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OK, this has gone on too long – it’s been almost a year and no new status updates! I bought (and repaired) another pinball table, learned to skate, refereed in two roller derby bouts, and generally lost what remained on my sanity. Therefore, I’ll try to post some great thought each day. Starting with this:

If you’re starting to roller skate, possibly looking at roller derby, consider the following advice:

  • high-top skates are a good transition from ice skating, but they don’t give you much control on quad wheels. Skip ’em.
  • Skates will cost $50 & up ($2,000+). In general, avoid anything under $80
  • Reidell R3’s ($99) are awesome skates… if they fit your feet. They’re pretty narrow – if you have wide feet, Rock GT-50’s are good. About the same price, but not as well made.
  • Skates are customizable – boots, plates, trucks, cushions, bearings, wheels, toe stops, toe guards & laces are all replaceable. You’ll probably need to upgrade bearings & wheels first – and definitely get a toe guard! You can also adjust what you already have – trucks can be loosened for easier turning, wheels tightened (slowed) for a beginner.
  • If you have flat feet, you’re screwed. Well, maybe not entirely, but from the research I’ve done you’re going to have a harder time. Many people with flat feet also have overpronation – your weight doesn’t rest on the same parts of your feet as most people, so your skates don’t sit entirely flat when standing. I’ve tried 4 shoe inserts from gel to rigid, full length, half length, tall & short. The first lesson learned is that skates are designed to fit snugly so your foot doesn’t slide around – tall inserts don’t fit. The gel one smushed around & moved out of place. Currently I’m in the process of getting a custom one made for about $200. It’s a steep price, but if it works it’ll be worth it.

Of course, I’m just a guy that started reffing recently & thought others might like to see my notes on the topic. I’m no doctor, so none of this is medical advice.  Good luck & happy rolling!

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