Anyone who told you that is flat out wrong. Yes, there will be an adjustment period, but you are usually better off switching to a DA45 setup earlier on, before you get incredibly used to a different truck set up and it’s harder to adjust.
I know a lot of skaters who switched from R3s to a setup with Avengers and did just fine - their skating improved quite a bit, actually.
If you think a DA45 setup is right for your skating, go for it.
If you have the opportunity, give some DA45 plates a try. See if there’s anyone in the area that wear a similar size as you.
If you do that, keep in mind that DA45 plates do often take some getting used to and their mount isn’t going to be PERFECT for your feet, but it will give you a great idea of what they are like.
I think the magnesium Avenger is a great option for a lightweight DA45 plate (though the aluminum is fairly light as well). There really aren’t a whole lot of other budget friendly lightweight options on the market, but if budget is not an issue, Kickin’ Edge plates are carbon fiber and super fancy and light.
When you first switch to DA45 plates, expect a small adjustment period (the exact length is different for all skaters), and understand that you will be spending some time playing around with your trucks.
Ok, then you definitely want a metal plate of some sort, and since you want turning and reaction, you should also definitely look into a DA45 plate. 2 that might work for you are the Avenger (which comes in both magnesium and aluminum) or the XK-4 DA45. They are sturdy plates with lots of turning and response (if mounted and tuned properly, of course).
And go by what I said in the last post about plate size. I’d probably mount it with the front axle lined up with the frontish part of the ball of your foot (it will kind of force you into derby stance and give you great response that way).
Of course, keep in mind that mounting plates and such is very much based on personal preference, so only use this as a guide and do some other research and go with what feels right.
A lot of skaters have been submitting their reviews on these plates, so I figured it’s time to write my own.
I have skated on 3 plates in my derby career long enough to actually form opinions about them. The nylon Powerdyne Thrust, the Powerdyne Revenge, and my current plate, the Sure-Grip Avenger in magnesium.
To be completely frank, I hated the Thrust (that’s the plate that comes on an R3), I hated the Revenge ($200, but barely better than the chuck of plastic my R3s came with AND it felt like a brick under my feet), and I am in love with my Avenger. I really feel like I’ve found the plate that is best for me.
The Sure-Grip Avenger is one of Sure-Grips newest plates, and it comes with 2 options - aluminum or magnesium. The aluminum version is cheaper, black, and slightly heavier than the magnesium, which is white stiffer, and more expensive. Both plates use the same aluminum DA45 trucks, which you can get with 8mm or 7mm axles.
While the magnesium Avenger is lighter than a Revenge by a few grams, it feels like a feather compared to my Revenge. My theory is that when you fight your skates and have trouble turning and cutting, they feel heavier than they are. When your plates work with you and make movement easier, they feel much lighter. Both Avengers are cheaper than a Revenge as well, and have less breakage problems.
The turnability is a DA45 plate’s biggest selling point - especially in the derby world. Being able to turn on a dime and cut across the track quickly and easily is very important in derby, and it’s just not something you can accomplish as well on a plate with a shallower kingpin angle. A lot of skaters swear by their Powerdyne plates, but I gave them a fair shot and wasn’t impressed. I’ve gone the DA45 route and I’m not going back.
I have mine mounted to a soccer shoe, a sort of build that this plate is ideal for, since it is light, stiff, and has a very wide base offering lots of support for the boot. I currently have a mix of blue and yellow Sure-Grip Super cushions in. I’ve been skating this setup for a few months now and love it. Getting used to a DA45 plate does take some skaters a bit of time, but it’s well worth it.
Before February 2012, I hadn’t skated for about 23 years - I’m 39 now. I decided I wanted to try Roller Derby, and set about doing research. I’m not the kind of person who buys anything without researching, and that includes skates!
I wanted to see if I could still skate, so I went to one session at a local rink, found out I could still skate (very basically) and set about ordering skates.
I had discounted Riedell as I have difficult feet, so decided on the Rebel Avengers. I had reassurance from the members on Skatelog that I would be fine on the 45 degree plates. They were correct. It may be that I hadn’t already got used to 10/15 degree plates, but the first night I put them on, I skated fine. I did however intially switch the cushions to red, as I felt they were a bit twitchy.
4 months on, and I have just received my Bont boots with a magnesium Avenger plate. I am now skating on yellow cushions, and I’m going to go to blue soon. I have come to realise how agile they make me, and I have seen how much more easily I turn compared to other skaters. I LOVE these plates, and cannot imagine ever skating anything else now.
I would totally recommend these plates to everyone, including beginners. In fact, I think they are great for beginners, as they wont be used to aything else! I cannot make a comparison to a 10/15 degreee plate as I don’t have experience with them, but for any beginners hesitating over them - go for it!
First set of skates, but I love them. I really like having extra mobility on my ankles without having to really REALLY work for it. I don’t think I’ve lost stability, but that may simply be that I’ve never skated on other plates. I do think that some of the people who dislike the 45’s have been on more traditional plates for awhile, and so expect them to behave similarly.
TBH, I think you got it right with your lead in statement… “They don’t work for everybody.”
I like them, and feel like I’m skating on bricks with traditional plates. Other people feel like they are skating on rabid badgers with ADHD if they try mine on. **shrugs** Try them both before you buy if you ask me.
They’ve become very popular in the derby world lately, particularly with the release of Sure-Grip’s Avenger, designed for derby, and lighter and cheaper than Powerdyne’s Revenge.
DA45 plates are a plate in which the kingpin is at a 30 degree angle (not 45 degrees. Not sure why, but that’s the way it’s always been), and the trucks are double action (meaning they use 2 cushions, one on either side of the truck).
While DA45 plates offer more turnability, better response, and quicker cutting back and forth, they can also some with a loss of stability and have met mixed reviews by many skaters. While a lot of the negative reviews come from people deeply invested in Powerdyne (Riedell’s plates - they don’t make any DA45 plates), not all of them do. While DA45 plates do wonders for tons of skaters, they simply don’t work for everyone.
I’ve noticed a lot of confusion and mixed reviews regarding DA45 plates, so I wanted to ask skaters to give me their opinions and experiences with DA45 plates, and also to ask any questions you may have about them.
Do you have the standard or short Gumballs?
I had the standard length and had the identical problem when I was using a Revenge plate. My solution was to cut the stem of the stop shorter. Now on my Avengers, I have them screwed all the way up to keep them out of the way of the wheels. The front part of the plate sticks out enough that they shouldn’t need to be out much farther than that to still be able to stop and start normally. You won’t be hurting the stop at all by cutting them short. I cut them a few threads at a time to make sure I didn’t accidentally go too far, but it wasn’t difficult at all.
If that still doesn’t work (it should, though), then I’d look into wearing away the sides of the stop somehow to keep it farther from your wheels.