Prepping your Rollerskates for Outdoor Skating
Happy Summertime skaters! We all know what summer means: it’s time for outdoor skating!! So let’s talk about getting our skates ready for outdoor skating. The good news is most rollerskates only require a few quick changes to be ready for skating outside, so you don’t need to get a whole other pair of skates. (But you can do that too if you want to!)
The most important change for skating outside: Change up those wheels! Some wheels are great for both indoor and outdoor skating … but since outdoor surfaces are generally a bit ‘rougher’ you probably want to grab some softer wheels. Checkout the super detailed info below from Luludemon and Rollergirl if you want to know some more about wheels!
Everyone has a different preference for their own comfort, but here are some other quick things you might want to keep in mind for outdoor skating:
- bigger toe stops will help you stop faster on asphalt
- toe plugs are important if you’re taking out your stops outside for dancing (without toe plugs, dirt and debris can get inside and damage your skate)
- toe guards / protectors, generally these are made of leather and will protect the toe of your leather boot from being scuffed on asphalt. Some folx on Etsy make some really cute designs too!
- thick skate laces are more durable and don’t shred as easily on the pavement
- rougher surfaces can vibrate through the skate and be felt in your feet and joints, thicker insoles or gel insoles can help make your ride smoother
Here’s a quick how to video from Rolla Skate Club co-founder and Coach Luludemon, with a few more tips and tricks for prepping your skates for outside. Why are gummy wheels better for outside? Answer to this question and more in the video below!
Everything you Need to Know about Outdoor Wheels:
We got the lowdown from the legend herself Lisa Suggitt of Rollergirl.ca on choosing the right outdoor wheels! Here’s what she told us: “Wheels are super confusing and there are so many products out there. Basically you just need to consider size and hardness…
Big Wheels 65mm or bigger: These wheels are fast and roll over small debris and rough concrete better. The downside is that they are heavy, bulky and not very maneuverable.
Medium Wheels 62mm: These are the most versatile wheels. They are medium fast, roll reasonably well over debris and yet are light and maneuverable enough to practice outdoor dance.
Little Wheels 59mm or smaller: These wheels are super light and agile. Great for outdoor dance or skills training. But they are slow and don’t roll over debris as well as larger wheels.
78A – Soft and gummy! These wheels give a very smooth ride. You won’t feel the surface of concrete as much. But they can be slower and less durable than harder outdoor wheels.
85A to 88A – Hybrid wheels and can usually be used both indoors and outdoors. They don’t offer as smooth of a ride but are usually a bit faster and last longer.”
Coach Cupid’s Outdoor rollerskates:
“I like a nice smooth ride when I’m skating outside so I’ve added extra soft insoles, and love the Radar Engergy 62mm gummy wheels. I mostly do street, trail and derby skating outside so I need to be able to stop quickly – and the Gumball toe stops are great for that. My outdoor skates are 14 years old and I think they’re still going strong because I’ve always used an extra leather toe guard that protects the front seams of my leather boots.” -Coach Cupid
Rollergirl’s favorite outdoor wheels are:
1. Road Hogs:
“These are the fastest wheels on the market. They are best for trail and road skating. But big, bulky and heavy.”
2. Radar Energy 62mm
“These are one of my favourite all around outdoor wheels. They are medium fast, narrow and light weight. So they are good for trails but also good for outdoor dance and beginner skatepark.”
3. Radar Ze “These are the affordable good value wheels. They are not as fast or smooth on rough concrete as other outdoor wheels but for people on a budget they are a great option.”
If you’re looking for an EVEN deeper dive into wheels, check out this 20 min video on Outdoor Wheels from Luludemon. Learn the difference between wheel types (park vs street vs dance), and watch her change out a set of wheels in real-time!