What Skates should I buy? - A guide to the best and the rest!
What Skates should I buy? - A guide to the best and the rest! With so many different makes and models of Quad Skates available which ones should you go for? Different skates are generally tailored to different needs. Hopefully this hub will go some way to helping you decide which pair is right for you.
Old School or Brand new?
Some of the skates I'm going to talk about in this hub are not available new anymore so one of the first choices you will need to make is whether you want Brand new Skates or are happy with second hand. When buying a pair of Skates always choose a pair that are a size bigger than your shoe size, this might take a bit of searching and waiting when buying second hand skates but it is well worth taking your time and getting a pair you are happy with. Ideally you want a pair that are in good cosmetic condition with all the decals intact, Don't worry too much about what the wheels are like - you can always replace them with a nice new set. The same goes for the stoppers, laces, hockey socks and even inner socks - All can be purchased new and will transform your second hand Skates into something special! When buying brand new skates there are usually different packages available to suit different needs and budgets - Different Wheels and Bearings, colour coded stoppers and laces, some companies even include Hockey socks in the package but as with second hand skates you can obviously buy all these separately and customise your skates to suit your taste.
Makes and Models:
If you've been searching round the net gathering info then it's almost certain you will have come across BAUER skates. Bauer are widely accepted as the best quad skates but since being bought out by Nike in the mid 90s Bauer Quad skates are no longer available brand new. Nike instead decided to concentrate their efforts on inliners and ice skates. BAUER TURBO are the most popular skates, The sleek boot design and excellent performance set them apart from the rest when they came into production. There are always plenty of pairs available on ebay as so many pairs were sold and people looked after them as they were generally their pride and joy! Expect to pay somewhere in the region of £80 for a decent, large size pair of Turbos including p&p. Other Bauer skates out there include: BAUER TURBO 33: The older version of Bauer Turbo - Similar to the later Turbos but the boot itself is not as smooth and the decals are slightly different. BAUER MALIBU: All white boots with pink Bauer decals - Very rare - expect to pay top money for a nice set if you can find any! BAUER PANTHER: Similar to Turbo 33 but the ancle cuff is Grey - Also quite rare these days. BAUER BRAVO: Like Bauer Panther but the boot is Blue - Not my cup of tea but a lot of people liked them. They are rare and fetch good money.
If you dont want to buy Skates that have been worn before but like the look of Bauer Turbo there is A company called SUPREME that are currently making Skates that look almost Identical to Bauer Turbo but with Supreme decals instead of Bauer ones. They are called SUPREME TURBO 33 . A friend of mine recently bought a pair and they are nice skates, fitted with quality plates and trucks and have comfortable inners. Skating purists will call them copies or even fakes though so it's up to you whether that bothers you or not! A pair of these will set you back around £105 inc. p&p with basic wheels.
Another brand that has ceased production on Quad Skates now is TREZETA. These were another popular brand of skates when I was young. Their Skate styling was unique and they were known for being hard wearing. Their most popular models were TREZETA TITAN and TREZETA VENTRONIC. These are hard to find skates these days - even more so than the Bauer models. I recently sold a NOS pair on ebay and they only made £51 inc. p&p - Quite dissapointing but as always with ebay it depends on whether or not people who know and appreciate them see them at auction!
Next up - ROCES. These skates have been going for years, They are tried and tested and take a lot of abuse. The more popular models are ROCES ATHENS, ROCES PRO and ROCES VENTRONIC. They don't look as Pretty as some of the other skates available (although I guess that's a matter of opinion) but there is no doubt about the quality. They will last forever and are still being sold brand new, however, if you decide to get a second hand pair of these they can be picked up for as little as £30-£40 inc. p&p so they might suit your needs/budget - especially if you are new to skating or dont intend on using them much and just want a cheap, reliable pair of Skates.
Another brand out there at the moment is SFR. Their more popular models are SFR STREET and SFR RAPTOR. I don't have any personal experience with these skates but from what I've heard they are decent. They look similar to Roces and aparently perform well. SFR Also make wheels similar to the legendary SIMS Street Snakes called SFR Slicks - Again, I have no personal experience with them but I hear good things. A brand new set of basic Raptors will cost you about £75 inc. p&p and SFR Street can be bought for £55 inc. p&p - Quite good value I think!
You may have heard of VENTRO PRO? Back in the day this was another manufacturer that basically copied Bauer's Skate designs. (I recently sold an early NOS pair on ebay that were a blatant copy of Bauer Turbo 33.) But these days they have gone their own way and Their skate designs are more unique to their own brand. Their more popular Models are VENTRO PRO VT01 and VENTRO SUPER PRO. In my opinion these are entry level skates. Good for learning on and cheap but if you get serious you'll probably want to upgrade at a later date. Brand new basic VT01's - £56.99 inc. p&p
Finally lets talk about GRAF skates. Graf are a big manufacturer in the Ice skating world and had a dabble in the Quad skate market when they released their GRAF GTX 175 - Sounds more like a motorbike I know! People who own these skates generally love them and claim them to be better than Bauer but I'm not so sure..They certainly don't look as nice as Bauer (Again, in my opinion) and since I've never owned A pair I cant say what they perform like. Graf dont make Brand new Quads anymore so if you fancy giving them a try then second hand is your only option. These seem to fetch a similar amount of money to Bauer Turbo at auction (around £80)
Bauer: Widely regarded as the best Quad skates available. They look nice and Perform well too but can't be bought new.
Supreme: They basically are Bauer Turbo with different stickers. No one likes a copy cat though!
Trezeta: Nice old school skates with individual styling. Not as popular as Bauer but even more rare. Not available new.
Roces: Quality manufacturer that has stood the test of time. Still available brand new and good value.
SFR: A bit of a newbie in the Quad Skate world but are building a good reputation. Available new at a reasonable price.
Ventro Pro: Still churning out skates after many a year. Available cheap and a good 1st pair of skates.
Graf: The Jury's still out on these after more than a decade! The Marmite of Quad skates - You either love them or hate them!
So, If you were to ask me out right, "Which skates should I buy?" It has to be Bauer Turbo every time. I've owned a lot of pairs of skates - 3 pairs of Bauer Turbo, a pair of Bauer Panther, a pair of Trezeta Titans, 2 pairs of Trezeta Ventronics, a pair of Roces Ventronics, a pair of Ventro Pros and a couple of other brands that aren't even worth mentioning! and at the end of the day none of the others compare to Turbos when it comes to looks AND performance BUT they are expensive and bearing that in mind, you might only want to spend the extra money on them if you are going to get the use out of them.
Thanks for taking the time to read this hub, I hope it has been in some way helpful to you. Please feel free to add any questions or comments. All the best and happy skating! Terry.