Plate size and kingpin angles
Updated: Jul 3
What plate should I choose and what are the differences is a question we often get. Different models, different specifications, different characteristics. It can be hard to choose... The choice of your plate size really depends on your skills and style, while most dancers prefer a sport setup with a shorter size (1 size down), recreational rollerskaters or beginners are advised to buy longer plates for more stability. First you need to check your budget, you can spend as much as you like on plates, but considering your skills and style it's not always worth it to buy the most expensive plate. The kingpin angle should also be considered, because the angle is responsible for the feel of your skate. A small number (10 or 15 degrees) will give you a more traditional feel, faster acceleration and more stability because your weight is considerably more on the kingpins. A bigger angle (the 45 degrees or actually 33 degrees) will give you more maneuverability, and a faster response because your weight is more on the part of the plate that is responsible for turning, but therefore those plates are less stable then others. Riedell sells the most innovative plate of this moment, the Arius plate. They bought the patent a couple of years ago and started to finetune them in cooperation with a couple of fine skaters from the US: Stop thinking about kingpins and pivots! This is a whole new system. The Arius doesn’t use a traditional adjustable kingpin/trucks set up. Instead, the trucks hinge on a pin and press against the butterfly cushions to provide resistance for the action. There is no twisting and pressing around a kingpin. This creates a more efficient action, but you loose all suspension. The result is a much lighter plate that's a lot more responsive, there is no dead point compared to a traditional setup. The only cons I can think of is that changing the butterfly and finding the right durometer (hardness) in the beginning can be a hassle, but definitely not a dealbreaker, and the plate feels a little less comfortable because it has almost no suspension, so you should feel all the imperfections in the floor, although I never heard an Arius skater complain, not even outdoors. That having said, almost nothing is more personal than skates, so there are plenty of skaters who feel it just exactly the other way around. And maybe you like a more traditional look and you're happy with a kingpin and pivot, or simply don't want to spend over €300,- on a plate.
A plate with a traditional king pin that we can highly recommend for dancing is the Roll Line giotto plates. The Roll Line brand has been proven to deliver high quality plates with the perfect geometry for dancing on skates.. And it comes with a bit more friendly price tag too!