Roller (Quad) Skates - Buying Advice
Why Roller Skating?
There's loads of reasons why rollerskates are one of the leading extreme and recreational sports. Aside from the personal enjoyment gained through skating (a lot of people go so far to call it therapeutic), it's an excellent way to keep fit. Roller skates are designed with four wide wheels equally spaced apart which make learning how to skate relatively simple. They're the perfect option for younger kids and people who've never skated before. If you're looking for a fun way to persuade your children to get active, this is one of the best!
Which kids' skate is best?
As there are a wide range of roller skates available, it's vital to know exactly what type of kids' roller skate you need before purchasing. There are three main types of rollerskates:
Soft boots are perfect for people interested in finding the most comfortable boot they can. They're designed to offer great overall support and are perfect for casual users. Soft boots also tend to be low on the ankle, allowing for a bit of extra flexibility. However, falling on these kind of boots is likely to damage the material, as will dragging the toe along the ground. We recommend putting hockey tape over the sides and toes of the skate to prevent damage.
Hard-boots are perfect for beginner skaters and people who are really rough with their skates. They're designed to take a giant beating and are perfect for roller hockey. The high boot offers excellent ankle support. We tend to recommend these for younger kids, mainly because they're so durable.
There are several other factors to consider when choosing the perfect skates for a youngster.
MoneyThere's little point spending more money than necessary however it is worth remembering that the quality of skates will vary depending on how much you spend. Higher end models will generally be constructed from stronger, lighter materials and higher quality bearings and wheels (which give you a faster, smoother ride).
AgeIf you're looking at purchasing skates for kids, it may be worth looking at the adjustable skates we have to offer as they'll save you having to constantly replacing your child's skates as they grow. A hard boot is also likely to be more hard-wearing for beginners. If your feet have stopped growing, we'd recommend getting a fixed size boot.
Skill level Most quad skates are suitable for all skill levels, but there's no point spending ridiculous amounts on a high-end pair of skates when you only intend to knock about in the park.
Wheels- Quad skates usually come with 62mm wheels for a low, stable center of gravity. Larger wheels will allow you to travel faster although it'll be harder to maneuver. Smaller wheels will be slower to accelerate but are great for nimble movements. It's also important to consider the hardness of your wheels. The hardness of a wheel is measured in durometers. Lower numbers indicate a softer wheel whilst higher numbers indicate a harder wheel. Softer wheels provide better grip although they will need replacing sooner. For first-time skaters, we'd recommend getting wheels around 62mm 82A.
Bearings In the centre of each wheel are two bearings. These bearings will greatly factor the speed of your skates. Most bearings are rated by the ABEC system (1 9, higher numbers having a smoother roll). Bearings are explained in lots more detail in the bearings buying guide.
Trucks- Most rollerskate trucks are constructed from aluminium alloy or nylon & Fiberglass composites. Metal trucks are stronger and lighter however as they cost more are typically found on higher-end models.
Most Roller skates are not designed in any way for extreme use unless specified on the product pages. Any jumps, tricks, stunts or use down a skate park will immediately invalidate the warranty.