Do you want to slow down your roller skates? Here’s the good news: you’ve come to the right place. Those skates that are too fast pose a challenge when it comes to controlling their speed.
Don’t worry, great news is that I have put together this guide to teach you how to slow down roller skates.
Read on to find out more!
9 Ways to Go Slower When Roller Skating
It is common for beginner skaters to want to slow down if they feel out of control while learning to skate. In order to maintain control, how can you keep your skates from running at full speed all the time? Here are some tips to help you.
The tips are summarized below:
- Use Slow Roll Bearings
- Tighten the Axle Nuts on Your Quad Skates
- Practice on Carpet or Grass
- Use Softer Outdoor Wheels
- Use Smaller Wheels
- Walk Like a Duck
- Learn to Use Your Toe Stopper
- Moderate your Pushes
- Apply the Plow Stop Roller Skating Technique
1. Use Slow Roll Bearings
When it comes to slowing down your roller skate, it’s really best to spend a little bit of money on slow roll bearings. With this set, you will receive eight roller skate bearings.
For your skates, you will need 16 bearings, but it is recommended that you install them in 2 wheels (one in front and one in back – diagonally). That way, you can still move with your skates, but you will also be slowed down.
2. Tighten the Axle Nuts on Your Quad Skates
This is one of my old school favorites (and cheapest) ways to slow down roller skate wheels. Simply tighten the axle nut of each wheel with a hex screwdriver or skate tool to slow down your roller skates.
In order to tighten it, turn it clockwise to the right. When the nut is tightened, turn the wheel with your hand. You will see a decrease in wheel roll as you tighten this nut.
For intermediate skaters, I would not recommend this. You should do this only if you are just getting started skating. If you lock your roller skate wheels, you will be able to walk instead of rolling. Without rolling, you can practice good balance here.
Some advanced skaters will say you shouldn’t do this because you’ll ruin the bearings. In fact, this is absolutely possible if the wheels are allowed to continue rolling partially. Bearings can be damaged by friction between axle nuts and bearings. It is for this reason that slow bearings are available and are a better option.
In the case of beginner skaters who cannot stand up at all, tightening your wheels until they don’t roll at all won’t harm the bearing as the wheel isn’t moving. After that, I loosen all the axle nuts on the wheels a little at a time to let them roll.
3. Practice on Carpet or Grass
Another option if you want to go slower is to move on grass or carpet where your wheels won’t roll as fast. It works on quad skates, inline skates (rollerblades).
In low-cut grass (like the picture above), your wheels will move faster than in thicker grass or carpet. This method of roller skating requires you to maintain the right roller skating posture when you are practicing.
4. Use Softer Outdoor Wheels
It is also possible to make your roller skates slower by using softer outdoor wheels or hybrid wheels. Wheels made of softer material roll smoother and go slower than wheels made of harder materials.
As the urethane material in the wheel softer, it pushes deeper into its surface. In other words, softer wheels will always go slower than harder ones.
The hybrid wheel is typically suitable for both indoor and outdoor skating. Typically, they have a durometer (wheel hardness) between 82A and 85A.
Softer outdoor wheels typically have a durometer of 78A, so you’ll have to put in more effort to accelerate outdoors. In general, these wheels are designed for rough asphalt or smooth concrete, but they will work great on any surface.
Regardless of what your roller skates are made of, softer wheels will allow you to skate more slowly.
5. Use Smaller Wheels
Skaters who are just getting started also do much better with wheels that are not too small or too big. When skating with smaller wheels, you will go slower and you won’t achieve the same speed as you can when skating with larger wheels.
But how small is too small? If you’re just starting out, what size wheel should you buy?
Well, It’s best to choose a wheel between 57mm and 65mm for beginners. When you go too large, you’ll be able to go really fast and you’ll have less control.
In contrast, really small wheels (less than 57mm in diameter) are typically made for more experienced skaters. Most of them are made from a slicker material than urethane (like clay, vanethane, or wood).
6. Walk Like a Duck
Duck walking is another technique. You can practice walking on roller skates this way. You will have a better chance of not rolling while duck walking if you keep your movements short (like in the video above).
Does it look weird to you? Quite a bit. But speed skaters are also taught this technique when they practice at the starting line. As a result, you will be learning an advanced technique at an early stage of your skating journey.
7. Learn to Use Your Toe Stopper – The Toe Stop Drag
Make use of your toe stops! This is why they are on your skates. On quad skates, each skate will have a toe stop on the front. Rollerblades and inline skates typically have them on the back of one skate.
If you want to do a toe stop drag, apply pressure to the inside edge of your toe and drag your toe stopper across the ground.
8. Moderate your Pushes
Using proper skating techniques to control your speed is another best way to take care of your roller skates. To accomplish this, you can moderate your pushes.
The length of your propulsion depends on how you push and glide. It’s also dependent on how much force you put into your pushing leg.
To go slower, you should only apply a little force to the leg you use to push. Thus, your roller skates won’t go faster than you can control.
It takes time to master this technique. You should therefore be patient as you practice.
For your first practice, it’s recommended to practice on grass and learn how to moderate your pushes before you move to smoother surfaces such as asphalt.
9. Apply the Plow Stop Roller Skating Technique
A plowing technique is one of the stopping techniques used in roller skating. This technique is easy to learn, and it is useful when you want to slow things down on your roller skates.
In this technique, you push your legs outward while curving them back in. This reduces the speed of the skates, causing them to slow down. Then repeat these steps until you are completely stopped.
Conclusion: How To Make Roller Skate Wheels Spin Slower
This article should inspire you to get back into skating if you’ve been putting off skating because your roller skates are too fast.
With this knowledge, you should have no trouble adjusting your skates to a speed that suits you better.