Describing Ideal Hardware Performance

Forget everything you know about liners, wheel setups, soul plates, grind plates, frame mounting, bearings, wheel profiles and sizes, bearing spacers, laces, H blocks, color ways and power straps.

What performance characteristics would the ideal trick-oriented inline skate for expert rollerbladers exhibit?

Wish list

Durability: nothing on the skate should break [unintentionally]

Solution(s): Strong, wear-resistant materials: UHMW, aluminum, carbon fiber applied with intention and minimalism. As few mechanical/hinged componenents as necessary.

Replaceability/Configurability: any part that wears out or needs to be another color or material should be replaced with ease. Skates should be customized trivially.

Solution(s): Approaches that allow for easy replacement (removable frames, soul plates, fasteners, etc.).
More importantly: open hardware designs and manufacturing processes made available such that producing new parts on an individual basis is possible in the future. Configuring a skate to personal preferences would be easy if the methods of its production were made readily available. Parts should be minimal and symmetrical for multiple applications.

Comfort: the skate should be as comfortable and as light as a regular shoe with no rubbing or pressure points.

Solution(s): Make the skate conform and attach to an actual comfortable regular shoe with minimal bulk. Or, make the boot itself an actual comfortable shoe.

Responsiveness: the skate should move in unison with the foot and leg [not independently from it in any way]. It should corner sharpy and accelerate with ease. Just enough support to create what feels like contact between the foot and pavement.

Solution(s): Tight fit with minimal bulk; mildly rockered wheel base with the largest wheels possible while maintaining stability.

Speed/Stability: the skate should be able to reach and feel stable at high speeds (25mph/40kmh+)

Solution(s): Rigid frame, large wheels, low resistance wheel spinning.

Grindability: the full range of soul/negative/frame grinding maneuvers would be easy to lock and slide with little or no resistance.

Solution(s): Place the wheels as close to the foot as possible for acute angle boot grinds while minimizing wheelbite areas with lips.
Reduce the amount of grinding surface area contact to an absolute minimum.
Switch entirely to materials with the lowest surface friction and highest durability available (UHMW, POM/Delrin®, etc).


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