How to Make Roller Skate Wheels Spin Faster (Troubleshooting Guide)

Step 1 Find Your Balance

As a beginner, first and foremost, one must learn to balance on roller skates simply. Struggling and balancing is one thing. But balancing with minimal shaking and while relaxed is what you need to achieve. Focus on figuring out your comfortable standing stance while in the skates.

Bending of the Knee

People who indulge in roller skating must acknowledge the number one thumb rule. Always keep your knees bent by a small angle. Also, make sure you have a slight squat. This gives you a strong foothold of the surface and even a sense of control over your balance.

The only time when you can straighten your knees is when you are moving freely with no turns or stops. When you need to stop, turn, reduce, or to increase speed, that is when you will naturally have to bend your knees.

Point Your Toes Outwards

While you move around on the roller skates, you will portray a mild squat, and your toes also need to point outward. Whereas when you decide to reduce speed or stop altogether, bending your toes inward can help.

This is basically a pressure game. You use your toes to generate pressure on your lower body, and this helps you in navigation choices. Wondering why the toes are given so much responsibility? Because it’s roller skating and it’s all about foot movement.

Arms and Elbows In a Frontward Posture

This factor will ensure that your gravity remains grounded. Your bodyweight is allowed to use its force in a forward direction, and this helps you move as your desire. A slight lift of your arms and elbow (tucked inside) is enough till you actually understand its effectiveness. You don’t want to go ram into a wall due to uncontrollable speed. Do you?

Related: Roller Skate Learning Basic Video

Conclusion

Roller skating is an essential part of the human life and is ultimately loved for its health benefits. If you are having problems with your skates spinning slowly, all you have to do is make a few adjustments to the wheel nuts and the bearings. The nuts and the bearings form an essential part of your skates’ performance, and as such, should be treated with utmost care and priority.

Related posts:

How to Make Rollerblading Wheels Spin Faster Roller Skates Pull to One Side: How to Fix Them? Can You Skate Outside With Indoor Wheels? Indoor Vs. Outdoor: Can You Skate Outside with Indoor Wheels?

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What is Artistic roller skating?

Artistic roller skating differs from regular speed skating. It is just the same as ice figure skating. You need to take up artistic roller skating lessons to move like a pro and participate in competitions. Artistic skating is only suitable for those individuals who have mastered the basic skating set. 

How to Clean and Maintain Your Roller Bearings

Apart from the wheel nuts, bearings also play an important part in the spinning process. Generally, they last for a very long time, but that’s if they are well then care of. Just like most mechanical parts, bearings need some maintenance to prolong their lifespans. Most of you must have ridden your skates in the rain, sun, and through puddles and it’s possible that the bearings might have gotten really dirty. Isn’t it right to clean them once in a while? Cleaning them will enhance their performance and also prevent them from rusting.

How often you clean your bearings depends on how often you use them and the surface that they roll on. If you skate very often outdoors, let’s say four or five times a week, expect your bearings to become dirty, irrespective of how clean the surface is. That means you should try cleaning them at least, once every week or two.

But if you skate indoors, and in the same frequency, you shouldn’t bother yourself about cleaning your bearings everyday or even every week. Most bearings on indoor skates may only need cleaning once in every four or five months – and replacement should take place yearly.

If you bearings on your outdoor skates are deteriorating or have used them for more than 6 months, it’s best you replace them to avoid further complications.

If you notice the following signs, it is an indication that your bearings need a replacement.

  • You feel some resistance when turning the roller skate Wheels by hand.
  • They make a screeching noise when you are skating.
  • One of the bearings is hot after skating.

These signs are indications that your roller skate bearings are in need of a change or some cleaning.

In order for you to clean the bearings, you just first of all, take out the wheels and the wheel nuts. This is how to do it.

  1. Use a skate tool or socket wrench to remove the axle nuts. The axle nuts hold the wheels in place.
  2. Take the wheels off the axle nuts. Better still, slide the wheel along the axle to reveal the bearing.
  3. Force open the bearing out of the wheel. You may need to flip the wheel over and repeat the same process.
  4. If it’s easy to dent the cover of the bearing, it’s an indication that it’s worn out. Now that you have removed them, you should get on with cleaning it.
  5. Some people would love to take the bearings apart and deep clean the innermost parts. While this is good, you should avoid dismantling them to the latter, especially if you are time-conscious or not savvy when it comes to loosening and assembling machine parts. You can just clean the bearings like that without deep cleaning it. But if you want, take the shield off carefully, so that you get into the cartridges (the balls and the cage)
  6. Remove the old grease and anything that you can find in the bearing. For better cleaning, avoid using lubricants like WD-40 on your bearings. At least, not at this stage. Instead, soak them in alcohol, citrus bearing cleaner for a couple of minutes, or better still, use methylated spirit to clean them.
  7. Try spinning your bearings. If you don’t hear any screeching sound or don’t encounter any major resistance, the bearings are okay and ready to be put back.
  8. Put them in the sun to dry for a few minutes or use a clean cloth or over towel to clean them up.
  9. This is where you apply some grease or oil to lubricate the bearing. Apply a little lube on it, so that it doesn’t become a problem in the long run.
  10. Press the bearings back into the wheels. Make sure you put the best and fastest bearing in the front and relegate the older ones back. Also, the best wheels should stay at the front. Screw the wheel nuts tightly, but not overly tight.

Get The Right Skates to Match Your Skill Level

Remember to buy skates, which are designed to enhance your performance gradually. Roller skates come in different varieties. As you get better, invest in a pair that suits your specific needs and complements your skill level. You can look for any of the following options:

  • Indoor skates – Get a pair of traditional four-wheel skates when you start your skating journey. Buying your pair will save you from renting one every time you visit the rink.
  • Outdoor skates – These skates are often designed for durability and strength. Their wheels can withstand tough outdoor conditions and help you skate swiftly on nearly any material surface such as asphalt, concrete, or other road material.
  • Speed skates – These sleek, super-speedy skates are designed for fast speed and skillful performances. They are much faster than regular skates. They can eventually make you fly down the street. Inline speed skates either have a row of wheels or a quad having two wheels, one on either side.

Heelys

The outlook of the shoes looks normal like any other casual shoe but they have a retractable wheel below the soles of the each shoe. The advantage of the shoes is that it can be used as a casual shoes as well as a roller skate. If the player wants to have roller-skating moves then he can again put the wheel and glides.

Heelys comes in handy where the use of skateboarding and all wheel related sports are banned. In such cities, one can easily wear them. They give a subtle low key appearance. That’s what makes the Heelys more spontaneous and enticing. The Heelys were later combined with the soaps to form a hybrid shoe.

How to Adjust Roller Skate Trucks – Loose vs Tight

When you’re into roller skating, you’d probably want to adjust your trucks based on your style and preference.…

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Choosing the right roller skates for you

While most people’s primary concern is to learn how to skate, sometimes they can get sidetracked and bogged down when it comes to choosing the right skates for themselves. And it’s definitely easy to, given the range of skates offered in the market.

To give you a better understanding of what to look for in skates, we should first go over the parts that make it possible to skate.

Roller skate anatomy

For the most part, you don’t have to worry about each of these aspects when searching for a new pair of skates.

Some of these parts, such as the wheels, boot, and stoppers, should be your main concern for now.

As you advance, you’ll find that there are things you do and don’t like about your skates, and you can adjust accordingly to your preferences.

Wheels

These are the reason why you can skate, so you should pay careful attention to them.

They come in different sizes, widths, and hardness (durometer).

You’ll find that the hardness of the wheel is shown as a number and a letter “A”. The lower it is, the softer it is and vice versa.

Softer wheels are more suited for rough and hard ground surfaces that require more shock absorption.

Trucks

This is the part of the roller skate that the wheel axle passes through.

Adjusting the tension of the trucks will change the amount of control you have. Usually, they are tight, but some skaters like to loosen them for increased maneuverability.

Bearings

These allow the wheels to roll freely and ensure that you have a smooth ride. They can be made of different materials like metal and ceramic with oil or grease lubrication.

Cushions or bushings

These keep the trucks in place and provide suspension. You can use different cushions depending on the hardness, color, and compound.

Kingpin

The long piece of metal that is attached to the plate and contains the trucks and cushions.

Pivot cup

This is a cup-shaped part that is on the plate. It is important to monitor these for any signs of wear and tear as you could risk the truck becoming loose if this happens.

Plate

This is the part that is fixated to the boots themselves. Like the other parts of the skate, there are many options you can choose from that have different bolt positions and combinations.

You can customize it based on the sizing and kingpin angles.

Boot

This is the most fun part!

There are a ton of options to choose from in terms of colors, styles, and materials. The boot is where you can express yourself and your aesthetic. However, keep in mind that various skating styles also differ in boot style.

You want to make sure you are wearing the right type of skates for the field you want to get into.

Laces

Although often overlooked, laces are one of the most crucial aspects of skating as they keep your feet in place. There are also many colors and types available.

Stoppers or toe stops

These usually come with your skates when you first buy them. However, you can change it out with other colors or compounds, depending on what you need.

Blocks

If you are into skate parks and street skating, you’ll definitely need these for sliding across ramps, coping, dropping in, and staling.

These are not necessary for beginners unless you’d like to start working on ramps.

Quad or inline

One of the first things you have to consider is whether you want to skate with quads or inlines. Check out our detailed comparison guide to help you choose.

This all comes down to personal preference and what you want out of skating.

Inlines are very similar to ice skates, so they may appeal to figure or hockey skaters more. Quads may be a perfect fit for you if you’re into dancing or roller derby.

If you don’t have an idea on which one to pick, try both of them out at your local rink and if you can see yourself leaning one way or another.

Indoor or outdoor

Technically, you can take standard skates anywhere you’d like, but you might have a better experience if you have the right equipment suited for each type of environment.

What makes the difference is the wheels.

Outdoor wheels have a lower durometer (softer) to absorb the shock caused by debris and rough surfaces. If you don’t want to compromise on this aspect of your skating, you can also buy separate wheel sets that are more fit for indoor or outdoor.

Cheap, expensive, or somewhere in the middle

Everybody assumes that the most high-end skates are the best, but that isn’t necessarily the case for everyone.

While they do have high-quality materials, they are often not suitable for beginner skaters.

Initially, you want a pair of skates that are comfortable and support your feet. The problem with high-end skates is that they take a while to break in before they become comfortable.

On the other hand, cheap skates provide little to no support.

For a beginner, you are still getting your bearings and getting comfortable with skating itself. High-end skates may distract you from that, while cheap skates can detract from your experience and make you feel as though skating is harder than it actually is.

Instead, you want to aim for skates in the middle range that offer quality materials with comfort if you want the best skating experience.

Size

Unlike regular shoes, sizing on skates works a bit differently.

The general rule of thumb is to buy one size larger than your normal shoe size unless the sizing guide for your desired skates state otherwise.

But this doesn’t always work for everyone. You want your skates to firmly wrap around your feet without being too tight or too loose.

For some, that means going for their regular shoe size, and for others, it can mean going up a size.

Parts

As we discussed extensively in the previous section, your roller skates are made up of several parts that are customizable.

You don’t have to worry about the majority of these other than the wheels, boots, and stoppers or if you have a specific preference for some parts already. You can easily replace these later if you want to.

Skating style

Artistic, jam, and aggressive skating are some of the many skating styles you can choose from.

They all have unique skates catered to the maneuvers that they have to perform. Make sure to get the right skates best suited for the style you’re looking to get into.

At the end of the day, what matters the most is what you’re comfortable skating in. What works for you will not necessarily work for other skaters. As you keep our tips in mind, you should also try on a few skates and ride in them to see how you feel.

You’ll know when you’ve found the perfect pair if it feels right. Check out our top best skates for beginners.

Roberto Riva

Roberto Riva is a roller skater from Italy who has

Roberto Riva is a roller skater from Italy who has won many gold medals till now. In 2005, he won two gold medals in world championships and the events included were free skating and combined event.

In 2006, he won two golds in figures and combined event and one silver in free skating.

In 2007 and 2008 World Championships, he won gold in all the three events.

In 2009, he participated in World Games and won a silver medal.

Step 3 – Stopping Your Motion

What about stopping? It isn’t as easy as getting into the T-position. There are two primary routes to practicing the art of stopping while skating.

T-Stop

All the stress must fall upon your front foot. While in motion, you need to place one of your feet ahead and simultaneously bend the knees. Make sure your core is tight during this movement, as this provides the force you need to stop.

What about the back leg? The back leg has to be in a horizontally moving posture. As you are moving frontwards, friction will be created, and you will stop in an almost perfect T-posture.

Plow Stopping

If you are skating at high speeds, then forget about this stopping method. But, if you are a slow skater, then it would work. Your chin has to be facing upwards, you should be squatting mildly, and your shoulders must be in a straight direction.

While in motion, start spreading your legs and end by pointing your toes inwards. The motive here is to use your body weight on the floor. To get a hold of your upper body weight, you must push your semi-inverted legs in an outward direction.

Dirty School of Skate’s Video On Stopping

How to Roller Skate Step-by-Step

1. Sit on the Floor and Put Your Skates On

First, start by sitting on the floor. Grab your first skate and put it on. Next, lace up your skates. I like to make my skates tight enough so the skate feels secure but not so tight that the circulation gets cut off and I can’t feel my foot anymore. 🙂

Seriously, though, you want your skates tight so you feel secure when you are skating. Tie them just like a pair of shoes. If you have high top skates, which I recommend for beginners, then make sure that as you lace to the top of the skate it is tight. Then, I usually tie a nice bow and double knot it just so it doesn’t come undone.

2. Practice Getting to Your Feet & Falling Down

Now that your skates are on, lets practice standing up and falling down.

Practice Standing Up

  1. First, head over to a carpeted area in your house or onto a nice patch of grass. Make sure the space is flat.
  2. Next, spin your body around and kneel on both knees.
  3. Then, take a knee – all Tim Tebow like. Bring one leg up and have the other knee on the ground.
  4. Next, put your hands on your lifted leg and push down on your leg as you stand.
  5. Now, make sure you keep your knees slightly bent and lean slightly forward. If you fall, you want to fall forward – never backwards if you can help it.
  6. If you are rolling unexpectedly when you stand up, stand instead in a t position. The T position looks just like it sounds. You turn 1 leg 90 degrees and place it behind your front foot with one foot facing forward and the other skate facing out. This position will keep you from rolling.
  7. Stand straight keeping your upper body centered over your skates with a slight lean forward and your knees bent.
  8. Next, practice putting yourself back into a kneeling position by bending one of your legs and slowly moving down to 1 knee.
  9. Repeat this process over and over again on carpet or grass outside where you will not roll. Skating is all about balance. Once you master balance, it gets a whole lot easier.

Practice Falling Down

You may ask, “Why do we practice falling down?” Simple. Because the more you practice falling down the better you’ll get at it. Everyone falls sometimes when they skate – even me and I have been skating for almost as long as I have been walking.

Drop to One Knee

  1. Stand up on your skates.
  2. With your knees bent and your feet shoulder width apart, slowly drop down to one knee.
  3. Now, in the one knee position, stand back up.

Fall Forward on 2 Knees

When you are roller skating, you are going to fall. It’s just going to happen. And while preparing for a fall by taking a knee sounds great, it just isn’t going to be possible to predict every fall. So, lets talk about and practice falling forward.

  1. Stand up on your roller skates
  2. Next, stand in the skating posture (knees bent) and lean your body slightly forward.
  3. Then, fall down onto both knees and lean forward as you fall.
  4. Your hands will come down onto your wrist guards. If you fall haphazardly, you may also bang an elbow pad onto the ground.

When you fall forward, try to have your pads take the brunt of the force. Wrist and knee pads are pretty much a necessity when you are first learning because most people fall forward on their hands and knees.

Falling forward is similar to taking a knee except you are going to want to try to fall down onto both knees at one time. When you can’t control your fall, Your body also will come down on your hands, too. Try to remember to keep your elbows bent when you fall so that you don’t hyperextend your elbows when your hands hit the ground.

If you are going even faster, then controlling the fall becomes even harder. If you are falling forward, your body will often spin to one side after you fall to your hands and knees. This is where elbow pads come in handy. You will likely bang an elbow as gravity pulls your body down. Try to fall to one side and roll to your back. Your helmet will protect your head but try to keep your chin tucked.

You want to fall forwards. That is the best way to fall. Keep your knees bent and shift your weight a little forward when skating. This will ensure that when you fall it will be forwards.

Falling Backwards

This is by far the worst way to fall. I have had multiple falls going backwards in my skating career, and they are by far the scariest and most injury prone.

I have bruised my tail bone, broken the radial bone in my elbow and received stitches multiple times in the past 30+ years. These were all falls I had while travelling at high speeds and without pads – something you should never do on roller skates – especially when you are first trying to learn.

So, don’t worry too much. If you are going slow and pacing yourself, you should not have any injuries to that magnitude. Maybe a few bumps, scrapes and bruises, but hopefully no breaks or stitches.

Practice Falling Backwards

  1. Stand up in the skating posture. Bent knees and such.
  2. Next, try falling backwards towards your butt.
  3. As you fall, turn slightly to land on one butt cheek to absorb the fall. This is to help protect your tailbone. Of course, if you have on your super dorky butt pad, then this isn’t going to be an issue for you. Sure, you look big and bulky, but your tushy (and more important your tailbone) is thanking you kindly for it.

If you are falling backwards a lot, then you are not bending your knees enough and you are not leaning forward. If you are standing straight leg like a mummy all the time, then you are going to have a hard time. Bend the knees and lean slightly forward. This will help to prevent backwards falls.

3. Getting Up from a Chair or Bench

Next, let practice getting up from a seated position from a chair or bench.

  1. Turn your legs to the side of the bench or chair.
  2. Use the back of the chair or bench as support to balance yourself as you stand.
  3. Continue to use the back of the chair or bench for support.

4. How to Use Your Toe Stoppers

Next, lets practice the toe stop drag without rolling.

  1. First, get onto some carpet or grass. If that’s not available, stand in a T position to keep your feet from rolling.
  2. Then, take your back leg, lift your heel and point your back foot down until your stopper touches the ground.
  3. Next, return your back leg to it’s starting position.
  4. Practice this over and over again. You want to get good and understanding this feeling when you are not rolling first.
  5. Later, after you get rolling, practice dragging your stopper as you roll. It’s the exact same motion as before, except now you are rolling. Drag your toe stop until you come to a complete stop.

5. Posture and Taking Your First Steps

Next, lets practice the right posture or what I like to call skating posture.

  1. First, bend your knees. Put your skates next to each other a little closer than shoulder width apart.
  2. Next, lean slightly forward. Keep the muscles in your core tight. You want your body weight to be towards the front center of your skates (more leaning forward than backwards). You should feel your thigh muscles engaging from the bend and slight lean forward. Do not stand like a straight legged mummy please!
  3. Next, you can turn your toes inwards slightly if you are rolling. This will also insure you don’t roll backward.
  4. Feel free to shoot your arms out from your side in a T shape for balance.
  5. Next, walk around in your skates on the carpet or grass. Get comfortable walking in your skates without them rolling. If you can’t find carpet or grass, you can always tighten the nut on the end of your wheel. The tightening of this nut on most skates will keep the wheel from rolling.

Practice Standing on One Foot with Skates

Balance is the key to being good at roller skating. Practice standing on a single foot with your roller skates on. Again, do this on carpet or grass so you don’t roll.

  1. Stand in the skating position with bent knees and a slight lean forward.
  2. Now, pick up one skate from the ground and lift your foot.
  3. Balance on your other leg for a count of 5 seconds.
  4. Then, place your foot down and switch to the other foot.
  5. It is completely normal for this to be hard when you are first starting out. Many people just do not have good balance. If this is you, don’t worry. It just may take you a little more practice to get good at balance. So, instead, practice all of the above but without skates on. When you get good at balancing without skates, then try it again with skates on.

7. Gliding – Forward Skating like a Pro!

Now, lets get to gliding – or what we call skating.

  1. Stand in the skating position with bent knees and leaning slightly forward.
  2. Now, stand on your dominate leg and push with your other leg.
  3. Take a baby push to start. Turn your leg 45 degrees, have all 4 wheels on the ground and push.
  4. Put the leg you pushed with back down on the ground. You should now be rolling slowly forward.
  5. When you start to lose momentum, repeat the steps above and push again.
  6. Keep paying attention to your body posture. If you start to shake, you can always use your toe stop to slow down. Also, feel free to take a knee if you get tired.
  7. Keep practicing pushing side to side and rolling forward. As you get more comfortable, you can use more power in your pushes to go faster.

8. If You are Completely Out of Control on Your Skates

If you have been following along and you are just completely out of control on your skates, then these tips may help:

  1. Move to the carpet or grass – When your wheels can’t roll, its really a lot easier to get used to your skates and not get hurt. Move to carpet or grass when you first start and you will get more comfortable in your skates faster.
  2. Tighten Your Wheels and Walk in Your Skates – Another trick is to tighten the nut that secures your wheel to your plate. If you tighten this nut on most skates, your wheels will eventually stop rolling. Now, your skate is just a big, tall, heavy shoe. Practice walking around in your skates to get used to them. I have taught 1000s of little kids (2-3 year olds) to skate using this trick. It works.
  3. Bad Balance – If you have tried everything, then I have one word for you. Yoga. Yep, it works. And trust me, I didn’t like yoga. Not me. I’m a manly man. It may take you months (or even years), but start practicing and you will find balance (in more way than one). It’s free, check out Yoga with Adriene on YouTube, and it’s totally awesome for you. This will go a long way in helping you out in a lot of things in life including stress reduction, balance, flexibility, better mood, weight control, etc. etc.
  4. Find a Roller Rink (or an Experienced Skater) and Ask for Help – If you are really struggling and thinking about quitting, please reach out for help. I know not everyone has a roller skating rink around them, but if you do, they are usually a great resource for roller skating lessons. My local rink offers free roller skating lessons on Sunday with the price of admission. While the Internet is a great place to learn so many things, there is no substitute for face-to-face instruction. You can also always reach out to me (see my contact page) and I do my best to help you out, too.

9. Practice Regularly

As with every new activity in life, practice make perfect. Many beginners want to know how often they need to practice to get good. The simple answer is practice as often as you can. Most beginner skaters will be surprised and how sore their body will get after just one skate session of a couple hours. This is normal. Skating uses so many parts of your body that we don’t use when walking. So, practice when you are not sore and feel good. More practice is always better.

Learn More Roller Skating from the Roller Skate Dad Newsletter!

If you are interested in more advanced roller skating, then be sure to sign up for the Roller Skate Dad newsletter. In my regular newsletter, I send out roller skating tips and tricks. Learn backward skating, how to do crossovers, backward skating crossovers, two foot turns, one foot turns, shoot the duck, spins, waltz jumps and more.

The newsletter is great for all levels or roller skaters. For both beginners and experienced skaters, we cover things like the best speed skates, skate anatomy, roller skating as a competitive sport and how to maintain and repair skates.

I also cover all the various roller sports including speed skating, roller derby (the most popular sport in roller skating), roller hockey, jam skating and figure skating. Sign up for free below!

Roller Skating on School Track

Another great place to practice roller skating is on school tracks. If you can find a track that has a rubbery surface, this is a great place for beginners to start where they’ll have more grip and be less likely to fall.

Again, wheels should not damage the surface but you’ll want to make sure you have permission from the school to skate on the track.

Play around with different wheel hardness to see which performs the best.

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