RollerbladingSydney.com - Learn to rollerblade / inline skate in Sydney, Australia. We provide rollerblades for hire, lessons, tours and much more.
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 Rollerblading Sydney tips

The most important part of selecting a skate is the fit. You may think that durability and looks are right up there, but if the skate doesn't fit properly you won't use it. Skates come in all shapes and sizes. Some are thin and have nothing more than a sock-like liner. Others see the value in comfortable liners and insert memory foam liners in their skates. Before you even put the skates on, you should look at the liner and feel all around it to see how good it is. There should be a little extra padding at the toe for those frequent crunches, and they may also offer custom inserts to better fit your foot. Regardless, skates should be thick and sturdy.
Basic Rules on looking for good quality comfortable inline skates
There are some basic rules that ensure whether a skate is a good fit or not. Of course the first is to know your foot size which can be determined during your Rollerblading Sydney lesson. Your EUROPEAN (EUR) shoe size is a very handy measurement to know so check your favourite pair of runners / gym shoes before your lesson. If you are measuring your foot firstly do so whilst seated so that the length, arch and width may be measured. You should then stand up and take note of any changes. If there are significant changes, this could mean that you tend to pronate and may need a custom insole. You should also measure both feet since it is quite common to have one foot slightly larger. If so, you should probably get the larger size so that both are comfortable in the skate. Getting some lessons can save you the hassle of buying the wrong skates since good skate schools can always supply skates and Rollerblading Sydney may be able to sell you a pair of ex-rental skates to save you time and money.
Womens Recreational / Fitness Inline Skates
Women have a different foot shape than men that tends to have thinner heels, higher insteps, higher arch, and lower forefoot. A woman's forefoot often tends to spread a little more than a man's when weighted, and this should be taken into account. Also important is the cuff of the skate. Rollerblading Sydney has a large number of pairs of womens inline skates (and rollerskates) available for lessons and hire so make sure you know what your EURO shoe size is by either checking your sizing on our sizing chart or checking inside your favourite runners / gym shoes for the EUR size. If you are taking up inline skating in order to boost your fitness it is recommended that you get a lesson in the type of skates that you considering buying because you'll need to ensure the inline skates are comfortable otherwise you will be less inclined to use them.
Liner Types and socks
Liner types are also pretty important. Lace up liners tend to offer greater support and better fitting than normal stitched liners. Most inline skate liners can be removed for washing. Use 'odour eaters' to keep your liners and feet healthy! If you get blisters we recommend that you refrain from popping them! Instead you may wish to consider using hydrocolloidal pads such as the Compeed ones after washing and drying the affected area. Use socks with a sufficient length ie avoid low cut ankle socks.
Narrow Feet
Narrow feet are a different story. The easiest way to deal with them is to add pads in along the liner. Underneath, on the sides, wherever you can to make a good fit. And of course as in the wide foot scenario, you don't want to buy a narrower but shorter boot. Don't trade one uncomfortable aspect for another.
General looseness of skates
If the skate length is fine, but the feel is just a bit loose, try lifting the foot by use of pads.
Back and forth looseness: If the skate is of a good fit, but tends to move back and forth, try adding a tongue pad in. This helps push the foot back and is good for solving problems like this.
Sensitive instep: Adding a pad in the tongue away from the sensitive spot tends to help relieve pressure.
Skates too wide: If it is just a little too wide, put a pad along the outside of the liner. If it is way too lose, put a pad both along the inside and outside.
Loose heel: A customised heel cushion could be helpful. You should place the pad inside the liner.
Pronation and supination: A heel wedge will help with support and stance in both cases. If it is a severe case, custom-fitted insoles may be needed.
Skate Types
After you know what type of fit you are seeking, the next obvious question is which type of skate... so knowing what type/s of skating you want to do is essential.
Recreational / fitness inline skates tend to be lighter and have bigger / softer wheels. They can be further divided into soft-boot or hard boot skates. All good recreational skates feature a heel brake which can be easily replaced.
Slalom / Freeride inline skates tend to be tighter than recreational skates and allow the rider to do tricks between cones. The brake is removed and skaters require a higher level of skill stopping. (Ask your instructor for more details).
Aggressive inline skates have smaller flattened wheels, a soul space and H-block designed for grinding and launching off ramps. They're built for strength. Their lower centre of gravity makes aggressive skates better for use in a skate park or on the city streets. For junior skaters, some manufacturers have combined the benefits of having an aggressive skate with a heel brake. The heel brake may be removed once the child is competent in using turns to control their speed and when having a brake may get in the way (e.g. on a half-pipe). (see Australian Rollerblading / Inline Skating Online Magazine (aka Rollerblading.com.au) for more information on Aggressive Inline Skating). Rollerblading Sydney offers aggressive inline skating introductory lessons to proficient recreational skaters. Ask your instructor for more details.
Speed skates are usually very light and have 4 or 5 wheels. Having 5 wheels makes the skate faster but also slightly harder to turn. The trend has definitely been towards lower numbers of wheel setups and wheel diameters as high as 125mm! Ask your instructor for more details. We love speed skating! Just make sure you learn how to stop on rollerblades very well first! We would not recommend using speed skates for our lessons unless you have specifically requested (i.e. let your instructor know) about this.
Hockey skates are designed to allow skaters to turn faster often incorporating 'rockering' of the wheels and a detachable heel brake. Hockey skaters will often remove the heel brake from their skates so that it does not get in their way performing cross-over turns and hockey stops. We do not recommend that you use hockey skates for our beginner & intermediate level lessons because it is more cost effective as well as safer to use a fitted heel brake going down hills and our lessons encourage the use of heel brakes for safety reasons.
Rollerblade Coyote Off-road skates (such as the Rollerblade Coyote) are great for leaving the urban landscape behind or even skating on the grassy hill beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the North side of the harbour. They are generally very hard to find to purchase but we do have some pairs for use in off-road lessons (you already need to be able to skate quite well before considering getting an off-road skates lesson). Rollerblade Coyotes incorporate pneumatic rubber tyres and are lots of fun. There is a handy free of charge tire pump at the foot of the bridge stairs adjacent to the Milsons Point train station.
Skate Parts - wheels and bearings
Skate parts are also an essential part of a purchase. Make sure that the bearings are sturdy (ABEC-1 to ABEC-5), and the skate has some sort of metal rockering spacers. Metal bearing spacers are also extremely important for speed and stability. Don't go spending too much extra money on wheels. By the time you need to purchase new wheels, you will know how you skate and can get wheels that best suit your needs. Softer wheels wear down faster.
Remember to regularly turn over your wheels to ensure even wear. Your instructor can advise you on this.

 

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