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.
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.
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.
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.