So I spoke a bit over on the AT Prep blog about how one of my unexpected expenses that has arisen was me need for better derby skates. I am coming around to almost a year of skating, and then a month after that it will be one month in Derby...and I've been on the same skates since. I decided it was high time to get some good skates, as my old ones are on their way out.
My journey of getting new skates was an interesting one, I had decided that I was interested in the Antik AR1's since buying my starter skates, so I knew that those would be the boots I wanted. The reason for this is that they are both aesthetically awesome was well as seem to be a bit wider than every other skate I looked at.
From all the time I have spent in hiking and combat boots I know a thing or two about the way I like footwear to fit. Though I will submit I've never had to worry about hitting people while on 8 wheels. Either way I figured I would stick with what I know works.
The next thing that's important for skates...happens to be the part that makes them more than over glorified tap shoes. The plates, the plates are the metal bit on the bottom of the skate that hold the wheels on. On my old skates the plate was made out of nylon/plastic and people would often comment.
"You need new plates, I can see the plastic bow. You're wasting all that energy"
So after going all Rex Ryan on my fellow skaters feet for a couple weeks, carefully and lovingly analyzing their feet that is, and I saw a pretty consistent trend. The Powerdyne Arius plate. The Arius is pretty neat, it breaks from the tradition of O-Ring based bushings and instead uses a butterfly style, which is basically the manufacturer acknowledging the fact 'Skaters shift their weight left or right...why have bushing in the front and back of the truck.'
They are pretty neat and I hear they are very different to skate on, but in the end will result in less wasted energy and more accurate skating moves.
I briefly skated (by this I mean one practice) in a Riedell 595 boot and it destroyed my feet worse than the Pemi Loop did...which is impressive. While I know with new skates comes a break in period, I'm not sure if time could have stretched the toebox to the point I needed them to skate comfortably. The Antik's I am 100% sure that's a possibility if they are not already there.
So you might be considering the anatomy of a rollerskate and wondering if the next thing I'm going to talk about will be the wheels. Now if you are reading this and play Derby (unlikely) you know skaters generally select their wheels based on the skating surface they are playing on, versus some predefined set of criteria. Though skater weight, skater skill, and skating surface are the biggest factor in this choice.
Also I'll briefly touch on the color choices on the skates, these were a custom build ordered directly from Antik. I selected the colors based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as I was a huge fan of the cartoon when I was younger (none of that new live action garbage). Originally I had been considering an Assassins Creed themed set because the Antik 'A' looks like the Assassin logo from the game series. Unfortunately the white/red color scheme this would have required didn't translate well to the skates.
I'm looking forward to getting out and practicing and playing on these skates and I'll probally write a follow up with my findings and thoughts about the Antik AR1 (2015).