thought of making super tight arcs at high speed is very appealing. I may think otherwise by next year but I'll have to see. I'm just having too much fun free skiing at this time.

If my financial/work conditions change I will rethink everything next year.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey Phil,
Thanks for the notes. I already got my skates. Salomon TR mag elite. so far I can't stop well so I'm looking for places that are flat so I can practice. some of the gentle slopes in my neighborhood can get real scary. I guess it's like a beginner on the bunny slope.
I did have orthotics made for them. They feel pretty weird at first. I'll see how that comes along too.
<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited May 03, 2001).]</FONT>
post #18 of 19
To stop, you really have to put the weight on the skate with the rubber pad. Assuming the brake is on the heel of the right skate, move the right skate forward until the heel is about even with the left toe. Lift up the toes of the right skate and really push against the right skate, throught the heel f your skate. It also may help at first, to press on your right knee with both hands. This also puts the body in a more balanced position. One of my friends was able to brake on one skate - with the other lifted in the air.

It is good practice to lift one skate to get balance. This improves balance. As you get better, you want to take long stride which means that you are on only one skate for a period of time. You can always tell the beginner skaters by their short choppy strokes rather than Puuuush and gliiiiiiiiiide! Puuuush and gliiiiiiiiiide!
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips. I think I was doing it right, Just not balanced enough yet to push real hard so stops are not very short. I'll get there.
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