|Thanks for the warm welcome and all the advice!
Jay -- I'll definitely check out those sites!
Joe -- This is my local skatepark:
biffsk8r -- I haven't tried any short boots so I don't know yet. I'm a very casual skater right now.
Claudine -- Rollergirl.ca looks like an awesome resource! :D
Bernhard -- That's good to know. I really like the idea of making my own skates, it sounds like a fun challenge. I already found a few tutorials on here and other places so I think I'll give that a try!