Accident Avoider: Basic Skate Maintenance

roller skates

roller skatesRoller skates can take a serious beating, from either the environment or the user doing tricks. The trucks and urethane wheels carry all of the skater’s weight in any activity, from leisure gliding to impact landings. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way forever. Those parts will eventually wear out and break, so make sure to keep your roller skates in good condition through proper maintenance.

Toe Stoppers

These are the brakes of the roller skate. Their purpose requires them to endure a lot of friction damage. Most skaters would recommend to make sure your toe stoppers are tightly fastened to the truck at least once a week. The constant vibration caused by stopping impact may loosen the bolts and axle nuts connecting the stopper to the truck and boot.

You only need the appropriate screwdriver to tighten the axels of the stopper back on the boot. But, if you find the connecting parts stripped upon inspection, you’ll need to replace them.

Trucks

Trucks are the metal beds underneath the boot, which allows you to manoeuvre your skates. Trucks are adjustable as per the personal preference of every skater. The tighter the truck, the less likely it will slip, allowing for a controlled skate. Loose trucks grant the skater more flexibility when skating, but are more difficult to control at high speeds.

Trucks have two kinds of kingpins: inverted and standard. Loosen the hex nut underneath your roller skates with a skate tool or wrench, and then adjust it to your desired tightness.

Wheels and Nuts

Just like toe stoppers, wheel nuts can loosen because of vibrations from impact on the wheels. It’s important to check on your wheel nuts once every three months and tighten them accordingly. Don’t go overboard with the tightening though, you still want your wheel to turn for you to skate.

As for the wheels themselves, all you have to do is visually inspect them for cracks and chips. If you manage to find a small crack, it is recommended that you replace the wheel before any cracks get bigger and fall apart while you’re skating.

Performing maintenance on your roller skates isn’t solely for longevity, but your safety. Regular maintenance will allow you to see problems while they’re still manageable, and maybe save you from an accident.