What a difference a skate makes...
Coach Rick changed out my bushings for me last night before practice. This is what they looked like when he pulled them out.
Now, I don't know a lot about skate maintenance, but even I know they should not be that flat! Comparing them to the new bearings was absolutely laughable. (I think he did laugh at me actually)
I also swapped out my four pusher wheels for four Answer wheels. The overall difference in my skates was immediate. I hadn't noticed how bad my bushings/trucks were, since it's something that kind of goes gradually. When I've been turning, I've been digging so hard, and pushing with the side of my foot and my ankle, trying to force my skate to turn. The result has been a lot of drifting on the track, and very sore ankles, and the bleeding side of my foot. (I'll be kind and not post that picture again)
Once the new bushings were in, and my trucks were tightened down however, I felt a huge difference. When I would turn, I could actually dig in with my feet, as opposed to my ankles, and I didn't drift at all! It felt great, and was a huge confidence builder. Not only that, I took my socks off when I got home, and no bloody foot! Dill was so happy that he didn't have to deal with another night of, "EWWW! Look at this"!
So skaters, save yourself some pain and suffering, swap out your dang bushings, and check your trucks!