Long time no blog!
Time to play catch up. First of all, in an attempt to convert to short wheels I once again bought some Jukes. Since I liked skating on all 88A Stingers, I figured I'd get the same durometer in the Jukes. Same brand, right? Not so much.
I ate much shit on the 88A Jukes. I felt like I was wearing 93s, not 88s. I finally put some Venom pushers (the Juke version of Poisons) on and that was much better, but I still wanted to play around with the short stuff.
I borrowed some Reckless wheels from Cruz Skate Shop in all 88As (yellow). They were much grippier than the Jukes and felt much lighter. These are the same price as Jukes and come in the same range of durometers, but run a little grippier of the 88A Juke isn't soft enough or you want to reduce some weight.
I'm still loving the crap out of my Bont boots, but I couldn't really find a toe cover that fit. The toe caps got all bunched up around the laces and the leather strips didn't match up with the eyelets on the Bonts. I finally had Shadow Soldier from Leppard Lady Fashions make she some custom ones. She makes toe caps for hard to fit skates (like ones with lace covers) and was more than happy to make some for me. She took soft leather and molded it to my skates, then took them back to her shop and finished them up. My new toe guards are much thicker than any I've been able to buy (and thus had to frequently replace) and look like they are a part of my skates. She has a bunch of fun customization options as well, if you want to get all fancy-like. She also makes custom belts, beer holsters (!!!), and other fun stuff. I try to support derby-owned businesses as much as possible, and her stuff is very high quality.
After bruising the crap out of my knee, I decided to revisit the land of knee gaskets. First I got some 187 knee gaskets. I liked how they were a bit more flexible in the back than most, and very breathable. Probably the most comfortable knee gasket I've ever worn. However, the Smith Scabs knee gaskets had more padding, so I got some of those shortly after. They definitely gave more support and padding, but they ripped after about 4 wearings :(. I'm still using them for the padding, but am a bit bummed that the quality isn't what I had hoped for. If you are looking for preventative padding, or if you can't wear most knee gaskets, I'd say the 187s are awesome. If you already have a bum knee, I'd get something thicker, but save your receipt if you get the Scabs.....
Lastly, I've had that sucky, bruised palm bullshit one to many times from falling on my wrist guards. When 187 came out with a specialized wrist guard for derby (in my team colors, no less), I was all for it. These wrist guards look a lot like (and may even be modeled after) the expensive as shit Pro Design wrist guards. The plastic wrist piece is thicker and broader at the palm than most and feels really comfy. I have yet to bruise my palm or hyper extend my thumb with these babies on, and they look sick.