Best of Two Worlds
Different angled trucks can have a rationale. Review of the Roll Line “Killer” plates.
The top roller skates plates of the Italian manufacturer Roll Line have different angled trucks. That is very unique, to my knowledge no other manufacturer follows this approach. The greater inclination of the kingpin bolt of the front axle should allow to enter turns more easily and with less pressure – and the lower inclination of the back axle should provide more stability and centering during turns.
One of these plates are the Roll Line Killer, actually advertised as roller derby plates, but the design is a hybrid of the Evo, Roll Line’s top-of-the-line artistic plates, paired with the truck and cushion design of other Roll Line plates, like the Energy. This brings ultra-light plates made of high-strength Ergal aluminum alloy. Trucks are steel axles, but can be also ordered with titanium axles, which doubles almost the costs and saves only 30 grams of weight.
For better understanding of the review, some background information may need. Turns and edges are very relevant for my style of skating. I’m attempting to do NY-style/Jammin’, which requires moves on small space with absolute control of the skate strides – so a rather proper skating technique. I tried different plates in the past. I skated with the Roll Line Giotto plates, which I’m still using for my outdoor skates. They provide great control of the skates and stability, but wished for a bit more turn. Regarding the turns, the Roll Line Ring plates are inimitably. They have a greater inclination and slightly lower center of gravity for getting much deeper edges. You can literally turn on a dime. But great edging has a downside: The good roll is hard to control. The Evo would have been an alternative, but the high price deterred me from purchasing the plates, also the design with the small cushions didn’t convince me – and actually I looked for no-toe-stop plates. Finally I came across the Killer, the Evo concept with the larger cushion design. I condoned the “roller derby” label, and the issue of the toe-stop stems was fast to resolve with a hacksaw.
Now I’m skating the Killer plates for about one year. First of all: The different angled trucks work. When shifting the pressure to an edge, the front trucks turn more than the rear trucks.
Also it works for me. At the beginning I had to forget about the different angled trucks. Don’t think, just skate. The Killer bring the expected result. I’m using the grey, second softest cushions, although I my weight is 75 kg (165 lb). They allow quick turns and tight cuts without losing the control of the stride. Pivoting (turn on one axle) is effortlessly, supported by the stability when skating backwards.
Some additional details. The trucks are available both with 8 mm and 7 mm axles. The elastomer cushions can be ordered in 5 different hardness and with 2 different upper cushion shapes (conical or barrel), which provides a variety of possible combination for the individual adjustment (theoretically 50 …). Click action system for the trucks makes adjusting very easy.
The Killer plates combine virtually the best of both worlds. They achieve advanced stability without loss of agility – for an upscale but still reasonable price.
This review is based on the author’s own experience and was not sponsored or supported by any companies cited in the article. In short: I bought the plates!