I spend time on a great site called Skatelog Forum, where skaters of all types congregate. Under people’s names, you will often see info like this:
Riedell 297, Roll-line Varient M, Grease, fo-mac/fame
Harlick Custom, Roll-line Giotto, Roll-line 49 Magnum
BONT Semi Race, 100mm, Atom Whip xtra-firm
Each of these phrases describes a skate. See, real skaters don’t buy a skate all in one piece. They buy the boots from one maker, the plate (#1 in the handy diagram) from another, trucks (the parts which attach the wheels to the plate) at another and wheels at yet another place. And I am not even mentioning the types of bearings INSIDE the wheels.
Some skaters spend time (and money-don’t forget money!) getting one pair of perfect skates. The cozy custom-made boots with just the right amount of support, the trucks of just the right length and the wheels of the perfect hardness. Other skaters have skates “set up” for different things, like speed or figures or freestyle. Some skaters grind down their own wheels or use aluminum milling machines to create their own custom plates.
Skaters obsess about this stuff for a reason. Changing wheels or trucks can make big changes to how a skate works. Skates can get more “turny” or more slippery or faster or a million other tiny differences in responsiveness, and these differences change how well the skater performs.
Some lame-ass skaters have no idea how to make their way though all these choices. These dopes don’t know how to pick and don’t want to spend lots of money trying and discarding different choices like goldilocks. These clueless twerps just ask the pro at their rink to make a skate for them, and he puts together some vintage black Hyde boy’s boots from the ’80s , a roll-line giotto plate and bones wheels… not an expensive skate, but I dig them.
Of course, I am already dreaming of my NEXT pair. Maybe Harlick boots with those new Sure Grip plates. Hmmm.