Our DTS All Star, Sutton Impact from Southern Discomfort Roller Derby talks you through plates and why he chooses the Powerdyne Reactor....

Right then....

First off lets understand the difference between 2 popular plates currently used by a number of derby skaters around the world….the 10 degree Powerdyne Reactor Plate and 45 degree Suregrip Avenger plate……please note that there is a vast selection of plates out there with varying angles of kingpin between these 2 options mentioned above but these two are good examples of the difference in performance to expect, for instance the new Luigino Pilot Falcon F16 has a 16 degree angle on the truck…(perhaps a nice middle option which I’m yet to get my hands on!?!?)

A narrow degree skating plate like the Reactor is designed to place the skater over the kingpin and cushions, which I feel is a more stable platform and provides the right skating feel.  This angle of kingpin harks back to the types of plate used for decades and is pretty much the industry standard which I grew up skating on in my Bauer / Graf hockey boots at the local skate parks and roller discos. It allows a skater to be confident and under control in any skating situation.

Now a 45 degree skating plate such as the Avenger DA45 is designed to place the skater over the pivot pin which creates an aggressive stance and feel.  The angle of truck creates a much greater amount of turn compared to the narrow angle on the Reactor which a lot of people like for ease of controlled direction change for manoeuvers such as the lateral sweep and clear popular on the flat track.

At this point it all comes down to personal preference as both systems are popular and are proven to work in their different ways…I for one simply prefer the former as I like stability rather than the latter which I feel is sometimes a bit squirrelly....this is my personal opinion and I know many skaters that love their Avengers / Invaders etc (my other half is one of those people!)

I don't need the added turning ability of a 45 degree plate but some people find this gives them the extra manoeuvrability they desire (or are lacking from a narrower angle of kingpin set up)....

Final factor for me is that out of the 6 sets of plates I currently have,  3 sets are Reactors and these are my ‘go to’ skates that I use for key bouts and tournaments as having the same plates on all these skates helps with me knowing how my feet will react until game conditions and it also helps with spare parts and tools!

 Plates in a nutshell…

Reactor: super light plate made from aircraft grade aluminium, yummy and crisp but you’ll need to work on your footwork to get the most out of them…

Avenger: Magnesium version not as light as the Reactor but still in the very light section of plate options, give good movement but might cause you to rely on this rather than improving as a skater (which everyone wants to do don’t they?)

Most people will know someone at their league with either of these plates…so ask to have a go on them for more than a couple of minutes to understand the differences….Good Luck!