Those of us who love to skate miss the social interaction and the fun atmosphere of the skating rink, but just because coronavirus has taken a toll on the summer doesn’t mean that you have to kiss rollerskating goodbye. By simply changing from indoor skate wheels to outdoor skate wheels, you can enjoy skating outdoors until coronavirus restrictions are lifted and our North Tonawanda skating rink is able to reopen.
What are quad skates?
Quad skates are the classic roller skates that most people think of, as opposed to inline skates or “rollerblades.” Consisting of a boot (the shoe-like part your foot goes into), a plate, and four wheels (hence the term quad), these skates come in a wide variety of styles for different types of skating. Some of the most popular types of quad skates include speed skates, jam skates, dance skates, artistic skates, and derby skates.
The main differences among these various types of skates lie in the ankles, which may be cut higher to provide more ankle support (useful for landing jumps in artistic skating) or lower for increased range of movement (useful for jam skaters doing fancy footwork).
What are quad skate wheels made out of?
Most quad skate wheels are made from polyurethane, a long-lasting, durable material. In addition to its endurance, polyurethane also offers plenty of grip, or traction, on the skating surface. The hardness and size of the wheels you’ll need depends on whether you’re skating inside on a maple skating rink floor or outside on a paved sidewalk.
Why do the wheels matter?
Just as the tires on a car affect performance, your wheels have the most direct impact on the performance of your roller skates. Check out these tips to learn which type of skate wheels you need.
- For outdoor skating, you’ll want a softer, larger wheel. This type of wheel will allow you to roll over the bumps, cracks, and other imperfections you’re likely to encounter while skating outside on your driveway, neighborhood sidewalks, or paved paths at your local parks. Look for wheels with a hardness rating between 74A and 84A. The extra width also offers improved stability, which comes in handy when you’re skating out in the great outdoors.
- Indoor skate wheels tend to be harder and smaller. They don’t need as much traction and stability, because the surface of the skating rink should already be smooth and clean. Harder wheels equal more speed. When shopping for indoor skate wheels, look for a hardness rating above 94A.
With the right roller skate wheels, you can convert your indoor skates to outdoor skates and get that wind-in-your-hair feeling even without visiting the skating rink. Outdoor skating is a great way to keep your skating skills sharp and get some much-needed exercise during the corona virus pandemic. And of course, we hope to be open to the public again soon, so when that day comes, you can easily switch your skates back to indoor wheels! Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on our announcements.
cynthia caffall says
I had shoe skates in the 1960s; we skated on a wooden floor. The wheels were a heavy, hard, somewhat rough, pinkish material like ROCKS! I didn’t think they were polyurethane. You certainly didn’t want to get hit with someone else’s skate! What were they?