Monday, February 25, 2013

A Tale of Two Blocs

For the past few years, I skated with Gumball toestops.  They were the only toe stop out there that fulfilled the needs of Roller Derby skating...they are thick and long enough to reach the floor in pretty much any skate setup, they never pop off the stem, and they are gummy enough to stop on any surface.  Some people think they wear out too quickly, but that is a small price to pay if you've ever experienced your toe stop popping off during a bout!

Well, Gumball now has some competition...specifically Crazy Skate's Big and Li'l Bloc toe stops.

Crazy Big Bloc Toe Stops
 I first tried out the Big Bloc after RollerCon 2012 and it didn't take long for me to appreciate the already flattened surface area.  I didn't have to do TATS (turn around toe stops) over and over again to break them in, although doing TATS did help to rough up the surface for better traction.  The Big Bloc was quite stable at 57mm wide and the material made stopping quickly effortless and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the stop to pop off the stem.  I gave them to Deuce Gunner (2012 Alaska MVP) to try out and now I can't get them back! 

I skated on the Big Blocs for about two months and during that time I didn't notice a substantial amount of wear, so I expect they would last a relatively long time...I've had to replace my toe stops monthly during peak training season but I bet I could get through a season with 2 pairs of these.

After raving about the Big Blocs to Amy at Skates US, she convinced me to try out the Li'l Bloc toe stops.  The Li'l Blocs are a smaller version of the Big Bloc measuring in at 45mm wide.  I was very apprehensive at first, I mean, I was used to having a solid base on which I could run, jump, and stop without worrying about being unstable but I didn't even notice that I had changed my stops at all in this regard.  I did notice my skates were a tad lighter and I didn't hit the toe stops during crossovers at the spots where I normally would (barely) hit.  I was only able to wear them for about 10 hours during a weekend boot camp, but I really didn't notice the smaller surface area at all during that time.

Now, I haven't been able to try the Big or Li'l Bloc out on every surface or have every type of skater try them, but from what I've experienced so far I would recommend these to anyone looking for something new.  The G Spot will even be getting a pair to give away, so stay tuned to your favorite Roller Derby Gear blog for your chance to win.

To sum things up, here are the Pros and Cons:

-2 Sizes to Choose From
-Already Flattened and Ready to Stop
-Slowly Wears Down
-Won't Pop Off (unlike Tanisha, amirite?!?)

-Pre-Flattened side means more work for those with toe stop nuts.
- Having to choose between sizes

Atom Backpack
Speaking of giveaways, right now 2N1 Skate Shoppe is having a contest and will give away an Atom Backpack.  All you have to do to enter the contest is post a picture of you showing your 2N1 pride on the 2N1 Skate Shoppe's FaceBook page.  We will give away a backpack to one lucky fan during the last week of March so you have a little time to post something...shocking.

Until we skate again,

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Until we skate again!