Saturday, March 1, 2014

Changing Wheels

Those of you out there who have been patiently waiting for the next G Spot article, I wholeheartedly apologize.  I fully intended to publish an article a month this season, but the past couple months have been a whirlwind...in a good way!  Not only has fiveonfive, the official Roller Derby magazine of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), published a few of my articles, but I also resigned from my day job to pursue a full-time Derby career.  In addition to writing articles and blog posts (Shocker Khan's G Spot and Roller Derby Nation's new venture: Rollin' News),  I continue to provide quality products and services through 2N1 Skate Shoppe, travel all over the world to train future Roller Derby super-athletes, and I have also started selling interesting items I make by hand in an Etsy store called The ShockerKnot.  These handmade items consist of jewelry and other interesting items (like this cool bottle stopper).

Enough about me, let's get to the good stuff!

Have you ever needed to quickly change out your wheels with a set that doesn't have bearings, only to have it take so long you end up missing part of practice?  Well, using the method described here, you'll be able to change out your wheels and be back on the track in no time!

First, gather your skates, new wheels, axle nut wrench, and bearing tool (optional).

Next, position your skates so they are facing the same direction.  This is especially important if you are installing pushers; however, I like to do this even when I'm switching out 8 of the same wheels.  It helps my OCD.

You should see 4 axle nuts, unscrew and remove them, then set them aside.  If you use bearing washers (aka speed rings), remove them as well and place them with the nuts.

Use your tool to unscrew the axle nut,
remove the axle nut.



 then







Now it's time to take out the bearings (and spacer, if applicable).  The best way to remove bearings is either with a bearing press like the ones made by PowerDyne or Sure Grip, or with the more transportable Bones Bearing tool.

Use the Bones Bearing Tool to remove the outer bearing,
pry off the inner bearing with the axle.




 or






If you don't have a tool, you can pry out your inner bearing with your wheel axle, as pictured.  I don't recommend this as a frequently used bearing removal method, but every once in a while shouldn't do too much damage...hopefully. 

Alternate method of removing the outer bearing.
If you have issues getting the outer bearing to budge, you can try to push it out from the inside using the Bones Bearing tool.  For particularly stubborn bearings, I'll place the wheel face-down on a hard surface, then insert the tool and put my weight into pushing the bearing out.

Open side of a bearing faces UP on the axle.
After removing the bearings, place them back on the axle with the dust cover side toward the plate.  Both bearings will be facing the same way.  If the bearings have dust covers on both sides, it doesn't matter which way they go on the axle.  If you use bearing spacers, place one between the 2 bearings on the axle.  If you don't use spacers, see the "If you don't use spacers" paragraph below for further instructions.
Bearings With Spacer
First Bearing Seated






Now comes the fun part!  Take your new wheel, and place the OUTSIDE on the axle, centered on the first bearing, and press straight down.  You will feel the bearing seat into the wheel.  Take the wheel off the axle, and turn it around to make sure the bearing's dust cover is facing out and the open side is inside the wheel (see the pic to the right).  If the opposite happened, you didn't have the bearing facing open side up on the axle and you will need to remove the bearing from the wheel before repeating this step. 






Bearing Spacer/Speed Ring




Next, flip the wheel around and push it onto the axle until the inner bearing is completely seated in the wheel.  All you need to do now is replace the speed ring/bearing washer (if used) and tighten the axle nut until you feel resistance.   Repeat for the next 3 wheels then flip both skates over to complete swapping the last 4 wheels.




If you don't use bearing spacers...

First, I'd like to ask you, why not?  Spacers allow bearings to work properly by preventing pressure/friction.  Pair spacers with speed rings/bearing washers, and you have an awesome setup that is not only going to keep your bearings rolling longer, but you'll notice an increase in speed.  Using spacers also actually helps change out wheels when using the method I described above, so for those of you who don't use them because you say it takes too long to change out wheels...I'd like to challenge you to a wheel swapping duel!

4 Bearings Stacked, Dust Cover Side Toward Plate

But I digress...  If you don't use bearing spacers, you will need to place 4 bearings on one axle and press them into the outside of 2 wheels before pressing other bearings in the plate-side of those wheels.  See the pic to the left on how the 4 bearings will look when stacked.  The outer lip of most wheels is too concave for bearings to be properly seated if only 2 bearings are on the axle and are likely not going to be pushed far enough into the wheels to be seated so if you don't have a spacer between 2 bearings, you will need at least 3 bearings on an axle to perform this maneuver.




See how easy that is!  After you practice it a few times, it becomes second nature.  Soon you'll be able to change a whole set of wheels and get back on the track before your opponent is half-way done!





Wheeeeeee!


I hope you found this article interesting and will try out this method for changing your wheels.  Let me know if you try it out by posting a comment and I'll pick a few of you to send a free goodie to from "Shocker's Box O'Goodies."  So go try it out and post away!

Until we skate again!
Shocker












Sunday, December 1, 2013

Project: Roller Girl

There's no doubt about it, Roller Derby is a sport.  When you play Roller Derby, you get sweaty, you sprint around the track, you stretch yourself into positions reminiscent of a pretzel...all whilst looking like a rock star (or shock star, as the case may be)... and you know why?  Because of brands like Pivot Star, Iron Doll, and Derby Skinz.  That's right folks, today we are going to talk about Roller Derby fashion: what it is, what it does, and how to rock (shock) it!

Really, the fashion of Roller Derby?  Yes!

When I first started skating, I looked at the fishnets, panties, and tutus and thought they didn't seem very practical.  Fishnets looked sexy and left some pretty cool - albeit painful - track burn patterns,  but they didn't provide much support or function.  Real panties didn't usually last very long and some didn't find them family friendly.  Then there were the tutus...let's just say, it can be difficult to take an athlete seriously when wearing an unflattering bolt of tulle around their midsection.  Fortunately, it didn't take long before some entrepreneurial women met the growing demand and a new style of women's athletic clothing was born.

There are quite a few Roller Derby specific brands of clothing out there, so I'm just going to focus on the 3 I've been able to test out during my skating career: Derby Skinz, Iron Doll, and Pivot Star.  In order to keep this article short enough to read in half an hour, I'm just going to give some pros and cons of each brand.  If you have questions that are not answered here, feel free to ask them in the comments of this post and I will answer them for you there.

Derby Skinz
Derby Skinz Shortz


Pros:
TONS off fabric patterns to choose from and more added on a regular basis.
Wide array of size options (awesome selection for larger skaters!).
Lots of styles to choose from.
Customizable for reasonable prices.
Prices for shorts runs from around $20 to $45.

Cons:
Different fabrics can make a difference in what size a skater wears.
Flat butts remain flat unless wearing some Ruffle Buttz.

Final Word:
Durable construction and flexible fabric allows Derby Skinz products to last a long time and look fabulous on or off the track.  My favorite Derby Skinz product are the High Waisted Capriz.  Pair them with any shorts and keep that tummy sucked in!

Iron Doll Lift and Separate Shorts

Iron Doll

Pros:
Wide array of size options.
Lift and Separate shorts make it look like any skater has an awesome derriere (even a billboard butt like mine!).
The Reversible Scrimmage Jersey is the best I've found.  It is heavy duty, so it won't fall apart like others out there and is reasonably priced-even with your name/number on both sides!

Cons:
Doesn't have the wide selection of fabric patterns like Derby Skinz, but tons of colors are available in flat and shimmer finish.
Can take 6-8 weeks to get custom/bulk orders (such as uniforms) due to their popularity.
Sizing is tricky, shorts seem to run big but the tops run small so try them on before purchasing or shoot me a message so we can figure out what size will work for you before you spend a bunch of dough.

Final Word:
If you suffer from uni-butt (think uni-boob, only lower), you need to get some Iron Doll Lift and Separate shorts, STAT!  Also, purchase one of the Scrimmage Jerseys...it will probably be the last one you ever need to purchase.

Pivot Star
Pivot Star Sin-e-Star Hoodie


Pros:
Chica Bomb shorts ($35) provide great coverage-no peep show here!
Sleeveless hoodies ($49) are all the rage, if you don't have one yet-get one.  They are great to warm up in and are super cute at after parties.
Francey Pants ($54) are finally available with a bunch of cuff colors.
All Pivot Star products are made of quality materials and there is attention to detail in their construction, so be prepared to have one of these items for life.
Customized colors available but may need to be purchased in bulk (such as uniforms).
New Uniform line makes getting new uniforms for skaters who just made it onto your team easy and affordable!

Cons:
Limited sizing and some items run a bit small.
Can be on the pricey side, but the quality makes up for it.
Not a wide selection of stock color choices for many items.

Final Word:
For those of you who want quality clothing that will keep all your naughty bits covered, check Pivot Star out.  My personal favorite items are the Sin-e-Star sleeveless hoodie and the Francey Pants.


I hope you now have an idea of what to look for when in the market to purchase your next pair of shorts, leggings, or hoodie!  Now, I know some of you are still only reading because you want to see if you won a pair of Bounce toe stops (if you don't know what I'm talking about, check out my last post)!  I asked you to go post "Bounce me Crazy!" on the 2N1 Skate Shoppe FaceBook page to enter for your chance to win, and we had quite a few of you enter.  Alas, I was only able to pick 3 of you to win, so congratulations Jasmine Michelle, Evan Jean Lawrence, and Mindy Quadmother Craig!  Shoot me an e-mail at 2N1SkateShoppe@gmail.com with your address and you should get your new Bounce toe stops in the mail shortly.

I'm working on a new contest, so keep checking my G Spot as well as the 2N1 FB page for an announcement.  In the meantime, 2N1 will be having a CYBER MONDAY sale tomorrow with 20% off all in-stock items.  Just use the code "cyber" when checking out (we aren't that clever).  So if there is something you've had your eye on to purchase, tomorrow is a great day to get it!

Until we skate again,
Shocker

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bounce!

I've tried several different toe stops throughout the past 5 years and have found quite a few that I liked; Gumballs, Big Blocs, Li'l Blocs, and Bionic Super Stoppers.  Until recently, I was using the Bionics and was quite pleased with them...then I tried some Crazy Bounce toe stops.


Crazy Bounce Toe Stops
My first practice on these started off with a bunch of suicides involving sprinting and turn around toe stops. The first thing I noticed about the Bounce stops was that I was able to run and stop on them without having to break them in like other stops I've worn.  They performed really well straight out of the box, which I attribute to the holes on the running surface of the stops as well as their pliability.  When you push off the stop to take off on a run, the stop creates a flat surface so it feels really stable.  Once you are done pushing, the Bounce toe stops rebound to their original shape and are ready for action.

Something else I like about the Bounce stops is that the actual stopper is nice and thick.  When I was screwing them onto my plates, I ended up turning them for about twice as long as I usually would with other stops to get to the point where they were the same amount of distance off the track.  If you are like me and like to have your stops close to the track, when using Bounce toe stops, you won't have to worry about your toe stops stems or plate's toe stop inserts stripping or about your stops falling out due to not having enough threads screwed into the plate.

I have been skating on these toe stops for the past 5-6 weeks and they look about
the same as when I took them out of the box.  Pretty amazing considering, at one point, I was replacing my Gumballs every other month.  I'm interested to see how long these will last and if they will gradually wear down or end up losing chunks.  Once I find out, I'll come update this post.

Photo by David Bedard - Over a month of use on these puppies.

Bounce toe stops have now become my top recommendation for new skaters as well as veterans and are my only recommendation for skaters needing new stops on bout day.  To understand why, here are the Pros and Cons that I came up with:

Pros:
  • No break in period.
  • Won't pop off the stem.
  • Nice thick stop with a long stem.
  • Slow to wear down (so far at least).

Cons:
  • Retail at $25, which is a bit more than Gumballs or Super Stoppers.
  • Only come in one size and color.
  • So popular, we keep selling out!


The October G Spot post offered a chance to win some rolls of KT Tape to readers who posted reviews on the 2N1 Skate Shoppe FaceBook page.  So, without further ado, the winners are Charlotte Mahoy, Zack Sherman, Rebecca Kathleen Buss, Shayla Hamilton Urevich, and Melissa Manna Micoogullari!  To claim your prize, send me an e-mail at 2N1SkateShoppe@gmail.com with your mailing address and what your top 3 preferred colors of KT Tape are and I'll get your prize to you ASAP.

This month, I am please to be able to give away some Bounce toe stops!  To enter this contest, just go to the 2N1 Skate Shoppe FaceBook page and post "Bounce Me Crazy!"   I'll announce the winners when I post my next G Spot article, which is titled "Project: Roller Girl" and will focus on Derby clothing.  If you have any specific requests for items you would like me to review, please send me an e-mail at 2N1SkateShoppe@gmail.com or post a comment here. 

Until we skate again!
Shocker

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Now That's Some Tasty Juice!

At the end of my last post, I asked G Spot readers to suggest review items, and they (you) delivered!  I have enough items to test/review to keep me busy for quite a while and, as promised, I will randomly give a gift basket worth over $100 from 2N1 Skate Shoppe to one of my fans who made a suggestion.  So, without further ado, congratulations Barbie OHavoc!  Shoot me an e-mail at 2N1SkateShoppe@gmail.com with your address and I'll get the goodies in the mail to you.

Juice Wheels Logo, Pretty Sweet Right?!
Now, I'd like to tell you a story.  A few months ago I received a set of wheels in the mail.  They were wheels I had never seen before from a company I had never heard of, but they had a sweet martini glass logo so I was quite intrigued.  I took to the dubbya dubbya dubbya to try to find more info on these mystery wheels, but still couldn't find anything...the mystery deepened.  Finally, I just said, "what the heck!" while slapping some bearings into the puppies and set off on my new Juice Cosmo Wheels.

I was skeptical when first testing out the Cosmo wheels.  The floor on which I was going to first test them was known for being super sticky, so I wondered if they would be too sticky, but I ended up skating 27 laps in 5 minutes.  That's only one lap fewer than my personal best and I had just returned from taking a couple months off from skating so I was quite pleased.  I was also pleased that it only took about 7 laps before the Cosmos were broken in.  That's the quickest I've ever experienced wheels breaking in, and I've tried out a lot of wheels!

After trying them on a sticky floor, I needed to see how they performed on a slick floor.  The track I found was not only slick but dusty as well, so I was prepared to be sliding all over the place.  Boy was I wrong!  Not only was the roll still incredibly fast and smooth, but they had amazing grip and a controlled slide.  It's almost impossible not to go fast when skating on these wheels, and as a big girl who is used to having to really work to get some speed, I have no problem with that.  These wheels are really giving my previous favorites, Crazy Play Slim 59mm, a run for their money!  (If you are interested in reading more about my experience with the Crazy Play wheels, check out my article on them, Crazy at Play.)

Juice Wheels got their website and FaceBook up and running a few weeks after sending me the tester wheels, so I was finally able to acquire the rest of the wheels they make in their Martini, Spiked, and Jolt series of quad wheels. 



Juice Cosmo 93a
Cosmos are the middle durometer offered by the Juice Wheels Martini series. The Martini line includes Sapphires (91a), Cosmos (93a), and Appletinis (95a), all are 59mm high by 38mm wide, and retail for around $120 for a set of 8 wheels.  That is a little steep compared to other wheels on the market, but it is because they are composed of dual poured urethane and a radial design core.  This dual poured urethane causes more wheel surface area to remain on the track longer than other wheels while the radial core retains and releases energy from your stride, which is why skaters are able to achieve amazing grip without having to compromise speed as sometimes happens with softer wheels.



I have been recommending the Juice Martini series to many of my fellow skaters for them to try out.  The Sapphire wheels have hit it off with my clients who don't weigh much or who need extra grip,  while the Appletinis are working better for skaters who want less grip, are heavier, or skate on extremely sticky surfaces.  For skaters who are just looking for an all around great wheel that works on many surfaces, the Cosmos have been a hands-down favorite.

Juice Monster 95a


Juice Wheels also offers two other wheel lines, Spiked and Jolt.  The Spiked line of wheels include AMP (91a), NRG (93a), and Monster (95a).  Spiked wheels retail at $100 for a set of 8, so they are more affordable, and while they still have the radial designed core, they don't have the dual poured urethane.



Juice Jolt 80a




Jolts are Juice's hybrid offering with a durometer of 80a and they come in two sizes, 62mm and 59mm.  They are $80 for a whole set and have worked well for skaters on super slick/dusty floors.  I haven't yet had the pleasure to try out any of the Spiked or Jolt wheels, but if they perform anywhere near the Martini series, I know I'm in for a treat!



One final note about Juice Martini Wheels: their marketing is genious.  They named the wheels after drinks, their packaging has a picture of a martini glass on the front, and on the back of their package they have "Supplement Facts" that read like nutritional information.  It all ties together quite nicely and has a theme I can get behind.  The only issue I have is that they didn't continue this theme with their Spiked and Jolt wheels and instead went with electricity inspired names.  At least the Spiked wheels have the Juice martini glass logo on the surface area.

To summarize my experiences and those of my fellow skaters who have tried the Juice Martini series of wheels, here is a list of pros and cons:

Pros:
  • Excellent speed (can't say that enough)!
  • Amazing grip that doesn't interfere with speed.
  • Nice and lightweight.
  • Great on many different surfaces.
  • Pretty sweet marketing and packaging design.

Cons:
  • Only comes in 59mm.
  • Cost could be a little steep for some skaters.

If you are now interested in trying out some of the Juice Martini series wheels but want to try before you buy, you can check them out from the 2N1 Skate Shoppe Wheel Library for a $20 deposit.  If you aren't sure which ones might work best for you, send me an e-mail at 2N1SkateShoppe@gmail.com and I'll do my best to help you out.


For my next giveaway, I have 5 packs of KT Tape Pro to give away.  These KT Tape Pro packs come in 10 cool colors and include 20 pre-cut strips which makes applying them super easy.  You can use this stuff for just about every injury and the website has tons of video instructions which makes applying the strips super easy.



If you want to be in the running to win some, all you have to do is go to the 2N1 Skate Shoppe FaceBook page and write a review about anything related to 2N1.  You can write it on a product, service you have received, or even the 2N1 website, up to you.  I'll announce the winners in my next G Spot post.


Until we skate again!
Shocker

Monday, September 23, 2013

Stop, Toe Stop!

Well, hello there!  It seems like it's been ages since we've talked, and I must apologize.  I've been meaning to reach out and check up on you and don't have a good excuse as to why it has taken me so long to do so...oh wait, summer in Alaska is a great reason!  In case you have never lived in a region  close to the Arctic or Antarctic circles, daylight can be non-existent during the winter months.  During the near-24 hours of daylight in the summer months many of us try to get outside to enjoy it as much as possible.  Therefore, I hope you don't hold the two months I took off from updating my G Spot against me.

Short and Standard Stem Gumballs
For my first post-summer article, I wanted to talk about an issue that plagues many skaters: toe stops coming loose or popping off.


Over the years, I have heard the woes of skaters over and over again when it comes to toe stops coming off, often at the worst imaginable time.  There are a couple ways to prevent this from happening.


First, make sure you have at least 4 threads of the toe stop screwed into the plate.  If you are having trouble doing this and also having it come down far enough, you may need different toe stops.  I recommend Gumballs, Bionic Super Stoppers, or Crazy Big Blocs.  These all have nice long stems and thick stops that don't pop off.  I've also heard great things about the Crazy Bounce toe stops, but they are still in my queue of products to test out so I'll have to get back to you on those.  (Soon, my pretties!)

The next item to review is how your toe stop connects to your plate.  Is it a nut that goes around the toe stop or a screw that goes into the side of the plate?  For most of you having issues with your toe stops, it's probably going to be the nut.

Wrong Way!  Toe guard is between nut and plate.
To prevent the toe stop nut from loosening up, make sure you have the nut directly against the plate.  Many skaters that have come to me with the issue of their toe stop popping off have their skates set up like the pic to the right.  The leather toe guard is between the nut and the plate, which can cause the nut to loosen over time and eventually either the toe stop will turn to a strange angle or it will work itself completely loose.  Having a toe stop pop off in the middle of a bout, especially if you are jamming, is one of the worst feelings!  Here is a step by step guide on how to lessen the chances of that happening.


Toe stop stem being inserted through toe stop hole in toe guard.




Unlace your skate and take your toe stop off your plate and the nut off the toe stop.  Next, put your toe stop stem through the toe guard.




Screwing on toe stop nut after toe stop stem has gone through toe guard holes.




Screw the nut onto the toe stop stem.






Toe Stop Nut Under Toe Guard




Screw the toe stop into the plate, adjust to the correct height. 
Tighten down the toe stop with a wrench and lace those puppies up!








Those steps have helped many of my fellow skaters, but sometimes that isn't enough.  Whether you have the nut or screw, if your toe stop loosens or falls out, check all the threads (inner and outer) to ensure they are still serviceable.  If some of the threads are broken or you see metal shavings, you may need to replace that toe stop, screw, nut, or toe stop insert.  Unfortunately, some plates don't have replaceable toe stop inserts, so if you damage the threads on them you will need to replace the whole plate.

If your toe stop connects to your plate with a screw from the side and ratcheting down the screw just doesn't hold your stop anymore, you may have gunk in the space that normally gets smaller as you turn the screw, causing the plate to grip the stop.  I've found that the best way to clean out this crack is to unscrew the toe stop screw completely, then take something thin and hard such as a straightened-out paperclip to clean that sucker out.  If that doesn't do it, inspect your screw to see if it shows any signs of stripped threads, meaning you will either need to get a replacement screw or have to use a toe stop nut to keep your toe stop in place.

The last little bit of advice I can give you is to please, never use Red Locktite (permanent) on your toe stop threads.  If you have followed all of the above suggestions and your toe stop just won't stay put, Blue Locktite (temporary) can help you out and won't make it a pain in the rear to replace your stops.
Cosmo Wheels from Juice's Martini Series

I have quite a few treats for my G Spot fans in the coming months including reviews of wheels including Juice Martini, Radar Presto, and a bunch of the new wheels coming from Atom as well as other Roller Derby gear and, of course, I will be giving away prizes to reward my loyal readers.  To start this season out, I'm putting together a nice gift bag worth around $100 from 2N1 Skate Shoppe and all you have to do to be in the running to win is recommend an item 2N1 Skate Shoppe currently sells for me to test out and review in the comments of this article. 


While you are searching through 2N1's website, why not take a look at the new Wheel Library where you can check out a set for only $20, then when you return them you get a $20 gift certificate which you can use toward purchasing a set of wheels!  The Wheel Library has quickly become a huge hit and has helped skaters save time and money in the long run, so if you are in the market for some new wheels check out the selection, more are being added all the time.

Until we skate again,
Shocker

Saturday, July 27, 2013

RollerCon 2013 Virgin Recommendations

One of my favorite things about my G Spot is that I get to give away goodies to my readers.  This is only made possible because I have amazing followers who share the blog with their Roller Derby family, spreading the Derby Love.  This time, I get to give away a goodie pack of Bones stuff:  Bones Bearing Washer Bottle, Speed Cream, 8-pack of Super Reds (or 16-pack of Reds), Bones Bearing Tool, and Bones Stickers!  But wait, that's not all!  I also have a purple CSPC Triple 8 helmet to give to anyone the winner chooses. 

So without further ado, the winner is...HardKore Lena from Athens Ohio Roller Derby who submitted the name "Kitty Liquorbottom." 

Congratulations!  Have fun with your goodies!

Craziness at the Black and Blue Ball
I have been working on a blog post about how to keep your toe stops from coming loose and falling out, but with RollerCon coming up next week I don't think I will be able to post it until after the festivities.  If you are having this issue and would like me to send you the article, send me an e-mail at 2N1SkateShoppe@gmail.com.  The article is complete, I just need to take some photos to include to enhance the verbiage.

This will be my 5th RollerCon in a row and I'm just as excited as my first one.  I don't have any recommendations specifically relating to gear, so this is just general advice:

1. Keep your schedule loose!  There is nothing worse than having your heart set on a specific class, only to find out that it already filled up, was cancelled, or you got drunk the night before and woke up too late to attend.  If something like that happens, brush it off and don't give it another thought.  There is so much going on at all times during the convention, you won't have trouble finding something else to occupy your time.  Come on, it's Vegas!

2. Don't go crazy!  It's amazing to be amongst so many fellow Roller Derby fanatics, and it can be quite overwhelming, but that doesn't mean you have to keep up drink-for-drink with your new buddy and wind up puking into the pool during the Black and Blue ball (yes, that supposedly happened.)  It's okay (and expected) to have fun, but if you overdo it, you may not be able to put your skates on the next day or two due to a nasty hangover.

3) Have a battle buddy!  This one comes from my time in the Army.  A battle buddy is someone who is supposed to look out for you and keep you out of trouble, and you are to do the same for them.  This may mean you take turns getting trashed, find a way to keep your buddy from going over their limit (booze, gambling, staying up late, etc.), or making sure they don't go back to some random person's hotel room when they may not be able to make the best decisions for themselves.  If you pick the right battle buddy, they will not only keep you out of trouble, but also will encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and into situations you wouldn't have thought to get yourself info if you were alone.

If you follow those 3 rules, you should have no problem staying happy and out of trouble while experiencing new adventures.  If you have an interesting story from a past RollerCon, whether it be a tale of woe, humor, or just plain strange, please feel free to share it with us in the comments.  If you are heading to RollerCon next week and happen to see me, flash me the shocker...it will make my day.

Until we skate again!
Shocker

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Shocker

This is going to be my last post for a little while.  Our summers in Alaska are quite short so we tend to make the most of it by going camping, hiking, fishing...pretty much any outdoor activity.  My league, the Rage City Rollergirls, takes some time off as well which makes it more difficult for me to test products and I would rather take some time off than post reviews about products that I haven't been able to fully try out.  In the meantime, why don't you go back to the beginning and re-read (or read for the first time if you are new to the G Spot) my articles on skate maintenance.  You should be changing your cushions out about once a year, depending on how much you skate, and while you have your skates disassembled you can easily check to see if you need to replace your pivot cups or if you have developed any small cracks/breaks in your trucks or plates.
Karen "Glitch" Corcoran

For the past few weeks we have asked for you to submit a Roller Derby haiku in the comments section which entered you into a contest to win a set of Heartless wheels.  After reading through them all and having fans vote on FaceBook, we finally have a winner!  Congratulations to Karen Corcoran (aka Glitch) and her victorious haiku:


Pulses are pretty,
But I beat all the jammers
with ugly Street Hogs

Nice right? Our other 2 finalists, Laura Wilcoxon and Kayla Cline, as well as all of the other entries were awesome and I really appreciate all the creative juices that flowed to create them.

Our next give-away is this awesome package of Bones Stuff!  Bones Bearing Washer Bottle, Speed Cream, 8-pack of Super Reds (or 16-pack of Reds), Bones Bearing Tool, and Bones Stickers!  All you need to do to enter your name in this drawing is post a comment with the Roller Derby name you've seen or heard that you think is hilarious, interesting, poignant, raunchy, or just strange.  You don't have to know them personally, but if you know what league they are affiliated with please post that too.  Actually, just post both of your leagues, that makes it easier to find you later when you win.  When I choose a name, I'll also send a purple Triple 8 CPSC Helmet to any skater of your choice as well!

I know most of my readers are from the Roller Derby world, but this goodie pack is perfect for any skate/longboarder as well so if you would rather post your favorite skate/longboarder name then have at it.

I'll draw the winner(s) on July 22nd, so you have a month to get your entries in.  Please spread the word of the contest (and, my blog of course) far and wide.  The more people visit this site, the more stuff I can get from sponsors to give away!

The last thing I needed to talk about was that I will be taking some time off.  Up here in Alaska we only get a few very short months for summer and it is usually spent traveling, hiking, fishing, outdoor skating, etc.  So, I'm going to take a little time off from writing reviews here, but I am trying out some Atom Lowboys (95a) and Jukes (93a), I got some new Juice wheels that are brand spanking new to the market so that's exciting, and I'm expecting to get some new toestops from Crazy Skates very soon, so I should be able to get back into the swing of things (blog-wise) quickly upon my return.

I hope you all are also able to enjoy the summer (Northern Hemisphere readers, of course) and, as always:

Until we skate again,
Shocker