I’ve been struggling with re-learning how to skate with my new speed skates. It occurred to me a while back that the speed part of it was affecting my ability to stay upright and therefore succeed. A search online suggested tightening the wheels, but, this runs the risk of ruining them and I wasn’t comfortable with doing that.
I’ve been considering how getting super soft wheels might help. I even have some soft 78A on order. Other items that I’ve been considering is to get another pair of non-speed skates because maybe I’m just not ready for speed skates. (I’ve looked around at the previously owned options for the regular skates and haven’t found any in my size.)
Today, I went to the local roller rink. (It’s actually 25 miles and 40 minutes away and the last time I went to try to skate about a month ago, I found that their website had the wrong schedule up and they were closed.) I found a TON of beginners and a very understanding environment for that. There were also a lot of hazards as people -mostly little kids- were falling everywhere. I also noticed that the wheels on the skates were super soft, feeling almost rubbery. Consider that the wood floor is also super grippy (more friction) it’s a great set-up for slow moving beginners.
And, I’m still learning about this, but, preliminary research suggests that the better bearings facilitate higher speeds but it’s not clear to me how much of an effect this has when compared to wheel selection or how to effectively utilize this information at this point.
However, this issue of equipment is interesting because in all of the advice online about how to learn to roller skate, I didn’t see anyone mention it, even when I was trying to find ways to slow my skates down. I don’t think it’s a minor detail to overlook.
By the way, I was able to skate on the rubber outer floor and finally worked up the courage to stand on the rink and finally skate (hugging the wall at first.) Despite some near misses and a few needs to grab a support, I didn’t fall once today and was able to complete laps on the wooden rink. I am a better skater at this moment than I was a few hours ago. 🙂 I’m also sore and I’m sure it’ll be much worse tomorrow.