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Roller Skates 101

Getting Ready to Use Your New Skates

Getting Ready to Use Your New Skates

Getting Ready to Use Your New Skates

Congrats on your new skates! We know you're excited to get rolling, but before you do, make sure your skates are adjusted to your liking and that all hardware is securely in place. We want you to skate safely, after all! 

If you don't have protective gear yet, we highly recommend picking up a  helmet  and a  tri-pack of pads  to protect your wrists, elbows, and knees. Skate injuries are common and can be very serious. The good news is they are often preventable with proper gear. 

How to properly adjust your roller skates out of the box


Adjustable Toe stops: Most skaters like to be able to adjust the height of their toe stops to their liking to ensure a comfortable skating experience! Use one hand to hold the toe stop in place and the other to use your skate key to loosen the locknut, either to replace or adjust the height of your toe stops. Simply tighten the lock nut after the toe stop is to your liking and they should stay sturdy and in place!

Fixed toe stops: There’s not a whole lot of adjusting that needs to be made but it never hurts to make sure the bolt is secure. Using a Phillips screwdriver or flathead should do the trick!

Plates with Allen key locknut: These are commonly found with higher end Aluminum and Magnesium plates. To remove/adjust the toe stop, you’ll need to loosen the Allen key lock nut to be able to adjust the height or if you’re removing, they can be unscrewed all the way out. Make sure to tighten the Allen key lock screw as much as your tool allows comfortably by hand to ensure your toe stops will be secure in your plate.

Please note: The stem of the adjustable toe stops must always be at least ½” into the plates or it could damage the plate, not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Toe stops should be periodically rotated for maximum wear.


Next, we'll go over how to adjust or loosen roller skate wheels. Checking wheel lock nuts before every skate session is important to ensure your wheels aren’t too tight or too loose. You want to make sure the wheels are secure, but not too tight, as overtightened lock nuts will warp your bearings. Many beginner skaters are surprised by how fast their roller skate wheels spin, especially if they are used to rental skates. If your roller skate wheels spin too fast for you, we highly recommend ordering a set of  slow roll bearings  and using those until you become more comfortable on skates. Never overtighten your lock nuts as an attempt to slow down your wheels. 

A lot of skaters swap their wheels when switching surfaces (indoors or outdoors) and we always recommend snagging a new set of wheel lock nuts with each wheel rotation. Using a ½” socket wrench or skate key can assist with these adjustments.


Once you start getting the hang of skating, kingpins tend to be the next component to be adjusted. Slightly loosening your kingpins can help with maneuverability and turning. You don’t want them too loose where you can wiggle them around with just your hands. Tighter trucks feel more stable but is in turn less agile and will turn less easily. Using a 9/16” socket wrench or skate key can assist with these adjustments.

Both standard and inverted kingpin plates are adjusted the same way, however, those with standard kingpins must also make sure to tighten the kingpin locknut tightly against the plate.