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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Bearings – What They Are and What They Aren’t

There is a great misconception amongst people that wheel bearings in skates have an impact on how fast you can go. This is simply not true. How fast you skate is entirely dependent on your ability as a skater. Good bearings provide a smooth ride, resulting in more roll. This can make it easier or more difficult to skate fast, but the overall speed potential is not increased.

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Why then the misconception, even amongst some experts? Well, new bearings give a smooth and effortless roll. Since people normally skate performance across the same terrain, such as a roller skating rink, they aren’t able to accurately assess overall performance, and believe that the roll a good set of wheel bearings provides equates to more speed.

In simple terms, it is not unlike pushing a shopping cart across the smooth floor of a grocery store. With the exception of the grocery cart I always seem to end up with, all four wheels will glide smoothly across the hard surfaces of the store floors. This changes once you leave the store. At that point considerably more effort is required to push the cart, and the rough sidewalk or street surfaces don’t allow the wheels to roll very far. The only real factor in cart distance at this point is how hard you push.

That is the key phrase – how hard you push. All things being equal, a skater who has less weight, or who can push harder (or both) will be the one to go faster, even if their bearings are not as good. Of course, a skater with better bearings with win the roll contest simply because there is less resistance to their push, and they will roll farther – just not necessarily faster.

Now that you understand the basic concept of bearings, the next question is whether the quality of bearings is important or not, and if so, why. As with all things, quality is in fact an important consideration, but only if you are someone who really skates. If you don’t, then the extra money spent on good bearings is wasted. This is because all bearings are basically the same when they are new. The only real difference in good bearings is that they don’t compress with frequent use. In simple terms, the higher quality your bearings are, the stronger the metal is, and the longer they will last.

For regular skaters, the bearings will need to be replaced every six months to one year anyway, so it is important to consider how often you will skate, coupled with the type of skating you intend to enjoy before selecting your bearings. Hopefully this has helped to clear things up on bearings, and as ever, contact us with any questions.

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.

roller skating maintenance

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.