Slippery roller skate wheels can make skating harder and increases the odds you’ll fall and probably get injured. It can be quite annoying and frustrating too if the wheels keep sliding out during sessions.
Also Read: Skating in the Rain
The best way to deal with skate wheels is to improve your overall balance and couple this with strength training. Another trick is to just avoid skating on super slick surfaces, dusty floors, newly polished surfaces, and wet surfaces. Finally, consider getting wheels that aren’t too hard, wheels whose chemical formula boosts grip.
9 Ways to Make Skate Wheels Less Slippery
- Understand you’ll slide some of the time.
- Get the right skate wheels.
- Skate on clean rinks with clean wheels.
- Stay away from slick surfaces.
- Don’t skate when it’s wet.
- Improve your overall balance.
- Strength train.
- If you’re too heavy, avoid plastic plates.
- Pad up properly and protect that vulnerable skull.
I’ll now beam some light on each of these 9 suggestions so that your skate wheels can slide out less.
1. Get Used to It. It’s Reality.
You may wear the best skates with the grippiest of wheels, but this won’t necessarily eradicate slippage.
That wheels slip out is a fact of life no matter how good you are as a skater. You can do all of the things others say to make skate wheels slide out less and still see a bit of sliding afterward.
If you land on the skating rink knowing your wheels might slip a little, you’ll prepare more for it. And I bet you’ll eat shit less often.
2. Find Skate Wheels That Slide Out Less
When choosing and picking skate wheels of any kind, it’s super important to consider these two factors:
- Wheel formula
- Wheel shape
- Skate Wheel Durometer and Slide-ability
Durometer is a value starting from 70ish and ending at 104. You’ll often find the durometer of a skate wheel on one of its sides, and it’s denoted by the letter A.
A higher durometer wheel slides substantially more compared to a lower durometer wheel. In fact, even a durometer difference of 2A can be significant especially when you throw in considerations such as wheel design and the chemical formula used to engineer the wheel.
If you want a wheel that slides less, get 80-82A wheels. And if you’re a beginner looking to skate indoors on a pretty slick surface, get even softer wheels such as 78A. I love my grippy Labeda wheels when it comes to skating over smooth polished courts.
The softer the skate wheel, the grippier it is, all other factors held constant.
- Wheel Shape
If you don’t want to slide as much, definitely get wheels with a slim profile. The narrower the contact patch, the more likely you’ll slide.
Unless you’re a technical skater and are looking for the best street wheels, stay away from the thinnest wheels out there.
Also, wheels with more rounded lips or edges slide out easier than square-shaped ones. But you need the best of luck to find flat-shaped wheels these days.
- Wheel Chemistry
A wheel may be the right shape and the right degree of hardness, but it may not be the right formula for grip. Unformula, you won’t find much info on the actual chemical formulations that go into wheels. I mean, why would any skate brand share their wheel engineering (trade secrets freely?
I’ve skated 88A wheels that gripped great and slide out minimally. And I’ve skated 78A wheels that still had me slide all over the place while wearing out insanely fast.
You’ll want to research around to learn what other skaters say about a particular formula’s overall performance on smooth surfaces.
For wet surfaces or really smooth, polished wooden floors, I’ve found 79A Seismic Grooved Roller Skate Rain Wheels showing great performance. BTW, these are soaked surface-dedicated wheels and aren’t designed for dry surfaces of any kind.
3. Skate on Clean Rinks With Clean Skates
One of the most common causes of slippery rinks is dust. When you skate in a rink that rarely gets swept, gunk soon collects on your wheels.
Other times, the rink may be clean but your wheels may not. I suggest that you give your wheels a quick wipe-down with soap and water or even alcohol once you get home.
And if you can spare a minute or two, get Sonic Grip Juice Wheel Cleaner on Amazon. This product claims to help increase grip so you can glide on smooth surfaces without worry. I’ve not used it yet, but I’ve read quite a few glowing reviews from skaters who wiped their wheels with it and slid out noticeably less.
4. Avoid Super Slick Surfaces
If you’re a beginner and your balance still needs tons of work, you may want to stay away from the slickest of polished floors.
Or take extra care if you must skate on such surfaces and aren’t very confident about your form and technique.
If you’re skating your first-ever pair of inline skates or roller skates, it’s a good idea to stick to somewhat rougher surfaces.
Asphalt is pretty rough if you ask me, and wears down 78A wheels sooner than soon. You most likely won’t slide there. Be sure to avoid road traffic at this point in your skating journey, though.
5. Don’t Skate When It’s Wet
When it’s raining or wet, it’s not a good idea to be about roller skating, skateboarding, or rollerblading. Especially if your skating skills aren’t up to snuff.
Because skate wheels slide out all of the time. And you end up eating crap and probably hurting yourself in the process.
We’ve all seen rubber car tires sliding out when the roads get all wet and slick. And the exact same thing happens when you skate on wet roads and other soaked surfaces.
If you must skate in the rain, make sure to have the grippiest set of skate wheels rolling beneath your feet. And your skating ability needs to be pretty good. Otherwise, you’ll keep slipping and falling and potentially breaking arms, elbows, or wrists.
Definitely get proper rain roller skate wheels such as those from Seismic/Harfang.
6. Work On Your Balance
In my experience, the main cause of slipping especially when roller skating is a lack of good balance.
Get your stance right. Bend low is a piece of advice instructors can’t seem to give often enough. But many new skaters ignore it and end up with soreness and fatigue.
If you haven’t learned to bend your knees rather than at the hips, it is time.
Again, stay low when skating. Let your back stay straight up and your chest shouldn’t lean too far forward. The knees need to position over the toes.
Once you learn the correct stance and master skate control, you’ll suddenly find that your roller skates slide out way less.
7. Strength Train
There’s pretty much nothing that won’t capitulate to sheer strength. Skating takes core strength and muscle strength. And there are lunges, quads, and other exercises that help.
8.No Plastic Plates If You’re Heavy
One of my BFFs weighs almost 200, and she kept getting wheel bite. Also, the wheels kept sliding out even though they were pretty wide.
We later figured out that these two undesirable scenarios happened because she was too heavy.
Switching to heavy-skater roller skates solved the problem. If you’re a plus-size roller skater, stay away from options with a plastic baseplate.
9. Wear Protective Pads
Let’s face it: you’ll fall some of the time no matter whether you’re a neophyte or a more experienced skater.
But you’ll eat crap even more often if your skate wheels are too slippery or it’s wet outdoors.
It makes complete sense to wear good protective pads. Wear knee pads, elbow protection, and wrist guards.
Don’t think pads are important for skating? Well, look at the terrifying skating injury data here and you’ll instantly change your mind.
If you follow that link, you’ll even find roller skate knee pad recommendations. Whether you rollerblade, skateboard, or rollerblade, I bet you’ll find something that suits your needs.
You also want to helmet up if sliding is a problem. And here’s a list of good skate helmets for you so you can defend your skull against potentially life-changing cracks.
Making Skate Wheels Less Slippery: Conclusion
Definitely skate less or not at all when conditions outdoors get wet and slick.
Also, consider getting decent smooth-surface wheels. And if it’s wet or you live in a generally wet climate, get grooved rain wheels. For rollerblading on polished surfaces, go for slick-surface inline skate wheels.
Most importantly, improve your balance and strength train. Because there aren’t many problems you can’t overcome with sheer strength and great balance.
Clean your wheels with soap, alcohol, or Sonic Grip Juice before stepping onto the rink.
And if your local skating rink is dusty and gunky most of the time, find another place or talk to management about your concerns.
Slide out less and enjoy your skates more!