How to Choose the Best Beginner Speed Skates

If there’s one thing that every beginner has in common, it’s a fast learning curve and this is especially true for beginners on roller skates. The first month on speed skates will either make you or break you but you will learn more during this time than in the near future. Beginner skaters are like sponges and the first couple months are when newbies soak up all the fundamentals that lay the foundation. From balance, confidence, stopping to starting and everything in between learning to speed skate starts with choosing the right pair of roller skates!

Let’s first define what a speed skate is, shall we?

Speed skates are among one of the most popular design styles of roller skates and they are meant to go fast. Speed skates feature low cut boots that fit your feet similar to tennis shoes and this low cut design helps you cut corners and maintain agility. As a result of the freedom they provide, these skates are very popular for jam (dance) skating and of course, speed skating. They also feature speed style wheels and bearing which enable skaters to skate faster and longer.

Ask yourself these 5 questions and you will be well prepared to make a decision about which speed skates are best for you!

1. Do you like using velcro straps?

Let’s lay out the pros and cons of velcro straps:

+ Help you achieve a custom snug fit

+ Very simple to use!

+ Velcro straps can quickly be adjusted on the go

+ Prevent laces from untying

- Velcro straps collect dirt and debris

- May stretch over time and prohibit you from keeping a snug fit

-  The comfort of your skates will be affected if the velcro strap were to break off

If you are buying beginner speed skates for someone who uses velcro straps on their tennis shoes, we reckon they will easily adapt to this style. The pros of velcro straps outweigh the cons and it really comes down to personal taste.

2. Will you be using your speed skates for roller derby?

Search for a pair of speed skates that match your derby team colors. You also want to be sure you buy speed skates with adjustable toe stops to become accustomed to the distance between the toe stop and the track. Roller derby is most often played indoor so look for skates with indoor wheels.

3. Will you be skating indoors or outdoors?

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A Guide To Create Your Own Custom Roller Skates

Shopping for roller skates can be like creating your own made to order hot sundae. It’s a sweet experience and you can choose all the ingredients. From the wheels, trucks and boots to the shoelaces we give you the option to pick your favorite colors and materials. On the other you can have a fast food kind of experience; just pick the made to order item on the menu and you get it faster than you can _______*. Please fill in the blank with a lighting fast action.

custom roller skates at roller skate nation

In order to help you take home the perfect pair of roller skates we think it’s best to lay down some ground rules aka teach you how every part of the skate works. Our ready to order roller skates are preassembled with high precision and we do all of the heavy thinking for you. Our indoor skates come with indoor wheels and vice versa and we pair heavier boots with lighter trucks etc…

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Skate Tip: Don’t let the end of summer stop you from having fun!

Summer is winding down, the kids are back in school, and it won’t be long before the seasons change and we’re gearing up for cooler weather. For many outdoor skaters, that means our window of opportunity of starting to close.

Whether you are cruising around the park, hitting the boardwalk, or just rolling with your kids down the street, there’s no easier or more fun way to have fun, enjoy time with family and friends, and stay in shape. And you don’t have to give that up just because summer is gone.

Did you know that you can turn an outdoor skate into a perfect rink skate by simply changing out the wheels?

If you enjoy skating and don’t want to let the weather keep you sidelined, adding a set of indoor wheels will get you rolling right along!

I’ve included links to our three most popular indoor wheels:

Happy Skating!


Turn Your Roller Skating Accessories Into Creative Crafty Projects

4 Awesome Ideas For Roller Skating Crafts

We believe the most fun you can have with roller skates is when they are on your feet but we all grow up and outgrow our favorite things. This is why we made a list of roller skating crafts that will help you extend the the life of your skates and keep the fun alive.
Roller skating crafts
It doesn’t matter what your favorite type of roller skating is. These roller skating crafts are for roller derby players, skating enthusiasts and craft lovers alike. It’s time to dig out your old roller skates and let the crafts begin.
Most of the project can be crafted with the parts of a roller skate but our first project is different.

Put A Twist To Your T-Shirts

We know roller derby players  gather up more t-shirts than their wardrobes can fit. From fundraising events, personalised bout jerseys and practice clothes the shirts pile up. It’s time to dig them out from the bottom of the laundry bin and grab the scissors.

Here are 4 amazing t-shirt transformation ideas you can perform on all of your extra shirts.

  1. Turn your t-shirt into a tank top with this quick tutorial. It’s a great fit for the beach and derby practice.
  2. Show your back off with the braided t-shirt tutorial. 
  3. Keep cozy in the winter months with a t-shirt scarf. Just grab two shirts and the sewing kit.
  4. The most complicated  t-shirt project is the rib cage shirt. It’s a cute design to rock on the track and your hard work will be reflected in your style.

Sew/Crochet Your Helmet Covers

Roller derby players have a lot of baggage to carry around. From skate tools, helmets and pads to make-up kits and roller skates, tote bags always come in hand. Ask around your derby squad for extra helmet covers to use to crochet an accessory bag for all your gear. If you feel extra crafty you can even design some leg warmers.

Hang Some Wheels From The Rear-view Mirror

Since hanging fuzzy dice from the rear view isn’t so popular these days, why not bring back the concept with some colorful skate wheels. Did you know theory has it that U.S pilots in WWII used dice in their cockpits for good luck, and they continued to hang them in cars when they came home from war. All you need is a shoelace and a pair wheels.

First remove the bearings (because we’ll use those for our next project) and then wrap both ends of the lace around a wheel. Once you have both wheels on each end of the lace it’s time to toss them around the mirror…but not if you live in Minnesota where hanging things from the mirror is prohibited.

Turn Your Bearings Into A Silver Necklace

This looks best around a silver beaded ball necklace but a roller skate lace will do the trick. Take your most shiny bearing and thread the necklace through it. We cannot claim this will bring good luck to your derby bouts or improve your skating ability but it will look pretty!

What are your ideas for roller skating crafts? Please share in the comments below!



The Function Of The Parts & The The Hidden Value In Roller Skates

When you’re in the market for just about anything these days, the choices can be a bit overwhelming. From coffee, cereal and toothpaste to sporting goods and recreation items like roller skating parts and wheels, the variety provides us with amazing options but unfortunately brings a bunch of bells and whistles, leaving you, the shopper confused.

roller skating parts

We strive to make your shopping experience as easy as possible and provide you with the information you need to purchase the perfect skates but roller skating can be more complicated than what meets the eye. Common questions like why do some skates have risen heel platforms or why do 2 of the 4 wheels spin at a different speeds, can go unanswered.

Lets dive into the functionality of some mid-level to advanced roller skating parts and break down the parts related to the style of skating they are best suited for.

If you’re an artistic dance skater or roller derby and speed skater, you will demand a bit more of support for the jumps, quick turns and impact. Most commonly found on our speed and artistic skates are the Sunlite ultra light plates made of Nylon. These plates connect the two trucks to each other as pictured and come with either 7mm or 8mm axles. The best features of this plate are the multi-color choices, removable cross bar for added strength and lightweight design. And don’t forget about the life-time warranty that comes with these awesome plates.

Folklore says the reason for raised heels on roller skates is to prevent the plate from penetrating the skate and that in the beginning of skating, ice skating blades would puncture the sole. Whether or not this is true, we’ve evolved to use raised heel roller skates for many reasons.

  • A moderate raised heel is good for preventing injuring and helping recover. A raised heel reduces the stress on the achilles tendon and drives more force into the ball of your foot.
  • Also known as a forward mount, this technique is used to put more ‘Oomph in your push’.
  • Artistic/figure skaters benefit from having more weight on the ball of their foot for balance and control and a raised heel helps keep them on the balls of their feet.

Wheels have a personality of their own and each set of roller skate wheels serves a purpose. We cannot deny the over the top gimmicks that some wheels claim over others but we can confirm that certain wheels are for certain players.
For example, a skate with Backspin Revenge wheels will deliver a nice push and speed balance. The wheels on the left side of each skate act as pusher wheels and the right side wheels act as speed wheels.

They are similar to car tires but you don’t need to pump them up! They start with the hub and then extend to the rubber which in this case is either a urethane, polyurethane or a mix of other such plastics. The main differentiator in wheels is the hardness, size and type.

The two important numbers on a wheel are the hardness and diameter. Wheel hardness is measured on a ‘D’ scale or the ‘A’ scale whereas the D scale measures wheels made out of plastic compounds and the A scale is for wheels of urethane.

The lower the number = the softer the wheel = more grip/less roll
The higher the number = the harder the wheel = Less grip/more roll

The wheel diameter is measured in millimeters and the breakdown for the type of wheels per type of skating are as follows:

  • 55mm & 57mm wheels are best for Freestyle skating
  • 63mm are most popular and used for Dancing, Roller Derby and recreation skating

PS: The grooves in wheels are most often a result of the manufacturing process but they have taken on a purpose to deliver a faster roll. With time, the grooves will vanish giving you more surface area and a better grip. You can have your wheels re-grooved to remove the slick layer of build up. This can usually be done once.

Have you come across certain roller skating parts that you don’t know the purpose of? Let us know in the comment section below and we’ll roll out the answers as soon as possible or just contact a live skate rep on the bottom of our website. Skate on.

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.


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.

4 Wheels Go A Long Way: A Guide To Choose Your Perfect Roller Skates

Who would’ve thought attaching four wheels to the bottom of our feet could be so much fun? Someone must’ve been plain out bored with walking or needed to get somewhere fast. One of the best parts of skating is the freedom that comes with the variety of activities. You’re not confined to a specific field trying to put a ball in the hole (compared to golf, basketball and soccer). You just have to choose your perfect roller skates.

From roller hockey with inline skates to roller derby and recreational skating on the quad skates, skating offers everyone a reason to roll around during every season.

Some wheels are aligned in a straight line and go by the name of inline skates while other wheels sit side by side like car tires. We call these quad skates. Since the first recorded use of roller skates in 1743, quad skating has become a fascinating hobby and sport, surpassing the popularity of inline skates.

Whether you’re a novice or experienced skater, it’s important to keep up with the variety of skates that match each type of quad skating you enjoy.

Different skates are for different activities and here is a quick guide to “roll” you through the basics for choosing the perfect match.

Quad fitness skating: This is a form of physical activity that replaces jogging and running with a low impact and high burning calorie type of skating. Fitness skating is a great stress reliever and you will see quick results and find more fun when paired with your current workout routine. The best skates to use for this style of skating should have fast bearings, toe stopper brakes and be very comfortable. Our Sonic Cruiser is a great choice for fitness skate. The skate is light weight, comfortable and feels like a shoe!

Quad speed skating: Those with a need for speed and a competitive edge will find speed skating the most fulfilling style of quad skating. This type of skating is gauged by the number of laps or the distance that you travel and can be done outside or inside. Speed skaters should have two sets of wheels each for outdoor and indoor settings.
We recommend our Riedell Dart speed skate for their Kwik ABEC-5 bearings and comfortable design.

Quad Rink Roller Hockey: Roller hockey on quad skates is becoming more popular. The sport took off with inline skates and will be remembered as an inline sport but that doesn’t stop quad roller’s from playing.
Roller hockey is associated with inline skates and roller derby with quad skates, however, this doesn’t mean you can’t score goals on quads. Your best choice for hockey skates are speed skates that provide ankle support. Depending on the rink, be sure to select indoor or outdoor wheels.

Roller Derby Skating: Saving the best for last, roller derby calls for the personalized skates that make a statement and roll with confidence. Roller Derby exists within a strong and hard working community of quad skater enthusiasts. The girls organize, fund and compete and as of today there are over 1,200 world wide roller derby teams spread across 35 countries. When selecting your roller derby skate, it’s important that it fits like a shoe and is as comfortable as a pillow around your foot. Choose a skate that reflects your flair and has ankle support. You will be thrashing around and skating hard in this skate so be sure it fits well.

The Sure-Grip Boxer Mr. Pink is what I’m talking about.

Give Me Some Sugar – Wheels that Is!

Sugar wheels first rolled onto the scene back in 2008 when they staked their claim as the first hybrid wheels for derby skaters. Now, they are adding to their lineup with two new wheels in the sugar line-up. The original sugar wheels you have come to know in love are here to stay but their new partners the Sweet & Low and Equalizer are ready to introduce themselves.


These white wheels are identified by their sky blue band and white hub. This hybrid wheel measures 62mm by 44 mm, making them the full-sized hybrids with serious performance.

Sweet & Low
Fall in love with the fast roll and sticky grip the Sweet & Low hybrid wheel offers. These pretty pink wheels measure 58mm x 38mm, making them low to the ground for maximum speed and control. Add them to your skates and be amazed by how these sweet little gems hug the turns


These blue wheels take sweet to a whole new level. They measure 62mm by 38mm, combining the best of the other two wheels in the lineup. These wheels can handle it all, rough outdoor surfaces and super-slick indoor rinks.

Zip Around on the Zombie

Take your skating to the next level with our new Zombie wheels available at Roller Skate Nation. Sure-Grip International has taken performance to the next level with the development of these incredible wheels. Every aspect of this wheel has been carefully designed to maximize both responsiveness and stability. This wheel comes in a multitude of hardness options and sizes, ensuring that there will be one that is ideal for your skating surface.

Urethane that Improves your Game
Transfer every bit of your power directly to the floor with the help of these urethane wheels. Sure-Grip has perfected the formulation of the urethane used for these wheels. The result is an incredibly durable wheel that will perform better than any other wheels you have used in the past.

The Magic is on the Inside
Let’s get to the core of the matter and talk about what makes the new Zombie wheels great. These high-performance wheels feature an aluminum core unlike any other. This core is made from a solid billet of aluminum, giving it unparalleled stability and durability. To top it off, these cores are anodized, resulting in an incredible bond between the aluminum and urethane. You won’t get that technology with any other skating wheel on the market!