WELCOME TO YOUR NEW SKATES - READ THIS BEFORE SKATING!•
Posted on May 16 2023
READ THIS BEFORE SKATING!
New skates are great, but they can take a while to get used to. Don’t worry if your movements feel a bit uncertain, unsteady or different while you adjust to the action of your new boots and plates.
How Should My Skates Fit?
You want your skates to be SNUG BUT NOT UNCOMFORTABLE. Please try your skates/boots on with the socks you would normally wear skating, lace them up properly and stand up in them. The lacing is CRUCIAL as it can completely change where your foot is in the skate. For a perfect fit, your toes just touching the end of the boot is great! Boots will stretch out over time, so a snug fit ensures longevity. Please try your skates on at home before taking them for a spin as we can't take back used skates for refund or exchange.
Make sure you adjust your trucks!
This will change how much pressure you need to put through your edges to turn, or create power transfer. Loose trucks will give you a more squiggly feel where you don’t have to apply too much pressure to turn, however it can affect precision and quickfire moves. Tighter trucks will give you a ‘snappy’ feel. If you’re not sure what you like then experiment by loosening and tightening your trucks until you get an action you like the feel of. Just make sure you don’t loosen them so much so your trucks are rattling or so that your cushions have no compression in them or on the flip side don't overtighten so they look like they are 'bulging'. If you feel you are over tightening or over loosening your trucks to get the action you like then you might want to consider changing your cushions to get the most efficient action from your plate. Entry level skates will often have crappy hard rubber cushions, so upgrading to urethane cushions and trying different hardnesses of cushions can make a huge difference.
It is a good idea to check your plates and trucks periodically to make sure everything is healthy. When you do this make sure you check all your bolts to make sure they are tight, check your cushions aren’t flattened, check that nothing is bent, snapped, cracked or rattling around.
Why are my skates squeaking and should I be worried?
In short - NO. This can often happen with new skates as the cushions are brand new and not yet compressed. As you put pressure on them, they then squeak into the cushion cups or truck. Sometimes it can even depend on the weather! If you have played around with the trucks and they are super loose or super tight, this can happen too. Squeaking is not a manufacturing fault.
Make sure you adjust your toestops if you have a plate with adjustable toestops!
Simple but important. Just like your trucks, we recommend playing around with the adjustment of your toe stops to see what height/angle works best for you. Higher end plates will have an allen key mechanism to tighten your toe stops in place. Mid-range/basic plates will usually use a nut and washer. Entry level skates will have a NON ADJUSTABLE toe stop called a BOLT-ON toe stop. You can change bolt-on ones once they wear down but you cannot adjust the length of these ones. Adjustable toe stops often come in 2 stem lengths - short or long. Toestops come in imperial or metric thread. 99% of skates use imperial toestops but Roll-Line plates, Moxi Rainbow Riders and STD plates use metric. So make sure you know which type your skates have!
If you are changing the toestops/jam plugs please use some oil or grease to make sure they go in without stripping the thread on the plates. Please be aware that dragging one toe stop to stop with adjustable toe stops is a no-no and you are not covered under warranty if your toe stop thread gets damaged. Most toestop issues are classed as wear and tear.
If your boots are heat moldable they should come with instructions from the manufacturer. Make sure that you follow these instructions carefully and it should be a relatively easy process. If you have aluminum plates then you should be able to leave these on during the heat molding process (just take the trucks off). Some nylon plates can be left on but it is best to double check before you start. Always make sure you remove the wheels and toe stops.
It is normal for suede to have inconsistencies within the fabric - whether this be slight mottles or rough parts. Suede is a natural material so this is completely normal. Vinyl skates (and in fact all skates) are going to scuff when you use them. Skates are a sporting item and it should be expected that they will get marks on them - maybe even after one use! In order to get the most wear out of your skates regardless of material, we recommend using toe guards/snouts to protect the toe.
All skates will have a wear in time. When you skate you are putting a lot of pressure on your feet and your boots. So don’t be surprised if you get rubbing or blisters. You can invest in some neoprene Barefoot Booties to help get you through this break-in period. Different feet have different shapes and quirks and different people put pressure on their feet in different ways when they skate. So the break-in time will be different for everyone and everybody will have different problem areas. If you are having trouble with a particular spot in your skates that is rubbing or feeling tight you can use a hairdryer to heat the problem area and massage it out with the blunt end of an object like a screwdriver or hairbrush. This should work with leather/suede and microfiber as well as heat moldable boots. It is NOT advised for vinyl skates.
Your new skates might have plates that have a different wheelbase (the distance between the front and back wheels) or perhaps the toestops are a different distance or angle from your old skates. Or maybe you need harder or softer cushions? These are all things that will make your skates feel different.
I’m completely new to skating, where do I start? Who can I skate with?
There are skate groups all over the world that you can join to help you learn how to skate, make friends, and generally have fun in your skates! For some in and around London, try following some of these accounts! Bearing in mind that there are many more not listed as well.
@ isleofskating (skating lessons)
@ rampstamplondon (skatepark skating)
@ SE8rollersk8 (skatepark skating SE London)
@ kindofoksk8 (skatepark skating S London)
@ rollernation.uk (roller rink/bar in Tottenham)
@ londonrollerderby (roller derby)
@ watchmywheels (rhythmic/dance skating)
@we_thenc The Next Chapter (Jam/Speed Skating)
@letslearntorollerskate (skating tutorials & lessons)
- UK Roller Skaters
- London Roller Skaters
Youtube Channels for tutorials:
Elsimemerolling - www.youtube.com/c/Elsiemerolling
Dirty School of Skate - www.youtube.com/c/DirtySchoolofSkate
Queer Girl Straight Skates - www.youtube.com/c/QueerGirlStraightSkates
Popular London Skate Spots:
Hyde Park - Serpentine
Bethnal Green Gardens Netball Courts
Finsbury Park Netball Courts
MOUNTING NOTES FOR CUSTOM MOUNTED SETUPS
We take great care when mounting plates to boots. We love roller skates and we know how important yours are to you. Different boots and plates can require slightly different mounting specifications and this can change according to things like size and shape of the boots and plates. We are very experienced in building skates and always make sure that we mount your skates in the best way we can.
A lot of boots we deal with are hand made and custom built. This means that there are sometimes inconsistencies in the shape of the boot sole or the way the leather has been glued/stitched or nailed to the boot. To the naked eye this is not noticeable, however is you look closely it can make the mounting between boots look slightly irregular. We will always mount for best SKATING PERFORMANCE rather than for best visual look. We operate within a 2-3mm margin of error depending on the build, the materials and whether it is a re-mount where holes have needed to be filled or worked around. Sometimes there are nails in the soles of the boot which can also throw off where we can drill.
Additionally, if you have ordered custom sizing (split sizing in length or width), this will affect the way you mount looks.
We take all of this into account when building your skates and will always choose a centreline that will give you optimum performance and control.
In the case of Bonts, we use a pre-marked centreline to mount your boots and will only move away from this on occasion.
We will occasionally miss out a bolt when mounting plates. This is usually to avoid hitting the leather, nail, rod or something else in the build of a boot. We will only do this is if it is necessary and will not affect the quality or performance of the skate.
Regarding plate size - we often work with you to find out the best plate length for your setup, as well as going off standard sizing recommendations for your boot size. Depending on what type of skating you are doing, we may recommend a ‘long’ option or ‘average/shorter’ option. This might feel very different to what you have skated on before for a variety of reasons. Don’t be daunted! Plate lengths (specifically the wheelbase) and their placement are hugely based on personal preference, which can take some trial and error as you go through your skating journey.
If you have any questions with your mount please do not hesitate to contact us.