|: I am 37 years old, which means I should probably not be skating.
If you had been to Woodward in 2004, you had been one of the youngsters. Even at your current age. I'd say: You should be skating but you shouldn't hurt yourself.
: I want to go back to my old school roots.
Some years ago I never would have thought that roller skaters who switched to inline would return. I tried inlines myself, but back then there weren't decent inlines skates for ramp skating and so I sticked to roller skates. There is one thing were I prefer inlines to roller skates, however, and that's hockey.
: I am guessing it will take a while till I am comfortable enough to hit vert, but I am wondering if skates are different now.
Vertical roller skates always have been different since there are probably more different set ups than skaters. ;-)
: I have a pair of low cut Ridell skates from many many years ago. Any suggestions about skates or is there any new advances?
There have been lots of attempts to design base plates for vertical roller skating. Tracker actually produced some. The most recent attempt at this subject is the one by WildBean in Australia.
A very different attempt is the VSkate. The web site wasn't available when I tried just now, so I don't know if they are still there.
: I am most curious about wheels. I have some old Kryptonic wheels and wonder if you can still interchange skateboard wheels?
It's no problem to use skateboard wheels when you are using skateboard trucks like most vertical roller skaters do (Tob Reif has collected a lot of info on the subject of trucks). On roller skating truck you may find that the axle isn't wide enough to accomodate a skateboard wheel.
: My old skates should work, but want to know about wheels and if there have been any advances in the last 15 years?
I was lucky to find some Kryptonics Shadows some five years ago. I am very happy with them because they replaced some wheels which were too small for me. My suggestion: Try to find some wheels with a big diameter (60 mm onwards). In my experience, for ramp skatung diameter is more important than hardness.
: Damn, I am old, but want to start skating again and want to retire doing what I grew up doing.
Welcome at the old farts vertical roller skaters. Well, not only old farts. Gaston Smith isn't an old fart.