This Is How I Roll! P3 – Roller Derby Gear Reviews

I’ve gone and done it again. Yes – I switched skates and plates at the start of 2015!

Best. Decision. Ever.

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Credit: Nico Lightfield, Caen

Continue reading “This Is How I Roll! P3 – Roller Derby Gear Reviews”

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!!

I have a problem.

A serious problem.

I bought more wheels. Things that happened today mean I now own the entire Suregrip Fugitive Mid range.

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However it is also sad as I recently found out when trying to purchase my final mixer set, that Suregrip are no longer going to produce the Suregrip Fugitive mids (fugi mids), they are however using the “Rollouts” as a replacement. Pretty similar however ever so slightly different in size. And it is sad they are changing the wheels, I’m sure it’s with good reason and maybe they have improved them, however I have the Fugi mids and I like them. I admit I would love a set of Radar Diamonds…. but sadly the fugi mids are much more in my price range – especially as there were few mid/slim wheels available at the point I bought.

My obsession with Suregrip Fugitive mids started when I spoke with a friend. TurboPete of Southern Discomfort and had a wealth of knowledge. So I bugged him for help and advice and thankfully he helped me out instead of telling me to do one. Turbo happened to be playing the Big O tournament in the land of derbygoodness and so we arranged for him to bring me back some wheels, under his advice and guidance we agreed that the Fugi mids would be ideal for my skating style and ability. I got them, I loved them. However I had chosen the 90a duro which did not feel quite so helpful where I could do with less grip…

So late last year I ordered a full set of 96a and a half set of 93a. I realised my mistake more recently in ordering the 93a, generally the idea with pushers is to have atleast a 4 duro difference for the mix to be effective.

Now, I don’t want to rock the boat with the whole pusher/anti pusher debates. I do feel that pushers/mixed durometer can be felt working. I do however feel a skater should be more than competent skating on a full set of wheels. This is my reasoning for having the full sets I do, and the half sets I do.

  • Grippy floor = full set of 96a
  • Slippy floor = full set of 90a
  • Also a half set (4) of 93a

I have felt a little bit of sliding on my 90a as of recent since coming back from the Christmas break and I do feel as though our floor has been cleaned within an inch of it’s life to have lost a little grip. So today I chose to order a half set of 87a bearing in mind the state of some of the floors in the UK I figured it is best to err on the side of caution and have a sticky wheel available to mix with a harder wheel to avoid losing speed as a jammer – I have experienced a problem in which sometimes I push too hard coming up to corners thanks to my figure skating background so having just a small bit of stickygrippy really can help when leaning into a corner.

So now I am able to mix:

  • 96a/90a mix
  • 93a/87a mix

So welcome to the family my half set of 87a purple Suregrip Fugitive Mids! I hope these will arrive before Thursday as I would like time to be able to bed them in as Saturday… wait for it…..

IS BOUTDAY!

Yes…. Saturday 15th will see me playing my first bout with Mansfield Misfits. We will be playing against Barnsley Blackhearts and will also be joined by the Inhuman League and Lincolnshire Rolling Thunder for a mens roller derby bout! I am sure I will write a bit more about this at some point this week!

Oh and my Suregrip Isis boots? Doing well! I went to Rollerworld Derby with my derby wife and our lovely Jevo for a free skate and lovey derby night out. I was taken out by a small child who decided to just stop infront of me with no warning or looking behind him whatsoever. Ninjasmallpeople. Cut up my knee which sucks as it is my prefered fall knee. But on the plus side, no blisters! Working with Compeed plasters, two pairs of socks and the power of unicorns!!

We did it!

Quick lunchtime post… 😀 

Freak. out.

 You know that scene in Waynes World? The one where Garth freaks out? Yeah….

When my derby wife said we would be leading a training session I did that. I feel stupid thinking about it because I have taught skating for a while – however my mind just went to mush. Maybe it had something to do with teaching people my age who may have had more of an expectation than younger and newer skaters.

But we did it. Last night I took 45 minutes of skating and Kara took 45 minutes of endurance.

There were positives and negatives. The negative mainly being my insole wearing through mid 20 minutes of hell which sucked – and I say that whole heartedly as we were not far off completing the drill. 5 more minutes in soles! I could have been proud!

So I think I did poop. 6 days of non-stop has not been great to my mind and body so last night was a bit daunting knowing I was going into the night not feeling myself. But I taught stuff. I had to miss some stuff out due to time constraints and not being as fluid as I wanted to be, especially with my words – my words did not want to come out last night what so ever.

Kara did fab, she has this sense about her in which she commands respect from everyone but she is on the level with people so there is a huge level of comfort and trust there. We had a good run of endurance and at point I asked another skater if it was possible to love and hate someone at the same time… but it felt good! Once I broke through the pain barrier it was smooth sailing – until my insole went stupid.

There was so much more I would have liked to have gone over but I think some of it is best brought up by other skaters, to bring up areas they struggle with. For instance I think working on backwards skating will be of great help to some of the girls! The future holds interesting skating times for sure!  

With my insoles going, I am not contemplating what to do. Do I get insoles and buy some cheap R3s for outdoor use… or … do I get a new boot for indoor and use my old skates for outdoor… Hmm. WANT!! Derby cravings…

So mission report – good. 🙂

CaptainsDead -YAY!