Parts Of a Roller Skate
Roller skates also known as quad skates come in many different shapes sizes and builds, pictured is a figure skate styled boot with a heel and high cut top. Many skates come low without a heel keeping you closer to the ground. Below is a simple outline off all of the different parts of a roller skate.
Roller skating has a long history so the shape and form has changed a lot of the years and will probably change into the future, we have done our best to focus this guide to be as helpful to you today as possible.
How Roller Skates Work?
If you are getting started roller skating then you might be asking yourself the question 'how do roller skates work?'
In between the Plate and the Truck there are some soft rubber cushions known as bushings, when you shift your weight side to side in the boot the cushions get compressed accordingly forcing the trucks to turn in.
So if you shift your weight to the left edge of the boot the cushions get compressed on the left side and the trucks turn in on the left side, steering you to the left.
If you have roller skates try placing them on the table or floor and pressing the boot down on the left and the right, watch the wheels turn in.
How to take Care Of Roller Skates
So you have some skates and you want to know how to maintain your roller skates to give them the longest life possible, below are some simple steps you can follow in order to take care of your skates. We don’t cover cleaning bearings in this guide as this is a whole process in itself.
1.Extending The Life Of Your Toe Stops
Wearing out one toe stop faster than the other is very common.
If you notice this happening make sure to swap the toe stops between boots regularly, this will wear them down more evenly, giving you the most life out of your toe stops.
If you can see metal poking through then its time to replace your toe stops.
2. Adjusting Truck Tension On Rollerskates
If you find that your roller skates won't turn easily, try loosening the kingpin nut off half a turn or so then test.
Make sure that the nut is on the kingpin far enough that the little nylon locking ring is securely holding the nut on. If the king pin does not poke out past the nut it’s too loose.
If you are finding you can’t get the desired movement out of the trucks you might need to swap to different hardness cushions/bushings.
3. Check your nuts and bolts on your Roller Skates
The vibrations and knocks your skates take can cause nuts and bolts to loosen over time - this is normal. We try to keep spare parts on hand and can often order parts in if you loose something.
Make sure to take a skate tool go over your skates regularly and check all the nuts, bolts and toe stops to make sure nothing is coming loose.
You only want your axle nuts just loose enough that your wheels free spin in your hand, no looser no tighter. If you find your rollerskate wheels not spinning freely even after you have adjusted the axle nut it might be time to replace or clean your bearings.
4. Stop Your Roller Skates Stinking By Airing Them Out
When you are done skating make sure to loosen the laces pull the tongue open to let the skates breathe and dry out. Making sure your skates are dry is an important step to ensure nothing will grow and make them smelly.
If you wear protective gear skating and dont want it to smell then its important after skating to spread out your gear so it can also air out and not develop any funky smells. We have a great guide on protective gear for rollerskating over here if you are unsure what to wear.
5. Protect Your Rollerskates From Damage
The front of a roller skate boot arguably takes the most abuse out of the whole skate, especially while learning something new.
Using a toe guard will keep the front of your skates from wearing out prematurely and will keep your skates fresh for longer.
6. Wheel rotation and spin
Roller skate wheels tend to wear in one of two ways flat spotting or becoming conical.
Flat spots are caused by sliding or t-stopping so best to avoid these and use your toe stops to stop.
Over time you might notice some of your wheels usually the inside wheels wearing into a conical shape. To give them the most life move them to a position that is not as worn eg swapping the worn inside wheels and the outside wheels.