This Is How I Roll! P2 – Roller Derby Gear Reviews

I have changed my skates a little since my last this is how I roll post, and I have gone through three sets of skates in my derby career so far. I really like my current set up and I have seen many ask about reviews and opinions on my wheels and boot – the plate is widely used so I will only pop up a short “I really like these” note. I have posted before to show that I use particular brands and products, however I haven’t actually reviewed the one thing that should really get a review (especially as I can’t actually find a proper review anywhere!) – the Suregrip Isis boot.

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Running on juice – wheels that is!

So way back at the start of 2014 I finally got my hands on some Juice wheels, they weren’t readily available in the UK so I ended up purchasing from overseas. I am glad to say that you can now get them in the UK – I personally favor Harlots sponsor and place where most of my money goes – the Derbystore in Sheffield where the owner has even tried and approved Juice Martini wheels himself! And as of this year, we even have our own Juice using rep in the UK – #247 Eves-Ormai of Lincolnshire Rolling Thunder!

Since my original post talking about getting the wheels, I haven’t had chance to actually post a review of these. So here goes!

Juice Martini Cosmo 93a wheels
Juice Martini Cosmo 93a wheels

Wheels : Juice Martini Cosmo 93a

I have struggled to find wheels that work with me and not against me, when I read a blog by Shocker Khan in 2013, on the release of Juice Martini wheels I instantly fell in love with them. At first I wasn’t able to buy them due to an already fresh wheel purchase, however later on I figured I may as well take a leap or I’ll never know! So I did. I couldn’t help myself – a wheel which compressed and worked with your body was an impressive idea, when I found out about them they weren’t readily available in the UK so I had to track some down overseas and have them shipped over. And I was not disappointed!

As soon as I had them in my grasp they felt so well made and different to every other wheel I’d come across. On my skates? Beautiful. The Martini Cosmo wheel is so reactive and allows you to take all the power and energy stored during skating and use it when you need it most. It almost gives you a boost! As a mid sized wheel, it is ideal for anyone who often blocks and jams. As a blocker they give you added strength to your stance and powerbox allowing you to really dig down whether in a wall or giving/taking a hit, as a jammer they react to every lean, every turn, every crossover – the difference they make when you are juking and using quick footwork is unexpectedly incredible!! The best part of the compression of the wheel is that you do not sacrifice your speed for grip. You can continue to skate while the wheel moves with your body to help your stay with (usually) all 8 wheels on the ground!

I am genuinely 100% impressed with this wheel, it really does put a spring in your skate and does everything it says on the pack and more! The only downside? I can’t afford to buy more in the other durometers and versions! The near £60 price tag for just a 4 pack of wheels is fairly steep, I will admit this, however this wheel is worth every penny and more!!

After skating on these for nearly a year, I have barely seen any wear or tear – admittedly having to take in to consideration the 3 months of non skating due to my ankle break! But these have held up so well and I am doubtful I would want to go back to another brand of wheel.

The only thing I would question, is whether or not I should have gone for the 91a Sapphires instead of the 93a Cosmos. As a 5 ft 3 female who tends to vary in weight from anywhere between 9 – 10.5st – it is difficult to judge the set up I should be skating on most of the time. Maybe I will end up with some Sapphires at a later date, but the Cosmos definitely do their job!!

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Juice offers a small but great range of wheels as below:

The Martini series – with a dual pour radial core, available in 91a, 93a, 96a – sitting at 59x38mm. Price range: £59.99 @ Derbystore

The Spiked series – with banded edge technology, available 91a, 93a, 96a – sitting at 59x38mm OR 62x38mm. Price range: £49.99 @ Derbystore

The Jolt series – a hybrid wheel, available in 80a, sitting at 59x38mm OR 62x38mm. Price range: £29.99

The Java series – a high performance and durable wheel at a more affordable price, available in 86a, 88a, 90a, sitting at 59x38mm. Price range: $39.99 @ 2n1SkateShoppe 

So these arrived after I broke my ankle... way back when I was in the back slab cast! Juice Java 90a wheels
So these arrived after I broke my ankle… way back when I was in the back slab cast! Juice Java 90a wheels

I was so impressed with Juice wheels, I entered a competition to win a set of the new Juice Java wheels – somewhat a similar style to the Suregrip Fugitive Mids but in my honest opinion, a much higher quality even just to touch! I won a set of 86a Javas – woopeee!! Thank you Juice wheels!! The level of faith I have in this brand led me to blind purchase a set of 90a Javas from 2N1SkateShoppe to match! The way the Martini wheels work removes the need to use a pusher set up if you used before (which is fantastic!) – but as the Java wheels do not compress the way the Martini’s dual-pour radial core does, I chose to put together two sets of Java wheels which would still give me that advantage on a much slipper floor where I really needed a lower durometer for grip, again without sacrificing speed!

I have yet to fully bed these in so I may end up writing another review on the Juice Java wheels – especially as I would probably say due to the difference in price that these are more their wallet-friendly range of wheels – but this does not mean at any point they are not good quality!

The more I type, the more I feel like I need a set of Martini Sapphire wheels though.. one day!

So I may be a little obsessed. I admit to having a wheel problem. Hopefully this review will have helped others who are considering Juice wheels to take the plunge!

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I love Juice wheels!! I want more Martini!!

Suregrip Isis boot – the aftermath..

So… the Suregrip Isis boot..

IS MINE!!

After going back and forth in my head, bugging people about whether or not to get them or whether to just duct tape my skates back together and hope for the best, I caved.

So I tried my size 5 and my size 6 on, the size 5 fitted ok but was slightly too tight on my toes and restricted movement/bend to push off, whilst the size 6 was pretty perfect! I tested them out size wise by doing a run on the spot to check for maneuverability. Seemed all good! Karat had asked me re pusher setups as she currently runs on Radar bullets 93a and had noticed some slipping under her, so when at the Derbystore it just so happened that they had some other durometers of the bullets on the shelf – all of a sudden she had gone from just getting some Zeronuts to having some matching Radar bullets in 88a – yellow. I am now considering whether or not to get some more Fugitive mids to go with my current ones, this time in a 87a setup..?

It would appear when I got my plates that I may have gone for an accidently shortforward mount… even though I bought my plates in accordance with the Suregrip plate size table thingy. But this still works for me!

In return I booked tickets to go see the Lego Movie for the night it comes out in the cinema over here. Yay! Lego 😀

Lego derby girl

So they had their first outing on our Sunday night session, and I managed an hour and a half before having to give my feet a break. Aparrently stopped at the right time to avoid a blister! Lucky me! I put them back on after our rather awesome derby friendly medic wrapped my ankles up and off I went again. I didn’t skate as much but I rolled around paying attention to what our guest coaches were teaching us.

Karat also had luck with her wheels – response? She had not lost her speed/agility but could feel herself better sticking to the track on crossovers and corners. DERBY GEAR WIN!

We ave our very first bout as a team in two weeks time. I have two weeks to break my boots in.

Thankfully… the only issue I am having is with my left ankle. And I have noticed the more research I have done on the Isis boot, there is a general consensous that the Isis boot is that perfect it doesn’t really take much to break in – if any! So for the next two weeks I will be giving them as much breaky in love as possible!

Fingers crossed and I will update soon!