We’ve shared when to buy or replace your roller skates, and why roller skates are a fantastic gift idea, but do you know what to do once you have your nice new skates in hand? Roller skate maintenance is super important if you’re going to get the maximum enjoyment and longevity from your skates, so check out our tips to learn how. These are the skate maintenance tasks you should do on a weekly basis.
Weekly Roller Skate Maintenance
When you rent skates from us at Lanham Skate, you’re getting the convenience of a rental and all that entails—we take good care of our rental skates by cleaning, inspecting, and maintaining them on a regular basis. However, when you own your own roller skates, you’ll have to take care of their upkeep on your own. There are certain tasks you should do once in a while or as-needed, but these are the ones you should be taking care of on a regular basis.
Tighten Toe Stops
Roller skating is a dynamic activity, and over time the vibrations from skating can cause certain parts of your skates to loosen up. Toe stops are a common culprit for this, so make sure that you tighten your toe stops each week. There are a couple of types of toe stops:
- Adjustable toe stops
- Hex lock nuts + tension washers – This type of stopper is common in mid- to high-range skates. You can tighten your hex lock stoppers by tightening the nut on the base of the toe stop with a crescent wrench. Don’t forget to squeeze the tension washers up against your plates; if you don’t, they might fall off while you’re skating.
- Allen key lock nuts – If you sprung for high-end skates, you’re probably dealing with allen key lock nuts. You can tighten these back up using an allen wrench or hex key. If you don’t, your toe stops might fall off while you’re skating.
- These types of toe stops are nice because they allow you to adjust the stoppers to your desired height; however, it’s important to make sure that the threaded stems of your toe stops are always screwed into your plate by at least half an inch. Failure to keep them at least half an inch into the plates can damage the plates and void your warrantly.
- Non-adjustable toe stops
- Common on kids skates and basic skate models, the non-adjustable bell toe stops can be tightened using a screwdriver (take a look to see if you need a flat head screwdriver or a Phillips head screwdriver). The toe stop bolt found in the middle of the stopper should also be tightened, but you can tighten it by hand.
Tighten Wheel Nuts
The vibrations of skating can also work your wheel nuts loose, and you don’t want to skate on wheels that are not fully secured! If you find that you need to change your skate wheels pretty frequently, you may have worn out your wheel nuts. Another way to tell if your wheel nuts are loose is to shake your skate from side to side. If you hear clunking sounds, that means your wheels are moving back and forth on the axle of the skate and you need to tighten them.
To fix this, use a skate tool or half inch socket wrench to gently tighten the loose nut bit by bit. Your wheel should be able to spin freely but not move from side to side on the axle. Be careful not to damage the bearing on your wheel with your skate tool as you do this.
Whether you need help choosing the right skates to buy or finding that one accessory to make your skates perfect for you, we’re happy to help! Just visit our Lanham, MD skating pro shop.