Skate - Demon Crash Pants

Short Protection

A few thoughts on protection for your derriere. When I started skating, I didn't bother with crash pants, but after a few falls and limping home with bruised buttocks, I realized protection was necessary.

With little knowledge and little experience in this area, I searched on amazon and found Black Canyon Protective Ski Shorts. At £24, they seemed reasonable and affordable. The reviews were okay, getting 4 or 5 stars, with positive feedback. I went ahead and made the purchase.

On receipt, I inspected them, and  arranged an immediate  return to Amazon and a refund.

I've taken some heavy falls when skating in damp slippery conditions, with a lot of debris on the ground. The Black Canyon Ski Shorts, were way too poorly padded for my taste. The padding on the hips, thighs, and rear was wholly insufficient. It was more like polystyrene foam you find inside the packaging of TVs, DVDs, computers and other electronic goods. It's easily compressed between thumb and finger. No way was that going to protect bone or muscle from a heavy fall, at fast or slow speed.

Further falls persuaded me I had to pay more and get some serious protection for my rear end. I bought Demon Flex Force X Short D30 Body Protection - Black. The Demon Flex shorts contain D3O, an exotic material, which is normally soft and flexible, but on impact transforms and solidifies to become rigid, and provide protection. Returning to its previous soft state after the impact energy has dissipated.

The Demon Shorts were double the price of the Black Canyon Ski Shorts and I expected double the protection, which the shorts mostly provided. I did find the design of the shorts fell short in one area.

The Demon D30 shorts are comfortable with good fit well and provide plenty of protection for hips, thigh, buttocks and most importantly the coccyx. The coccyx is the tail bone at the end of the spine.

The bones on which you sit, the lowest bones are called ischial tuberosity and ischial ramus.

I had a couple falls on different occasions where the padding on the rear leg and coccyx padding opened to allow ischial bones to strike the floor without any protection.

The shorts look fine standing upright as in the photos. When you bend at the waist, the leg and coccyx padding separate, leaving just the thin layer of lycra material to save you from impact. Demon need to provide more padding here.

It's disappointing, so I can't recommend these shorts for skaters. Maybe they work for snowboarding or BMX. They certainly didn't work for me if I took a backwards fall when I hit a twig, pebble or just lost my balance.

I considered buying an ice hockey girdle, but my backwards skating has improved enough, I don't need so much protection now.

I feel comfortable enough to skate the first 15 to 20 mins of each session just working on backwards skating. I'm not great, but I'm not at the beginner stage either. I can't see myself blowing another £50 to £80 on new crash pants. I'd prefer to put the money towards new, better boots and better wheels.

Skate - Flexmeter Wrist Protection

Totally Awesome

Its been a year since I started skating, and its been a blast. Skating on cold frosty mornings, wet mist covered asphalt, debris scattered tarmac, and more recently, dry sunny weather, which is my favourite.

After mastering forward skating and staying upright, I worked on stopping. Once those were in the bag, I started skating backwards, then the pain comes in spades. Even if ya skate well, the debris scattered across the basketball courts, presents unwanted obstacles. I tend to fall over a lot, particularly when I practice new methods, tricks, stunts, spins, jumps or pivots.

Falling is painful. To make it less so, I purchased a pair of flexmeter wrist guards. They are superb and offer a very high degree of protection. Designed by a French surgeon who specializes in wrist breaks, and similar trauma.

The flexmeter comprise a strong top and bottom plastic support brace with velcro wrap-around straps which allow adjustment to ensure a tight, secure fit.

The top brace has a hinge-point which is flexible enough to allow upward wrist movement on impact. The length of the supports (upper and lower) and hinge movement, transfer and dissipate the impact energy up the arm, and over a greater area, instead of concentrating it on the fragile wrist bones.

I've taken a lot of falls, mostly skating backwards, or practicing spin pivots. A few hurt, most didn't, thanks to the Flexmeters superior design.

Before the flexmeters, I used K2 wrist pads, which were very short in length, and would ensure you felt the full force of each fall. It would send a stinging thud into wrists and forearms. Hours after the fall, my wrists would hurt like hell. I haven't experienced any similar pain using the Flexmeters.

The Flexmeters are expensive, but worth the outlay. They are superb. Solid construction and thoughtful design equate to a high recommendation, particularly if you prize break-free wrists.

They saved me so many times. I love these.

Levi Jeans Number System


At present I have one pair of Levi's legendary 501's. I looked to purchase another pair, and was confounded by the variety of styles, shades, colours and numbers.

After googling, I got some answers.

Product Lines

* Red Tab
* Silver Tab (this line started in 1990 and is marketed to a more fashion-forward demographic; the last five years this line got a make-over to resemble an urban wear look rather than the traditional Levi's look)
* Dockers
* Levi Strauss
* Type 1 - discontinued but still available in Asia
* Engineered - discontinued but still available in Asia
* Circle R
* Red Loop
* Levi's Vintage Clothing (L.V.C)
* Levi Strauss Signature
* Next Cube Blue Print (N3BP)
* Capital E

In 2000, the "Launderette" advert for Levi's 501s was named the 6th best television commercial of all time, in a poll conducted by The Sunday Times and Channel 4, a UK based newspaper and TV channel.

Numbered Styles

* 501 Button Fly
* 503 Skinny (women)
* 504 Slouch Straight (women)
* 505 Straight Leg
* 506 Standard Fit (men)
* 507 Boot Cut (Men)
* 508 Loose (Men)
* 509 Loose (Men)
* 511 Skinny (Men)
* 512 Boot Cut (Men)
* 512 Slim Fit (Men
* 514 Slim (Men)
* 514 Slouch Boot Cut (women)
* 515 Boot Cut (women)
* 516 Slim Fit (discontinued)
* 517 Boot Cut (men)
* 518 Super low Boot Cut (women)
* 519 Flared (women)(discontinued)
* 519 Flared (women)(discontinued)
* 522 Stretch (men)
* 523 Straight Cut (men)
* 524 Classic Straight Cut (men)
* 525 Boot Cut (women)
* 527 Low Boot (men)
* 529 Slim Boot Cut (Women)
* 529 Low Straight (men)(discontinued)
* 539 Comfort Straight (men)
* 542 Low Straight/Low Flared (women)
* 544 Boot Cut (women)
* 550 Relax Fit
* 551 Flare (women)
* 555 Relax Fit Straight (discontinued)
* 556 "Billie May" Regular Fit (women)
* 557 "Eve" Square-Cut (women)
* 558 "Patty Anne" Slim Fit (women)
* 559 "Marissa" Square-Cut Boot (women)
* 559 straight relaxed (men)
* 560 Comfort Fit (men)
* 565 Wide Leg, Loose Fit (women)
* 567 Loose Boot Cut (men)
* 569 Loose Straight (men)
* 570 Straight Fit (women)
* 571 Slim Fit (women)
* 572 Boot Cut (women)
* 573 Loose Fit (women)
* 576 Loose Fit (women)
* 579 "Bobby Anne" Skinny
* 581 Boot Cut (men)
* 584 Boot Cut stretch (men)
* 606 Skinny
* 646 Bell bottom (Men)
* 646 Capital E Vintage Flared (women)
* 901 Tapered (men)
* 907 Twisted Boot cut (men)
* 927 Boot Cut (men)
* Capital E Skimmer Skinny (women)
* Premium City Straight (women)
* Type 1 Iconic Fit
* Type 1 Real Loose
* Type 1 Tough Boot


Orange Tab
* 630 straight
* 631 skinny
* 632 bell
* 622 big bell
* 637 big bell
* 602 big bell

400 series is mostly twill pants in Khaki and Tan, 1960s, plus stretch Levi's

600 series is an assorted selection, including men's black jeans, yarn-dyed (601), boys, mostly sanforized jeans (601, in the 60s, 602, 603, 604, up to 640)

700 is the women's series, including the 701 Lady Levi's (1935), 710 up is men's shirts, mostly twill (1960s)

800 is mostly Slim fit jeans in tan, sand and black twill. 801 is mostly shorts, in sand twill, Bravo Blue Twill, all from roughly 1962-66.

Source: Levi-jeans-number-system

What Is Art?


Full Moon

A supermoon is a full moon that comes closest to the Earth than any other time during its orbit. The moon appears as a giant ball hanging in the night sky. Technically its called a perigee moon and oribits 225,000 miles from earth.

A supermoon is also called a Perigee moon and appears approximately 15 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than a normal full moon. Its an awesome sight.

Five days ago, on August 10 this year we had a particularly bright supermoon, its orbit came closer than its usual proximal swing-by. Supermoons are regular appearances in our skies, occurring about every 13 months.

When the moon is furthest away from the earth during its orbit, its called an Apogee moon and orbits 250,000 miles from earth.

Here are dates for some future supermoons:
  • 9 September, 2014
  • 28 September, 2015
  • 14 November, 2016
  • 2 January, 2018

Sunken Ship