Archive for the ‘Gear’ Category

Specialty Gear: the Skater’s Coach

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Skater's Coach logoA product called the Skaters Coach (TM) is available to make inline skating accessible to aging skaters who are still competent with the basic stride and able to effectively use the heel brake but can no longer afford to fall down. Curious? Watch a (helmetless) skater using the Skaters Coach in this video.

Inventor Tom Demme is in the over-60s age group. As he explains it, “I had a need for fitness after my total knee replacements. Now I still use my Skaters Coach when skating every week, simply because I cannot afford to be injured and miss work.  It makes me feel safe and secure from falling. I use it down by the lakefront in Chicago and it’s fun.” He says that most of his buyers are skaters over the age of 60 who want to continue the sport.

4XS Brake Technology Update

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Last year I conducted a small survey asking people “How much extra would you pay for a new pair of skates if they had the 4XS installed? ” referring to a new cuff-activated braking technology I tested and loved.  I am still getting a trickle of responses, with the overwhelming majority willing to pay at least $20 more — and a few who said they’d pay $100!

Latest 4XS disk brake prototype

Rollerblade Spark Pro Review

Sunday, June 20th, 2010


I really like my new skates, the women’s model of the Rollerblade Spark Pro.

A box arrived mid winter when the days were short, the pavement wet and the season’s snow skiing  was at is best. By May, I’d barely gotten the chance to try them out with a decent pair of replacement insoles. (Customizing the foot bed is a standard with me; I get the feeling skate manufacturers expect users to toss away their wimpy stock insoles.)

Lefties! How To Swap Your Heel Brake

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Which foot leads when you pull on a pair of pants, start up a stairway or kick a ball? Do you have an injury that changed your original habits? Could you be one of those oddballs who is right handed but left footed?

Knowing the answer to this question is very important to the first-time skater. Since new skates are always sold with the brake mounted on the right, left-footed beginners never find out that swapping the brake would make it ten times easier to learn the essential safety skills of braking and preventing unwanted speed.