Skates and Gear 101
Are you just getting into skating?
Here's a little of our advice on what to buy for beginners.
Tall boots or short boots?
- Are better for dancing because the heel puts your weight in the ball of your foot which is where you want it while turning and spinning.
- Are better for beginners because the heel allows you to sit back a little more without ending up on your butt. It's a little easier to balance in a tall boot while you're learning.
- Have more ankle support which can make you feel more secure.
- For beginning dance we recommend the Riedell Boost, RW Wave, SG Boardwalk Indoor, or Riedell Uptown. These skates are Skaterobics approved!
- For beginning outdoor recreation we recommend the SG Boardwalk, Impala Skates, or Moxi Beach Bunny.
- For beginning ramp skating we recommend the Moxi Beach Bunny, SG Boardwalk, or Moxi Lolly.
- Allow for more ankle mobility which is important for the skating stance required in roller derby and can also be more comfortable for long distance skating.
- Don't have a heel which requires a little more balance and forces you to lean forward a little so you don't fall backward.
- For beginning derby we recommend the Riedell R3 or Bont Prostar.
Indoor skates or outdoor skates?
Any skate can be an indoor skate or an outdoor skate depending on whether it has indoor or outdoor wheels.
Indoor wheels are harder and meant to be skated on a smooth surface. The harder the indoor wheel, the more slide you will have. There are two main shapes of indoor wheels: small, narrow, hard wheels for dancing and skate parks and wider derby wheels with a hub. For beginning dance and park skating we recommend the Bones Team, Radar Riva, or SG Fame wheels. For beginning derby we recommend the Bones Pet Day of the Dead, Radar Halo, or Atom Savant wheels.
Outdoor wheels are softer and meant to roll smooth over uneven surfaces. The bigger outdoor wheels make for softer, smoother ride but will also be slower. The smaller outdoor wheels will have more agility but you will be able to feel more of the uneven surface under your feet. We recommend big, soft wheels for beginner outdoor skaters like the Moxi outdoor, SG Boardwalk, and Bones Miami.
We recommend new skaters wear full protective gear. Wearing protective gear makes most skaters feel more confident which makes learning to skate easier and more fun. For recreational or rink skating the Triple 8 Savers Series gives you padding without bulk. For derby and ramp the minimum protection we recommend is the 187 6-Pack or the 187 x Moxi 6 Pack. If you're skating on concrete we strongly recommend a helmet. Helmets are required for derby. The Triple 8 Certified Sweatsaver or 187 Pro Skate Helmet are both great options.