Richard, just a quick follow-up - I have been skating in the R-4's for 3 weeks now & they are incredible - great comfort & I can feel the edges quite well. We were correct to go with the size 10.5's to begin with but with a thin pair of socks they are very comfortable - at the end of a skate I am not hurried to take them off. I have an 11 mile loop that I skate which I can complete in around 45 minutes regardless of which way the wind is blowing. I figure I have been able to skate at up to 20 mph for up to 4 miles (if I have a tailwind). I am uncertain of the effectiveness of my DP technique but I can definitely feel that I am using some outside edge during propulsion. My skates definitely inscribe an S if that is a hint. Key is to keep doing the exercises.
Thanks again for all your advice - the skates are just great - I may have to upgrade them in the future with the Mogema cross trainer frame.
Just as a preface, I'm the guy in Northern California who tried the Powerslide R4 in a size 7, but had to ship it back and get a 7 1/2. Well, I've skated on my new R4's three times now and all I can say is "wow". I can't believe I almost didn't get these because I didn't think I could skate on a 5 wheel speed skate. Not all speed skates are the same, are they? These things feel just as supportive as my hard boot Rollerblade Macroblades. Right out of the box they felt super comfortable. Thanks a bunch for helping me to decide to try them out. The 7 1/2's fit perfectly. At the beginning of the skate I can feel my toes just touching the end of the skate, but by the time I get back, my feet feel great.
Thanks again. I'm a very happy customer. I am definitely going to be using this skate for my Long Beach Marathon. Already I'm putting up huge personal bests with these skates. Awesome!
This is Bob M. from Minnesota. I just want you to know that I did fantastic at the Northshoreinline at Duluth MN on September 18th with the R4 boots you sold me. I attached them to my K2 "Straight 84" frames. I was reluctant to use the new boots since I only had 3 miles on them, but did anyway. I only recieved a small dime size blister on my left ankle smaller than a dime size by the end of the marathon - I never even knew I was getting it. The boots were flawless. Your suggested size of 1/2 size over my shoe size was perfect! I did 21 minutes faster than last year! I was in the fitness category this year and did 1:26. I believe this time will qualify me for the Advanced category next year. I felt great. Those skates really allowed my foot to transfer the power to the wheels rather than flex the boot like I had. Again, thanks a lot!, Bob
Richard -- If u recall I ordered one pair of size 12 R4 boots. I have been skating with them for about 3 weeks and I have seen some interesting changes in my technique. After a few sessions my skate track became a more pronounced swoosh and the recovery skate was crossing over my center of gravity (CG). However I was not getting additional power so after more sessions I concluded I had achieved the double push (DP). The R4 boot was stiffer then I expected and I recall that I read about not lacing the top row. This was very effective and I felt the skates biting well on the outside edge but I suspected that all I had accomplished was a fancier inside push. The carving action on the outer edge acted more like a break then a push. A key insight was when I began understanding that the DP technique requires an almost constant rolling of the 'blade' from inner to outer edge. I began practice and drills to focus on rolling my ankles back and forth.
This continued until two days ago when something wonderful occurred. I recalled reading that once I understood the DP the next step was to learn it with my hands behind my back. Throughout my 'training' the question 'Am I doing it now?' is constant. I evaluate how I'm doing and compare it with what I've read and understand from study (I have no skating partners or groups). I will find elements that are correct and others that don't feel right, but I can never be sure. My skating goal, my vision, has been to achieve the same grace and classy skating style I saw from a youth in Holland. Older gentleman in black would skate with their hands behind their backs and gently swap back and forth as they glided past (ice skating). That picture was in my mind as a clasped my hands behind my back and set down onto the outside edge. Without the counter balance of my arms that I was used to the balance was tentative and I was feeling how to adjust my torso to adapt.
Then it happened. I felt as if I had slipped into a groove. My head and upper torso were rocking back and forth above my CG while my feet crossed back and forth in opposition. Momentum was re-enforcing the rhythm and I felt more stable despite the fact that my feet were crossing over the CG as radically as they had ever done. I felt stable, graceful and very classy indeed! Since then I've discovered I can connect the bite of the outer edge directly with a leg extension for more speed then I am ready for. As always, the 'Am I doing it now?' question remains open and I'm sure I have a lot more to discover. I began skating in August. This is my 3rd skating rig since then (from beginners -- ankle casts with wheels, to a beginning cross trainer skate -- I destroyed them in six weeks's and now to the R4s). It is impossible to make these moves in either of the two previous skates. Thank you for the good advice and good equipment! Thanks -- Bob G.