How to make roller skates faster!
Fast roller skates are fun and thrilling to use. You’ll no doubt get to your destination on time if you’re using them for commuting.
They’re efficient and don’t require a lot of energy to push and glide. This is a good thing because roller skating can be intensive, and you need to preserve your energy.
But here’s the kicker! Efficient and smooth roller skating can be a hurdle when your roller skates are slow. This will compel you to use more effort to push yourself.
There’s no doubt you’ll get to your destination late. But you can avoid this by making your roller skates faster. If you’re wondering how to go about it, I got you. That’s why I’ve put together this guide.
So, let’s get to it!
1. Loosen Axle Bolts
Loosening the axle bolts is a simple and cost-efficient way to make roller skates fast. You only need a roller skate wheel-changing tool like Reflex Utili-Tool Skate Tool, and you’re good to go.
It won’t cost you a dime assuming you already have one. But, even if you don’t, you can always get one from your roller skating buddies. As a side note, you should start making friends if you don’t have them yet.
Use the Reflex Utili-Tool Skate Tool to loosen the axle bolts by rotating them anticlockwise. You want to be careful not to over loosen the axle bolts.
Your roller skate wheels may come out while skating at high speed. You don’t want it to come to that because it can lead to a disastrous accident.
More Reading>> Is Roller Skating Dangerous?
Doing it yourself can also be a challenge. You should seek help if you aren’t sure what you’re doing. The last thing you want to do is mess things up.
2. Use Hard Roller Skate Wheels
There are two types of roller skate wheels—soft and hard wheels. Soft wheels offer more friction and traction, making them slower.
On the contrary, hard wheels have little friction and traction, making them faster. This is why you want to go with hard roller skate wheels.
But how do you know it’s a hard or soft wheel you’re dealing with? You’re probably wondering. Wheel hardness is determined by its durometer.
The durometer scale ranges between 74A to 106A. The higher the value, the harder the wheel, and the lower the value, the softer the wheels.
Hard wheels start from 85A-106A. So, you can go with any hard wheel in this range. If you want more speed, you should opt for a higher durometer value.
3. Switch to Fast Rolling Roller Skate Bearings
What is a roller skate bearing? You’re probably asking. Roller skate bearings are silver circular metal rings inside roller skate wheels.
The three types of roller skate bearings are ABEC, Swiss, and Ceramic. ABEC bearings are rated on precision and quality and are usually denoted using an odd number like ABEC-1, ABEC-3, or ABEC-5.
A high ABEC rating like ABEC-7 or ABEC-9 means high precision and more roll-out. They’re faster than low ABEC ratings like ABEC-1 or ABEC-3.
So, if you want to make your roller skates faster, one option is to get high precision ABEC bearings on them.
Alternatively, you can use Swiss and Ceramic bearings, which are better than ABEC bearings. They’re sturdier and have more roll-out overall. Though a little expensive, they’re worth it in the end!
4. Use Large-sized Roller Skate Wheels
One of the considerations when shopping for roller skate wheels is the wheel diameter. What is the wheel diameter? Wheel diameter is its height. It determines wheel size.
Roller skate wheels with small diameters are considered small-sized wheels, while those with large diameters are considered large.
The diameters range between 45mm and 65mm. As a rule of thumb, you want to go for 58mm and higher diameters because they’re larger and have more roll-out. This will make your roller skates faster.
Below are some awesome large-sized roller skate wheels to consider. Feel free to check them up on Amazon.
- RollerBones Outdoor Miami Wheel 65mm 80a 8pk Blk
- CLAS FOX 78A Indoor or Outdoor 65x35mm Quad Roller Skate Wheels with ABEC-9 Bearings
- CLAS FOX 78A Roller Skate Wheels 65x35mm
I put together this guide to show you how to change your roller skate wheels once you have the large wheels. Feel free to check it out!
5. Make Longer Pushes During Propulsion
Besides improving your roller skates, you can also work on your technique to make your roller skates faster. One sure technique to use is the double push.
It’s a more advanced roller skating technique. But some intermediate skaters can pull it off with more practice. Please check this YouTube video to learn more about the double push technique.
You can also learn the double push skating technique for free in six months at Skatefresh.
6. Regularly Clean and Lubricate Roller Skate Wheels and Bearings
Regularly cleaning and lubricating your roller skate wheels and bearings also go a long way if you want more speed.
Roller skate wheels and bearings accumulate dirt and grim, especially if you skate outdoors. Dirt and grim aren’t wheels and bearings friendly. So, they can slow you down.
You want to regularly clean your wheels and bearings to clear them off any dirt and grim. This will help give you more roll-out and less resistance when pushing.
The Formula 409 00628-2 Pack Antibacterial Multi-Surface Cleaner is a reliable detergent for cleaning roller skate wheels and bearings. Feel free to check it out on Amazon.
7. Switch to Plastic Roller Skate Frames
Most roller skates use metal frames, which can be a little heavier compared to plastic frames. Heavy frames require more effort for propulsion and may be slower.
So, you’ll want to switch to plastic roller skate frames, which are relatively lighter. Though they’re more expensive, they’re often worth it.
I’d recommend YUNWANG Quad Roller Skates if you’d love to try roller skates with plastic frames. You can check it out on Amazon.
8. Ensure the Roller Skates are Properly Fitting
Properly fitting roller skates are neither too tight nor too loose. They’re a necessity for a hassle-free skating experience.
Too loose roller skates cause feet to wobble and can be uncomfortable to skate in. this will drag you down.
On the other hand, too tight roller skates are also uncomfortable and can lead to ankle and foot pain when skating. The pain can slow you down when skating.
9. Build Muscle Strength through Endurance Training
Lastly, you want to ensure you have enough strength for propulsion. The leg, thighs, and butt muscles are the most involved in roller skating.
So, you want to build them to get more power for roller skating fast. Some exercises to indulge in are;
- Back squat
- Front squat
- Romanian deadlift
- Good mornings
- Walking lunges
- Reverse lunge
- Lateral lunge
- Step up
- Glute bridge
- Hip thrust
How to Make Roller Skates Faster | FAQs
1. Why are My Roller Skates Slow?
Your roller skates can be slow for many reasons. Here’s the quick rundown!
- Too tight wheels.
- Using soft wheels.
- Using slow-rolling bearings.
- Roller skating on small-sized wheels.
- Not pushing hard enough.
- Dirty roller skate wheels and rusty bearings.
- Heavy roller skate metal frame.
2. Should Roller Skates Wheels be Tight or Loose?
Roller skate wheels should be tight if you want to make them slower or loose if you want to make them faster. It depends on what you’re looking for and where you’re on your roller skating journey.
Beginner roller skates don’t need speed, so it does not harm to have tight wheels. On the flip side, intermediate and pro roller skaters know their stuff and can go fast. Relatively loose wheels are crucial for people who want to go fast.
3. How often Should You Clean Your Bearings?
There’s no definite time to clean your bearings. So, you want to clean them when it makes sense. This can be once or twice a month, depending on where you go roller skating and your skating frequency.
4. How do You Maintain Roller Skates?
Well-maintained roller skates are efficient and last longer. Here’s what to do to maintain your roller skates!
- Avoid skating in the rain and dusty surfaces because water and dirt destroy bearings.
- Always clean your roller skate wheels using a window cleaner like Windex and some paper wipes like CLOROX. A mild soap solution is a quick alternative if you can’t find a window cleaner. But you’ll have to immerse the wheels entirely into the solution. Remember to remove the bearings before the immersion.
- Use the recommended solvents like Citrus cleaner to clean the bearings and lubricants like Horace Whitlock’s Clock Oil, Oust Bearings Speed Clean Kit, and Liberty Oil.
- Uneven wheels reduce roller skate longevity. So, you want to rotate the wheels regularly, at least once every two months. This gives your roller skates proper contact with the surface.
How to Make Roller Skates Faster | Wrapping Up
Fast roller skates are fun and thrill to use. But, making your roller skates faster can also be a hurdle, especially when you don’t know how to go about it.
The good news is that you have this complete guide to point you in the right direction. I hope you found it helpful. Cheers and happy roller skating!