4 Tips for Using Speed Skates

We think that deep down, everyone has a need for speed. Perhaps you fulfill this need behind the wheel, on your feet, at your job or on your roller skates. Living in slo-mo is just boring and no matter how easy going you might be, never let life pass you by. Instead, keep up with it or make it catch up to you!

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With that said, we present to you the top 4 tips for using speed skates because, well, that’s how we recommend fulfilling your need for speed :) . Beyond strapping them on your feet and hauling bullets down your neighborhood hill, there’s more to speed skates than what meets the eye but most of the magic lies in the bearings!

1. Consistently Clean Your Bearings (Caring For Your Bearing)

Did you know you should clean your bearings every time you skate? We know, this is like saying you should do the dishes after each time you finish your meal. It so much easier to just toss them in the sink and tell yourself “I’ll do them later”.

Similarly, cleaning your bearings is a time consuming and dirty task but the more you keep up with it the faster you’ll go.

Flip your skates upside down and listen closely as you spin each wheel. Keep an ear out for any weird sounds like grinding and crunching; those are your signals to start cleaning! On the other hand, chirping and squeaking noises mean you should lubricate your bearings.

Yes, your wheels can chirp.

2. Know The Difference Between Bearing Cleaners and Bearing Lubricators

DO NOT USE WD-40. Not only do we like selling you the proper solutions for cleaning your bearings, we also don’t want you to be left with a film coating on your bearings which collects dirt and dust.

  • Orange 409 will do the trick for cleaning bearings
  • Spray the bearings and use newspaper because cloths and rags will leave behind lint.
  • Do not rinse bearings in water, let them air dry and then move on to the lubricating.

The Bionic Bearing Wash is perfect for removing debris and contaminants from your bearings.

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Now on to the fun part that gives your speed skates the speed they deserve; lubrication!

After your bearings are properly cleaned we recommend to apply lubrication.

  • The heavier the lubricant, the longer it will last on your bearings.
  • Bones Speed Cream and Lynx Swift lube are very good for bearings

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3. Keep It To The Streets!

A  common stopping techniques for beginners is to fly off into the grass. It’s great for your safety but not so much for the health of your bearings. Grass is filled with dirt and crud and when these particles get into the bearings, it clogs them up and can cause them to seize up.

  • Steer clear of water and jump the puddles! Water dilutes the lubrication and will cause your bearings to rust.

Even if you take our advice, you’ll notice that your skates won’t ride smooth forever. After 6 months to about a year and depending on how often you skate, bearings wear down. Sorry to break it to ya!

4. Set & Achieve Goals

Most of us make fun out of speed skating but if you want to take it to the next level for physical fitness you should start tracking your distance and then surpass it each new time you skate. Refer to our top iOS and Android Apps  guide for roller skaters to help you out with this or you can just track your time.

Turn on your timer, turn up your tunes and cruise on. Going longer and further distances is rewarding like beating your last high score on Flappy Birds, except speed skating gives back.

Speed skating is one of the most enjoyable and healthiest ways to exercise on the planet and it’s so nice to know summer is just around the bend!

10 Tips for Buying Quad Skates

Spring weather has arrived and people are taking their skates to the streets. FYI, a major pet peeve of mine is seeing someone roll past me when I’m slowly walking along, can you agree? The best part of quad skates are the versatility they provide to enjoy both a leisure stroll through the park with friends or a fitness activity.

Quad skates easily fit into a gym bag or book bag so you can bring them along throughout your day to beat the traffic and burn a few calories while you’re at it!

This is our guide to help you make the perfect choice for your next and/or first pair of quad skates. We know the approaching summer months have you itching to relive the nostalgic good days and here are 10 tips to get you rolling on the right path and in the right direction.

1. Know The Different Types Of Quad Skates

Yes all quad skates have four wheels but there are various types of them.

Outdoor skates are simply meant for the outdoors and come in either low top or high top boots and the wheels are specifically designed to skate outdoors where the ground is not as smooth.


Indoor skates aka artistic skates, recreational skates or traditional skates are perfect for those wanting to skate in a skating rink, artistically dance (kind of like ice skating but instead of a blade they have wheels), and those that want to rhythm skate.

2. Choose Your Style

Not the fashion and glamour type of style, but the type of skating style.

Outdoor fitness and skating  entertainment: Roller skating is a phenomenal way to work out and it’s even recommended by the American Heart Association. We suggest outdoor skates at this time of the year because there’s so much to explore on your quad skates. Skating outdoors makes for a great way to walk the dog, enjoy family time and exercise. If you are going to skate outdoors we recommend you purchase either an “Outdoor (Quad) Skate” or “Inline Skate“.

 

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Rink Rat Skater: Don’t take offense to the name of these skaters because thousands of people head to the roller rink every weekend to dance, exercise, listen to music and chill out. This is a good style to explore especially if you live nearby a roller skating rink. Rolling around a circled track can take a toll on your ankles but you want to be sure they get the support they need. We recommend you buy a “Speed Skate” or “Indoor Skate“. Speed Skates have “low-cut” boots, whereas Indoor Skates have “high-top” boots.

3. Get The Most Out Of Your Budget

This is a no brainer but what we mean is to leverage your budget for the extra important stuff such as:

  • Helmet
  • Skate Tool
  • Skate Cleaner
  • Skate Bag

4. Derby Is A World Of Its’ Own!

The girls are always out to have a good time but that doesn’t mean “playing nice”. We reckon to join a league if you’re feeling up for the frenzy, but please, just don’t show up to tryouts with artistic skates!

Derby skates are equipped with reinforced materials such as extra stitching and velcro straps for durability and support. The price tag of derby skates reflects the high quality materials and innovative design weaved into every pair. Derby skates should be low top and equipped with quicker bearings.

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8 Tips for Using Jam Skates

Ever watch the movie from 2005 called Roll Bounce? We didn’t know Bow Wow was so good on jam skates but we do know since the release of this movie, jam skating has gained momentum across the globe. Also known as rhythm, dance and jive skating, jam skating is a combination of dance, gymnastics and skating and is heavily influenced by break dancing and modern dance.

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The fundamentals of jam skating are important to understand since jam skating is more complex than standard roller skating. There are certain wheels to use, special ways to mount your plates and more.

Read on, take some notes and you will be performing top jam skate moves in no time.

1. The Preferred Type of Boot

Ankle movement is a must when jam skating and almost every jam skater I see used speed boots to allow for extra ankle movement.

  • If you prefer using high tops, then only lace up the bottom part so you have room to move around. By doing this, the upper part of the boot is only useful for “Looks”. It doesn’t serve an actual purpose.
  •  A lower boot such as the Riedell Quest Jam is a perfect choice.
  • The Riedell 120 boot is an alternative packed with a lot of support and comfort right out of the box.
  • If you’re serious about finding that perfect jam skate then don’t hesitate to create you own custom skate. We’ll walk your hand through every step!
  • High top or low top is a preference choice that only you can make.

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Improve Your Fitness With Roller Skates

4 Ways Roller Skating Leads To Great Health

First off, if you’re not breaking a sweat then you’re not working hard enough. Secondly, you need to treat your roller skates like a gateway to entertainment; strapping them on should put a smile on your face as if you’re sitting down to watch your favorite tv show.

Spoken from personal experience, roller skating is one of the most fun activities with healthy side effects…compared to a treadmill, jump rope and swimming. The ground beneath you becomes a clear path to explore and you burn calories with every push.

But what are the specific health benefits of roller skating?

Here’s a breakdown of the top four benefits that you can pay closer attention to in order to reap the rewards of rolling around. With obesity rates on the rise, read on and start rolling more today!

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Essential Safety Equipment For Roller Skates

If you’ve stumbled on our Skate Talk  roller skates blog, then we assume these four things;

  1. You’ve strapped on a pair of roller skates before and the experience you had made you more passionate about the sport.
  2. You’ve roller skated in your previous years and are interested to do it again.
  3. You’re passionate about roller skates and are always looking for new ways to improve your skills and stay in the loop of all things roller skating.
  4. You’ve never roller skated before but it seems like the coolest physical activity this world has to offer!

There’s one thing we forgot to mention and this tends to be forgotten most often in regards to roller skating. You’re probably not here to learn about safety equipment because afterall it can be pretty boring.

Until now!

Our passion for roller skates combined with our priority to keep you safe is our obsession at Roller Skate Nation. This is why we stock the latest trends in safety equipment including the essentials and most sought after protective gear.

Let start from the top and work our way to the bottom. In other words, from the head to the legs. But first, here’s some food for the brain;

Did you know, according to Rochester Medical Research that:

  • More severe injuries occur during individual sports and recreational activities.
  • Children who are just beginning a sport or activity are at greater risk for injury.
  • More than 47,000 children ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for roller skating-related injuries.

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Use Your Smartphone To Get The Most Out Of Roller Skating: Part II

The Best Android Roller Skating Apps To Download

We’re back and ready to follow up with Part II  in our series of articles about how to best use your smartphone to enhance your roller skating. We will dive into some apps targeted to roller skaters that are supported on the Android platform. Yes, the flashlight app will come in handy and we recommend you download it for your late night laps around the neighborhood, but these apps below are packed with useful information that will make you a more confident skater.

From how-to tutorials to data analysis, you’re bound to find something to spark your interest and take up some more gigabytes. Move Angry Birds aside because these are the best Android Apps for roller skaters!

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Published in 2012, the Inline Skating App For Beginner is a must have if you’re just getting the swing of things. This app provides expert advice with step-by-step video lessons, tips and tricks and is extremely easy to use.

The main features of the app are below and you can get them with a $2.99 price tag:

  • Watch fundamental moves and practice techniques
  • Dig deeper into equipment and learn about usage
  • Expert Instruction
  • Master turns, falls, glides, stops and more

Roller Skate Nation rating and feedback: 4.0/5 starsJust when you thought you knew everything about inline skating this app comes along to teach you more. Yes, skating is intuitive for most people but this app does a great job of covering the basics that we often ignore and/or forget to learn.

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Use Your Smartphone To Get The Most Out Of Roller Skating: Part I

The Best iphone Apps Every Roller Skater Should Download

iphones, smartphones, cell phones…whatever you call the device you spend half your day staring at. Let’s learn how to use them for roller skating. This is the first post in a soon to come blog series to teach you how to use your smartphone in order to optimize and enhance your roller skating and/or inline skating experience. The apps below are supported for iphone users. Stay tuned if you own an android device!

We presume and hope you own a smart device before proceeding with the post. If you don’t, feel free to continue and sharpen up your geeky side right alongside the amazing sport of roller skating.

Whether you are just starting to roller skate and could benefit from simple how to video tutorials while you’re out and about or if you prefer to dive into some awesome data about your average speed and trails you travel, these apps are for you. (ps, click on the icon to view app in app store)

How-To Roller Skate Apps for iOS

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5 Ideas To Train On Roller Skates That You Never Thought Of

No matter where you roller skate and what type of roller skating you are doing, it is always an unpredictable sport. We don’t always plan on throwing ourselves out into traffic or expect a fallen tree in the middle of the bike lane but you must be ready for everything when you’ve got your roller skates strapped on. Once I was rolling around the lake when a flock of geese decided to dive bomb me. That’s another story but let’s just say I really had to duck…no pun intended.

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Every form of roller skating requires awareness, agility, muscle strength and endurance. Whether you’re the lead jammer on your derby team or the person in your neighborhood that everybody honks at and swerves away from, it’s easy to create your own obstacle course and train to become a better skater.

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How To Keep It Safe On Roller Skates

Sometimes all it takes is a Nerd candy sized pebble to make you face plant. Your rolling along with headphones dangling from your ears and all of a sudden you stop dead in your tracks. Pebbles can be a roller skaters worst enemy but once you learn how to properly fall, you will face your fears of the almighty pebble.

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Learning to fall is just one way to encourage roller skating safety  habits. I’ve put together a long list of safety tips and tricks to pack away in your skating arsenal because you never know if the neighborhood dog will attack or if drivers can even see you on the roadside.

Hopefully you wear your helmet and protective gear every time you skate and if not, make it a habit. According to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, head injuries are the most common and severe form of injury, accounting for more than 60 percent of bicycle and roller skating related deaths.

1. The fall: The biggest challenge of falling is learning to be as consistent as possible. Falling is not predictable and each fall will be unique. Whether you stumble on a rock and need to ease the impact or are moving too fast down a hill without brakes, learning to fall will make you a more confident skater.

Lesson 1: Practice falling in the grass and then roll at slow speeds. Start by bending your knees and slowly falling backwards on the padding of your butt. You will not always have the option to fall on your butt when moving at faster speeds but never use your arms to break your fall as you will risk spraining your wrists (Wrist guards are protective gear used to prevent road rash). The most promising style of falling is the duck and roll which reduces road rash and bruising. When you start to fall, do not fight it. The moment you lose your balance is the moment you need to plan for your fall so instead of flailing your arms around, focus on falling.

2. The time of day:
 Keep an eye on the clock and better yet, wear a watch while you skate. Even though you may be on the sidewalk of your neighborhood, rush hour traffic is dangerous and avoidable. Cross walks are crowded and you risk being hit by a car and colliding with pedestrians.

3. Passing: Always pass pedestrians, skaters and cyclists on their left by shouting out “On your left” when approaching to let them know you will be on their left.

4. Night Skating: For those too busy to squeeze some skating in their daily schedule, the evening makes for a more relaxing skating environment. It’s cooler and less crowded but you need to make yourself noticed and be able to see. Wear reflective material on your chest and back and attach a helmet light to your helmet when night skating. For extra caution you can always grab a pair of skate lights.

5. Rolling to the rhythmJamming out is fun but listening to music will reduce your ability to hear traffic, emergency sirens and other pedestrians. There are 3 things to consider for your safety when it comes to headphones.

  1. Never listen to your music at full volume.
  2. Do not use noise canceling headphones. They do not fit over your head with a helmet and they block out too much outside communication.
  3. Always tuck the headphone cable inside your shirt.

The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become on skates and the less you will have to worry. For the other roller skating safety measures, always go with your instinct and remember, no pain, no gain!

Improve Your Balance & Have Fun With 3 Roller Skating Tricks

Call it showing off or just having fun, pushing your limits on skates and learning new roller skating tricks is a great way to enhance your balance and discover your skating potential.

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There is not a special recipe for learning how to do tricks on skates and the old saying remains true that “Practice makes perfect”. However, the learning curve is fast and once you learn how to skate backwards you will be on your way to performing more complex tricks in no time. Before you start trying new tricks, be sure you have the basics down.

Skating backwards always looks fun and now it’s time to do it yourself! There are two easy ways to learn how to skate backwards and the first is the easiest. Find yourself a flat surface and then equally distribute your weight on each leg. Make sure your knees aren’t locked and that you are comfortable in a squatting position and not afraid to fall. Push your legs out to the side and bring them back in while making a figure eight shape and viola, you begin moving backwards. The second way to skate backwards is from a still position and distributing most of your weight to one leg while pushing off with the other. Push of one of your legs out and bring it back, making an S shape (half a figure 8).

Next on the list is the “Moonwalk”. Now that you can skate backwards this trick will come easy. You must have toe stoppers on your skates to perform the moonwalk since you use them to push off with. I will walk you through the motions of the moonwalk first.

Begin with one skate flat and the other upright with the toe stopper on the ground. Push off with your toe stopper and glide your other skate backwards then repeat this step. Alternate the foot that uses the toe stopper. Once you learn the motions, you can perform it at your own speed.

The “4 Wheeler” is a great trick to enhance your balance and can either be done with your rear wheels or front and rear. The objective is to roll on only 2 wheels with each skate. Start with one foot flat and the other on the back two wheels. Push off with the flat foot then lean it back on the rear wheels. To stay balanced, you must be sure to have one foot before the other at all times. Move your heels from side-to-side to gain momentum.

There you have it. A beginners guide to three basic quad skate tricks. Be patient, wear protective gear and most of all have fun.