October 15, 2015

Quad Almighty’s Seven Rules for Jammers

Great perspective. Ill keep this in mind- I love blocking and know I can jam way better but its fear and my beer gut. Thanks Quad

The Word of Quad

#1 Rule: Get into shape.

Get into better shape. Not yet. Keep working. More conditioning. Stronger legs. Better lungs. Jammers skate twice as fast as blockers. Jammers hit three times as much as blockers. Jammers fall down (and get back up) twice as much as blockers. Jammers need to be in WAY better shape than blockers. Blockers will always have fresher legs.

#2 Rule: Never surrender.

Blockers can smell blood. Never let them see you getting discouraged or tired. That gives blockers MORE energy. Always keep trying and keep moving. You will eventually escape. A hole will open. Just don’t give up. Your team is counting on you to just keep trying. A jammer who quits is dead to me.

#3 Rule: Move your feet.

A jammer’s main advantage is that blockers have to react to YOU. The second your feet stop moving in a pack, blockers can anticipate your…

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July 11, 2014

Roller Skate Plate Weights Comparison

February 12, 2014

TXRD Article DERBY for Football Fans!

TXRD Article DERBY for Football Fans!

November 26, 2013

Detailed Review of the Arius Skates Plates

I recently bought the Powerdyne Arius plate to mount on a new set of Bont Hybrid carbon boots. I’m coming from Sure Grip Magnesium Avengers on an Antik AR-1, and before that it was the same boot with the Powerdyne Revenge, so I’m no expert. But, I can say that the Arius is a great plate so far.

Riedell bought the patent for the general design of the Arius a couple years ago and started fine tuning it. Originally known as the “Immortal I-Drive”, the basic concept was the same. During the testing phase, which seems to have been extensive, Riedell enlisted the help of Grn Mnstr for quality testing and tweaking. I first heard of these plates at this past RollerCon and was immediately interested in them, if for no other reason than their novelty. Fortunately I was able to speak with a Grn Mnstr rep who had been skating on them and he described them as totally different than anything else he’d skated on.

The Arius doesn’t use a traditional adjustable kingpin/trucks set up. Instead, the trucks hinge on a pin and press against the butterfly cushions to provide resistance for the action. There is no twisting and pressing around a kingpin. This creates a more efficient action, but you lose all suspension.

So how do they feel? My initial impression was that they were super light; ridiculously so. We’re talking nylon plate light. I chalk this up to having less components to add to the weight.

The ride is stable, akin to the Revenge or Reactor. At first I had the yellow-green medium hardness cushions (86A) in them, which I quickly switched out for the light blue (83A). I would try the softest white cushions (80A), but those do not come with the plate. I’m 5’10” and 168 lbs (178cm, 76kg) and I found I had to stomp on the plate to turn it more than the Avenger. I expected this, and I personally prefer it. The Avengers were always a little too touchy for me. And because of the lack of kingpin, there is no fight, or float, to the action. It’s much easier to switch directions without having to fight to recenter. The height of the plate also contributes to it’s stability. The distance from the axle to the boot sole is almost a centimeter shorter than the Avenger, so you’re center of gravity is closer to the ground. I didn’t suffer from dreaded “death wobble” when doing single foot front to back transitions.

People ask me if it feels like a 45 degree action, because it looks like it would. That’s a difficult comparison to make, because it’s like comparing apples to orange. If I had to guess, it feels more like a 16 degree, or even 32 degree, but certainly not 45 degree. Again, it’s not a fair comparison, but most people want to hear a number, so that’s what I tell them.

Riding on these plates feels a little rougher and more rigid. You’ll definitely feel all the bumps and vibrations from the skating surface. This is because there is zero suspension due to it not having typical cushions or a pivot pin/cup. I also felt like it took a little more effort to accelerate at first, but I quickly adjusted and don’t feel like that is the case anymore. Because of the lack of suspension, I’m having to relearn hockey plows, hockey stops, and power slides. But, that was to be expected.

Overall, laterals are crisp, shuffling is stable, the plate is quick and light.

There are a few points of concern with this plate, but nothing that is a deal breaker (at least for me).

The plate only has six adjustment settings. There is no kingpin nut to make micro adjustments. You are wholly dependent on the six different cushion hardnesses. Changing out the cushions is easy as can be, but you do have to take off the wheels and disassemble the truck to get to the cushions. This doesn’t bother me because I was always a set it and forget it person. If you never make adjustments to your trucks, you’ll love this. But, if you’re constantly making little adjustments, this plate may not be for you. And speaking of cushions, as of this review, I haven’t seen them on sales anywhere. I’m sure that will change in the near future.

I had to buy short stem toe stops. Regular stem just stuck out too far for my tastes.

This was weird: The cushions need to warm up. The weather recently got colder and I noticed turning was more difficult at the beginning of practice. I believe the cushions get stiffer due to the cold and once they warm up after a few minutes of skating they get softer.

Overall, I’m very happy with the plate after the initial adjustment period. They take a little getting used to, but it’s worth it in my opinion.

November 8, 2013

Arius Plates

Brief description of what is included with the new Arius Plates. Review of plates coming soon!

June 27, 2013

How to heat mold Bont Boots

First off-its going to be okay. It sounds scary but its not going to be. Take a breath and preheat your oven to 185 degrees. You are warming the resin in the leather to allow it to mold. If you feel your boots are already comfortable you can skip the heat molding. Remove the insoles (they will shrink if you don’t). If the boots have been mounted with plates-remove wheels, bearings, toe stops, cushions, and trucks. The plates can stay on.

Place the boots in the oven on the rack and heat for 15- 20 minutes. Make sure your oven is calibrated as higher temps will void your warranty and may damage the boot. Take the boots out and use caution as they are hot.

Put them on your feet when they are just cool enough and tighten the laces and straps. Stand on the kitchen rug and get in a good skater form (knees bent). This moves your feet the way you will be skating in them. Most skaters press around the heel to lock the ankle in but doing too much can cause blisters. I highly recommend EZeefit Booties for any boot break in.  If you feet are wide- they will start to stretch to your width and vice versa for slim. If you have bunions/lumps- you can push out on that part or even better is to take them off and use the round end of a blunt object to get you more room in that part of the boot (dull end of a screw driver)

Viola! You did it! You can do the heat molding as many times as necessary or periodically if you feel its needed. Bont Molding Video- http://www.bont.com/quad/items/HeatMolding.html

-Glitterotica Owner: Medusa Skates

Printable Article– http://www.medusaskates.com/Bont-Quad-Hybrid-Carbon-Boot-p/bb1.htm

bont steps

December 25, 2012

Interesting article about lacing patterns

Interesting article about lacing patterns


December 11, 2012

Roller Derby Skate Wheel Weight Chart

Roller Derby Skate Wheel Weight Chart

Medusa Skates has weighed most of the wheels in inventory to compare weights. The measurement is for 8 wheels and is in grams. While its important to know the weight of wheels on your skates, its not the only factor that matters when it comes to choosing the best wheel for you. For example, the full aluminum hubs weigh more but you get more ‘push’ out of the wheel as there is zero flex in the hub. Im really excited to see the weight of the Reckless wheels. They will be my next wheel to test out from the Medusa Skates store. Enjoy!

April 10, 2012

How to Clean your Bearings

Cleaning your bearings isnt hard at all. It’s a little time consuming though so turn on a few episodes of Walking Dead or blast some Mastodon and get to cleaning the buggers.  I make it a ritual to clean them before each bout. If your bearings are not spinning freely, making any noise (thats the sound of friction–slows you down) or are covered in brown yucky stuff, its time.

Anatomy of a bearing. Get to know the parts.

Citrus Cleaner
Lube (Speed Cream, BSB, Bones or Qube)
Safety pin or small pick
Canned air or hair dryer

Bearing press/puller

Reflex Tool



1) Remove wheels from skates and remove bearings. This is easiest with a bearing puller but you can carefully use your axle of your skate (the part that your wheel rotates around) and GENTLY pull the bearings out. Go in at an angle and go around the inside and slightly loosen it until it pops out. Do one at a time. You can also use a flat head screwdriver—GENTLY.  There will be 16 bearings.

2) Wipe down the exterior of the bearings with a clean towel. I usually find a lot of grease, dirt, hair and glitter on the exterior shields.

3) Take your safety pin or pick- I bought a super cheap set of dental tools at Harbor Freight– to pull off the shields of the bearings. Be careful not to cut or bend the shields. Shields normally indicate the brand and/or the ABEC rating. Set these aside.  Shields should not be cleaned with solvents. Tips: Some bearings have a “C” ring that holds on a metal shield- remove the “C” ring and the shield will come off. Some bearings do not have removable shields-its best to replace these once they are dirty/worn

4) Now you are looking at the entrails of the bearing. There will be silver balls and cage that holds them in place.  For a thorough cleaning, you can remove the ball retainer or “cage”. This is a more advanced cleaning but gets all of the grime fully out. Be careful to keep the balls in the bearing.  Personally, I don’t remove the cages unless I am cleaning a high end bearing.

5) Place the bearings in a bearing cleaner like the Bones Bottle or the BSB Wash bottle or you can put them in a bowl with fitted lid.  Add cleaning solution to cover bearings and agitate. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.  The cleaning bottles are recommended because they space the bearings apart for a more thorough cleaning. (pic of cleaning bottles- purchased and Tupperware)

6) Remove bearings and dry immediately.  Using compressed air is a quick, easy way to complete this step. You can use a hair dryer but not on hot (could melt the cages).  Make sure they are really, really dry or you the bearings will rust and be ruined.

7) If you removed the cages, reinstall. Use a paper clip or your dental tools to spread the balls out evenly and then reinstall the cage so that each ball has a ball seat. Once they are all in place, snap the cage back in and spin to make sure it moves freely.

8) Bring on the lube. I like Bones Speed Cream (thicker, longer lasting) but you can use any of the lubes listed on http://www.medusaskates.com to keep them rolling.  You need up to 2 drops. Dont go overboard. It doesn’t improve the bearings. That’s why the bottles are so little- they will last you forever.  Do not skip this step.  They may seem faster without lube at first but as we all know, lube makes it last longer. (lube pics)

9) Reinstall your clean shields (words/color facing outwards) with your fingers. No need to use any tools. Spin the bearing with your thumb and forefinger to evenly distribute the lubrication. (show this)

10) Put your bearings back in the wheels.  Be careful to never put pressure on the shields with tools you use. This could dent them and affect their performance.  Shields always face out on the wheels.  Tips:  Use a bearing press to reinstall the bearings. You can also use the Bearing Press on the Reflex Skate Tool.

11) Put the wheels back on and spin them to further distribute the lube. If they are still noisy –they most likely need to be replaced.

Happy Skating!

Big NO -NO’s

No WD-40 – This is just begging dirt and grime to stick to your bearings. Dont use it

No gasoline If I have to explain why…..well….figure it out.

If you use a cleaner that has any water base to it, you better clean those puppies fast and get them dry IMMEDIATELY!

Dont add lube to dirty bearings. It makes them feel better at first, but worsens their overall condition.

January 3, 2012

Houston Roller Derby makes the Wall Street Journal! Check out the hot girl in the blue helmet (my sister–Mary Queen of Skates)


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