Plates and Chassis

Plates and chassis available for Quad Skates changes on a regular basis. In the 80’s and 90’s we had Variflex, Rom, Traco and Various forms of steel chassis. There was a vast selection and many skaters didn’t really spend any time researching which was the best chassis for your skates.

Today is a complete contrast. There are plenty of chassis available for your skates, ranging from Playmaker, Traco, Pro8 and Suregrip – not to mention several roller hockey chassis ranging from carbon fibre to titanium.

It was disappointing to read one so called “expert” cursed all modern chassis, stating they are nothing like a barely used chassis available in the 1990’s. Well, lets face it – production methods in the 80’s and 90’s were more “belt and braces” rather than cutting edge technology. To publicly denounce all modern chassis as “not of a quality standard” (re-phrased politely), is simply wrong. So who ever you are, expert of the best skate chassis in the 1990’s (gold star to you).

Now, for skaters who want some decent advice, read on… I hope this helps make your purchase decision a little easier.

In the 1980’s and 90’s the Variflex chassis was the strongest and cheapest available. It was, at that time, the best available baseplate. There were other chassis used on Bauer’s and Roces too – namely Rom, Traco and a very rare white chassis Bauer used for a short period. All of these chassis were flawed. Their hangers would regularly snap owing to the material they were made from – a composite material of ABS and Zytel. There were of course plenty of steel chassis all of which were strong, heavy and durable.

These days, we have fewer choices. The quality however superceeds all previous chassis produced. Today, all chassis are super tough. The playmaker and traco chasis are made from durable Zytel (a trademark of DuPont). The most important break through is the quality of the hangers. Modern playmakers hangers feature steel trucks which do not break. Well, put it this way, in 12 years of selling playmaker plates, I’ve not seen or heard of any.

Tracco chassis are strong but lack a pivot cup – this is an advantage for some skaters and a disadvantage for others. In either case, the Traco or Playmaker chassis is a perfectly acceptable lightweight chassis for 90% of the skater population. There is nothing wrong with them and I will go so far as to say they have help move skating forward in terms of making skates more affordable, safer, lighter and stronger.

Suregrip chassis (Alu Avenger etc) are expensive option for a lightweight plate. They are however very strong. The question of strength greatly depends on your style of skating – whether you’re a speed skater, jam skater or like slamming your boots to the ground. Strength of modern chassis are better than they have ever been – that said, I have not seen a playmaker or traco chassis snapped in half as a result of poor quality or skating. I’m convinced, based the number of baseplates sold – playmaker and traco chassis are the best available – best value for money, best wear and tear and best for 90% of recreational skaters.

For more info on Zytel – see here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zytel

Suregrip-Avenger-Blk Suregrip-Avenger (2) Traco-III-Skate-Chassis Gold-Chassis

Posted in Buyers Guide, Quad Skates, Skate Accessories

The UK Skate Scene

I was fortunate enough to meet a really kind person the other week who reminded me what skating in the UK is (or for the purposes of this post) was in the UK around 20-25 years ago.

Skating was a fun recreational activity, supported by your local community centre. You’d hang out at the local skate shop, meet your friends, meet new friends, learn some new skate moves and then go to the sweet shop for 10p hubba bubba and a can of 40p Coca Cola. And maybe some 10p crisps. You’d then hang outside the corner shop for a bit, waiting for your last buddy to turn up (late), even though one of you in the group had called his home (from a pay phone) using a phone card or a 10p.

Finally, when your late friend turns up – you’d skate off, somewhere unknown… maybe a street skate, the local park, a shopping centre (only to be chased out), a skate park or even skate over to another friends house.

Skating in the 80’s and 90’s was about friends, having a laugh and social interaction.

There was no ego. No “profit” before skate. No selling the right t-shirt to be in the right gang. If you wanted to skate. You could. You didn’t need an activity, organisation or affiliation to go out and skate. These days, you have to be part of a club, league, family of whatever… Where’s the fun in skating gone?

Perhaps there are too many organisers, trying to organise a very small skate community? Maybe there’s one too many big fish in the pond? So many people with their facebook ego’s one-up-manship and hidden agendas make me realise how skating failed in the 1990’s and why so many people moved on to other types of skating / BMX or just gave up.

My only rule when skating is leave your ego behind. Just roll.

Big thanks to Alaine (you know who you are!!!) for her skating memories and helping me jog mine.

jus roll

Posted in The BRSF, UK Roller Derby, UK Skate Scene

Bauer Turbo Skates

What’s happening with Bauer Turbos?

There are loads of sellers on eBay selling reconditioned Bauer Boots – some look okay too. All the pictures are all shiny and you make a bid, hoping they fit and in good condition. So, you’ve just won an auction or bought it now and they arrive… what happens next?

The first point to remember and what many people don’t know about original Bauer Turbos is that they are at least 15+ years old. Some models (the very early Bauers) were an Italian boot made of thicker plastic materials can be over 30 years old. So, the shiny boot that was advertised on ebay is at least 15 years old and the shine starts to come off.

The price you paid for a pair of “retro” Bauer skates should be one that you can justify. In comparison to new boots – you shouldn’t be paying any more than £50-£100 a pair. Some re sellers put new wheels and bearings on the skates… this may increase the price but please remember not to pay over the top – remember a brand new pair of skates will always have new wheels and bearings.

Is there anything wrong with buying Bauer Turbos?

Well, in essence there is nothing wrong with buying them… what you need to be aware of is the potential for plastic bauer turbo boots to break very easily. This can be as a result of long term storage, exposure to hot and cold temperatures (garage or loft storage), wear and tear and also the plastic degrading over time.

We’ve seen many dozens of pairs of skates, purchased on ebay and second hand sales

What’s wrong with an old boot? Well, for lots of reasons, the boots are breaking. They can fail as a result of continued use, poor long term storage (in a cold roof attic, garage or in the car for too long). The boots you’ve paid good money for result in a component failure and render the skates useless.

How can you resolve or fix it?

The simple answer is you can’t. If you paid by credit card or PayPal, you might be able to get a full refund, following a complaint or two. Most ebay sellers won’t guarantee the skates, so you are purchasing at your own risk.

We’ve included a few photos of how skates may appear online but, on arrival and closer inspection, reveal a series of problems with the degration of plastic bauer turbo skates when neglected for a few years.

 

CIMG5883  CIMG5887CIMG5894  CIMG5897

Posted in Buyers Guide, eBay Skates, Quad Skates

No new funding for UK Roller Sports

As Sport England announces a £500 million investment into UK Grassroot Sports, no new funding grants have been announced for UK Roller Sports. The British Roller Sports Federation (BRSF), the National Governing Body for UK Roller Sports, representing inline speed, artistic, roller hockey, inline hockey, puck hockey, roller derby, and inline freestyle skate disciplines has not received any new funding for the growth of UK Roller Sports nor secured any investment for UK Roller Facilities.

Whilst UK Roller Sports continue to grow in popularity with all age groups and abilities, private funding and grass root funding is available to skaters and individuals. Whilst many are questioning the leadership and direction of the British Roller Sports Federation, this was a missed opportunity to gain recognition for grass roots sports, supporting all age groups and abilities supporting the Post Olympic Legacy.

For more information on Sport England Funding visit HERE

Posted in The BRSF, UK Skate Scene

How to choose a decent pair of skates

There’s loads of advice out there for new and seasoned skaters to select the best pair of skates. Whilst many online reviewers have their own personal opinion, based on what they know best – our casual observation of online reviews and forums is generally to take them all with a pinch of salt.

What matters most when selecting a pair of skates is what you are looking for. Whilst bearing in mind what other people’s opinion might be, you’re the skater who will be wearing them (not the random online reviewer). As a general precaution, think about the person’s motive – are they sponsored to write an article? Have they had a bad situation with a brand or a company? Too often, online reviews are written with such a strong bias, it is often difficult to argue against them “because they are always right”, at least in their domain.

We’d like to see all skaters wear the boots they are comfy in. There’s nothing worse than wearing a pair of skates too small or equally, too large when rolling around.

Sizing

All the skates we sell are UK sized.

Back in the 80’s and 90’s the general rule of thumb was to buy one size larger, right? Nooo! The old Bauer Turbos were sold only in US sizes, so you would always convert the US size to the UK size. That means if you wear a UK8 skate, you’d buy a US9 boot. Equally if you have big feet and wear a UK12, you’d buy a US13 boot.

This general misconception meant that Bauer never produced a UK13 boot. We’re often approached to supply a Bauer UK13 boot – this isn’t going to happen. Sorry. There are a couple of alternative choices – but you’ll never buy a Bauer Turbo hard shell boot in a UK13.

Comfort

Liners vs no liners. Some skaters prefer to wear liners with all skates. This limits your choice to Ventro Turbo, Supreme Turbo 33, Roces Athens or a couple of other boots. Liners are comfy however they do wear out and smell after a while unless you look after them with a good anti bacterial spray and let them dry out after use.

The modern Bauer range is supplied with no liner. Many skaters aren’t used to this concept. Some have even asked to have liners installed to these liner-free boots. There’s no need!!! The modern Bauer boot is designed to provide comfort within a rigid shell. All boots are moisture resistant and mould to the shape of your foot after a couple of hours use. We do recommend a comfortable pair of sports socks when skating.

Remember, when exercising your foot will swell approximately half a size larger. This is normal for all skaters. Never buy a pair of skates smaller than you need.

Size Guide

All our skates are sized to the UK equivalent. This means that if we advertise a pair of skate for a UK9 shoe, this will fit an equivalent Nike U9 trainer. Not many people are aware that Adidas, Converse, Hi-Tek, Asics and many other brands use a different sizing model. If you’re not too sure what size your shoes are, go take a look beneath the tongue, the size chart will be in there. When order, remember to let us know what size and brand your trainers are. If you don’t wear trainers – you’re best advised to try on a pair of Nike Trianers to find out what trainer size you should be wearing.

Posted in Buyers Guide, Quad Skates, UK Skate Scene

Welcome to BardyBardy Group

Thanks for visiting the BardyBardy Group Website. Feel free to browse our site and get in touch if you have any more questions.

Posted in Welcome