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How Not to Store Your Rollerblades

razl

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I am still a novice skier but am going for my third season in a few weeks and I stumbled across a tip that inline skating was a good way to prep. I used to skate quite a bit and had a pair of Rollerblade Fusion MXs, a high end pair from back-in-the-day, stashed up in the attic. They've been up there at least 8 years and maybe more like 10 or 12, I'm not exactly sure...

I got them out, did a quick look over, and everything seemed OK. The plastic had changed color taking on a more matte rather than the shiny look I remembered. Regardless, they seemed to be functional and intact, let's give it a go!

I heard some weird creaking while strapping the boots on but, again, they seemed to be ok. Until the first couple of steps where they, literally, crumbled underneath me. Crumbled is the best way to describe it, they just splintered and broke away into pieces over the course of 4 or 5 seconds.

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This isn't my pic but for comparison, here's what a pair of mine looked like before imploding:


I'd also say people should keep this in mind if, for whatever reason, they are picking up a used/old pair of skates. If they were stored like mine then you might be in for a big disappointment.

Also keep in mind that I live in central Florida where our attic, even with a fan and ventilation, is probably at 90 degrees or more a majority of the year. I didn't think that destroy Rollerblade's plastic but apparently, it does. Maybe in more temperate climates it isn't a concern.
 

Reggs

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It's really not much of a loss. All the components and wheels ect they use today are much better I've read. I have a decent pair and they are lasting so much longer than when I had a nice pair as a teen, and I weigh more now too.
It's fun exercise. I skate around the city streets at night. I'm surprised it's not more popular.
 

razl

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@Reggs I hear you, and I've already got a new pair on the way but, since I'm prepping specifically for skiing, I'm actually disappointed that they've migrated to the "open boot" sort of style without the whole plastic shell and ratchets like I had which were much more like ski boots. I know they are lighter and probably more comfortable, but (I think!) I'm going to miss it. I'll check back here in a few days to see if I still think that.

I agree with you that I'm surprised more people don't skate. I'm re-excited about picking it back up.
 

razl

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Followup: I ended up getting a pair of the Rollerblade Macroblade 80 ABT Inline Skates and was perfectly happy with them. I didn't miss the shell boot and still found that, even lighter, they worked very well as prep for skiing.

As an aside, the mechanics of skating and skiing are not the same, however I learned that forcing myself onto a single skate, especially my inner skate on turns, helped develop confidence on my left (weaker) leg that translated well to skiing. Also some other exercises like crouching down at the apex of turns and touching my outer skate boot helped me establish crouch/lean-in habits while turning that applied to my skiing. Again, the mechanics are so different that they really don't translate across the sports but those exercises and others helped me prep in ways that really worked for me. Also, I'm lucky that I've got a school running oval track near me that I can go do 20-30 laps on at a time.

One thing I was surprised at was that my old boots had the ABT style lean-back ankle/heel brake that, at the time, was a higher end feature but I got so used to that I considered it standard. When I went shopping for a new pair at first I wasn't thinking to look for it and just subconsciously assumed that every pair had them. Only at the last minute did I realize most of the ones I was considering didn't have ABT but instead had the old style brake. Very glad I spotted that and made sure I got a pair with them.


 

Boron40

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20210729_153214.jpg


OMG! That's the exact problem I had just today when a 20+ year old Rollerblade Fusion skate fell off a shelf in my garage on the Central West coast of Florida and SHATTERED! See picture and notice my traditional skates in the background stored the same time have leather boots and are perfect. This is a lesson that not everything high tech is intrinsically better and/or lasts longer. That's why when I put down laminate flooring I always uses an old-school floor pad rather than the high tech bubble foams and foils since there is no 30 year long term testing on these "new Fangled" products. I am shocked this 24 year old HIGH-END skate back in the day failed so miserably. We shouldn't accept high tech failures as the new normal!
 

razl

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Wow, I've since relayed my story to others while talking about skiing and, apparently, ski boots - or at least older ones stored 10+ years in Florida attics - have the same problem. People dig them out, travel with them, go to ski and they just break apart (if they even make it to the slopes). More than one person who works in/around skiing has nodded their head at me "Yep, that's exactly what happens".

I wonder if newer plastics are less susceptible or if it's just inherent in the material. Dunno.

Glad you weren't skating when it happened!

View attachment 1646113

OMG! That's the exact problem I had just today when a 20+ year old Rollerblade Fusion skate fell off a shelf in my garage on the Central West coast of Florida and SHATTERED! See picture and notice my traditional skates in the background stored the same time have leather boots and are perfect. This is a lesson that not everything high tech is intrinsically better and/or lasts longer. That's why when I put down laminate flooring I always uses an old-school floor pad rather than the high tech bubble foams and foils since there is no 30 year long term testing on these "new Fangled" products. I am shocked this 24 year old HIGH-END skate back in the day failed so miserably. We shouldn't accept high tech failures as the new normal!
 

Boron40

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Wow, I've since relayed my story to others while talking about skiing and, apparently, ski boots - or at least older ones stored 10+ years in Florida attics - have the same problem. People dig them out, travel with them, go to ski and they just break apart (if they even make it to the slopes). More than one person who works in/around skiing has nodded their head at me "Yep, that's exactly what happens".

I wonder if newer plastics are less susceptible or if it's just inherent in the material. Dunno.

Glad you weren't skating when it happened!
Hi Razi,
I am not a plastics/materials expert but many do survive decades of service including UV exposure. Canoes, kayaks are made of ABS, Royalflex, HDPE, carbon fiber etc. An UN Rated 55 gallon blue tight head plastic drum, also known as a shipping container is blow molded drum is made of industrial strength high molecular weight polyethylene (HMWPE), a plastic similar to HDPE but more durable, with extra thick walls to provide superior performance and durability. Blah blah blah. I am sure there is much more such as oil-filed and industrial grade items that hold up. I wouldn't assume newer plastics are better... but I wouldn't rule it out either. I am seriously wondering based on our experience and your recent chats with others if this plastics-failure-issue is not a huge issue of "manufacturer-designed" "planned-obsolescence". I WOULD CERTAINLY NOT RULE THAT OUT, EITHER!!!
 

Boron40

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HAHA! So funny! Sorry!
I bought them in large part because they were very attractive and stylish. Does that qualify?
BTW, plastics weren't and aren't on my mind but the internet does provide a lot of immediate info!
That's how I got here: looking on the internet to see if any other person suffered this situation.
And voila, styleforum appeared! But do not fret. No more. It was reassuring and cathartic!
 

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