Test : Anarchy Havoc Roller Derby Quad Skates
Impressions by Slash
Anarchy targeted the entry level quad skates market with the Havoc skate, which costs around 110€ in different French shops.
The skates stand out compared to the sober lines of most of the other derby skates. Apart from the black-and-white checked back of the boot which may not be to everyone’s liking, the shoe looks like the other entry level products. They seem a bit more massive than skates from other categories, especially because of the big padding that is meant to improve the comfort. The shoe seems very straight at the heel. On the other hand, the plate seems very thin, especially for a nylon model.
Tightening and support
The shoe is very comfortable, well padded, and you won’t feel any pain as soon as the first uses. The lacing doesn’t go down enough so that you may feel loose at the toes, but on the whole your foot is well supported.
The Velcro band is well situated on the top of the foot and conveys good support. Let’s note that the shoe sizes big: take half a size under your normal size. The main drawback of the shoe is its very straight position, which doesn’t encourage low skating!
The skate is very comfortable thanks to its foam padding. With use, no pain appeared which may often be the case with other skates. But comfort has a downside: with use, the padding may become compacted at the expense of a good support of your foot. However, this would be the case with any entry level skates. But all entry level skates are not as comfortable as these ones.
The plates are the negative point of the model. They are made of nylon and their design is very flat. They lack a lot of rigidity. During important pushes you can feel the plate flexing. You lose a lot of balance and you can’t master your lines in bends at high speed. Last but not least, the plate is fragile: After only a few hours of use, the fastenings of the trucks in the plate broke. Then we couldn’t handle the skates anymore during long floor contacts.
The other downside of the plate is the distance between the truck centers, which is big: The skate is not easy to handle and the turning circle is very large. It is then hard to made fast changes of direction and take short bends.
Because of the very big distance between the truck centers, the brake is far in the front of the plate, which is not very natural. In order to do starts on your toe stops, you should unscrew your stop for it to get lower. During use, not having checked if it was tightened, it unscrewed during a stop. The screw thread suffered and couldn’t be fixed.
On the upside, the quality of the rubber is quite good. Absorption and rebound during stops are quite pleasant and the contact surface with the ground is good.
The wheels were developed by Anarchy. We couldn’t test them on a suitable surface, but according to our conclusions, they seem to lack grip. However, it is not abnormal for a skate of this range.
The bearings are ABEC 5 and are satisfactory for skates of this range. The rolling is quite good.
The skates are very stable when you’re in a pack at normal speed. But it’s another story when you start to speed up and change directions fast. The distance between the trucks and the straight position of the shoe cause losses of balance and are very restrictive. The skate is fragile, and a lot of parts broke in a short amount of time: the toe stop unscrewed and the thread was damaged, the fastenings of the truck to the plate broke...
Anarchy delivers an entry level skate for derby beginners who don’t want to invest too much. The shoe is comfortable but the overall ease to handle leaves much to be desired. Moreover the skate is fragile and after only a few uses, some parts of the plate broke, preventing the fastening of the trucks and causing unpredictable responses of the skate. The space between the trucks is also very big, so that the turning circle is wide and the skate is not easy to handle.
These skates are recommended for beginners who want to have a go at derby and who have a small budget. However the skater will quickly find their limits. The skate is around 109€ in France, which is a bit expansive. It would have more corresponded to a price range around 80-90€.
Strong points and points to improve
Shoe: ankle shoes
Liner: microfiber liner and Anarchy ventilated inner sole
Tightening: laces and Velcro bands
Sizing: 4-5 KI (junior) or 6-11 UK (adult)
Frame: Fiberlite polypropylene AFT-46 trucks and polyurethane TPR 80A cushions
Wheels: Brawlers 62 mm x 43 mm PU Cast 94A
Bearings: Chrome ABEC 5
Public price: 100€
Recommended use: discovery and perfecting techniques of roller derby
Rival products: Riedell R3
Useful linksBy Slash
Translated by Chloé Seyres