Well, when I started on this merry journey, I hadn’t planned on making it a 10-part post, but I guess that’s how long it took. I FINALLY have a happy combination in my loop skates that has lasted me more than a few days of practice, and on multiple floor conditions. After about two days of practice I couldn’t deal with the urethane anymore – it just doesn’t curve! I was on the softest urethane, almost completely loose action, and I was still having issues with the skate stopping short. Finally, what I decided to do was use the hard yellow upper rubber cushions and the extra soft green flexible urethane cushions on the bottom.
|Took the big yellow one from here|
|And the small green one from here|
It is a bit like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” only this was more like “Whiny Figure Skater and the Ten Million Cushion Combinations.” In any case, when I used the medium rubber it was just too soft – it felt like the skate was literally collapsing with no support. With the urethane I had the opposite problem, where the skate was so stable I found it hard to turn. Using the large rubber and small urethane, I feel stable but still able to press a decent curve. It is hard to explain, but at the crown of the loop circle, the deepest part of the edge, on my old skates I always felt like I could press into the cushions a little bit more to keep a consistent curve. I had been missing that feeling for the past few months on the new skates – but I finally feel like I have that ability to get that slightly extra amount of pressure that is needed when I do the difficult part of the loop.
|Entering the loop|
I will say that in general, for other types of skating, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the mixing and matching of rubber and urethane because it does have a slightly less stable feel. Which is helpful in the loops because it makes the skate easy to turn. I think that for dance, figures, or freestyle it would make holding a decent edge or feeling secure on jump landings a lot more difficult however. After several months of experimentation I am very happy with all of my new skates. In general, I do like the Roll Line plates more than the Atlas, although I will say that the Atlas is still an excellent plate. If I were not working on some of the more complex dances and figures involving difficult turns, I don’t think switching plates would have made much of a difference. However, I do think that the Roll Line make it easier to get a solid consistent curve. In terms of making adjustments to the click action, Atlas is much easier, so I would still recommend those plates to skaters who are going to have only one set of skates for figures and loops. If one decides to go with the Roll Line, I think the rubber cushions are better for figures, although different skaters have different preferences. I like the urethane better for dance, as I feel more secure skating at the higher speeds, and I could see how it would make jump landings more stable for freestyle skaters as well.
All in all I am very happy with my skates now. I finally feel like they are my skates – the dance and loop plates feel comfortable and secure, and the figure boots are finally starting to feel like they are my boots and not a brand new pair of skates. I am happy because now instead of fussing with my skates I can work on fixing me and just focus on the skating.