Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

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inkh0rn
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Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

Postby inkh0rn » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:18 pm

Hola amigos - my first post on this board - I'd appreciate advice from anyone who thinks they could help.

I started rec skating on 'crap' Stateside softboots about 5 years ago, just locally on my estate or at parks/on bike paths. Went up through Fleabay to some Salomon TR Magnesiums w/80mm 78a wheels. Kind of fell off skating because of a lack of any kind of scene for the elderly (I'm nearly 40) here in Wigan.

Then...the roller rink reopened after 20 years of closure. Have been skating there weekly ever since, and went over to the dark side (quads). Am improving slowly but surely, however my feel for edges and balance was all learned on blades and I just can't get the same level of performance on quads. Also, it is kind of restrictive just skating round in big circles in a warehouse...I love the outdoors and I like being able to GO places when I do a wheeled sport ( exercise bikes and treadmills...WHY?).

For years I have longed to be one of the amazing freeskaters on utube and rollerfr.net (I must have dl'd every vid on that site). I have lusted after some Freeskates for years - firstly the old Crossmax and Deemax, and lately the FR1's. However I've been lairy of laying out the £200 price tag considering my experience to date with inline has been frustrating due to a lack of decent surfaces to skate locally (All the roads in Wigan are crap to skate on, from what I've experienced). So when I came across the Alchemy ALC600 Freeskate for £55 I thought BONUS! and got some. However...my experience of skating these both on my roads and at the rink has been 'crap'.

The boot fits fine - I'm an 11/11.5 shoe and got size 12 skates - but the mobility of my calves and ankles was very poor in them; i found I couldn't bend enough to crossover etc unless I loosened the top buckle, which then lessened the support at the ankle...I found the original rockered 76-80-80-76 wheels to be excellent for turning but could barely skate a lap of the rink at baby pace in them, so I got all 76mm wheels (due to the wierd Alchemy frames) and found this a little more stable. However I couldn't get over the fact I felt I was going to fall flat on my face at any point while skating in them, so in a cloud of despair I bunged 'em on Fleabay. I don't want to think that my dream of freeskating is over though. :?

I have ordered some rec skates - Bladerunner Formula 80's - beacuse I was that p***ed off with being unable to enjoyably just skate up and down my roads - which also feature a killer of a hill (not ideal for intermediate level skater with no heel brake, as I found out!). However I can't shake the feeling I'm going to regret going back to rec/fitness as I wanted to do freeskate/slalom as well as skate locally for fitness/fun.

So then I found this awesome forum, and the Seba FRX which is just about in my price range. The question after all this: as a 6', 16 stone, size 11 (12 in skates) bloke, am I going to be faced with that 'gonna fall flat on my face any second' feeling with the Seba FRX as much as the Alchemys? And is this likely to be the case for all short-framed skates if I feel like this about the Alchemys (which are, I believe, 243mm frame length like the Sebas)? I know the Sebas have 80mm wheels so there will be a little extra frontal length to add balance, but am I wasting my time and should I go back to rec skates? Have any of you felt like this and how did you overcome it? I see the Twisters have longer frames but I am way short of the £170+ needed to get some of those. The Seba GT look even better for stability but again out of el budgeto. :cry:

Sorry for the life story, but I think the context is necessary to get the best advice from someone. Also I'm sorry if I've posted in the wrong place - and I have posted pretty much the same comment on another member's thread, but not certain if anyone will see it, hence this post.

Would especially appreciate advice on this from any other longboat-footed rollers out there. Cheers people :)

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Re: Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

Postby logicalguy » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:04 pm

hey man i know exactly how u feel, been thru a similar ride; but finally last month i took the plunge and bought a pair of seba highs, and i love them! So much worth the wait. So here's my advice:

1. Get the rec skates out of your mind - they're not an option any more.
2. Dunno much about the FRX, but if you can't afford the FR1 or Twister, consider Powerslide Metro.
3. Get a weekend/nights job at your local supermarket or someplace - any job - for just 2 weeks max - that'll give you the extra cash you need for the FR1s/Twisters (hope I'm not being too cheeky with this one).
4. Enjoy your new specialised skates :)

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Re: Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

Postby inkh0rn » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:09 pm

@logicalguy - cheers for the advice mate, and the p/t job idea would be a good 'un if I had time to do it outside of the career/3 kiddies etc...

Regarding your experience: Did you have that feeling of instability with the shorter frames? I might need to clarify this: it's only when I'm skating at speed, not at low speeds, and only going forwards - the frame placed in the central position (Alchemys have 3 position holes) brings the front wheel right under the front of the skate so I can't see it when skating. Going backwards the wheel is placed about right and feels stable. I tried moving the frame into the front position but that then cocked up the stability going backwards ;)

Ialso posted this on another thread and someone responded with a chance to buy some used Highs - you lot aren't the UK marketing arm for Seba by any chance ;)? Thanks for the response.

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Re: Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

Postby inkh0rn » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:41 pm

Anyone else have any advice? I've been thinking hard and am probably going to go for the Seba FRX. I think the 'tippy' sensation will have to be overcome with time on the skates, and I want to begin learning slalom as well. I may just get some cheaper rec skates as well for 'comfort' and fitness skating locally. I can probably afford to do this after flogging some other gear (ie. my quads!).

I've measured my foot (293mm) and according to the confusing Seba charts I should look at a size 10 in the FR1/FRX? I am a UK 11 shoe/trainer and usually a 12 in skates (admitteldly my Supreme Turbo quads are WAY too big as 12's, 11's would have been fine). I've spoken to some shops and it seems UK11 is my safest bet in these - I want them to be tight but not to the point where my toe is stubbed out every time I skate them - that's can't be good for me feet. Would people agree that seems sensible? My local skate shop at the rink doesn't stock Sebas, it's all quads and inline hockey skates with a couple of rec skates.

Would still appreciate advice from any knowledge peeps out there :)

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Re: Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

Postby dodgy » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:50 pm

I think you should forget the rec skates & just go for a comfy pair of freeskates. 243 frame which you can put 80mm wheels on for stability when street skating, but which you can rocker 76 80 80 76 when you want to do slalom.

After you've got used to the rockered set up you probably won't want to go back to a flat set up.

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Re: Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

Postby ephillips » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:30 pm

You'll master any frame length soon enough- especially a 4x80mm 243mm. The majority of LFNS marshals use that frame length in traffic and on hills with no problem. I've even done London to Brighton and Oxford to Cambridge on that setup and there are some rather spectacular hills on both.

It is a nice setup - very responsive and versatile.

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Re: Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

Postby inkh0rn » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:55 pm

Cheers for the replies - and dodgy, I will pm you at some point to find out when you're next out in Southport to come over and see what's up :)

Have thought long & hard & ordered some FRX's in size 11 after a good chat with the helpful bloke at Skate Asylum. Fingers crossed they're in stock!

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Re: Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

Postby inkh0rn » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:01 pm

@ephillips - thanks for the advice mate. Just wondered - did you have any brake on for those long skates? I really need to learn more stops and slides as I can only T-stop, spin stop or use a brake. What stops work best on hills with rough asphalt (PLENTY of these where I live)?

It's this factor that led me to think of going back to rec skates - I got a powerslide universal brake for the Alchemys I had, it did fit and work but it was clearly designed for much bigger wheels - on the 76mm I was running it was dragging the floor at first even when flat...I might well get another one for the seba's.

Cheers 8)

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Re: Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

Postby ephillips » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:01 am

inkh0rn wrote:@ephillips - thanks for the advice mate. Just wondered - did you have any brake on for those long skates? I really need to learn more stops and slides as I can only T-stop, spin stop or use a brake. What stops work best on hills with rough asphalt (PLENTY of these where I live)?

It's this factor that led me to think of going back to rec skates - I got a powerslide universal brake for the Alchemys I had, it did fit and work but it was clearly designed for much bigger wheels - on the 76mm I was running it was dragging the floor at first even when flat...I might well get another one for the seba's.

Cheers 8)


I didn't use a heel break for those (as I admittedly don't really know how to use one) but others did. If you can t-stop properly it will work for almost any hill - but then again I've been doing it for over a decade. Even though they're hideously uncool, if you're on a short frame like the FRX then the heel break is the more powerful stopping method out of the two - especially if you're starting out.

But don't use it at the expense of learning slides and other stops! The heel break can often arrest people's development as they get too comfortable with it and become scared to take it off.

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Re: Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

Postby inkh0rn » Tue May 03, 2011 7:40 pm

The FRX have landed! A great fit (tight but not so tight than I had to take them off after 15 mins). I can tell already they are WAY superior to the Alchemies. Only problem is I've managed to bruise my right ankle bone so I can't skate in them without having bowel-releasing waves of pain from that nice supportive cuff...bollocks! Can't wait to get out in 'em.

Only minor gripe so far - the cuff strap's mountings could double as corn removers from Boots...I've taken skin off my wrist and sliced a chunk out of my finger on the edges of them already - v poor, Seba :(. Will have to get some sandpaper to those!

Otherwise I'm chuffed to bits and can't wait to get out in 'em. Dodgy, be heading your way at some point! :)

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Re: Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

Postby ephillips » Tue May 03, 2011 8:03 pm

inkh0rn wrote:The FRX have landed! A great fit (tight but not so tight than I had to take them off after 15 mins). I can tell already they are WAY superior to the Alchemies. Only problem is I've managed to bruise my right ankle bone so I can't skate in them without having bowel-releasing waves of pain from that nice supportive cuff...bollocks! Can't wait to get out in 'em.:)


It will get better. I don't think I ever bothered doing the cuff up if that helps.

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Re: Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

Postby logicalguy » Tue May 03, 2011 8:55 pm

inkh0rn wrote:The FRX have landed! A great fit (tight but not so tight than I had to take them off after 15 mins). I can tell already they are WAY superior to the Alchemies.


That's what I appreciate the most about quality products (especially for sports and music in my case) - they make you want to make use of them and practice more and more. Good for you.

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Re: Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

Postby dodgy » Wed May 04, 2011 4:51 pm

inkh0rn wrote:The FRX have landed! A great fit (tight but not so tight than I had to take them off after 15 mins). I can tell already they are WAY superior to the Alchemies. Only problem is I've managed to bruise my right ankle bone so I can't skate in them without having bowel-releasing waves of pain from that nice supportive cuff...bollocks! Can't wait to get out in 'em.

Only minor gripe so far - the cuff strap's mountings could double as corn removers from Boots...I've taken skin off my wrist and sliced a chunk out of my finger on the edges of them already - v poor, Seba :(. Will have to get some sandpaper to those!

Otherwise I'm chuffed to bits and can't wait to get out in 'em. Dodgy, be heading your way at some point! :)


Good stuff. Wasn't sure if you were here on Monday - about 50 of your fellow Wiganites (from the Roller Rink apparently) descended on our Promenade en masse & frightened the elasticated pants off our local old bids (y) 8)

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Re: Rec Skates or Slalom/Freestyle?

Postby inkh0rn » Wed May 04, 2011 6:18 pm

LMFAO! Pie-nese Roller skaters x 50 + bidders = bloomer sheddage. Quality.

I'd love to have been in the sunny 'port on Mon, but was acutally AT the rink on quads with me kids for 'May-hem Day' ...faring very poorly in some little skating games :) Still, managed to be in a winning team (not thru my 'slowest slalom with beach ball in rink history' effort) and got 2 free sesh's to come :)

I had no idea anyone was going but then again I'm not kewl enough to be in the kewl crowd of lightning-speed backskaters etc. ;)


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