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What skates should I buy?

Roller skating was huge in the 80's and with the resurrection that its had over the last few years, it may be close to being even bigger today! With more people learning about roller sports and roller skating in general, it seems as if you can't go anywhere without seeing something to do with roller skating, from fashion magazines to TV adverts and even appearing on Britain's Got Talent.

It's this reason that roller skates are the fashion accessory of the moment, but as well as being the must have accessory it's also something that is great fun and keeps you fit and active all at the same time.

If you're thinking of re-living your youth or you're completely new to roller skating, we've got a quick basic guide to choosing the right skates for you.

What kind of skate should I go for?

The first thing you need to decide on is whether you want 'Quad' skates or 'inline’ skates.

Quad simply means that the skate has 4 wheels, 1 in each 'corner' of the boot like the corners of a square. Quad skates are considered the "traditional" skate and this is what most skaters will rent if they go to organised skating events. Quads are great for those wanting to learn to skate, fitness skate, jam (dancing on skates) play roller derby, get involved in artistic skating (type of dancing on skates) speed skate or those who are just wanting a good all-round skate.

Inline means that the skate has its wheels ... well, "in line" with each other running down the centre of the boot. Inline skates have anywhere from 3 to 5 wheels of different sizes, depending on what kind of inline skating that you are doing. Inline skates are very popular skates for those wanting to skate outdoors, those wanting to speed skate or play roller hockey.

CHILDREN

Children's skates are specifically designed for the younger skater. They look cool but at the same time they are designed so that they are slightly slower than other skates giving them a little bit more control and are also designed for the wear and tear that children put on them.

As children's feet grow so fast, there are many styles of adjustable roller skates to counter this. They typically have a locking mechanism that holds the skates in a fixed size that is simple to adjust as their feet grow.

SFR STOMPER

For complete beginners and very young children a great starter skate are the uniquely designed SFR Stomper.

A hard boot skate with an internal, washable liner.

Low footbed position which gives the skater a lower centre of gravity making them perfect for the novice skater

They have larger wheels at the rear which are spaced slightly wider than the front, smaller wheels which provides the skater with extra stability.

Fully adjustable they are available in two size ranges, 6J – 9J and 10J - 13J which is adjusted with a twist-lock adjuster which can provide half sizes to ensure a comfortable fit.

There is also a brake located on the rear and even though it can be used to slow you down or stop we find that it also helps children stay upright by providing a little support at the back should they become unsteady.

Priced from £40 we think these are extremely good value for money.

SFR HURRICANE

The SFR Hurricane is also a good first skate or an ideal step up from the Stomper. They firstly look cool which of course is always important for kids.

Again they are an adjustable hard boot skate with internal ​​soft liner.

Available in 3 size ranges of small 8J - 11J, medium J12 - 2 and large 3 - 6. Perfect if you're still wanting skates that grow with your child.


Wheels are positioned in the traditional quad format to continue your child's skating development.


Priced from £40 again these prove great value for money.

SFR PULSAR

If your looking for an inline skate then the Pulsar is a great starter skate.

Featuring a semi soft adjustable boot with push button adjuster.

Low profile aluminum chassis making them super light.

Available in 3 size ranges, 8J - 11J, 12J - 2 and 3 - 6 with a pink option for girls and a fab blue for the boys they are a bargain with prices from £49.

RIO ROLLERS

The Rio Roller range, in our opinion, is THE all rounder skate for everyone which is why we use these (along with the Stomper) at all of our sessions as well as being used at GET Roller Skating's Roller Skating Birthday Parties. Available in sizes 12J - 9 they are perfect for both children and adults. The Rio Pure range, plus others in the Rio range, are also vegan friendly.

Rio Rollers come in a huge variety of different colours and designs meaning that you can choose the pair that suits you and your personality keeping it fun.

They have a semi-soft boot which still provides great support but with some flexibility for ease of movement. High quality heel support and anatomically correct insoles adding additional cushioning.

The wheels have an exclusive Rio Roller design to prevent axles protruding and damaging flooring so they make perfect indoor skates but the wheels are also suitable for outdoor skating.

The stopper is also replaceable meaning that you can re-new your worn stoppers as and when needed meaning that they will be the only skates you'll ever need!

With prices starting from £50 the difficult decision is which colour and style to choose!

WOMEN

Ok, as we know all skates are suitable for both men and women but skates, as we mentioned earlier, are indeed seen as a great fashion accessory so we thought that we'd put together a couple of women's choice of skates purely based on design.

Of course our first recommendation would be the Rio Rollers based on their durability as well as their versatility but here is our favourite design at the moment ...

RIO ROLLER CHIC

With all the same great features as above these vegan friendly designs really stand out from the crowd. With the addition of a heel they will also assist with balance and stability as well as making them look fabulous.

Priced from £80 they are at the slightly higher end of the budget but are great value for money as they will last you a lifetime.

ROOKIE

If your looking for a more budget friendly skate that still looks the part then take a look at the Rookie.

A soft canvas design with extra padding and heel cup support.

Available in sizes 1-7 and priced from just £39 they are definitely a purse friendly purchase without compromising on design.

K2 KENETIC 80

If you'd prefer an inline skates then K2 are known for their reliable and quality skates so as a purchase we think these are a great first choice that will last the course.

With a carbon composite frame the skate is lightweight

They are great for fitness skating and feature a stability cuff.

Available from £49 these won't break the bank.

MEN

Men of course like to be masculine but still want to look the part plus they also have to be slightly more robust due to the extra weight that can be imposed on them. We have picked two of our favourite men's designs that offer both great support and a smooth skate.

SFR STREET 86

A 2 piece hard boot roller skate with an all black finish

Colour coordinated liner, wheels and laces.

Available in sizes 3 to 12 and from just £69 they are definitely a good choice on style and budget.

SFR RAPTOR

If you looking for a more sophisticated skate then the Raptor is a great choice.

A high quality, hard boot quad skate which is again a two piece boot with improved liners and new ergonomic cuffs.

Available up to size 13 priced they are priced from £100.

SFR RX-RT

If your looking for an inline skate then the new SFR RX-RT is a great choice.

Designed for comfort and performance they are made with a lightweight aluminium frame.

Larger wheel size allowing for a smooth and fast ride.

Total ventilation system allows air to pass all over the foot by having vents located on the side of the skate and channels moulded into the sole.

This is a very small selection of beginner skates that we feel offer great value for money as well as providing all the functions you need to skate well. The thing to remember is that buying skates is a unique choice depending on the type of skating that you want to do so it's important to do your research, especially if you want to participate in a particular discipline of skating.

When buying skates there really is no substitute for trying them on at the time of purchase. If you want to buy your skates online be cautious about the sizing. There is a myth that you should buy skates two sizes bigger than your normal shoe size but this is isn't the case, different skates, like shoes, can vary in sizes so we would recommend contacting the seller to ask for advice first or failing that buy your normal shoe size and make sure you're clear on the exchange and returns policy.

Skates also come with a generous warranty as long as they are only used for the purpose that they are designed for so it's always good to check before you buy.

For more information and advice on what skates to buy or anything skate related then please get in touch via the website cardiffskateschool.co.uk orvisit our facebook page

www.rioroller.com

www.rookieskates.co.uk

www.sfrskates.com

www.de.k2skates.com

www.rollerskatingparty.co.uk

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