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Guide to choosing your first rollerblades

Guide to choosing your first rollerblades

When shopping for your first pair of rollerblades you have, it’s highly recommended to visit your local shop in person. Although this may not be accessible for all customers, another option would be to shop online. The first question you will ask yourself is, what rollerblades should I buy? There are many options available and each niche of skating will require a different type of skate to achieve the best performance results. On any online store you visit you will see a list of options to search from such as: Freeride skates, slalom skates, recreational skates, aggressive skates, and the list goes on. Ultimately it’s best to have an idea of the niche of skating you are deciding to explore before purchasing.
If you are looking for kids skates, read our guide about kids adjustable roller skates.

Types of Rollerblades

As we mentioned above, there are numerous types of rollerblades and each will perform differently based on the style of skating you’re wanting to explore. One of the most common type of skates are freeride skates or urban skates which can almost always consist of a hard plastic shell with a flat 4 wheel setup. Freeride skates are commonly used for city skating, basic jumps, tricks and slides. Here are tips on how to choose freeride skates. Another popular type of skate are slalom skates, slalom skates have a a 4 wheel setup similar to a freeride skate but with a rocker to be able to dance, swivel and pivot through cones and obstacles. The rocker is used to increase maneuverability and the skate is usually a combination of a soft + hard plastic boot to enchance comfort. Aggressive skating is a style of skating which consists of various jumps, grinds and maneuvers, hence giving it the name, aggressive skating. Aggressive skates are a hard shell boot with an added layer of plastic known as a soul plate which is used to slide on surfaces with or even grind on rails or copings. Aggressive skates consist of a smaller wheel setup with an anti rocker.

First Rollerblades

Your first set of rollerblades will not be your last. If you are new to skating and have never owned a pair of rollerblades, the most common skate to start with should be a recreational skate or even a freeride skate. This type of skate can help you determine what niche or style of skating you might want to dive into next. A freeride skate can be used to test the waters in nearly all 3 styles of skating previously mentioned; urban/city, slalom and aggressive. Freeride skates generally have a comfortable ride and commonly come with 80-90mm wheels to start off with. That wheel size is a good standard when city skating or even experimenting at local skate parks. You can even get a little more experimental and use some bigger wheel setups on the same boot if you frame allows and try distance or speed skating.
If you are not sure what skates to buy, you can find a quality rental and first rent roller skates before buying your own.
You will also need to choose the roller blades size and these tips should help 

Which skates are best for beginners

The best type of skates for beginners will be a simple recreational skate or a freeride skate. These skate will not limit you still get to explore some other options all within the same skate and wheel setup. Be sure to experiment with all styles of skating as you never know which you might like best!

Once you buy your skates or if you have them already, check our article on how to assemble roller skates to change frames, wheels, bearings, and else.

An engineer and part-time portrait photographer with a love for urban and wizard inline skating in New Jersey

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