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!

Top 10 Accessories for Roller Skates for Kids

We always dread the phrase “Batteries not included”. Thankfully when you give the gift of roller skates for kids you don’t need to worry about this. On the other hand however, there are many roller skate accessories that pair up perfectly with roller skates for kids.

Here is our top 10 list of the most popular roller skate accessories we have in stock and ready to ship!

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Top 5 Reasons To Shop At Roller Skate Nation

There are more than five reason that make Roller Skate Nation a great choice for your roller skating needs but I narrowed the list down to focus on the fact of the matter that you when you buy roller skates from us, you are joining a community of avid skaters and gurus of all things skating.

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1. For as popular as online shopping has become, customer service remains one of the most important reasons for why people choose a company. Online shopping can be confusing and roller skates are more complex than what meets the eye. That is why we created live support customer service to answer your questions and concerns about anything related to your shopping and skating experience when you buy roller skates. Next time you’re browsing our site, take notice of the “Contact a Skate Rep!” menu on the lower right of the screen. If no one is available at the moment you request help, just leave your email and a message and a rep will get back asap.

2. We know how it is during the moment of check out when you choose your shipping option and get slapped with a dreaded shipping fee. We offer over 250 roller skates that ship themselves for free and we’ve divided them into 6 categories to help you find what you’re looking for faster for when you buy roller skates.

3. We are Roller Skate Nation based in Columbus Georgia but there are no borders between your order and our warehouse. We love international customers and we’ve partnered with MyUS.com to offer fast and convenient international shipping to more than 225 countries. Just follow these steps for international delivery.

Follow these two steps for international delivery:
1. Get your own U.S. address in America at www.MyUS.com.
2. Use your new U.S. address, provided by MyUS.com, when placing your order with us.

4. If we had to do the math, there are probably thousands of roller skates on sale at any given time on the web and there are only so many types of skates. Lucky for you, you’ve come to one of the biggest roller skate stores with the biggest collection of skates. If you find a skate at a lower price then we will stand by our low price guarantee and match that competitors’ price. This is our 100% skater satisfaction policy. Were happy to offer this service but it’s best to inform yourself of the policy and restrictions that apply. Don’t worry, we make it as easy as possible.

5. We are your one stop shop for all of your skating needs for when you buy roller skates. From mouth guards, bearings to helmets and everything in between, we organized our online store with the both pro skaters and beginners in mind.

Our relationship does not end when the transaction is over. In fact, this is when it starts rolling.

Chassis, Plates, and Holding It All Together

This is probably the least difficult part of the entire skate assembly to describe. The roller skate plates are a piece of metal or nylon and fiberglass that the boot attaches to on the top and everything else attaches to on the bottom. Outside of that, there are only a few differences, which we will discuss below.

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First, the construction material should be considered. Nylon and fiberglass are the most common material, but also cost less. Aluminum is the most expensive material, but also the lightest and strongest.

Second, the stops are either there, or they aren’t. This basically means you have a big rubber brake, or you don’t have a big rubber brake. There are only really two kinds of brakes.

  • The non-adjustable bell style stoppers are somewhat old school, and they require weekly tightening at a minimum. While these are also the least expensive sort of stops, they are also guaranteed to loosen up, and can cause you to get hurt if you don’t pay attention.
  • The adjustable stoppers, which are the newer type. These don’t usually shake loose from vibration like the non-adjustable stops do.  As a result they are relatively low maintenance. The only thing you really need to do with these is just adjust the height to a setting you are comfortable with.

Obviously if there are not stops, then you don’t have to worry about these issues. The only thing you’ll need to worry about is stopping – or landing if you already started skating and are only just now reading this.

Also, some roller skate plates are adjustable, and in some cases, there are even different theories and schools of thought as to how the plates are set up. For example, some speed skaters will get plates that are actually smaller than the standard size for a particular boot, but this is in the lands of expert theory, and best left to our specialists.

However you decide to skate, consider that there is a wealth of information and option available to you. We are here to help with every step along the way, making sure you don’t fall. If you do, we’ll catch you. Just send us an email. It’s what we do.

Accessorize With The Best Roller Skating Accessories

We’ll admit that there is a difference between wearing your favorite multi-colored skate laces and dressing up to skate like it’s your Halloween costume. Some believe there can never be too many roller skating accessories to help express themselves, and truth be told, they are right. From personalized roller skate bags, boot covers to toe protectors there is a skate accessory for everyone and just about everything.

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Whether you’re a derby dame or just a beginner, there is an accessory for you. You will find that some skate accessories are more important than others such as a helmet vs. pom pom’s but remember one thing: there is no such thing as over accessorizing. It’s about mixing and matching your skate bling to become a confident and passionate skater.

To help define the variety of roller skate accessories, we will list them out in descending order from most important to least important with both safety and fashion in mind!

The helmet is a no-brainer…no pun intended. A helmet is a mandatory accessory to have in many environments with the exception of roller skating rinks. Unlike in bike paths and city streets, your fellow skaters in rinks are aware of you and this is a less dangerous environment. While some skate rinks require helmets and some don’t, we recommend to use your judgement and protect yourself. Although you can break your fall with your arms and prevent a blow to the head, don’t forget about the other skaters that can cause harm.

Wrist guards, knee and elbow pads and a mouth guard are your best friends. The roller derby rules require these so stock up if you’re joining a league. The most important of these four for ordinary skating is knee pads. Our knees are the first thing to come crashing down when we fall and all it takes is just a pebble in the street to break our stride. Knee pads: get some!

Remember lefty loosy, righty tighty? You never know when a bolt could wiggle loose and the last thing you want is to be stranded miles from home with only 3 wheels on one skate. Be prepared and carry a skate tool. We recommend the one tool does all to save space and travel light.

Nylon sure grip nuts and bearing protectors can prevent your wheel nuts from coming loose. These nuts also protect your bearings from debris with a shield between the bearing and wheel. It’s a great accessory and they come in different colors.

Next on the list is a skate bag. Maybe you step outside your home with your skates on and the idea of a bag is pointless. Skate bags are not only useful for transportation, but they also keep your skate stuff organized. Grab a skate bag to keep everything in one spot, protect your skates and travel with ease.

It’s important to keep your skate as comfortable as possible, just like your shoe. A great accessory for this is a padded insole for a smoother ride. Insoles are padded but also prevent your foot from sliding around inside your skate.

While on the topic of protection, a must have skate accessory to keep your skates as good as new is boot covers. They come in many different styles and one size fits all. Use boot covers to cover up old blemishes with style or to preserve the nice leather boots you have.

Our last accessories on the list will make a fashion statement and are the most fun to have.

  • Skate lights are great for night skating. Cast a glow to the ground below with battery powered LED lights. They are also useful for night skating safety and make yourself visible to traffic.
  • Pom Pom’s and long socks: Not having really anything to do with roller skating, they are most popular among roller derby girls. Just for decoration, they are fun and make an impression.

When searching for new things to add to your skate collection always ask yourself what is most important and go from there. What are your favorite skate accessories that we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments below.

How To Care For Your Skates To Keep Them Rolling Longer

One of the best parts of new shoes is deciding which set of shoe laces to use. You can give your kicks a whole new feel and this decision is the biggest challenge other than deciding what to wear with them. Aside from interchangeable shoe laces and an occasional wipe down, taking care of your shoes is much easier than a pair of roller skates.

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Skates are more complex than what meets the eye so I’ve put together a roller skating maintenance guide and care guide to help you fine tune your skates to keep them fast, safe and fashionable (if that’s your style).

Let’s begin with the front of the skate and make our way to the back
starting with the toe stopper brakes.

The vibration and friction of braking can cause your stopper to come loose so be sure to check your toe stopper on a weekly basic to prevent injuries. This handy Riot skate tool is a great all purpose tool for this procedure.

If you have an adjustable toe stopper, you will be required to unlock the stopper first using a crescent wrench.

Fabric Care

This step will preserve the fabric of your skate. Skating causes a lot of wear and tear on the boot and a good cleaning is never harmful. Grab a tooth brush, a cloth and some fabric cleaner. If you have leather skates, use an oil leather protection applicant similar to what you would use on dress shoes.

Use a damp cloth to wipe away debris and dirt.

A clean and fresh skate is much more comfortable than a sweaty damp skate.
Remove the soles and boot liners of your boot and wash them depending on how much you skate. After washing with a mild cleaner, air dry the boot liners. Do not use a dryer as this will shrink them. A clean and dry boot will help prevent friction blisters too.

Bearing Maintenance 

Bearings have a dirty habit of collecting plenty of dirt and dust from outside and at roller rinks. A good sign to determine when you should clean up your bearings is when you start coming to a stop much quicker or when they are caked with grime. Squeaky clean bearings will fulfill your need for speed.

Dislodge each bearing from it’s wheel and spread out all 8 bearings on a dry cloth. Use a separate dry towel to scrub the bearings to remove all dirt. Clean the inside of each wheel and replace the bearings.

After screwing back on the wheels, apply a tiny drop of lubricant to each bearing. A tiny drop is all you need. Too much oil will just collect more dust.

Check Your Trucks

Everyone has there preference for their truck tension. Looser trucks allow you to make faster turns and cut sharper corners but they are not the best for maximum pushing power for quick acceleration. For beginners, we recommend a medium tension.

Keep your skate tool close by and adjust your trucks to your own preference. The important part is that they are not loosening up on their own. Always double check the lock nut and screw it down tight to prevent your trucks from loosening up.

Applying the proper treatment to your roller skates will keep them rolling longer, prevent unexpected malfunctions and injuries and teach you something new about your skates.