If you enjoy skating, you will want to purchase your own roller skates sooner than rent. It is important to understand the parts of your skates so that you can maintain their longevity and keep them in great condition.
Parts of a Roller Skate
These are typical parts of a quad skate. Inline or speciality skates may have differences.
This is simply the boot or shoe that is attached to the plate.
There are many solid options available. Antik Skates makes customizable leather boots with a slight heel lift. Moxi’s Jack Boot is a high-ankle boot that supports the heel and has a heel lift.
Riedell has a range of low-heel boots that are designed for derby. Bont offers a variety of carbon fibre boots, including a new high-ankle carbon fibre boot. Skaters can also customize their skates using regular shoes like Vans.
It is essential that you have a sturdy boot, preferably leather, with a supportive sole.
It is a good idea to visit your local skate shop to try on different boots to find the right fit for you.
INSOLE (not shown)
If you’re skating in “actual” roller skates, this is the insole that gives comfort to your feet and doesn’t feel the mounting hardware. A reinforcing aluminium insole should be included for those using shoes that have been converted to rollerskates.
This insole supports the shoe’s bottom and ensures that the plates don’t just slide through it when mounted.
These are the holes through which you lace your skates.
This is also available in hook form. Some boots feature intricate lacing systems that prevent heel slippage.
The cord was pulled tight and fastened by passing through the hooks or eyelets on each side of the shoe.
This is probably not news to you.
4. Toe Protector or Toe Guard
It is optional but highly recommended for all skaters.
The sole purpose of the boot protector is to protect its front. Skateparks can increase the likelihood of your boots’ damage, especially if you are a toe dragger.
5. Toe Stop
To allow the skater to stop completely while rolling backwards (fakie), there are urethane screws that can be screwed to the plate’s front.
Most skaters use a long-stem toe stop for roller derby. However, in park skating, we recommend using a shorter or more rotating toe stop to decrease the risk of catching or hanging up during transitions.
This is the skate part that is attached to the boot using mounting hardware.
It consists of a plate with 4 to 6 mounting holes and supports the pivot cups and kingpins.
This is the base of a roller-skater. You have roller skates when you combine the truck and all its parts. This is where all sliders attach.
Aluminium plates are highly recommended. Cast metal and plastic plates may be lighter, but they can break easily.
The kingpins are partially threaded bolts protruding from the skate plates back and front. It is the base that holds the trucks together. It is connected to the truck by the bushings, retainers and a nut.
This determines how easy it is to turn. They will need to be shortened if wide trucks (Grind Trucks) are used to facilitate grinding.
8. Pivot Cups
This is a hollowed rubber cup that sits inside the base plate.
It supports the truck hanger at its pivot point and allows it to turn smoothly in either direction.
These will eventually fall apart and will need replacing.
The truck hanger attaches to the kingpin.
It rests in the pivot cup on the base plate.
It is home to the axle, which mounts your wheels and acts as the grinding surface.
10. Bushing or Cushion
Also called cushions, bushings can be described as urethane rings which slip onto your kingpin.
Two bushings are required for each truck. One is above the hanger and one below it.
Many grades can be used to adjust the truck’s response and turning radius.
A tighter bushing means stiffer trucks. While looser bushings are more conducive to turning.
Park skating requires that you crank up your trucks. Wobbly trucks can cause speed wobbles.
11. Bushing Washer or Retainer
A retainer is placed on either side of the bushings and is a simple piece of metal. This helps protect both the plate as well as the bushings.
Some skaters can remove these, depending on the hardness and condition of their bushings.
This is not the kind of food you eat. These are also called axle nuts and kingpin nuts.
The nut is attached to the truck axle to hold the wheel in its place. The kingpin also needs to be threaded onto the truck axle. Otherwise, Your skates would be ruined without them.
The truck base is where the axle extends. This foundation is where your bearings will rotate.
The axle nut holds the wheel and secures it to each end. These are a few inches in diameter. Regular truck axels tend to be shorter than CIB Grind Trucks and skateboards.
14. Bearing Washer
This small metal circle protects your bearings. This is not a must, but it is highly recommended.
These can be used to make wheels compatible with plates with tricky axle spacings and reduce wheel bite.
An anti-friction device, known as a bearing, is placed between each axle and wheel. This allows the wheels to turn freely.
They are composed of 6 to 8 balls, each with a race between two shells encased in a shell. Two bearings are used per wheel. If your bearings stop spinning or are squeaking, it is time to change them or clean them.
For a full kit of a roller skate, 16 bearings are required.
For street and vert skating, the typical range of size for wheels is between 45-61mm.
For speed, we recommend a harder wheel. A harder wheel will allow you to go faster and make it easier to do tricks such as slides and grinds.
You will need 8 wheels to outfit your quad roller skates since you only have 2 axels per skate.
17. Mounting Hardware
This is any bolt or nut that was used to attach the skate.
18. Sliders or Slide Blocks
Also called a grind (incorrect) or slide block.
There are many variations and custom versions in the market. Each skate comprises one or two pieces of HDP (high-density plastic). They are usually custom-built and can be mounted in a variety of ways. This allows the skater horizontal side-to-side skating across rails and coping.
This should have helped you to get a better understanding of the anatomy of roller skates!