get SO many people asking us about plates that we thought we'd write
up a little description for you. If you have only ever skated on your
starter plate (which is usually a nylon one around 16 degrees) the
world of plates can seem very confusing!
with anything, nothing beats trying something out, and of course
everyone has their own preference for the kind of 'feeling' they want
when playing roller derby.
the difference in a plate can be described by the angle of the
kingpin, though changing the cushions or the tightness of the trucks
can drastically alter the kind of feeling you get. So keep that in
mind! Put very simply, the steeper the angle of the kingpin, the
less pressure it takes for the axles to tilt, which is what
makes your skates turn. So a really steep angled plate favours
sweeping lateral movement, while a stricter angled plate favours
efficient forward power transfer, control and precise edge work.
Most derby plates range between 10-20 degrees with the 45
degree plates at the extreme end of the scale.
plate has it's pros and cons, so it's just a matter of trying
something that appeals to you (depending on your strengths and
weaknesses) and going from there. It's not unusual to prefer a
different feeling from your plates as your style changes and adapts
throughout your derby career. Though a plate will never replace
good old fashioned hard work and practice, the right plate can
absolutely enhance your movements (just as the wrong plate may hamper
you from truly reaching your best).
OR ALUMINIUM?? A
nylon plate will flex, which means some of your energy is lost in
that absorption compared to an aluminium plate. Aluminium is
generally stronger than the materials used in non-aluminium plates.
degree Kingpin angle (eg: PowerDyne Reactor, the new SureGrip
is what we would call a more 'rigid' or 'strict' angle.
who love this plate like the snappiness of being able to quickly
transfer your weight from either side, giving you strong edgework.
This kingpin degree originally comes from a speedskating setup, so
you also get a lot of power pushing forward.
who don't like this plate may feel it is a little too 'rigid'
compared to a higher angled kingpin.
top level skaters who wear this plate are: Suzy Hotrod (Jammer for
Gotham), Fifi Nomenon (Blocker for Texas), Amanda Jamitinya (Bay
Area) and Jackie Daniels (Windy City).
or 16 degree Kingpin angle (eg: PowerDyne Revenge or Rival, or Pilot
plate is what we would call a good in between mix. We often recommend
these degree plates to a skater who is upgrading for the first time
who isn't sure about committing one way or the other. This plate will
give you the ability to sink into your lateral motion a little more
than a ten degree plate. It will still give you good control,
really strong ability to push forward and snapback. A good mix
of power and strong laterals.
top level skaters who wear this plate are: Rogue Runner (Jammer for
London Brawling), Stef Mainey (Jammer and Blocker for London
Brawling), Bonnie Thunders (Jammer for Gotham), Sutton Impact
(Blocker for Southern Discomfort), Jonathan R (Jammer for New York
Shock Exchange), Kid Block (London Rollergirls, ex-Tiger Bay Brawlers
Blocker and Jammer)
degree Kingpin angle (eg: Crazy Venus or Roll Line):
plates are traditionally a 'dance plate'. The higher degree kingpin
gives the ability to really sink into your lateral motion in a nice
swoopy way. Depending on your setup, you do start to lose a little
bit of power pushing forward.
top level skaters who wear this degree plate are: Mad MelArena
(Jammer for Victorian Roller Derby League), Demanda Riot (Bay Area),
OMG WTF (Gotham) and your very own Kitty Decapitate (Blocker for
(eg: Sure Grip's Magnesium Avenger or Snyder):
plates are often referred to as a 45 degree plate however the kingpin
is actually around 30 degrees.
soon as you put these on, a lot of people automatically feel
super agile because of the tighter turning circle you get with the
higher degree. This can have its ups and downs.
who love this plate enjoy the swoopy, swervy feeling it can give
who are not fans would call the feeling 'squirelly' and a little hard
to control your super precise edegwork, as well as losing power to
top level skaters who wear this plate are: Serelson (Blocker for Rose
City Rollers/ex-Denver Rollergirls), Evada Peron (Jammer for Terminal
only one on the market is the PowerDyne Arius plate. A revolutionary
new design, it takes out the forward to backward wastefulness of the
round cushion by using butterfly shaped cushions that only allow
the axles to move side to side, which makes energy transfer a lot
more intuitive. With any plate, you can alter it's feeling with the
cushions, however with the Arius, this seems to really give you a
more personalised feeling. Simply by changing the cushions, you can
get a super snappy feeling OR a softer, looser one (yet still retain
the snap of being able to change direction quickly).
top level skaters who wear this plate are: Juke Boxx (London
Rollergirls), Ballistic Whistle (London Rollergirls and Southern
Discomfort), Kamikaze Kitten (London Rollergirls) and Gaz!
We hope this helps!
Double Threat Skates!