More Like It!

After a few weeks with barely enough skaters to train (three plus Carly last week) today’s attendance was much improved! Seven of us on track, plus Carly AND Gillie.

The focus this week was on switching between offence and defence. There was some endurance thrown in for good measure and a bit of a scrim at the end.

Skaters today were Si, Baker, Buckingham, Jim, Niven, Mikey and myself. Good to have Niven back on track – it’s been too long. Jim is making excellent progress. He’s solid and hits just bounce off him. Mikey is improving fast too, never afraid to get stuck in.

I got some good feedback about a few of my hits. When my hits are effective I just need to be bold enough to follow through, pass the blocker and skate away.

Great to have Gillie back with us too. It releases Carly to do her reffing duties but also gives us a second pair of eyes looking out for penalties.

The Few

I have posted previously about low attendance at training sessions. I do so again today, not because the topic is fascinating, but because that is what we have at the moment.

Last week, 3 May, we had four skaters on track, though Chris is still recovering from his back injury, so he was light contact and frequently stepping out. Yesterday was a similar tale, Baker, Bucking, Bilb and myself, with Bilb returning from injury. Once again Carly was a superstar, stepping in to deliver the session.

The session was really good, exhausting for all, as they should be. In amongst the endurance drills we worked on blocker pairs and three walls. Despite his injury Bilb worked hard and was on track for most of the session. There were some awesome hits too. Buckingham hurt his shoulder with a mistimed hit on Baker. Baker got very impressive hit to my chest that sounded much worse that it felt – it made every stop and check that I was okay.

It was also my first outing on my new plates. These are Roll Line Blasters mounted on my crappy old (2 years) Suregrip GT50s. I wasn’t sure what difference they would make, but they feel utterly different. I’ve not adjusted the trucks on them, and I guess they are as stiff as they’ll ever be. They felt much more directional, which gave me more confidence when doing cross-overs.
I also noted the lack of creaking and the accompanying flex when on my toe stops. I was also released from the nagging fear that landing hard might result in a plate breaking. Jamming was much more enjoyable!

The new plates are heavier (523g vs 429g per skate), but the difference is not discernable. I didn’t expect that it would be. In researching which plates I should get I weighed my wheels (457g per skate). The weight added by a decent plate is small in comparison.

In summary then, I’d recommend upgrading your plates if you can afford. The process of replacing them was easy – see my notes on the process.