We asked a couple of local skaters from Melbourne to tell us about their skating style, what skate gear they're currently using, and what they like about it...
Heather Armstong moved over to Melbourne from New Zealand last year and has been an active member of the Melbourne scene ever since. Currently the Australian Women's Street Champion for Park, you can find Heather skating at all the local events, and meet-ups.
We asked Heather more about her skating, and what she likes to skate on...
"I’ve been skating since 2004, so 13 years now. Started late but totally obsessed with it for a lot of that time; as soon as I discovered skateparks, that was it for the rec skating! I loved the hard exercise, building skill, the risk adrenalin, and the total mental escape from everything else. The first 5 years were definitely my most focused and progressive, when there was a big crew in Auckland, out street skating every weekend. It amped me up to skate some of the spots and push myself. But I’m a park rat at heart - street is a challenge, vert is lots of fun when I occasionally hit one up, but park has always been my favourite form of skating, with a mix of ramps, quarters, ledges and rails to play on. I’m not all that creative on different obstacles but I love grinds, I can work on them for most of a session. And I love mini ramps! I did a couple of years of roller derby too and loved it, but skateparks still win. These days I’ve got to nurse the battered knees but this past year in Melbourne, with such supportive & keen skate crews, has been super fun and motivating and I’m out pretty regularly."
What's your skate set-up?
"I went from Roces rec skates to Roces Graals to Razors Genesys and I’ve been on them ever since, through about 5 different Genesys skates and many, many replaced parts. I prefer a hard boot to a soft boot because it handles the crashes better… Briefly tried USD thinking they might work well for my long narrow foot but went back to Razors. I just learnt to grind in these skates and frames, they work for me, so I’ve been loyal ever since."
- Razor Genesys skates, black with navy blue cuffs, laces and H blocks.
- Seba liners (now that my beloved Trust liners are off the market)
- GC Featherlite 3 frames
- Eulogy 57 89a wheels, antirocker – prefer an extra mm or two so they don’t wear down as fast, and not too hard a durometer. Always been really happy with the quality of Eulogy wheels, I’ve skated them a long time.
- Bones Swiss bearings, I think. I’m willing to pay a little more for good bearings, since I’m not the most powerful skater around so I need all the help I can get.
- HARSH knee gaskets
Petre Gruescu has skated quite a few different skates throughout his years, so we thought it would be great to get his input about what he's currently on. You can find this motivated dude at nearly every single session that goes down around Melbourne. Always pushing himself and others to get stoked for learning new tricks, he's a great guy to skate with.
How long have your been skating and what's your style?
"I could rollerblade when I was 4/5 yrs old but got into Aggressive Skating at age 16/17 and I'm 26 right now, turning 27 coming next month on July 5th, so I'd say 10yrs i've been skating"
"The style I like to do is go at grinds pretty fast and try and make it look effortless, but also like to slow it down and make it look as 'steezy' as possible. I like to do unorthodox grinds but still do the 'mainstream' switch ups sometimes, and can never say no do a huge gap or set of stairs and huck a 540 and even just a nice 180. I like to be creative and skate things that don't normally get skated or skate something that's been done before but do it differently from others.
- Xsjado Chris Farmer 6 2.0 Skeleton Shell
- White Xsjado Foot Wrap
- GROUND CONTROL Featherlite 3 Freestyle Frames
- SIC URETHANE Broom Wheel 60mm
- SEBA MW9 Titanium Freeride Bearings.
"I like it because I roll really smoothly, and have very nice soft landings as the skate has a really good heel pad. There's plenty of space for my grinds, they're very comfortable on my feet, with absolutely no pain in my feet after hours of skating sessions. It's really convenient when I take my skates off I can still use the foot wraps as shoes to walk around in & most of all for the style of the skate and nostalgia of my childhood of when I use to the the NES!"
This awesome Father and Daughter duo, Mark and 10 year old Naomi skate together regularly at the weekly skatepark sessions around Melbourne. Mark got back into skating in the last 3 years after a good 15year break. Naomi got into skating at the skate rink on some adjustable kids rec skates, and then progressed to ramps in the last 2years and into some aggressive skates.
- USD Transformers (Kids aggressive adjustable skates)
- Atom Knee Pads (Adult elbow pads used as Junior knee pads)
- K2 Wrist guards
- S1 Certified Helmet