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January 2018

You’ve got your shiny new skates and you’re loving them. They’re all you wanted, and they look great. That is until all that roller derby wears them out and makes them about as useful for skating as a pair of bricks. If you’re looking to keep your roller derby skates in top condition, follow this quick guide and they’ll keep you skating for plenty of time.

Tighten Your Toe-stops

As you skate, your toe-stops will gradually come loose. If you have non-adjustable stoppers, just take the correct headed screwdriver and screw on the stopper as tightly as possible. For skates with lock nuts, generally found on the stoppers of most roller derby skates, you need to ensure the lock nut is tight enough. Do this using a skate tool. If you don't have one to hand, a wrench should be okay. Finally, for mostly higher-end roller skates, you can adjust your stoppers using an Allen key. Just tighten by hand until they're at the level you want them. For the adjustable toe-stops you can play around with how tight you want them. Experiment using them at different levels until you find the level that works for you. You need to do this roughly weekly to ensure the best performance from your skates.

Tighten Wheel Nuts

If you use your skates regularly, or if you just like to change your wheels on a regular basis, the wheel nuts on your skates will eventually come loose. You can test if your wheel nuts are loose by shaking them, a knocking noise indicates that your wheel is moving more than it should be and hence your wheel nuts are not tight enough. This again is easy to fix. Use a skate tool to tighten the nut gradually until the wheel moves freely but doesn't make any noise when you shake. Again, you want to be checking this weekly to ensure that your skates are in top condition.

Adjust Your Trucks

Most trucks are adjusted in the same way- by adjusting the four bolts in between the wheels underneath your boots. You can choose how tight you want the trucks to be. Generally, most skaters will want their trucks to be tight to the shoe to give them stability. More experienced skaters, or just those of you who are a bit wilder, might want to loosen them slightly to improve agility. Just make sure that you keep them all at roughly the same tightness. People with adjustable pivot trucks may find them harder to adjust. Check out this guide to learn how to adjust them properly. Do this monthly to ensure that your trucks are just how you want them.

That’s just about it for keeping your skates in top form. Make sure you check every now and then for dirt and dust in your skates. Use a damp rag to wipe any off. Otherwise, just check regularly for damage and make sure everything is attached properly. From there, you’re ready to go. Get out on that track and start dominating with your top-notch roller skates.

To many members of the public, ice sports have a negative stigma that involves heavy falls and even significant injury. But this is only a tiny possibility found mainly in fail compilation videos on YouTube.  With the right assistance and training, these sorts of incidents are so easily avoided.

Designed for all ages and all skill types, there is a range of activities for you to participate in on the ice. These include the delicate art of figure skating, the more assertive hockey, and the thrill-inducing speed skating.  By reading this article, this will inform you of the main attributes of these sports and how you can get involved. So, grab your gloves, wrap up warm and let’s skate right into action.   
As a more aggressive winter sport, hockey is a tactical game involving two teams with the single aim of scoring a point. To do this, you must make your way from one end of the rink to another and smack the hockey puck into your goal. Sound simple enough?

However, as this is a contact sport, there will be many more obstacles preventing you from reaching your goal. With players obtaining the roles of three forwards (left wing, center, and right wing), two defensemen and one goalie, each will be paired with players from their opposing team, creating a greater ambiance of aggression. With the inclusion of six players on each team, you will feel a true sense of belonging if you choose to take part in this sport. Male or female, if you enjoy playing in a forceful, fast-paced, team environment, then hockey is the pastime for you.    

Figure Skating
If you’re reading this article and thinking, ‘hockey really isn’t the sport for me’, then why not give figure skating a try. On the opposite end of the spectrum, skating requires delicacy, accuracy and importantly, balance in order for you to thrive.
Much like dancing, this particular sport can be attended either recreationally or competitively, opening up the opportunities for all ages and all genders to take part in. From the Lutz to the Axel, the main piece of equipment you’re going to require to tackle these moves are a pair of Riedell ice skates.

Speed Skating

Potentially the most dangerous out of the three, speed skating requires an extreme amount of accuracy and perfection. When speeding around the corners of the track, it is important to remember that there are multiple people around you traveling at the same rate in very close proximity. There is a high chance of being involved in a collision, meaning you must remain calm, collected, and most importantly of all, well-balanced.

Overall, it is clear from this article that, yes, ice sports do come with their own individual risks. But is it worth it for the thrill, enjoyment and the lifetime friends you could potentially meet? I’d so say. So, why not take a trip down to your local ice center and see which sports are available to you. 

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