You can’t design and promote roller skates without joining in with the fun, so Rachael from Rio Roller recently grabbed a pair of Riots and took them out on track to see how they ride.
“When I first put the skates on, I’ll admit, I was scared. Not because I didn’t have faith, but more because it’s always nerve-wracking wearing new skates on track and also the fact that these skates are so light! I’ve been used to heavy skates for so long that it felt a bit strange.
I started off nice and slowly to see how they would take to the track surface.
We deliberately designed these skates with beginners in mind. I’m not a complete newbie. I have skated for years and been a rookie derby skater for nearly a year now. I feel that the wheels we put on the skates do work well for newbies. They are soft enough to grip, which is great for practicing crossovers, plus they still have a decent amount of slide in them, which is perfect for plough stops.
The only things I found tricky were T-Stops. It felt like I was learning them from scratch as I naturally pressed my back foot down a bit too hard.
Within a few minutes, and with some tips from a teammate, I relaxed my back foot and put less pressure on it, then the T-Stops became nice a smooth. It was definitely a great tip and I recommend it to anyone whether you are using the standard Riot wheels or other soft / grippy wheels. Just go lightly on the back foot so your wheels don’t bump along.
When you first take the skates out of the box, you may notice that a couple of the wheels don’t touch the ground. This isn’t always the case but it can happen. I had this, but it wasn’t an issue at all. They were just unworn and, once I had skated on them for the first time, they were fine. My weight balanced them out nicely (and I’m a light girl).
I had a good skate around the track to get used to the new light skates and it felt pretty good.
The only flaw I found was mostly to do with how I laced them up and how my feet and legs react to them. I am still finding out what way to tie them up so that they aren’t too loose or too tight. That will just come with practice though, as with all new skates you try out.
Personally my favourite bit about wearing the skates was the stopper position. Everyone has their own preference. Some like to have their stoppers low and some have them high. I found that having them the height they came as standard was perfect for me. I did a couple of hops and a few wobbly derby stops then found that I was able to just jog on the spot with my stops. It was great. No big clunky wheels getting in the way!
The next step now is to build up a lot of speed on the skates. I have skated fast but not as fast as many of my team mates. I’m also going to add some funky toe caps on.
It’s important to remember that the toe areas will get scuffed and grazed so I recommend using toe caps right away to preserve the skates as much as a derby skater can”.
Rio Riot skates are available from many great skates stores now!