Posted by ellie on September 16, 2014
I will share with you my toe stop journey.
Oh toe stops, I remember when I bought my first set of quad roller skates as an adult. I had gone to one roller derby bout and decided I MUST join, but before I could, I had to have all my gear. I rushed out and bought a set of R3’s (which I still have to this day four years later). I was so excited.
Do not get me wrong, I sucked so bad words cannot describe it. I had not skated on quads ever, that I could remember. Because my last skates I had gotten were inlines since that is all that was cool when I was in my early teens (which was the last time I bought skates before starting into roller derby).
I put on those babies, I handed them my money and…I fell backwards…I was super slow…I could not stop, I could not…anything mostly. Haha.
I still joined roller derby that night though. Because…logic, I haz it.
Anywho, I joined, and then I stared in awe at all the delightful things that the derby skaters were doing at practice. One of those things that wowed me the most? SUICIDES!! At that point in my derby career that was as scary as it sounds. (now my favorite stop of all stops)
A suicide stop is basically you turn around quickly from skating forwards and put down your toe stops and this causes you to come to a quick stop.
I would go skating a lot outside of practice times because I knew I needed a lot of work. Suicide stops scared me so bad, I would not even attempt one without my helmet on. Then one day someone suggested that my toe stops may not be helping me on this journey.
These are the toe stops I was working with, many R3 skaters know it, it is the PowerDyne Midi Gripper.
If you haven’t skated on them, the biggest problem is that if the toe stop moves AT ALL (which it always does on those) then it will not be perfectly angled for you to use it. Which can result in you falling or almost falling every time depending on your level of skill. Which at that point in my skating, meant I fell just about every time, thus why I wore a helmet when I practiced them. To my credit though I never did actually fall all the way to needing a helmet while attempting that stop.
I did tons of reading online because I was still petrified of being “that girl” and asking too many questions of the vet skaters. I found from my reading that a round toe stop might make it easier, by having a consistent round surface, no matter how much it moved around.
In comes the mini web / Carrera round toe stop in my toe stop saga.
This was a marked improvement, it really did help! I was also getting more comfortable on my skates for sure. Having a surface that was not the edge of an oddly shaped surface, was awesome. (seriously who thought that design on the midi gripper was a good idea? EVER?) I was finally getting more comfortable with the movement, since I felt like there was less risk of not having something there when I needed it. But the hardness of the toe stop made it take a while for me to come to a complete stop, I had the movement down, but the speed in stopping was not achieved.
I tried a few in between, there were many, I will not bore you with their names and pictures. The next big jump in awesomeness in toe stops did not come along until this sexy little toe stop rocked my world! The Bionic Super Stoppers
Essentially for me they took what I had already learned, that round = better, then with a better gripping material, I was able to stop FASTER. Then by having the surface that is already flat it also gives you the balance that other big toe stops do NOT have, right out of the box.
It seriously was the answer to all my toe stop dreams.
The next one I am interested in trying? The Big Foot Toe stops, they are due in this week, words cannot describe the level of excited I am about these! Think you deserve a pair to try out too? Friend me on FB and you can tell me why you should win. My FB page here.
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