Validate Your Email Address

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Thank you again for joining the SkatesEmporium community!  I’m really glad you are here!


26 thoughts on “Validate Your Email Address”

  1. I liked your review of the Vanilla Spyder skate. Regarding your comments comparing Vanilla generally and the preference experienced skaters have for Lugino: Can you expand upon this? Even though your not a speed skater, with the boots in hand, do you see obvious differences in the quality of construction? Comfort wise, would you expect the more expensive skates to be distinctly more comfortable? Other factors; weight maybe? I’m just puzzled. The Vanilla skates look like an especially good value yet I’m not clear as to what additional benefit comes with the more expensive models. I’m just getting into this; now skating fitness boots; on a budget so don’t want to spend double for limited additional benefits. The Carbon model looks quite good and has generally positive reviews elsewhere.

    Thanks.. Creegr

    • Hi Creegr,

      Sorry for the very delayed response. I appreciate you dropping me a question. My youngest daughter is really into inline speed skating. She is 12 and currently uses the Vanilla Carbon skates. I had a pair of the Vanilla Spyder skates, but I gave them to a friend at my local rink. I just couldn’t get used to the low cut boot and no ankle support of an inline, but all of the kids love them. The Vanilla Carbon especially is great for someone just starting out because of it’s lower price point.

      From a basic construction standpoint, the Spyder and Luigino skates are very similar and also similarly priced. They both have a heat moldable boot and they offer a similar bearing and wheel. I find that most of the advanced inline skaters at my rink prefer the Luigino brand because the boot is more comfortable. They claim that the boot gives more support around the ankle. They also say the heel does not move as much.

      Cosmetically, the Luigino boot also tends not to get scuffed up as easily. The Vanilla brand is beautiful – especially brand new – but I have found that the plastic on the boot easily comes off on the Carbon and the Spyders after quite a bit of use. Also, if you are serious into speed, then most have recommended to me and my daughter that you go with a 110mm wheel. A taller wheel is harder to control, but it gives you more roll for each push. Most of the Vanilla inlines come with a 100mm wheel. It’s easy enough to change those out, though. Weight is also always a consideration, but the Luigino and Spyder are very similar.

      All and all, skates are really all about preference. The Carbon and Spyder are both great skates. My kiddo loves hers. You really have to try skates out to see what you like. My best recommendation is to go to a rink, join a speed team and borrow other people’s skates to see what you like / don’t like. Everyone has their own opinion about what works / doesn’t work. There is no “right” answer. Just people’s opinions.

      I really appreciate you dropping me your question. If I learn anything new about the differences, I’ll be sure to post it here.

      Thanks again,


  2. I’m now 37 with 3 children.i stopped skating when I had my first child and now are takeing it up agen with them.they love it.and my fitness levels have gone up already.❤

  3. I enjoyed this article as I love to skate but due to circumstances have not had the opportunities to head to my local roller rink for a while. This has made me think about getting into outdoor skating which is free afterall and what could be better than soaking up some fresh air. 🙂

  4. Hi I am Clarence , I would love to come and go skating at your rink. I am a Southwest airlines flight attendant and can travel anywhere. Google; “Clarence and Frank funny flight attendants” I especially love good equipment and gear advice as my shoe size is 16 and of course I need equipment that fits! I am quite fit and fast for my age and would love to chat further especially about additional equipment purchases thank you!

    • Hi Clarence – I skate at Playland Skate Center in Austin, TX. It’s the largest rink here in Austin. I did a quick google of your videos and you are so funny. Those are great! You should make a YouTube channel so you can organize all of your videos. I saw many people who have recorded you on different flights through out the years. That’s so cool!

      A size 16 shoe can be a real challenge as they do not make every skate in that size. Are you a quad or more of an inline skater?

  5. Hey Jeff. By 8years baby is skating for last 1year in Haryana, India. Before reading your article I realised that coach was cheating me. He always purchase his own wheels for her. Because I don’t know anything about skating. But Now I can decide what to buy next.


    Thanks so much.

    Jai Kumar

  6. Hi Jeff,
    It is fantastic to have contact with an “old school” artistic skater! I started skating at age 3 and at 6 competing in dance and figure until my teens. I switched to outdoor inline skating in the 80’s and 90’s. 25 year hiatus and now I am back at a rink since July. My currant indoor skates are a Suregrip 93 white boot, Snyder Dance Imperial plate (45 degree kingpin) because it is what I learned to skate on. Wheels are Suregrip Whiskey Royals 101a, 57mm and bearings are Suregrip QUBE Gold Swiss. The biggest change for me in skating was to learn to skate on the concrete epoxy coated floor with this set-up. The feel of the wheels are very different on the concrete surface and after I busted my —- I have finally mastered it, but on a wood floor they are a dream.
    I enjoy your podcasts and am learning a lot as skating has certainly changed through the years.

    • Wow! Thanks, Jane, for rollin’ by and leaving a comment. I’m glad you are liking the podcast episodes. Your skates sound awesome. They sound very similar to what I used to skate on when I did artistic skating many years ago. In my opinion, nothing beats a wood floor. If all you have is concrete, then it will have to do, but wood is where it is at. Thanks again for stopping by and dropping me a line. Have fun skating!

    • Thanks for rollin’ by James. I will certainly have lots of skating tips coming in future episodes of the podcast, the email newsletter and the website. Glad you are here.

  7. Hi my name is Phillip Johnson, I live in Los Angeles, Ca. I’ve been skating for over 30 + years consistently. I’ve skated at every skating rink in the Los Angeles area, from flippers( West Hollywood, Ca) to starlite (North Hollywood) to the famous World on Wheels (Los Angeles, Ca). I believe roller skating isn’t a hobby it’s lifestyle.
    I’m considered a O.G in the community. I consider myself to be a trendsetter of all ages. Thank you for bringing this pod cast to the forefront it is so so needed for the roller skate community. Shouts out to Felicia for theUnited skate documentary Congrats!! Rollin until the wheels fall off. KIP (keep it pushin).

    • Hi Phillip – Thanks for joining the Club and for listening to the podcast! Nice collection of rinks. I need to get out to L.A. and check out the rinks there. I’ve been to LA a couple of times, but I never got a chance to skate the rinks. Thanks for rollin’ by! – Jeff

  8. Jeff,
    Enjoyed your podcast with Milla Juke-a-Bitch. As it turns out, I am her Dad and am quite proud of her accomplishments, not only in roller derby but as a fine human.
    Couple of things that I would have added: She started her skating on the roof of her company’s parking garage before going to Playland.
    Mama Milla (Diana Johnson) was not for the Milla JAB name in the beginning but is all about it now.
    In Milla’s list of You Tube games and archives, she did not talk about the numerous promo videos she has filmed and edited to promote the Lonestar Rollergirls as a league and individual bouts. Many are true works of art with various themes. I think my favorite is a recruiting effort called: What makes a Rollergirl SPECIAL.
    They call him “Papa Juke”

    • Hey there, Papa Juke! I am so happy to hear from you. It’s great to see such encouraging parents helping support their children’s interests. I will definitely have Milla back on the show and talk to her about her parking garage practice. I myself have skated in many a parking lot and parking garage. Skater’s gotta skate….no matter where it’s at. And thank you for the video link. That is an awesome video. I already told Milla that she’d have to come back on the show so we can discuss the history and the archives more. I think there is gold in them there videos. Thanks again for rollin’ by!

  9. Hi Jeff. I am 47 years old and have always loved skating. Just don’t do it often and not the best at it. I love love love it though. I need to lose about 20 lbs. Not sure why I never thought of it before, however now I am here and I am going to invest in some skates so I can lose weight while having fun. Any suggestions on the type of 4 wheel skates I should get for outdoors?

    • Thanks for reaching out and for being a member of the Club. Roller skating is such great exercise. As I get older, I am doing it myself a few times a week to try to keep the pounds down. It seems as I get older (I’m 44), it’s harder and harder to keep the weight off.

      As far as skates go, it really depends on your budget and what you prefer. For outdoor skating in quads, I feel the most important thing on the skate are the wheels. Especially on asphalt and rough concrete. I use the Atom Pulse wheels or Sure-Grip Motion Wheels. Both are soft and work well outdoors. The great part is, though, that you can easily change the wheels out on any pair of skates pretty easily if you do skate indoors.

      If you’re looking for a complete skate package and you will be doing mostly outdoor skating, then I would checkout Moxi Roller Skates. They are old school skates (high top boot, colorful design, etc). They are pretty nice skates and cost less than $300.

      I personally wear Vanilla (VNLA) speed / jam skates. They are pretty comfortable. You can find them on some reputable sites like Amazon, and I just switch out the wheels on my VNLAs depending on the surface I’m skating on.

      I hope that helps and that you have a great time skating!

  10. I just joined this club and look forward to the information and conversation. I did a lot of skating starting at age 5. I was lucky enough to live close to an ice rink and a roller rink. I am 64 now and 3 years ago started rollerskating again after giving it up for 24 years. I took a few lessons to give me some confidence. It took about 4 2 hr sessions and I got my muscle memory back. I am strictly quad and use the suede low cut rentals. I never used rental skates and I like the lower cut boot . I will be buying my own soon and plan to roll on..

  11. Hi, I was glad to see your column on skate comparisons, but I was left with some questions. I’m getting back into skating after many years of serious couching, and just want to have fun at the rink without a lot of fancy stuff. I’ve never had a decent pair of skates and usually relied on the rentals at the rink. When I got a pair of rollerblades at a yard sale, my skating went up a few notches. Speed and maneuverability were much better. I then tried out the rentals again, and the difference was extreme.
    They not only were much slower, but they actually slid sideways while going around a curve. I’m sure this has mostly to do with the quality of rental skates, but now that I’m ready to buy a good pair, I’m reluctant to go with quads. I find that maneuverability is very important, because when I go faster than most people at the rink, I sometimes need to weave suddenly to avoid abruptly meeting up with someone in a rather awkward manner. Especially with all the youngsters, who realize that a lot of the fun to be had is found in performing unexpected moves, such as going sideways, abruptly stopping, or darting out in front of low-flying pilots. So, the higher maneuverability of my straight-line yard-sale finds is a priority for me. (I once was approached by a young woman skater who identified herself as a roller derby player. She invited me to a match, and said they needed more people to be referees. She thought I would be good at that, because I’ve “got some moves”. Quite a validation for a guy in his late sixties who hadn’t skated in a couple of her lifetimes.)
    So, to my question. Will a good quality pair of quads give me the maneuverability and speed of a good quality pair of blades at the rink?

    • Thanks, Ken, for rollin’ by. Good question. Speed and maneuverability have more to do with the skater than the skates. While a lot of rentals are horrible, I’m sure you’d agree that you have more speed and maneuverability in them than a beginner skater would in great skates. If all things are equal from the skater perspective, then typically you are going to get more speed out of a rollerblade (and even more with a inline speed skate – anything with 100mm+ tall wheels). It’s just the way they are designed – more with speed in mind. Now, on maneuverability, I think it’s a wash. It’s what you are personally used to. There are certainly quads that offer great maneuverability. I haven’t written much about it in the past, but this is where a really nice skate plate comes into play. It can give you the extra action to be able to turn on a dime. The important part is to just keep on skating and have a great time while doing it. I sometimes put on a pair of blades or inline skates, but I always go back to my quads most of the time because they are what I’m most comfortable in and the ones I have the most fun with. I’d say stick with what you like unless you want to try out something new and get better at more types of skating. Have fun skating and thanks for rollin’ by!

  12. Jeff,
    I am a quad speed skater and have the EXACT same issue as you had but I have the Reidell Icon Elite skates that bruise the bottom of my ankel bone every time I go to speed practice because they sit right below my ankle bone and in speed your constantly cutting left at high rates of speed. It was to the point my ankle on my left foot hurt so badly I had to stop going for weeks and couldnt even put boots or any shoes that would touch my ankle bone. I tried all the methods you suggested including the Ezfits.. but unfortunately for me none of it worked although I will say the Ezfits helped a little. Luckily my boyfriend is a skate shop owner and expert at putting together skates and extremely good at solving problems like this. He told me we needed to build up the inside sole from the heel and taper to the insole of my foot with padding to raise my ankle up higher out of the skate to avoid the fiction. So he had some round white pads not sure what brand or what they are called but he cut them to taper under my sole insert and it worked like a charm I have no issues now thankfully. I just thought I would share this with you since I had the same issue. My next venture is to try and make my Carbon vanilla inline speed skates to not kill my inside ankle bones.. I still have not figured that one out.. and Ezfits do not help on that for me anyway. Well Take Care… and keep skating. 🙂

    • Thanks, Sheri. Awesome solution! I’ll have to try that idea out myself. Never thought of lifting the foot higher, but yes, that was the exact same issue. Keep on skain!


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