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.