getting started on new roller skates
No matter what your skill level, it is important to take some time to get used to your new skates. Every pair of roller skates will feel different and even the seasoned skater needs time to adjust to these differences.
Find yourself a smooth, flat and safe place (away from traffic) to skate. Practice the skills of skating forward, turning and stopping. Please be warned that even a small hill can induce high speeds. Skating in or around traffic is extremely dangerous and should only be attempted by those who have thoroughly mastered the skills listed above and can maintain a high level of control.
Beginners are strongly advised to wear appropriate gear (knee pads, wrist guards, elbow pads and helmet). Even if you are not a beginner, it is still a good idea to protect yourself. Cement bites hard given the chance. Wearing proper gear can also allow you to push your limits without the fear of serious injury.
If roller skating for the first time try to stay relaxed, don't lock your knees, and don't get frustrated if you don't catch on immediately. A little practice and you will be rolling in no time!
Finally, we can't emphasize how important it is to maintain your roller skates! Make sure all your bolts are tight! To ensure a safe skating experience, please follow the simple maintenance schedule documented below.
care and maintenance of your roller skates
To ensure a long and healthy life for your roller skates and a safe, smooth ride, it is important to routinely maintain your skates. The tool information listed is for standard roller skate parts. Not all roller skates are made of standard parts.
Non adjustable bell-type stoppers: On a weekly basis it is very important to verify that the toe stoppers are tightly fastened (vibration from stopping frequently will loosen the toe stoppers). To tighten the toe stoppers simply use the appropriate screwdriver (usually a large Phillips or a flat head) and tighten the toe stopper bolt as tight as it will go manually.
Adjustable 5/8" Carrera-type stoppers: For Carrera Skates. This type of stopper doesn't come loose from vibration so they don't require much maintenance. To remove or adjust the height of these stoppers simply loosen the lock nut located on the base of the toe stop bolt. Once the lock nut is loose you can unscrew the stoppers by hand to adjust their height or replace them. Make sure to tighten the lock nuts once you're done the adjustment or they will fall off during use! Verify lock nut tightness a couple times a year.
Wheel Nuts: Every several months test the tightness of the wheel nuts using a 1/2" wrench. These should be tightened until there is very little play in the wheel but does not hinder the wheel from rolling smoothly.
Trucks: Deciding how tight to tighten the trucks is a personal choice. Make sure that they are tight enough so that they do not slip. Looser trucks are more flexible but harder to control at higher speed. We preset the trucks of all skates sold through RollerGirl at a medium tension.
How to Adjust Your Trucks (Inverted Kingpins): Simply use a 9/16” wrench to adjust the kingpin (see diagram). To loosen the trucks turn counterclockwise to tighten them turn clockwise.
How to Adjust Your Trucks (Standard Kingpins): In order to adjust dual action trucks you must first loosen the lock nut (see diagram). Use an 11/16” wrench to loosen the lock nut. Once the lock nut is loose, use a 9/16” wrench to adjust the tension on the kingpin (see diagram). Turn counterclockwise to loosen and clockwise to tighten. Once the desired tension is achieved tighten the lock nut. This last step is very important , it stops the trucks from loosening quickly due to vibration.
adjustable plates (sould Train and blue love roller skates)
The Soul Train and the Blue Love roller skates are unique in that they have adjustable plates effectively allowing the skater to adjust the location of each truck independently. RollerGirl adjusts the plates to a “recreational outdoor” position by default. You can asjust this setting for artistic skating, freestyle skating or any other position that may better suit your personal style. Experiment, very cautiously, with various settings to find what's right for you. A wider spacing (like the default recreational outdoor position) will allow for greater stability and control at fast speeds. A tighter spacing, like that used for artistic and rhythm skating, allows for small precise foot movements, spinning and overall tighter turns. Adjustable plates also allow the skater to opt for the "European style" truck position which involves placing the back truck a little forward compared to an "American style" setup.
Adjusting and safely locking the adjustable plates:
- Use a 9/16” wrench to loosen the lock nut at the base of the truck assembly by the base plate (not shown on the diagram).
- Once this lock nut is loosened, you can adjust the spacing of the trucks by hand. The truck assembly sits on a sliding track down the center of the plates. You can slide the truck assembly by hand up and down the track until it reaches your desired placement.
- Once the truck assembly is in the desired position, tighten the lock nut at the base to “lock” it in position. It is important to tighten this lock nut properly. Using the 9/16” crescent wrench, tighten the lock nut as tight as you can. If you forget this important step, your trucks may start to shift position along the track. Verify the tightness of this lock nut on a monthly basis.
A Note on Changing your Bearings.
You may notice that, after 6 months to 1 year depending on usage, your skates don't ride as smoothly and as quietly as they once did. This is normal and indicates that it is time to change your bearings.
The bearings (ball bearings enclosed in a donut shaped casing found in sets of two in every wheel) are a very important component of your roller skates. New bearings will provide a fast and smooth ride and are an easy way to make your skates feel new again.
All the skates we sell here at RollerGirl come with standard 8 mm bearings. These are the same kind used by inline skaters and skateboarders. They are easily accessible anywhere inline skates, skateboards or roller skates are sold. You can, of course, get your replacement bearings directly from RollerGirl.
To ensure a long life for your bearings avoid skating in wet, dusty or sandy conditions.
If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us anytime at 1-866-900-7655 or by email at:
Have fun and keep rollin'!