When Is It Time to Tune Up Your Skates?

wrist with watch in front of leavesYou love to skate and you finally made the leap to buying your own roller skates. No more rental fees for you! Owning your own pair of skates is a great way to save money, express yourself, and enjoy the benefits of roller skating, but don’t forget that you’ll need to perform some basic maintenance on your skates to keep them rolling smoothly. 

When should you tune up your skates? 

The frequency with which you should be performing maintenance on your skates depends on several factors, including: 

  • How often you skate
  • Where and what type of skating you’re doing

If you skate several times a week, you’ll have to tune up your skates more frequently than someone who only skates a couple times a month. Just like a car, the more mileage you put on your ride, the more wear and tear it sustains. 

It’s also important to take into account what type of skating you’re doing. If you skate outdoors on the driveway, sidewalk, or street, you’ll need to tune up your skates much more frequently than someone who only skates inside on the clean, smooth surface of a skating rink. 

The way you use your skates matters, too. If you’re just cruising around the skating rink to your favorite songs, your skates aren’t sustaining as much wear and tear as they would if you were playing an intense sport like roller derby or hockey, speed skating, or landing a jump in artistic skating. 

How to know when your skates need a tune up

While the frequency and type of skating you do can give you an idea of how often you need to perform upkeep maintenance on your roller skates, you should also keep an eye (and ear) out for these signs that your skates need a little bit of TLC. 

  • The wheels aren’t rolling smoothly. 
  • You hear or feel grinding or unusual vibrations. 
  • Your skates seem to be pulling to one side or “handling” differently. 

As a general rule, you should give your skates a tune up every 1-3 months. This includes cleaning the bearings, inspecting the whole skate for loose or damaged parts; tightening loose nuts, stoppers, and trucks; examining the state of your wheels, and cleaning any dirt or grime from your skate boots. 

And don’t forget, after every roller skating session, you should wipe down your skates with a damp cloth, unlace them a bit, and allow them to air dry. DO NOT dry them with a hair dryer or place them next to the fireplace or radiator, as intense heat can cause the skate boots to warp. 

Looking for more information on how to maintain your roller skates? The internet has your back, as usual. Just head to YouTube to check out one of the many great tutorials uploaded by helpful skaters to keep you rolling.

Celebrate the Season of Giving by Giving Back in Tallahassee

Overhead shot of clasped hands in a circle There are so many fun things to do in Tallahassee for the holidays, but don’t forget that it’s also the season of giving. As Thanksgiving approaches and we consider all we have to be thankful for, it’s also important to think about ways to give back in Tallahassee. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your holiday good deeds, check out our list of volunteer opportunities at local charities in Tallahassee

Cuddle for a cause at the Leon County Humane Society

Helping animals is one of the most fulfilling things you can do to give back to the community. All they want is some love and kindness, and they give it back a thousandfold. There are lots of ways to get involved in helping animals locally, from joining a TNR (Trap Neuter Return) team to socializing dogs and cats at the Leon County Humane Society. 

They always need fosters and volunteers, so sign up and see how you can help our fluffy friends! (And remember, animals are not toys; don’t give pets as holiday gifts. Adopting an animal is a long term commitment—it’s adding a family member.)

Fight hunger and feed hope. 

Hopefully your family has all the food you need, not just for day-to-day survival, but for holiday celebrations as well. Unfortunately, many people in Tallahassee and throughout our country do not, and those people are largely the elderly and children. While it’s sad to think of people going hungry in a land of plenty, you can help make a difference. 

There are lots of ways to get involved in Second Harvest of the Big Bend, the area’s largest food pantry. From sorting food and assisting clients to raising funds and collecting donations from restaurants and grocery stores, you can find a place in the fight to end hunger. 

Roll up your sleeves and get hands-on. 

Affordable housing can be hard to come by these days, with high rents and home prices shutting many families out of the housing market. That’s where Big Bend Habitat for Humanity comes in! Their mission is to ensure everyone has a safe, decent place to live, and you can help make it happen. Check out their volunteer opportunities and find out how to help as an individual or a group. 

Building a Habitat house is a great group activity, so if you’re looking for a way to give back as a family, school, team, scout troop, or church group, give them a call! You don’t have to have prior construction experience, just a willingness to chip in and follow directions. 

At Skate World, we think giving back to the community is so important. That’s why we partner with area schools on school fundraisers. Want to throw your own fundraiser for a local charity, your child’s sports team, a neighborhood project, or any other cause that you’re passionate about? We’d love to help you make your Tallahassee fundraiser a fun, memorable, and successful event, so give us a call at 850-385-RINK(7465).

How to Stand Out on the Skating Rink: 3 Ways to Customize Your Skates

Row of colorful quad roller skates on shelfIf you love to roller skate with us here at Skate World in Tallahassee, you’ve probably already bought your own skates. There are lots of reasons to buy your own skates: Saving money on skate rental fees; getting the exact type of skate that’s right for you, whether that’s a speed skate, jam skate, artistic skate, or inline skate; and last but not least, the fun of getting to express yourself through your skates!

How to Customize Skates

There are as many ways to style your skates as there are skaters, so rule number one is that there are no rules! But if you’re wondering how to get started, we’ve got you covered with some ideas. Check out these tips and learn how to customize your roller skates.

Change the wheels.

Skate wheels come in a wide variety of thicknesses and multiple sizes. The wheels you choose will partially depend on your skating activities (indoor or outdoor, leisure skating or roller derby, jam skating or speed skating, etc.) and partially on your preferences, but you can also find wheels in every color of the rainbow and then some. There are even glow in the dark skate wheels! Which brings us to…

Add skate lights or glow elements. 

Picture the skating rink on a Friday or Saturday night: Lights low, music pumping, mirror ball spinning. Now think about how cool it would look to zoom around the rink on glowing wheels! There are tons of products to help you shine on the skating rink, including glow in the dark and LED lighted wheels, skate lights that mount underneath the plate (similar to underglow lights on a car), and even light-up shoe laces.

Add or swap out other accessories. 

There are so many other accessories you can add to change both the look and function of your skates. For instance, toe stops and jam plugs come in pretty much any color you can think of, including glittery options! The same goes for laces, which are widely available in a huge range of colors, patterns, textures, and lengths. Boot covers don’t just protect the toes of your skates from getting scuffed; they also come in tons of materials, from pastel suede to shiny, studded models. Boot covers are another smart way to protect your skates while adding personal style; you can make your own skate boot covers fairly simply if you have basic sewing skills. You can even tie pom poms, charms, or wings onto your skates for a finishing touch. (Just make sure they’re designed to be worn with skates and will not pose a safety hazard.) 

We’d love to see how you personalize your roller skates! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and share your photos next time you’re at the rink.

National Roller Skating Month: Safety Tips to Help Your Kids Enjoy the Rink

Little girl wearing helmet and safety gearOctober is National Roller Skating Month, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by introducing your kids to roller skating! Roller skating has been around for so long because it’s not just fun, it’s also social, active, and (we see you, parents!) affordable. You can pass the joy on to a new generation by teaching your kids to skate. Get ready for years of family fun at the skating rink by reviewing these roller skating safety tips for kids, so your brood can safely enjoy the rink this month, and every month! 

Roller Skating Safety Tips for Kids

  • Gear up – Beginner skaters are going to take some tumbles, so be prepared with the correct safety gear. You can’t go wrong with a helmet (which is a must for outdoor skating), elbow and knee pads, and wrist guards. Some folks even choose to wear padded shorts, which can literally save your butt if you fall backwards! A bruised tailbone is no way to instill a love of skating in the next generation.
    It’s also important to wear the right clothes to the skating rink—nothing too baggy or too tight. Comfortable, casual clothing is the way to go. And remember to bring socks, because you can’t use our rental skates without them. 
  • Teach them how to fall safely – Speaking of bruised tailbones, the best way to avoid injury when learning to skate is by learning how to fall correctly! Falling is just part of the process, but it doesn’t have to be painful. Check out our tips for how to fall on skates to learn how to master this skill set. 
  • Teach them skating rink etiquette – Part of skating safety is learning the “rules of the rink” so to speak. Make sure they know to pay attention to which way traffic is flowing on the skating rink, how to enter and exit safely, not to cut across the center of the rink, etc. This skating etiquette infographic is a good refresher for adults and kids alike! 
  • Sign them up for skating lessons – One of the best ways to safely teach your kids to skate is by signing them up for roller skating lessons! At Skate World Center, we offer the best roller skating lessons in Tallahassee for beginners, advanced students, and speed skaters. In fact, we’re the home of the Southern Speed Club, and we hold practices for all ages on Wednesday evenings. If your kids have a bit of a speed demon streak to them, they will love learning how to skate fast and win races.  

Ready to celebrate National Roller Skating Month with us? Be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay informed about upcoming events, specials, and more! 

It’s Time to Spice Up Your Roller Skating Life

There are many levels of roller skating mastery: beginner, intermediate, and pro. If you’re starting to feel bored in your skating routine, it might be time to switch it up! People may forget that there’s more to roller skating than just spending time at the rink—there’s also outdoor roller skating and ramp skating. If you’re feeling in a rut with your favorite hobby— or you just want to add some extra shine to your rink time—have no fear. We’re coming to the rescue to share some less common roller skating activities and what makes them so unique. 

The Differences Between Indoor Skates and Outdoor Skates

  • Indoor wheels are smoother.

    • Indoor wheels cater to the smooth hard floor surface. Outdoor skates are rougher to better handle the uneven ground outside.
  • Outdoor wheels are much larger than indoor wheels.

    • Outdoor skates need to be able to handle any bumps or rocks that may come through the skater’s path. 
    • Outdoor skates wheels are about 60-77 mm tall where indoor skates are 55-60 mm.
  • If you’re new to roller skating, indoor might be your best bet.

    • The surface area in roller rinks has even consistency. 
    • When skating outdoors, you have to be cautious of and sticks, rocks, or animals passing through your path. You might get knocked off your feet if you haven’t had enough practice.

The Differences Between Outdoor Skating and Ramp Skating

  • Ramp skating can be rough on your skates.

    • There’s a lot of wear and tear when it comes to ramp skating. If you have cheap skates, it might be time to upgrade.
  • Ramp skating can be intense.

    • When you’re doing regular roller skating, whether indoors or outdoors, the surface is somewhat level. There may be a hill here and there when you’re skating on a path outside, but when you’re skating on a ramp or bowl, roller skating just got a lot more extreme.

Whether you’re indoors, outdoors, or on a ramp, roller skating takes time and practice. In case you want to venture out of indoor roller skating, we have some tips on how to properly fall because it will happen. Just make sure you are putting your safety first!

Having the determination to try something new and seeing yourself get better at it can be so rewarding. Are you up to the challenge?

Falling is Inevitable. Make It Hurt Less with These Tips.

Yellow hazard sign of person falling downIf you’re learning how to roller skate, there are 2 things you need to know:

  1. You will fall down. It’s inevitable, so get used to it. 
  2. There’s a right way to fall – and it makes falling a lot less painful! 

That’s right, if you can believe it. There really is a right way to fall on skates, and a wrong (read: dangerous) way to fall on skates. Mastering the techniques for properly falling on skates can help you avoid injury and get rolling again in no time. Don’t forget that we offer skating lessons at Skate World Center to help you improve your skills!

Tips for Falling Safely

If you do take a tumble on roller skates, remember these tips. 

  • Pick a direction and go with it. If you’ve ever fallen directly on your tailbone, you know that it can really hurt! If you are going to fall over backwards, try to pick a side and lean so that you fall more on one side of your bum than flat on your tailbone. 
  • It’s instinctive to break your fall with your hands, but as soon as possible you should get your hands off the floor or into fists. You don’t want your fingers splayed out flat on the floor in case someone accidentally skates over them! Practice falling safely and keeping your hands off the floor, either on your knees, thighs, or in the air. 
  • When falling forward, try to control your fall by going down on one knee and sliding. This can minimize the impact of your fall. 

The most important part of falling down on roller skates is getting back up! Check out this great tutorial for a lesson on how to get back up on roller skates after you fall. Practice makes perfect, so check out our schedule for hours and events

Roller Skates: Then and Now

Roller disco neon sign with disco ballIf you’ve ever visited our Tallahassee skating rink, you know how fun roller skating can be. This activity is definitely a classic, but did you know that the history of roller skating actually goes all the way back to the 18th century? Check out some historical facts about roller skating, where they began, and where they are now!

A Brief History of Roller Skates

  • 1743 – Rudimentary roller skates are used to mimic ice skating in a London stage production.
  • 1760 – Inventor John Joseph Merlin shows off his new invention, roller “skaites,” at a ball in the town of Huy, Belgium by rolling into the ballroom while playing the violin. Unfortunately, his design of 2 wheels in line does not allow for turning or braking, and Merlin crashes right into a large mirror.
  • 1840s – Roller skates are used to simulate ice skating on stage for Meyerbeer’s Opera Le Prophete
  • 1863 – James Plimpton of Massachusetts invents a four wheeled version of the roller skate for added stability, with independent axles that allow the skater to turn instead of just going in a straight line. This development makes roller skating – or as some writers called it, “rinkomania” – widely accessible and popular for the first time. As the sport grows in popularity, it spreads to Europe and eventually all over the world. 
  • 1970s – The roller disco craze revives interest in roller skating with a new generation, becoming an iconic part of 1970s disco culture.
  • 1987 – Rollerblades hit the scene, revamping the original inline configuration of the earliest roller skates with features that make them infinitely more practical (and fun) than the disastrous early versions. Rollerblades kick off a boom of inline skating, providing a novel departure from the quad skates people were used to. 
  • Mid 1990s – Inline skates enjoy a heyday of popularity thanks to roller hockey and aggressive inline skating. 
  • Early 2000s – Roller derby is back, baby! Roller girls all over the country form leagues and re-launch the sport, which had fallen out of fashion during the 1950s. The film Whip It brings roller derby to an even wider audience. 
  • Today – Roller skates have come a long way, and there are now skates to fit any interest and style, from jam skates and roller derby skates to artistic skates and speed skates. 

If you want to get more into skating, join us at Skate World Center for skating lessons. You can also join us any time for open skating just to have fun and enjoy life on wheels! 

Why You Should Throw a Back-to-School Party

Smiling high school girl with headphones and backpack holding folderIt’s hard to believe that summer vacation is over and kids are heading back to class. While a new school year is an exciting time, it can also be a bit stressful for kids, parents, and teachers alike. That’s why you should throw a back-to-school party with us! Read on for some tips to help you start the school year off right from the party pros at Skate World Center in Tallahassee. 

Why You Should Host a Back-to-School Party

According to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, the start of a new academic year can cause stress and anxiety for kids. Going from the lazy days of summer to hectic school, sports, and social commitments can be a rough adjustment, especially if your child feels like they’ve lost touch with their school friends over the summer. 

Hosting a class party, school event, or even just an impromptu get-together with other kids in their class can be a great way to break the ice and get the kids comfortable with each other. It’s also a great opportunity to get to know other parents – after all, you have at least one thing in common! 

With our party packages, group rates, private events, and fundraisers, we can help you host a killer event that everyone will love, whether you have 5 guests or 50. Check out some tips for making your back-to-school event a success. 

How To Run a Great Back-to-School Event

  • Give people plenty of notice – Paper invitations are nice, but kids tend to lose them and most people appreciate a digital reminder anyway. Make sure the other parents actually get the invitation by sending it via email, text, or even setting up a Facebook event. 
  • Make introductions easier – Name tags are a great way to make those party interactions stick! Ask parents to write name tags for themselves and their kids, something like “Sherryl (Aubrey’s mom)” and “Aubrey (Sherryl’s daughter).” 
  • Let the good times roll – Skating parties are a natural ice breaker. Just try not cracking a smile while roller skating – bet you can’t do it! Zipping around the skating rink to great music is not only fun for kids, but also a great opportunity for parents to mingle in a relaxed environment that’s way more fun than a PTA meeting. 

Want to schedule a group event for your child’s school? Contact us for more information!

Summer (Roller) Skate Safety

Summer break for children is all about getting outside and being with friends. Summer break for mom and dad means wrangling children, keeping them entertained and keeping them uninjured. Enough summer injuries happen from running on the pool deck, jumping on the neighbor’s trampoline or just getting into a sibling tussle. So, we want to give you all the safety tips for roller skating this summer.

Roller skating is a ton of fun no matter what the season. However, summer time brings the roller skaters outside. The outdoors brings fresh air but also falls. Outdoor roller skating is more dangerous because the conditions are not controlled. With outdoor roller skating comes gravel, no walls to reach for, outside influences including cars, bikes, dogs and siblings. No matter where you are skating this summer, we want you to skate safely. We have come up with our most important skating safety tips indoor versus outdoor.

Outdoor Skating Safety:

  • Stay Alert
  • If skating during sunrise/sunset or after dark, wear bright colored, reflective clothing
  • Wear A HELMET
  • Consider knee pads and elbow pads
  • Use the sidewalk. Roller skaters are not allowed on most roadways

Indoor Skating Safety:

  • Be mindful of other skaters and their abilities
  • Skate with traffic
  • if you are a newer skater, stay close to the walls in case you lose balance (Check out our skating lessons at Skate World)
  • Consider knee pads, elbow pads and a helmet

Whether you are skating inside or outside we want you to enjoy the summer months injury-free and full of fun. Check out our summer specials for a full list of extended hours, summer pricing and special events.

Should I Buy My Own Roller Skates?

Roller skate in shop windowRoller skating is one of the most fun ways to exercise, socialize, and relax. If you skate regularly, you may be wondering if it’s time to buy your own roller skates. The answer depends on you! Read on for some advice from your friends at Skate World Center in Tallahassee. 

Should I rent skates from the skating rink or buy my own skates?

There are a couple of factors to consider when deciding whether to rent or buy skates

  • How often do you skate? Our regular skate rental fee is $4, so if you skate regularly, it will save you money in the long run to buy your own skates. Plus you can express yourself and get exactly what you want by customizing your skates from the boots and laces to the plate, wheels, bearings, and toe stops.
    If you don’t skate regularly, investing in skates might not be worth it for you. 
  • Do you know how to maintain roller skates – or are you willing to learn? Well-cared-for roller skates can last a long time, but you have to be willing to give them proper maintenance. If cleaning bearings and replacing wheels doesn’t sound like something you’re willing to do, it might be better to continue renting roller skates. If you are willing to learn how to maintain roller skates, YouTube is your best friend! Just search for instructional videos on the task you need to do, like “how to clean skate bearings.”

Whether you decide to rent skates or purchase your own, we hope you’ll join us at Skate World Center for fun, friends, and roller skating in Tallahassee! Check out our rink hours and get in touch with any questions about your visit!