A Blog Written By Skaters for Skaters
Wood Floors Vs. Concrete Floors
There are many types of roller skating rinks with different skate floors out there. Some of the most common floors are wood and concrete floors. Wood floors are pretty expensive, but the cost is worth it when it comes to grip and a smooth place to roll around on. A concrete floor is a lot harder as well as more slippery. When the two are compared most people have different opinions; which skate floor is better?!
Skating on a concrete floor can throw people off, especially when they have never skated on that surface before. “I like skating on a concrete floor better because it’s usually slick. I prefer skating on a slick surface because it makes it easier to do power as opposed to a sticky, wood floor,” said Denis Mejia of Team Vanilla. A concrete floor is a better choice for jam skaters that like to spin or do any type of power. Having a slicker floor will provide an easier momentum to spinning. Concrete floors can cost as little as two-six dollars per square foot, but they can also cost as much as fifteen to thirty dollars a square foot.
A wood floor is a little softer, as well as stickier to skate on. A wood floor is good if a skater is looking for grip. “I prefer wood floors with a slight grip, but not too much of a grip. It has to have some grasp to it so that when you do ground work or power the impact of the move won’t hurt as bad as falling on a concrete floor,” admits Ace Bowers of Team Kounterfit Klothing. A wood floor is a lot more expensive if one takes the average square feet of a skating rink which is about 14,000 to 21,000 square feet. A whole area of a wood floor would cost around $30,000 to $100,000!
Most skaters will have their opinion on which skate floor is better, but in the end it’s all an opinion. Some skaters like to have a slick floor which is easier to do power or spins, but others would like to have a floor with grip and a softer landing in case of a fall. Madison Farmer of Team Kounterfit Klothing expresses: “I LOVE skating on wood floors because that’s what I grew up skating on. Concrete floors are nice, but for me they are too slippery, but a concrete floor is perfect for power!”
Although deciding what type of floor is the best is an opinion, long time employee Jim Gatewood of RC Sports had some helpful information. Jim Gatewood has worked in the skating industry for thirty two years at the customer service section. Most may be wondering why this man would know so much about skating floors, but after working with different types of floors for twenty five years one will learn some stuff! Mr. Gatewood explains: “It all started twenty five years ago when I would help a good friend of mine named Ken Blacketer set floors around the country when he was short-handed. Then three years ago one of my coworkers of fifteen years named Michael Munden Jr purchased Ken’s floor company, KB Flooring, and renamed it Big Beard Flooring.
Ever since Michael’s purchase of KB Flooring I constantly help him set the floors around the country. Ken is the person whom Michael and I gained most of our knowledge about floors from.” Mr. Gatewood said with a chuckle, “That’ll definitely get you familiar with the different types of floors!” Skating floors while being costly, do require maintenance, some less than others. “A concrete floor is best for any roller rink owner because it requires very little care. This type of floor will last about twenty years. If a concrete floor hits the twenty five to thirty year mark the chemicals will begin to break down and to have that replaced is very costly for a rink owner,” Mr. Gatewood said. Having a wood floor is very expensive because of the risk of it getting cracked or damaged. If the owner doesn’t patch up the damage the floor could get ruined by moisture from the inside.
If one is a devoted skater it doesn’t matter what type of floor it is, however everyone does have their personal preference. Even a skater that travels a ton will have a preference when it comes to their favorite type of skate floor. Ameigh Osma of Team Vanilla says: “If it’s a flat surface, I’ve skated on it. I’m always going to be drawn to a concrete floor because that’s what I grew up skating on. However if I have to choose, I prefer a wood floor over concrete floors. (This is only if the rink has taken all the required steps to maintaining that wood floor.) A maintained concrete floor is always better than an unmaintained wood floor. In my opinion, wood grips better and is easier on my body. Wood has more “give” when my wheels hit the surface, so that helps with the impact on my ankles, knees and back. Concrete is the most slippery, and when you hit that floor, it is hard. “