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)
* 582 Loose Fit (hips)
* 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


Book - No Limits: In-Line Skating

Totally Useless

Don't bother!

Book - In-line Skating

I'm Reading...

Probably a good read for a total newbie, as it contains lots of info on all aspects of inline skating. I found very little of use in the book, as I've read and researched extensively both online and other books I bought.

If you are totally new to the sport and have zero knowledge, it may be worth picking up cheap on amazon. A better book is William Nealy's Inline.

Kerouac Quote

Climb That Mountain

Cook Islands


Skate - Bauer Vapor XR Premier

Dark And Light

Having owned the Bauer X60R, I was tempted to upgrade and go another level in hockey skates. Looking at the range that's available here in England, I was pretty disappointed. I visited Bauer's website, expecting to find enticing new models. I was right and wrong.

I did find great looking skates, but the models marketed weren't new. I only learnt that later, after searching in vain, trying to find stockists in England, Europe and the US.

The skate I found was the Bauer XR Premier, an all black beauty. I loved the all-dark colour scheme, the dark boot, dark magnesium Hi-Lo frame, dark tongue, dark laces, dark outsole. You get the idea.

Yeah, I'll go for it. With no UK stocks, I googled Bauer stockists in Europe, none had my size. Bauer stockists in the US are prohibited from selling outside their borders, by the manufacturer, so they will not ship outside the US. I search on ebay and amazon, again I don't find my size. I'm stumped. I've found a skate I want, but can't buy it anywhere.

The Bauer Vapor XR Premier was released in September 2012, that's less than two years ago. I guess two years is a long time in skate marketing. If you visit Bauer's website, the Vapor XR Premier skate is still promoted as part of the inline range. Its even listed as a "New" skate. Coming from the world's leading manufacturer of ice skates and possibly inline skates (Bauer also own Mission Skates), its a pretty poor show.

I made contact with a Bauer supplier here in England, to check if future supplies were possible, he confirmed the skate was now discontinued. The supplier suggested I look at the APX2R instead, which is a lovely skate, but not the one I wanted.

Marketing Info:

XR Premier Tech
Ultra-light tech mesh with X-Rib pattern - Comfort meets technology - X-Rib design provides enhanced structural support and combines with the ultra-light quarter package to minimize weight for faster acceleration and quicker turns
Quick-dry hydrophobic grip liner, anatomical 2-piece elite black felt tongue with metatarsal padding - Moisture wicking, abrasion-resistant and comfortable. The BAUER VAPOR XR Premier boasts a superior liner that keeps the feet dry and cool while locking the heel in tight. The lace bite channel, abrasion resistant material and metatarsal guard give the tongue enhanced flex, fit, and protection

Revision Variant Tech
TORUS Technology - TORUS Technology simultaneously provides wheel-flex in turns for grip, and rigid support on the breakaway for speed!
I.S.R. - Integrated Structure Ring prevents wheel deflection on the running surface to help you break away
PLATFORM Core - The open structure of the PLATFORM core reduces weight to increase acceleration
RV-Urethane - Revolutionary urethane combined with TORUS technology has been tested at 30% more grip than any other wheel

XR Premier Features
Quarter Package - Ultra-light tech mesh with molded X-Rib pattern
Lining - Quick-dry hydrophobic grip liner
Heel Support - Patented pro-integrated, anatomical heel/ankle support
Tongue - Anatomical, 2-Piece elite black felt, with metatarsal padding
Footbed - FORM-FIT+
Outsole - Fiber Composite
Chassis - Magnesium HI-LO Vanguard 76/80mm
Wheel Configuration - 76mm, 76mm, 80mm, 80mm
Wheel - REVISION Variant Gold 74A
Bearing - HI-LO Swiss LE 608
Upper - Thermoformable Full Upper

A capture of Bauer's website inline skate page taken today (08/08/2014).

The XR Premier skate is heavily featured and promoted. Its the first product image you see when landing on the Inline skate section of the Bauer site.

Which is strange, as the product has been discontinued and is no longer available except old stock in very small or very large sizes, which retailers couldn't sell.

Kerouac Advice

Live Travel Adventure...

Movies - Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence show good chemistry in this lightweight and enjoyable rom-com. Lawrence blackmails Cooper into being her partner for a dance competition. Directed by David O. Russell, who also directed Three Kings.

Enjoyable comedy rom-com.

If you haven't already, go watch it.

Name: Silver Linings Playbook
Year: 2012
Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence

Skate - Seba Sizes

Seba Size Info

Seba skates are sold in European sizes. Measure your feet to find the size to fit.

Lay a sheet of white paper on the floor. Stand on the paper in sox and scribe round your foot, keeping pencil vertical. Measure both feet, as feet size can vary. Measure foot length in millimeters for greater accuracy.

Find the nearest (mm) size in the chart below. Max Foot Length is the longest foot size to fit that boot.

Seba High, Deluxe, Carbon, GT

EU sizeMax (mm)US MensUS Womens


EU sizeMax (mm)US MensUS Womens
40 261 7.5 9
41 265 8 9.5

Sizes listed are for freestyle or slalom and to provide a snug fit. Skates will bed-in after usage from new, in 10 to 20 hours of usage.

Seba High /Seba Carbon: The High is notorious for its difficult break-in period. Expect the skates to be uncomfortable initially. The padded liner will, yield to your feet after wearing, and will fit when broken in. Wear skates at home to speed up break-in process.
Igor: The Igors run large, and most people wear a size smaller than the Seba High.


Gustave Klimt - Bloch-Bauer I

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I

Make Me Coffee!

How I feel, some mornings...

The Gleaners - Jean Francois Millet vs Banksy

Jean Francois Millet

Banksy's take on it

Skate - Seba SX Freestyle

Freestyle Skate

Seba SX. A new short wheelbase skate designed for urban/city skating, freestyle, slalom, jumps, slides and any other fast maneuvers you fancy.

The boot is made of a carbon + fibreglass composite material for reduced weight, increased rigidity and more responsiveness. With a thick, lightweight, integrated liner providing comfort and support. Stiff but comfortable with an integrated heel shock absorber.

Outside a mix of lace and strap secure the boot in place. The addition of abrasive slider pads for protection, for when those slides don't quite come off.

The SX uses Seba's Deluxe frame made from extruded aluminium with cross plates to increase strength. The frame wheelbase at 243mm takes 4 x 80mm wheels. The frame complies with UFS standard, which allows soul plates and other mods.

In the wheels / bearings department, the skates ride on 80mm / 84a street invader wheels, fitted with Seba's twincam MW9 bearings.

I checked out the Seba FR1 standard and Deluxe skates and also had a look at the Seba High, but held off buying any of those. The SX is the all-round skate I've been looking for.

The supply in England is sparse at best. Sizes and stocks are very limited. I found some in Canadian and European stores that carry the skate in several sizes. If I can't find my size here, I'll probably have to ship them from North America, as they are way cheaper than European prices.

I didn't find a weight for the skate at any site I visited. If I get a pair, I'll weigh them and post online.

N.B. On the topic of size, one site I came across, suggested taking innersole length and deducting 5mm to get the correct boot size, as the Seba SX has such thick padding. That's only a guide measure. Ultimately, you need to wear the boot to evaluate fit. You can't buy off a size chart.

The Creation Of Adam - Sistine Chapel


Static Stretching


Skate for a length of time, and you will work those muscles hard. I easily do 1 or 2 hours a day. If you do a lot of skating, your muscles contract, stretch to counter.

Never stretch when you're cold. Do a warm-up first, to get your juices flowing, and reduce the risk of injury. 10 minutes soft cycling on a stationary bike, or 10 minutes of very easy skating. Once you are warm, ease into each stretch gently, never bounce. Hold the stretch for 15 - 30 secs.

The 8 basic stretches for skaters.

1. Neck

2. Shoulders

3. Upper Limb

4. Lower Back

5. Groin

6. Quads

7. Hamstrings

8. Calves

Images courtesy of WikiHow