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What Skates should I buy? - A guide to the best and the rest!

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What Skates should I buy? - A guide to the best and the rest! With so many different makes and models of Quad Skates available which ones should you go for? Different skates are generally tailored to different needs. Hopefully this hub will go some way to helping you decide which pair is right for you.

Old School or Brand new?

Some of the skates I'm going to talk about in this hub are not available new anymore so one of the first choices you will need to make is whether you want Brand new Skates or are happy with second hand. When buying a pair of Skates always choose a pair that are a size bigger than your shoe size, this might take a bit of searching and waiting when buying second hand skates but it is well worth taking your time and getting a pair you are happy with. Ideally you want a pair that are in good cosmetic condition with all the decals intact, Don't worry too much about what the wheels are like - you can always replace them with a nice new set. The same goes for the stoppers, laces, hockey socks and even inner socks - All can be purchased new and will transform your second hand Skates into something special! When buying brand new skates there are usually different packages available to suit different needs and budgets - Different Wheels and Bearings, colour coded stoppers and laces, some companies even include Hockey socks in the package but as with second hand skates you can obviously buy all these separately and customise your skates to suit your taste.

Makes and Models:

If you've been searching round the net gathering info then it's almost certain you will have come across BAUER skates. Bauer are widely accepted as the best quad skates but since being bought out by Nike in the mid 90s Bauer Quad skates are no longer available brand new. Nike instead decided to concentrate their efforts on inliners and ice skates. BAUER TURBO are the most popular skates, The sleek boot design and excellent performance set them apart from the rest when they came into production. There are always plenty of pairs available on ebay as so many pairs were sold and people looked after them as they were generally their pride and joy! Expect to pay somewhere in the region of £80 for a decent, large size pair of Turbos including p&p. Other Bauer skates out there include: BAUER TURBO 33: The older version of Bauer Turbo - Similar to the later Turbos but the boot itself is not as smooth and the decals are slightly different. BAUER MALIBU: All white boots with pink Bauer decals - Very rare - expect to pay top money for a nice set if you can find any! BAUER PANTHER: Similar to Turbo 33 but the ancle cuff is Grey - Also quite rare these days. BAUER BRAVO: Like Bauer Panther but the boot is Blue - Not my cup of tea but a lot of people liked them. They are rare and fetch good money.

If you dont want to buy Skates that have been worn before but like the look of Bauer Turbo there is A company called SUPREME that are currently making Skates that look almost Identical to Bauer Turbo but with Supreme decals instead of Bauer ones. They are called SUPREME TURBO 33 . A friend of mine recently bought a pair and they are nice skates, fitted with quality plates and trucks and have comfortable inners. Skating purists will call them copies or even fakes though so it's up to you whether that bothers you or not! A pair of these will set you back around £105 inc. p&p with basic wheels.

Another brand that has ceased production on Quad Skates now is TREZETA. These were another popular brand of skates when I was young. Their Skate styling was unique and they were known for being hard wearing. Their most popular models were TREZETA TITAN and TREZETA VENTRONIC. These are hard to find skates these days - even more so than the Bauer models. I recently sold a NOS pair on ebay and they only made £51 inc. p&p - Quite dissapointing but as always with ebay it depends on whether or not people who know and appreciate them see them at auction!

Next up - ROCES. These skates have been going for years, They are tried and tested and take a lot of abuse. The more popular models are ROCES ATHENS, ROCES PRO and ROCES VENTRONIC. They don't look as Pretty as some of the other skates available (although I guess that's a matter of opinion) but there is no doubt about the quality. They will last forever and are still being sold brand new, however, if you decide to get a second hand pair of these they can be picked up for as little as £30-£40 inc. p&p so they might suit your needs/budget - especially if you are new to skating or dont intend on using them much and just want a cheap, reliable pair of Skates.

Another brand out there at the moment is SFR. Their more popular models are SFR STREET and SFR RAPTOR. I don't have any personal experience with these skates but from what I've heard they are decent. They look similar to Roces and aparently perform well. SFR Also make wheels similar to the legendary SIMS Street Snakes called SFR Slicks - Again, I have no personal experience with them but I hear good things. A brand new set of basic Raptors will cost you about £75 inc. p&p and SFR Street can be bought for £55 inc. p&p - Quite good value I think!

You may have heard of VENTRO PRO? Back in the day this was another manufacturer that basically copied Bauer's Skate designs. (I recently sold an early NOS pair on ebay that were a blatant copy of Bauer Turbo 33.) But these days they have gone their own way and Their skate designs are more unique to their own brand. Their more popular Models are VENTRO PRO VT01 and VENTRO SUPER PRO. In my opinion these are entry level skates. Good for learning on and cheap but if you get serious you'll probably want to upgrade at a later date. Brand new basic VT01's - £56.99 inc. p&p

Finally lets talk about GRAF skates. Graf are a big manufacturer in the Ice skating world and had a dabble in the Quad skate market when they released their GRAF GTX 175 - Sounds more like a motorbike I know! People who own these skates generally love them and claim them to be better than Bauer but I'm not so sure..They certainly don't look as nice as Bauer (Again, in my opinion) and since I've never owned A pair I cant say what they perform like. Graf dont make Brand new Quads anymore so if you fancy giving them a try then second hand is your only option. These seem to fetch a similar amount of money to Bauer Turbo at auction (around £80)

Summary:

Bauer: Widely regarded as the best Quad skates available. They look nice and Perform well too but can't be bought new.

Supreme: They basically are Bauer Turbo with different stickers. No one likes a copy cat though!

Trezeta: Nice old school skates with individual styling. Not as popular as Bauer but even more rare. Not available new.

Roces: Quality manufacturer that has stood the test of time. Still available brand new and good value.

SFR: A bit of a newbie in the Quad Skate world but are building a good reputation. Available new at a reasonable price.

Ventro Pro: Still churning out skates after many a year. Available cheap and a good 1st pair of skates.

Graf: The Jury's still out on these after more than a decade! The Marmite of Quad skates - You either love them or hate them!

So, If you were to ask me out right, "Which skates should I buy?" It has to be Bauer Turbo every time. I've owned a lot of pairs of skates - 3 pairs of Bauer Turbo, a pair of Bauer Panther, a pair of Trezeta Titans, 2 pairs of Trezeta Ventronics, a pair of Roces Ventronics, a pair of Ventro Pros and a couple of other brands that aren't even worth mentioning! and at the end of the day none of the others compare to Turbos when it comes to looks AND performance BUT they are expensive and bearing that in mind, you might only want to spend the extra money on them if you are going to get the use out of them.

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Thanks for taking the time to read this hub, I hope it has been in some way helpful to you. Please feel free to add any questions or comments. All the best and happy skating! Terry.

My Bauer Turbo

My Bauer Turbo

My Ventro Pro

My Ventro Pro

My Trezeta Ventronic

My Trezeta Ventronic

Early Roces Ventronic

Early Roces Ventronic

Comments

jyu-dragon on January 18, 2016:

my old skates from when i played skate hockey for the basildon allstars back in 1984; Blue Trezeta Boots, variflex carbon baseplates, custom alloy tube jump bar, ASC430 trucks, 3 tone street snakes(red/green/white), skf bearings, inverted stainless steel king pins, blue/white cloud rubbers, black krypto toe stops, jelly truck riser pad heel blocks. still have them, but had to stop using them after 20 years, plastic boot had got brittle with age.

Looking for replacement blue trezeta boot and set of 3 tone street snakes, any ideas where to start?

Paul on October 18, 2015:

Great article. I used to skate on Bauers and Graf in the 90s and Grafs just had the edge for me. I treasured my brand new Grafs with 3-tone Sims wheels and regret selling them now I'm taking the kids to the roller disco. Got a pair Bauers off eBay but they kill my feet, maybe some new in liners are needed. Or another pair of Graf...

Danielle on July 19, 2015:

Hi Terry,

I used to skate as a teenager on the streets and shopping malls, no idea what my boots were but I know they were quads and leather white ice skating looking boots. I now want to reclaim my youth (and exercise) outdoors mainly and dont want a plastic boot or high ankle-sort of mid anlke -am i looking at getting a roller derby style? have been told my bearings need to be 5-is this correct?

paulhoolihan71 on February 20, 2015:

Hi terry im doing a fun run in my panthers and would like your opinion on the type of wheel compound and axle wide would be best, its mainly run on the roads so the surfaces will differ. Any ideas would be gratfull cheers, some of us still check this hub regular for new posts and just for the record original bauer skates are for true 80's skaters and the supremes out there are always going to be second place, sorry. Bauer are an iconic skate in the history of skating, its good to hold history.

Emma Regan on June 27, 2014:

Hi Andrew, visit www.olisskateshop.co.uk. Not only do we convert Bauers into quads, but have nearly all the brands mentioned in this hub. We specialise in converting the Bauers as we too are skaters from the 70's & 80's and love this brand. However we sell many brands suitable from complete beginners through to experience skaters. Lots of custom options as well. We can give you advice over the phone if you're not sure what you are looking for. Hope this helps.

Andrew on June 24, 2014:

Hi guys. Quick question. Want to buy some good skates for whole family. We live in oxford in the uk. Any tips on where we could find the nearest shop where they do serious skates? Quads btw. Cheers. Andrew

paulhoolihan71 on May 08, 2014:

Hi terry just an update on my skates, I did the repairs on my panthers as you suggested and the results are spot on. The plastic strip on the inside of the boot is solid and after a good few hrs of hard skating it's done it's job, the only change I did was to use a flexible glue after speaking to a friend who knows his chemistry. Any how thanks again for your input and keep skating.

Mike on May 08, 2014:

I did a lot of roller booting as a kid and a teenager. I pretty munch had my boots on from the time I left the house in the morning to the time I got home. I did a lot of trick skating so my boot got battered. I was always at out local skate park, on the half pipes, so they really did get used. Graf GTX 175's were by far the best boots to have. Me and everyone I skated with wouldn't have considered any other boot. The only time I got new ones was when I out grew the old ones....

TERRYTIBBS (author) from Milton Keynes, U.K on April 04, 2014:

Hi Ash,

You may well fit into a pair that are the same size as your trainer size, I have in the past. Usually it is recommended that you go a size or two bigger but this can be due to the fact that people buying them for younger skaters may want to consider that the child's feet are still growing - obviously yours aren't. Contact the company you are thinking of buying from and see what they say? If you can't go to a shop and physically try a pair on then you could possibly order a set and send them back if they don't fit?

BigAshW on April 03, 2014:

Hey guys looking for some advice. I really like the look of the ST33s and when I was a kid I always wanted a pair of Turbos but could never afford them. Anyways I am now a size UK13 !! And the largest size of the ST33s is 13. Do you have to buy a size larger in skates or will the 13s be ok??

TERRYTIBBS (author) from Milton Keynes, U.K on March 20, 2014:

Can't argue with you there Martin. Everything you have said is true. The main reason I use Bauer Turbo over Supreme Turbo is that as well as being into my skating I'm also a massive retro nut! I love 80's/90's music, cars, skates, clothing and so on but on a practical level Supreme probably are just as good as Bauer and as you say, the inner sock is more comfortable.

Martin Halliday from Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom on March 19, 2014:

I clicked BAUER as being the best skates...(which they are) ..But have to say I now ride SUPREME TURBO 33's since I'am a UK 14 and Bauer sizes dont go up that high..fortunately Supreme's do!

And in my honest opinion the build design is very VERY similar, they use the same play-maker tucks/plates.. there is very slight change to the design on the side of the skates including the 'SUPREME' logo instead of the 'BAUER' logo..but the boot shape is identical..

The skate sock/inners are in my honest opinion better made than the original Bauer ones and being so : are much more comfortable and supportive.

So bottom line is SUPREME'S are BAUERS! and BAUERS are the best...

You do the math :D

TERRYTIBBS (author) from Milton Keynes, U.K on March 02, 2014:

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your kind comments. I had a pair of Panther that suffered a similar problem. The ankle support split where the hole is that the fixing goes through to attach it to the boot. I repaired it using araldite and a thin piece of plastic stuck in behind - It did the job but the crack was still visible on close inspection. I suppose if you wanted a perfect fix you could salvage another boot? Panther ice skates come up on eBay occasionally but even the ice skates fetch good money as people buy them to convert to quads. Sorry I cannot offer a concrete solution to your problem, I understand your sentimental attachment to your boots! Good luck repairing them.

paulhoolihan71 on February 23, 2014:

Hi terry this is a superb hub on skates especially bauer . i am 42 and hae loved skating since i was 11. I have a pair of bauer panthers. original and must be 25yrs old, the problem i have is there's a crack about 75mm long on the top grey section, i don't want too lose these boots as they have been all over the world on every holiday I've had. any help please. thank you all

TERRYTIBBS (author) from Milton Keynes, U.K on February 13, 2014:

Hi Mr C! Sorry about the delay in replying but there hadn't been much activity on this hub for a while so I stopped checking it! Firstly YES I have heard of FX3's! Check out the 1st picture above labled "my bauer turbo" - The ones with the yellow belair wheels - They're actually early FX3's! See the Purple plastic circles that cover the mounting points for the ankle cuffs and the white plastic covered trucks. The original inners were Purple too but I got the Black ones out of a pair of later Bauer inliners. You are right in thinking that the width of the trucks themselves is less than those fitted to Turbos - Turbos are 5cm between wheels. The boots themselves are basically exactly the same - My size 10 Turbo's (Not the FX3's pictured above) also measure 30cm x 10cm aprox. The space between your axles is obviously determined by the size of your plates - Yours are close together for size 10's as mine are 19cm between axles. I don't have the FX3's anymore so I can't measure them but I believe that my Fx3's were about the same as my Turbo's and I'll explain this a little now (Kind of!) Now I have no idea why but for some reason some Bauer skates were sold new with plates that were clearly too small for the boot. I can only think that when they were being assembled in the factory either there was some occasional misunderstanding as to which plates should be fitted to which boot, there was a difference of opinion or a blatant lack of shits given! Other than that it's possible that some factories may have experienced shortages of certain plate sizes so they just went with the nearest one's they had. It's a nasty quality issue. Obviously there are various sizes of plate available: 9 7/8" - usually fitted to uk size 5,6 & 7 boots. 10.5" - usually fitted to 7,8 0r 9's. 11" - usually fitted to 9,10 & 11's and 11.5" - usually fitted to 11, 12 & 13's are some examples. You will notice that there is an overlap on some sizes when it comes to which is the recommended plate size (e.g size 7's can take a 10.5 or 11" plate) but size 10 boots aren't affected by this so I can only think that unfortunately your FX3's were fitted with a plate that is too small for them. These could be changed but then your boots may require re-drilling to line up the new holes. To be honest it's probably not worth doing this in my opinion - I'd stick them back on eBay and get another set if you are bothered by it and feel that it affects the way you skate. I found the width of the FX3 trucks too narrow also and although I've never skated on a set of Bauer's with plates that are too small I can imagine that they wouldn't feel right. I hope this has answered your questions!! Good luck and happy skating!

Mr C on November 25, 2013:

Great post Terry. Mine's a bit of a long post but bear with as this it may help others and I'd like yours and other's comments and skate measurements of size 10's...

I'm now in my 2nd Sunday of skating after a 20 year break (used to skate bauer turbos), absolutely loving it and it really is like riding a bike! I picked up some 2nd hand bauers off ebay a couple of weeks ago for a bargain price (£39+£15p&p). After a thorough clean and new bearings they're in great condition but it turns out that they are the FX3 model - any never knew of such a beast(!), have you or anyone else come across these before? There's not much info out there on them and they look the same to the untrained eye, but there are distinct differences - the tongues on the inner socks are black combined with white insides (seen some combined with purple, green, yellow), they have different plates, the trucks have a white plastic casing which are different to all others and cant be replaced (apparently) and the length and width of the wheels are closer together than bauer turbos. (Pics here, not my boots but same model http://www.skatelogforum.com/forums/showthread.php... )

I like my inner socks as they are a bit different, not so bothered about the plastic cased trucks as they're in good condition and I'm only skating indoors but I'm a little concerned with closeness of the wheels - on my size 10's the centre of the axles are only 17cm apart and the wheels are just under 4cm apart. Comparing this to a mate's size 8 bauer turbo 33s mine were noticeably closer and I've just compared with wife's size 6 Rios, hers are longer at 18.5cms and wider at 5cms apart!

Logic tells me this is why I feel a little unsteady going forward, more so than I do backwards. Hoping you agree that this is bound to be true due to a shorter and thinner wheel base. Can someone with size 10 turbos post the same measurements of their wheels for a comparison (btw my boot from heel to toe is about 30cm and about 10cms wide across the second lace holes from the toe, is this the same and what do other types of skate measure at??). When I measured the width, noticed my 3cm wide wheels dont even stick out!

1st Sunday saw a couple of falls and although there weren't any falls on 2nd Sunday, there was still a bit of unsteadiness.

Before writing this i was thinking that I might just get some wider wheels but now think I'm going to have to sell these and get some proper turbos. Thoughts and comments please...

Chris ram on November 20, 2013:

I had graff and Bauer in the 1980 90 graff were the best with sims i would love to have so more even that I am in my 30

Verbal on June 06, 2013:

30 years since i skated and doing it weekly now ...

I am not the oldest person there either .

TERRYTIBBS (author) from Milton Keynes, U.K on June 03, 2013:

swc227 - Thanks for your kind comments :) Good luck with your new skates which ever ones you choose!

verbal- Glad you're enjoying your new skates :) I like the Athens boots and as you say - Cruise wheels make for a nice smooth ride!

verbal on May 29, 2013:

Just got a new pair of Roces Athens with cruise 62,,...Smooth as silk ..lol

swc227 on May 28, 2013:

brilliant article and read. currently in the process of choosing some new boots as me and the girlfriend are reliving our youth, she was a roces girl and i was bauer turbos man. this article has helped an awful lot. i've been looking at the supreme turbo 33's, now bauer turbos are no longer but also looked at the new bauer supreme one.

......im dying to order some asap! im 32 going on 16.

Lacey on April 19, 2013:

Touché my friend, really enjoyed the banter, to be fair your probably right about the bauers being more popular, but I still live my grafs, grafs all the way!!!!

Tee on April 16, 2013:

Thanks for your advise.

TERRYTIBBS (author) from Milton Keynes, U.K on April 15, 2013:

Hi,

Going 2 sizes bigger would be a good idea, as you say your son will still have plenty of growing to do and you'll want them to last him as they're not cheap! It may be worth taking him into a shop if possible to try some on?

j224 on April 15, 2013:

Hi Tee,

I've got a pair of those Supreme Turbos. I'm a size 9 in shoes (sometimes 10 in trainers). I bought a size 9 in the skates and they felt very snug at first but are now the perfect size after a couple of times skating on them. I think you'd be ok getting your son a size 5 considering he is still growing like you say. He can always wear thick socks and pull the laces a bit tighter.

Tee on April 13, 2013:

Hi, I am about to buy my 9 year old his first pair of skates as he his recently enjoyed going roller disco. I loved my Bauers when I was younger but have decided to by him a part of Supreme turbo 33. Can anyone tell me how they fit? He is a size 3 should I buy him 1 or 2 sizes bigger. Was thinking to buy him a size 5 as he is still growing, but I don't want them to be rediculously big. Can anyone help?

TERRYTIBBS (author) from Milton Keynes, U.K on April 12, 2013:

Hi, I have been to the Agora a few times but I've been too busy with work etc to go regularly, I used to go to Rollers a lot too. The Trezeta Ventronics in the pic above aren't replicas - They are made by Trezeta, they're just a less popular, less expensive model than the Titans and Champions. Maybe see you up the Agora some time soon!

luca on April 10, 2013:

hey terry tibbs, have you been going to the agora in wolverton? come this Friday and your see me there,i'll be the guy the blue trezeta champions belting it around! iv been going most weeks,i just noticed your from mk! i'm Aylesbury and I basicly lived in rollers! and about the reps,i was on about trezeta ventronic,there not the real thing!! champs all the way!!

TERRYTIBBS (author) from Milton Keynes, U.K on March 31, 2013:

Thanks for your comment, Maybe I worded it a bit wrong with regards to the Graf skates - They definitely are a quality boot no doubt about that, the xbox vs ps3 analogy sums up what I really meant nicely, which one you prefer is a matter of personal preference and it seems it has to be one or the other for most skaters - Rivalry! :)

Lacey on March 25, 2013:

Really enjoyed the trip down memory lane, brilliant article, I do have to just make one comment, for the younger readers, the battle between Bauer and Graf quads is a bit like Xbox vs PS3 it really depends on which you owned as to which you thought we're better, I myself had Graf boots and still do, going strong after 23 years, the jury is very much decided quality boots that have stood the test of time,I have had these boots man and boy and I still use them to teach my kids to skate.

TERRYTIBBS (author) from Milton Keynes, U.K on March 14, 2013:

Glad you're enjoying your new skates pal. Trust me, it won't take as long as you may think to get up to a decent level if you go on a regular basis, usually it just clicks.

j224 on March 14, 2013:

Meant to say 'skated' at the start, not skates.

j224 on March 14, 2013:

Skates for a few hours the other night on my new Supremes. The sims snakes & ABEC 5 bearings felt really smooth but really quick compared to the loan skates. Took me a while to adjust to them!

Leaning side to side definitely offers a lot more manoeuvrability too. Finding it a little bit frustrating when 3 or 4 amazing skaters turn up each week and make it look effortless, going backwards, spinning, jumping. I guess it's just a case of practise, practise and more practise.

TERRYTIBBS (author) from Milton Keynes, U.K on March 13, 2013:

Luca. Champions are indeed nice skates, basically identical to Titans. Not sure they are the best quads ever made but I guess that's down to personal preference! Not sure what you mean by "reps" when you refer to the Trezeta Ventronics?

TERRYTIBBS (author) from Milton Keynes, U.K on March 13, 2013:

J224, Glad you tracked down your new skates! They will feel a bit snug at first but the inners will mould to the shape of your feet and after a while you won't want to skate on any other skates. Good luck with them :)

TERRYTIBBS (author) from Milton Keynes, U.K on March 13, 2013:

Nice Gaz, £86 sounds a good price for a pair in nice condition. Welcome back to the world of skating :)

j224 on March 07, 2013:

My Supreme skates have finally arrived! Parcelforce managed to deliver to number 6 instead of 8 somehow! I had to phone them to find out where my delivery was. Useless.

Anyway, tried the skates on. They felt tight at first but loosened up after a few mins wearing them. Will get to have a proper skate at the roller disco tomorrow night! Will report back how I get on :-)

Gaz33 on March 07, 2013:

Just bought some Bauer Turbo 33's on EBay for £86 they are in amazing condition for the age. Had to buy some NMB bearings and two-tone sims for the nostalgia....been 17 years since I skated and can't wait to see what I can still do!

luca on March 05, 2013:

go for the bauers only because you will find it hard to find trezetas also those ventronics are reps! trezeta champions are the ones you want,i have two pairs,they are the best quads every made!

j224 on March 05, 2013:

Still no skates :-( I sent them an email earlier and they phoned me a few hours ago to say they had made a mistake with my order and haven't actually dispatched them!

Gotta wait till Thursday to get them now...

j224 on March 01, 2013:

No, unfortunately not. It's not nice waiting and now the weekend has got in the way so it'll probably be Monday. Favourite colour is blue, so I went for those.

Got a blister from last week's roller disco so I'm looking forward to having something more comfortable! I've been watching a few YouTube vids to get some tips. Can't wait to get to the spinning stage!

TERRYTIBBS (author) from Milton Keynes, U.K on March 01, 2013: