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How to Maintain Your Roller Derby Skates

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.

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