If the boot fits you better and you like it more, then there’s no such thing as a step down. Honestly, the 265 is a fairly overrated boot and the older model is about the same quality level or lower than the 126.
I know a lot of skaters who love the Crazy Venus plates and I haven’t heard of any breakage issues with it, so if that’s what you want I think it’s a great idea.
So far I have only seen very limited reviews on the boots, though most are pretty good. They seem to be very comfy if they fit you properly and you heat mold them correctly. Once again, this is based on very few reviews.
As for the plates, I’m only hearing about the Falcon Plus, but I’m hearing a lot of good. A lot of turning for skaters who have found that a DA45 setup isn’t for them, and so far they seem to be pretty solid. As for the lower end versions, I’ve heard next to nothing.
First off, package skates are rarely a good idea. Find boots, wheels, and a plate that you like and put them together yourself. You’ll get much more bang for your buck that way because everything will be perfect for you and fitted to you.
As for the Rivals, generally Powerdyne plates have lots of breakage problems. Depending on the plate, they have broken trucks, easily destroyed pivot cups, and even twisted and snapped plates. For that reason I usually advise skaters to just stay away from Powerdyne altogether. However, they seem to have finally realized that their plates have lots of issues and the Rival seems to be their solution. So far it’s had very few negative reviews, but the plate is still very new. It’s a risk. This could be Powerdyne’s first solid plate, or it could just be that they just haven’t started breaking yet.
Why would your size make you skeptical of metal plates? The idea that heavier skaters should stay away from plastic plates does not work the other way around. Plastic plates are almost always not suitable for derby, even under a lighter skater.
However, skate weight is more important for lighter skaters and Antiks are fairly heavy boots. If you want something light and fast, Bonts are the best way to go. You don’t need to worry much about fit as they can be made very custom, and you get the choice of 4 different materials (microfiber, leather, thick leather, and their new Durolite).
Most higher end Riedell boots are not quite as heavy, but I’d definitely recommend trying them on first before buying to make sure they fit well.
As for plates, magnesium Avengers are very light and strong, but there are other options out there. Do you know about what you are looking for?
1. They should fit just fine. If they don’t work for you, Sure-Grip cushions are so cheap it shouldn’t be a big loss.
2. I would recommend it, but I would also encourage you to research the different mount intensely and talk to as many people who switched from a setup like your current one to what you want as possible. You can also see if skaters on nearby teams have a mount similar to what you want.
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.
What sort of plates were the old ones and what are you on now?
The jump bar can add some extra stability, but it might mess up your truck adjustments a little. If it starts to get a little wonky, then just go without.
Also, a quick note, if you are on nylon plates, you most likely aren’t on proper derby skates. Nylon is almost always a bad idea for sustained use in derby.
As far as nylon plates go, they are probably the best in the market in terms of strength. They are still nylon, so probably not great for heavier derby skaters or boots with less stiff soles.
Unfortunately the issue is probably more in your balance and ankle strength.
Harder cushions and tighter trucks might make it easier, but you should adjust your skates to how you like them for skating, and then work on your strength and control for skills like one-foot glides.
The plates that come with the R3 are very light, as they are nylon. They might feel heavy because they bend and flex and are difficult to turn.
Nylon plates will always be lighter, but they will rarely be a good choice for derby or even outdoor skating.
Therefore, your new plate will be heavier. However, a plate that is stiff and turns well might feel lighter, especially if paired with a light boot (like a Bont or soccer shoe).
What sort of plate are you looking for? DA45? Something else? I can help point you towards some options after I know that.
One plate to keep in mind is the Avenger. The magnesium is a light plate for a great price (and it’s very strong), and the aluminum version is still fairly light for a DA45 plate and is also super durable.
A strong DA45 plate will support bigger girls. The angle of the kingpin has very little to do with how well the plate will stand up to weight. Keep in mind that DA45 means “double action, 45 degree kingpin” and does not refer to a specific plate. There are quite a few on the market and they vary in weight, strength, price, and other factors.
What I believe you are referring to is a short forward or sport mount. It has nothing to do with the trucks and kingpins, it has to do with the axle location in relation to the ball of your foot and your heel. DA10 plates can also be mounted in this manner. A short forward mount gives you much more agility and often puts the axles at a more natural location beneath your foot to direct more power to the wheels.
As for plate size, that depends on your foot size and what sort of mount you want and has very little to do with the boot size.
If you really want the Infinity plates you could probably get away with remounting your old plates for a little while. It will also help you adapt to the new setup more gradually.
Which skates are you on now? Maybe I can help figure out which plate it is.
If you don’t want to wait for the Infinity, there are other plates out there you could get instead. Keep in mind that the Infinity appears to be coming out as a DA45 plate at first, so it will be very different from the Crazy Venus plates (though those are good plates as well).