Skate Maintenance & Gear

Some of my more popular posts are on roller skate maintenance and more. Click below for easy access!

How to clean roller skate bearings

How to adjust and/or change your roller skate toe stops

Trucks, hangers & cushions – taking apart and adjusting your skates

Selecting roller skate plates

Installing roller skate plates

How to fix the toe stop threads in your roller skate plate

Lacing your roller skates

Custom fitting your roller skates

Outdoor skating: wheels, bearings and keeping upright

DIY roller skate toe covers

Queen of the Rink: How to videos on everything you need to know about your skates

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4 thoughts on “Skate Maintenance & Gear

  1. I enjoyed reading your blog so far (have to admit, I haven’t read everything). I have a question though. I am new to derby (skating in general) and my biggest problem is not falling. I wonder if perhaps it’s the skates I have. Right now I have Riedel’s R3. I skated with the Wicked’s but they were hurting my ankle a lot (btw, I have a terrible ankle). My problem is staying upright; I fall all the time that I get fustrated with myself and tend to make more mistakes then ever. In your professional opinion, what should I do?

    • Gear doesn’t make you a better skater but it can hinder you if your skates are adjusted correctly. Try tightening your trucks. The less action on that truck, the more stable you will be. Keep in mind though, a tighter truck makes cornering and laterals much more difficult. As you remain more upright, you can start loosening your trucks by 1/4 turns as your body adjusts. The second thing you can work on is your core strength. The stronger your core, the easier it is to stay upright. So I would recommend planks and side planks to build that up. I would also have a teammate video you skating. Watching yourself skate may give you an ‘aha’ moment to help you correct a habit that may be causing you to fall (EG: if you’re getting low by bending forward instead of dropping your butt, that shifts your centre of gravity terrible, causing you to be unstable. Many times skaters don’t know what habits they are doing until they see it on video). Hope that helps! Another thing to check, make sure your wheels aren’t wiggly on your hangers (meaning your nuts aren’t sitting next to your wheel, causing it to wiggle). This will also make you unstable.
      Last point: skaters often fall because they have 2 feet planted firmly on the ground and are afraid to lift up their skates. If you lose balance or get hit with both feet on the ground, you’re going down. Practice coasting on one foot so you become more comfortable and practice footwork that makes you lift up your skates a lot and integrate it into your skating. That way, if you loose balance or get hit, you will always have the other foot to catch your fall, instead of your body.

  2. Hi! I’m a “new” adult skater, meaning i skated indoor and out as a kid but i haven’t done it years. now i’m super stoked to have bought a new pair of skates. I got a little agead of myself and bought outdoor wheels, when i should have taken it slow. Now, i’m trying to put on the indoor wheels and something seems wrong. I switched the bearings, put the wheels on! put the nut on, and the wheels still seem wiggly (as you described above). How do i trouble-shoot this?

    • Hi! Sorry for the late reply! One time I bought a set of wheels and I didn’t notice a flaw in one of the wheels. The ‘rim’ inside the hub that holds the bearing from going too far into the skate was missing. Not sure I was a manufacturer error or if it snapped off somehow. To fix the problem I had to put an old-fashioned bearing spacer to keep the distance appropriate. Without it, my wheel sank to deep on the truck hanger and I wasn’t able to tighten the wheel nut all the way.

      Short answer, if you didn’t have the wiggle action on your outdoor wheels, but have them on your indoor wheels, I would inspect your wheels to ensure your bearings are seated properly and there are no flaws in the hub.

      Hope that helps!

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