I ordered RollerGirl's new Boom wheels that are advertised to be narrowest, grippiest, lightest wheels ever. I can tell you that they certainly are light but that's about all I can say since they went directly on the girl child's skates without even a test run for mama.
I don't know who in their right mind spends almost twice on wheels for a child's skates than the skates cost in the first place but I can tell you if happen to go to practices five days a week, have a spouse in derby, a brother in derby, a child bitching and whining because you haven't gotten time to organize that junior program yet and can't move for gear bags and hockey trees then you probably aren't in your right mind anyway.
This probably explains why I have a seven year old wheel nut. She somehow got the idea that upgrading her gear will make her a better skater and seeing as my custom speed boots arrived just last month I can't really tell her different while maintaining a straight face.
(I do love my new skates but ow ow ow breaking in speed boots!)
The girl has become a bit obsessive about wheels. When she meets someone at the arena the first thing she does is look down to see how they roll. She'll stand on the side making mental notes comparing a skater's wheels to their agility, speed and overall coolness. While watching Shaggy try to make a get away on roller skates in an episode of old school Scooby Doo - after criticising Shaggy's lack of safety gear and calling a low block when he took out the baddie at ankle height - she rewound the tape so she could get a better look at his wheels because, as she said, 'He wasn't very good but he was sure going fast!'
When her grandmother asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she said the only thing she wants is new wheels. Which caused a certain amount of amusing confusion and then pity when it was clarified that she was talking about roller skate wheels.
Our derby-ness as a family tends to spread out and down the family tree. Not so much upwards.
Generally, good gear takes you far but practice takes you further. In Princess Sticky Skates' case (yes, she has a derby name), however, the wheels do make a difference. Her recreational skates, after two years of wear, are just starting to fit her feet but the wheels that came with them have basically disintegrated. She's still about a year from being able to fit in really real derby skates. Neither of us can wait.
RollerGirl Boom wheels are just a hair bigger than the original wheels that came on the girl's skates, if that gives you an idea of how little they are. Earlier, just to see if changing the wheels was even possible on her skates, I tried on a set of Radar Flat Outs that happened to kicking around the arena. The wheels fit the axle, but, given that Flat Outs are fairly wide, her skates looked like one of those expo monster trucks with the giant wheels that drive over and crush stacks of cars while shooting flames out their tail pipes. While she looked adorably tuff and very derby girl (I wanted to get her a t-shirt that said, 'I may be little but I have big wheels'), the girl child complained that she had to skate like she was riding a horse or else she'd trip over her own feet and I switched them back off again.
As it turns out, RollerGirl just released their Boom wheels right when I was looking for the slimmest, lightest wheels I could find. And they have pink cores which sealed the deal. They arrived last week to much rejoicing and seven year old shouts of happiness, 'It's like Christmas, but better!'
I still don't know how I feel about having such sweet (pricey) little wheels on my kid's skates but the temptation to challenge somebody else to race derby orphans with me is awfully strong. Because in her new little wheels she sure is fast.
So what does Princess Sticky Skates think of her new wheels? Obviously, after so much deliberation and focus she has a great deal of insight on the performance of the RollerGirl Boom wheels. I asked her just today to give me the low down.
They're really, really good. I like them. Can I go watch my show now?
And there you have it.