|...an the resulting bastard child has characteristics of both parents, but still has it's own individual looks and personality.
When Tim Altic was in town I got a good look at his skates when we first met. The way his grinders mount in a floating fashion and the Rollerblade boots he used got me thinking. I was getting tired of falling and then dealing with a bruised ankle bone repeatedly. A hard shell inline boot would definitely cover the affected area. Also, the leather from the toe area of my speed skate boots is worn through on one skate. I do not have money to buy nice leather only to tear them up in the park.
So, I went shopping on eBay and scored a pair of these for 17.50 shipped.
Made in 1999 these Bladerunners are from Rollerblade's 'budget' line of skates. The wheels were still in good shape and made of soft urethane, and at 72 mm were just the right size for a transplant to one of my nephew's skates... to replace the useless PVC wheels that came with those kids skates. The liners were made of polyester. In my experience, anytime you combine 'polyester' and 'inexpensive' the result is a fabric which smells really foul, even when freshly cleaned. This liner was no exception, so out it came. I have an old pair of inlines purchased new from Wal-Mart years ago. The liners fit well, after a little help from the dremel.
I also cut the top off from the rear of the cuff as it was too high.
The truck/plate assembly transferred over with 6 new T nuts per skate, 4 in the front and 2 rearward. These T nuts are of the brad-nail type which are flat on the bottom. As the truck bolts are tightened down these nuts seem to create a friction fit with the hard plastic shell and do not spin or slip. Assembly is very simple.
A heel block was cut from scrap wood that I took off an old pallet. I used the heel from my old Oberhamer hockey boots for the pattern.
The inline frame, once inverted, fit perfectly around the kingpins and bushings. That is, after a some extensive modification.
This all happened to the left skate first. After getting 90 percent complete, just enough to test it out, I went to LBJ for a test to make sure it would be useful as well as fun. With the new setup on my left foot and the old one on the right, I hit the park. Yep, it worked well. Just a few tweaks for fit and function and then the other skate could be done using the first as a pattern.
This all took several days of looking and thinking and cutting and grinding and....
After finishing up both skates, I went up to Jaws for a test run. Heel blocks painted black and a set of 8-Ball wheel nuts that have been sitting on my shelf for a few years now to help the looks a little. The skates weigh in at 4 lbs 10 ounces each, a little heavier than the previous setup. But, these skates actually FEEL lighter than the the prior since there is no heavy metal grind plate near the ground leveraging against my leg movements. Also, the trucks now turn very tightly compared to before.
The plastic grinders are not uber slick like the old steel on steel coping, which made it difficult to simply stand still. They do, however, slide very well with a little momentum. I actually started practicing jumping onto the ledges in the street area of the park, from a standstill, in order to get the proper form while balancing.
It was not long before I could jump with both feet hitting the ledge at a right angle and locking both grinders simultaneously and then jumping backward to land for a dismount. With the steel plates I was terrified to even attempt such a thing with a jump.
After almost a 2 hour session the crowd began to thicken, so I took my leave feeling extremely satisfied with my new setup. I can now get the same speed pumping with less effort so my bowl runs will certainly improve more rapidly. Rolling up over the coping also feels much more controllable now.
I want to thank everyone on the forum who has posted pics of their skates. Everything gets consideration before any one course of action is taken. You all make this place fun to visit on a daily basis!