Roller Derby Skaters Equipment Ideas and Information
1. In FRONT of the Ball of the Foot (Longer)
The boot to frame sizing Chart is based on what most FreeStyle Skaters would use. This is a longer skate Frame, or longer wheel base with the front axle just slightly in front of the ball of the foot, so the skaters would have a larger landing platform and not go on the toe stop as easy when landing jumps or doing spins. This sizing is also used for most Quad Speed Skaters (although, it probably shoud be like number 2 below), Jam Skaters, and most Recreational Skaters. This does diminish the absolute control and maneuverability of the Skate, but does enhance the stability of the skating action. In this type of mounting, the Heel of the Frame should, in almost ALL mountings, be positioned even with the back of the heel of the boot. In an Artistic type of Skating Boot with a Tapered Heel, NEVER Mount the Frame more than 3/16″ forward from the back of the Heel. The goal is to Mount the Frame, such that the Rear Axle is under the Center of the Heel, or just a bit behind. (Most lower end Skate Packages, simply put the longest Frame possible on the Skating Boot, which does not provide the best of action control.)
2. Right AT (ON or Under) the Ball of the Foot (Normal or Standard)
For Dance Skating (which includes Solo Dance, Original Dance, and Free Dance) and Figure Skating the desire would be to have the front axle directly under the ball of the foot. By having the front Axle directly under the Ball of the foot, it provides for the most response for quick turns and strong edges balanced with maximum stability. This has also been proven to be the best way for Roller Derby Girls to size their Frames, as Maneuverability and quick changes in direction are very important in this sport. This may mean that on most of the Low Heel boots used for Derby, the Frame size would be smaller than shown on the chart. The Heel of the Frame should, in almost ALL mountings, be positioned even with the back of the heel of the boot. When mounting the Low/Straight Heel type of boots, like those frequently used for Derby, it could be suggested to mount the Frame as much as 3/8″ forward of the Back of the Heel, but no more. In an Artistic type of Skating Boot with a Tapered Heel, NEVER Mount the Frame more than 3/16″ forward from the back of the Heel. The goal is to Mount the Frame, such that the Rear Axle is under the Center of the Heel, but not in front of the Ankle bone.
3. Just a LITTLE Behind the Ball of the Foot (Shorter)
For Figure Loop Skating most of the top level coaches encourage their students to have a slightly shorter wheel base, if using two (2) pairs of skates for figures. This would usually mean one half (1/2) to one (1) whole size shorter than that used for the large circles. The shorter wheel base is said to allow better control in the loop portion of the circle. The Heel of the Frame should, in almost ALL mountings used for Artistic Skating, be positioned even with the back of the heel of an Artistic type of Skating Boot with a Tapered Heel, NEVER Mount the Frame more than 3/16″ forward from the back of the Heel, even for Loops..
For Quad Roller Ball Hockey the normal is to use a Frame that is about two (2) whole sizes shorter than the chart will show. This is so they can get to their Toe Stops faster for quick starts and stops. Quad Roller Ball Hockey is a VERY Fast sport! The Heel of the Frame should, in almost ALL mountings, be positioned even with the back of the heel of the boot. BUT, when mounting the Medium Height/Straight Heel type of boots, like those frequently used for Quad Ball Hockey, it could be suggested to mount the Frame as much as 3/8″ to 1/2″ forward of the Back of the Heel, but not much more. The goal is to Mount the Frame, such that the Rear Axle is under the Center of the Heel, but not in front of the Ankle bone.
As you can see, the Frame Length and Mounting Position, is very dependent on the Type of Skating being done and the personal preferences of the Skater. It is always suggested to work with someone VERY Experienced in Mounting. Please “Choose Wisely”.
4. Centering the Frame Under the Boot and the Ball of the Foot
When Centering the Frame, Start with the Heel. Center the Heel of the Frame on the Center of the Heel of the Skating Boot. (Not always the center, based on the rear seam or back spline, but the longest part of the Heel.)
The next step is to center the Frame under the Center of the Ball of the Foot. When you look straight down over the top of your Skating Boot, you should see the same amount of Wheel (or Axle) showing on either side of the boot. With today’s Skating Boots, the Sole of the Boot is not always the same width as the upper part of the boot that wraps the foot, and it is usually not centered exactly. SkatesUS.com does NOT recommend using the Snyder Boot Marking Tool for mounting most of today’s Skating Boots. If you decide to find the Center Line by measuring, be sure to measure from the Widest part of the BOOT, across the Ball of the Foot (Boot), DO NOT base your measurement on the Sole of the Boot. If there is any variance to choose, usually the choice would be to move the toe towards the center of the longest part of the toe of the boot. Usually the Center of the Toe of the Frame will not be more than 3/16″ outside the Center of the Longest part of the Skating Boot. This will help to keep you going in the right direction.
SkatesUS.com Custom Mountings are backed by a thorough personal knowledge and understanding Skating ourselves, and just how important a Professional Mount is to allow a Skater to perform at their BEST.
For Roller Derby Girls, it is important for the Frames to use softer Suspensions (Cushions) than might be used for most other types of Skating. Because of the Smaller Flat Track, the more Flexible Suspensions (Cushions) will allow the Corners to be taken with much more ease. Most of the less expensive (have only 1 hardness of cushion and it is Plastic, not even Rubber) and even some of the more expensive skates (may have only 1 hardness of cushion, possibly rubber) do not pay much attention to the fact that the Suspensions (Cushions) are a vital part of the Frame (Skate).
Roll-Line Suspensions provide incredibly quick and fluid energy transmission from the foot through the skate to the skating surface.
Roll-Line offers EIGHT (8) Stiffnesses of Suspensions, three (3) are in Natural Rubber and five (5) are in Urethane, to provide the perfect skate alignment. The Upper (Large) Suspension provides the Stability of the Edge, while the Lower (Small) Suspension creates the Deep Edges, Great Turns and Spins. The Suspensions can be mixed and matched (the Larger Upper Suspensions in relation to the Smaller Lower Suspensions) to provide each Derby Skater the exact amount of action desired or a VERY Custom Skate Action. The Derby Skaters weight and Frame Size also factor into the decision as to the Stiffness of the Suspensions used. Usually the Upper (Large) Suspension is harder, because it is carrying the weight of the Skater, and provides the edge stability, while the Lower (Small) Suspension is one or (more infrequently) two levels more flexible, providing great edges and changes. Our overall suggestion would be to take what you would use for normal (whatever that is) Skating and go a little more Flexible.
The List Below is Based on Stiffness, Integrating Natural Rubber and Urethane
Rubber – Green = Flexible
Rubber – Natural (Brown) = Medium
Urethane – Green = Extra Flexible
Urethane – Grey = Flexible
Urethane – Clear Blue = Medium
Rubber – Yellow = Hard
Urethane – Clear = Hard
Urethane – Clear Yellow = Extra Hard
Rubber – Shorter Life, Temperatures do effect the response of Rubber, Less Expensive
Urethane – Longer Life, Temperatures have much less effect on Urethane, More Expensive
The Wheels and Bearings for Roller Derby are just as important as a good fitting and comfortable Boot and the controlled action of a great Frame. The “A” Scale Numbers represent the hardness of Urethane Wheels. The Higher the Number, the Harder the Wheel (to be used on surfaces that have more grip). The Lower the Number, the Softer the Wheel (to be used on surfaces with much less grip or are even slippery). Remember, Any surface, when dirty or dusty, will be more slippery.
Roll-Line has reinvented the wheel giving it properties that are normally not achievable in one wheel, Tight Grip and Super Roll. Roll-Line based the design on that of the Low Rider Tire concept. Large Hub and a Smaller, Thinner Tread, and produced one of the LIGHTEST, TIGHTEST, and BEST ROLLING wheels available. Roll-Line has developed the Hub which is incredibly Strong, very Light, and with extremely Close Tolerances for Roundness, Trueness, and for the Cage where the Bearings and Spacers are mounted. The Roll-Line Tread is a Cast Urethane BiCompound Formula, which provides Tight Grip, without the tire compression that is normally associated with a wheel this tight. The lack of tire compression, along with the thinner tread, mounted on the Roll-Line Hub, is what provides the INCREDIBLE ROLL.
Most Roller Derby Girls should consider having Three (3) Sets of Wheels & Bearings available for use.
The First Set would be used for the Skating Center used for Practice, Normally a fairly tight surface with a Plastic type of Coating (like Roll-On). The Grease 95A or if the surface is really tight, the Grease 97A.
The Second Set would be for Bout facilities or Skating Centers where the Skating surface is not as tight as normal. Possibly an UnCoated smooth Concrete Surface, like in most Arena’s, Convention Centers, or Auditoriums. The Formula 88A is ideal or if the surface is exceptionally slick.
The Third Set should be used for those exceptionally slick or rougher surfaces. A High Rebound Urethane wheel like the Helium 83A are just the wheels that are needed. The Helium 83A/ 64mm are High Rebound wheels that are designed as Indoor/Outdoor Wheels, which can roll over slight imperfections with ease, or on surfaces, that may have a bit of sand, dirt, and even some smaller rocks or stones, which normal indoor wheels would have you doing a “Face Plant”, and to top it off, they are really grippy. It is always good to make sure that any surface used for a bout is clean or mopped, as it is the dirt and dust on the Skating Surface that usually make it slippery, for ANY wheel.
We do realize that the look of a wheel that is not a wide Speed Wheel type may take some getting used to, but will give more roll with better grip than most of the wider Speed Wheels. With the wider Wheels, there is more of the wheel in contact with the Skating surface causing more friction and drag, also the wider Wheels will tend to flex excessively on the outer edges causing drag on every push. The Top World level Quad Speed Skaters from the rest of the world and the top Quad Roller Ball Hockey Teams use the more narrow Roll-Line wheels (like the Rapido and Formula), for the primary reason that they can get their feet closer together and not clip their wheels against one another when crossing feet on the corners. Crossing with tight feet should be VERY Important to Roller Derby Girls, as the track is very small and the corners are very tight. The Roll-Line Wheels are made with extreme precision and consistency in the hardness of the wheels and offer a wide variety of Durometer Hardnesses to work with every Skating Surface. Don’t let the peer pressure of the look of a wider wheel keep you from taking advantage of the enhanced Performance available from Roll-Line Wheels.
The High Level Competitive Bearing from Roll-Line are the Carbon J Bearings which are specifically made for Roller Skating. The Carbon J Bearings are Free Rolling with minimal Radial Play which promotes and very evenly distributes the load across the 7 balls for optimal Roll and a good amount of Axial Play or Thrust, which is the side movement of the inner race in relation to the outer race. This movement is very important because when Skaters push, we always put side load on the skate to get power in the push or stroke. If the Bearing does not allow for this, it will bind and LOOSE operating speed or ROLL. The Ball Crown Cage is Impregnated with Carbon providing another level of glide and lubrication. These provisions in the Race Curvature and Contact Angle allow the Roll-Line Carbon J Bearings to ROLL very freely.
The Roll-Line Carbon J Bearings (ABEC 5) DO NOT have a Shield (to get dinged and bind the Bearing) and is ONLY available for Skates with 7mm Axles. The Roll-Line Carbon J Bearings are skated on by most of the World level Skaters and Champions in Artistic and Quad Ball Hockey. We recommend using Super Roll Oil from SkatesUS.com for the absolute best performance.
For more information on Bearings and their care, please check out the Bearing Information section of the Learning Center at SkatesUS.com .
The Roll-Line DERBY JAMMER Piccolo SUPER PROFESSIONAL is the BEST Toe Stop for those “Get Up and Run” Starts and for ALL Derby Skaters . The DERBY JAMMER Piccolo SUPER PROFESSIONAL Toe Stops are shaped just like the Hockey Stops for those incredibly fast starts and stops, but are just a little smaller (Piccolo means Smaller) for DERBY Skaters and have all of the GREAT characteristics needed in Toe Stops, Abrasion, Grip, and Resiliency, all 5 Star performance.
The Roll-Line DERBY JAMMER Piccolo SUPER PROFESSIONAL Natural Toe Stops are available in Metric (ONLY) Threads. All Roll-Line Frames have Metric Toe Stop Threads. ATLAS, Snyder, Riedell, Pacer, and Sure Grip use US Threads. Sorry, if you don’t have Roll-Line , you won’t be able to take advantage of these fantastic Toe Stops available from SkatesUS.com .