Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sport Review: Rollerblading.

Apparently rollerblading has decreased in popularity recently because I bought these $200 K2-skates last weekend for $105.00 at Dick's Sporting Goods. (I'm betting that they are even cheaper in the Cold States right now.) Let me explain to you why this was such a bargain.

I have always loved K2 (ski) boots, so much in fact, that I named my cat after the brand. So when researching popular rollerblades last week, imagine my delight when I remembered that K2 also made blades! More importantly, every review that I read indicated that it was worth paying extra for these "lighter" and smoother "soft boot" blades over the other competitive brands. So I went in to our local Dick's and bought a pair, along with a set of knee/elbow/wrist pads because I knew I'd be falling...a lot. You see, it had been fifteen years since I'd bladed/roller skated and I was preparing for the worst. Add my bike helmet and I was ready to roll. The first time I went "out" to try them out, I drove back to my old apartment, 3 miles from our condo, where I knew there was beautiful new pavement on the bike path. This was a good choice for a first timer. I suited up slowly, figuring out the pads (yes, 2013 pads are much more comfortable and stylish than 1996 pads,) tying the laces, setting the velcro and ankle boot clips (which were a replica plastic version of my K2 metal winter ski boot clips, which made me happy, especially in January, knowing that I now live in Florida instead of Massachusetts) and rolled away testing out the right heel brake and doubting how that could stop me safely in a quick need to. (They can.) I rolled out about half a mile, and then came back to the car. The wheels rode as smoothly as anyone could dream of. I felt safe with my helmet and pads, and enjoyed with nervous giggling the speed I could pick up before coasting safely back to a slow glide. This is how long it took me to get comfortable adding mileage and speed.

Day 1: 1.0 miles.
Day 2: 1.2 miles.
Day 3: 4.2 miles.
Day 4: 6.0 miles.
(3 day break.)
Day 7: 1.8 miles.
Day 8: 4.0 miles. 

Which means that in a little over a week, I've logged 18.2 miles (with no wipeouts or falling) on these new blades. No blisters, or sore ankle spots. (I've been using mid-weight L.L.Bean day hiking wool socks.) I feel great. Rollerblading stimulates thighs, calves, shins, your core and arms (for balance) and is a cardio workout that is less of an impact on my knees (which were severely hurt on days 1 & 2 from running.) The first 12.4 miles on blades could probably have increased if I hadn't started this sport injured from the week of running before. 

One of my foreign exchange students bought a pair of these same blades this weekend after seeing me blade all week. She tried on a couple of brands and noticed, like I did, that these were the lightest with the K2 soft boot. I'm excited to have a blading partner for this new sport, which did I mention, is extremely fun? Since I can't ski, or mountain bike, or swim in a lake, I guess I'm sticking with blading for a while...and I'm so happy I found this sport!