A Blog Written By Skaters for Skaters
How to Maintain Your Roller Skates
Roller skates are just like everything you hold close to your heart; they must be taken care of the right way and on a frequent basis. Proper maintenance and care of your roller skates will keep them rolling longer and increase the life of your skates.
Taking care of your roller skates is just like your car but a bit less complicated. Actually, a lot less. The only similarity between them is that they both require specific attention to individual parts which make up the whole; a well rolling machine.
This is a maintenance care list for each part of your roller skates and we’ll be starting with the boot and ending with the bearings.
The boots of your skates are like the exterior and frame of your car. You wash it when it’s dirty and patch up any scratches when necessary. But roller skates come in two different types of exterior; leather or vinyl. Each must be treated differently.
Leather Boots: Leather boots reveal scars and scratches more than synthetic materials and require extra care. Wipe down perspiration stains away from the inside and outside of your boots after each time you skate. Use a damp cloth for this and not a wet cloth.
Dominion Esprit Indoor / Outdoor Roller Skates
Browse over these boot saver liquid applications from Riedell. There are conditioners, protectants and polishes to use for either black or white leathers.
Vinyl Boots: One of the most important roller skate maintenance tips for the boot is to keep it dry. The roller skate boot can become wet through perspiration or skating outside in wet conditions. Never put the roller skate boot near a heating source to speed up the drying process. Rather, loosen the laces, open the skate boot up and let it simply air dry.
Have you ever tried your friends pair of roller skates on before and felt awkward at first? If so, this is because the first thing we notice is the truck tension. Aside from the comfy boots, trucks make up the main difference in skates. Everyone has their own preference for truck tension and here’s how to find yours.
Trucks should be tightly fitted to the boot for newbie and average skaters so be sure to routinely check that your trucks are secure.
If you loosen your trucks for extra maneuverability then be sure each truck has equal tension and to check regularly.
Wheels will come and go and it’s common to go through a few sets throughout the lifetime of your skates. Like the tires on your car, your skate wheels are the first to gather up debri. To keep them looking new, always wipe them down with a wet cloth after you skate.
Some new wheels will come with grooved ridges around them that make contact with the ground. Although this is part of the manufacturing process these grooves add extra grip to your wheels. Depending on the thickness of your wheels you can have them re-grooved at least once.
T stops will wear your wheels down quicker so use your toe stop more often. Like wheels, plan on going through a couple pairs of toe stops. You may have to experiment with a few adjustments until you determine the right toe-stop position for you. For non-adjustable toe-stops, you still need to check them periodically to make sure they are tightly secured to the boot.
Roller skate bearings: Roller skate bearings are an integral component of every roller skate wheel. Most roller skate bearings are enclosed and considered maintenance free. Even these maintenance free bearings should be kept dry and clean; this is particularly important for outdoor roller skaters. Bearings that are not enclosed will need to be lubricated from time to time. To lubricate the bearing simply remove it from the wheel, wipe it off with a cloth, and sprinkle it with a couple of drops of bearing lubricant.
*Q-Tip: Use a cotton swab to remove the stubborn grease from your bearing. They help reach the small spaces.
We know the last thing you want to do after a long skate session is clean your skates. It’s like doing the dishes after having the family over for dinner. But it has to be done and the sooner you clean up, the better everything looks!