It’s a sunny day. You decide to put on your skates and take a spin around the block. All goes well until you start moving and the unsettling feeling in your stomach makes you realize, “Hold on a second. My roller skates are too fast”. If you’ve faced such similar predicaments, this article is here to help.
There are many reasons why your roller skates may be going too fast. Most of these reasons can be boiled down to issues regarding the wheels of your skates. The speed of roller skates is usually determined by the tightness of the wheels. The tighter your wheels are, the slower you’ll go when skating.
The most common reason for fast roller skates is the setting of the wheels. However, various other factors may contribute to the speed of skates. In this article, I shall be telling you all the reasons why your skates may be going too fast and what you can do to fix them.
Reasons Your Skates Are Too Fast
Roller skating is a fun but dangerous hobby. Like most sports, roller skating comes with its share of risks and the possibility of getting into accidents. Going fast may seem like the cool thing to do but slow and steady wins the race. Making sure you are going at a speed you are comfortable with is a fundamental safety measure when it comes to skating.
If you are new to skating or have trouble maintaining balance, you may want to go slow at first and build your speed up as you continue. To adjust your skates to move at a slower speed you first need to understand the source of their speed. Here are a few possible reasons why your skates are too fast.
They Are New
Newer skates tend to have wheels that are smooth and shiny. While these certainly look pretty, they do not offer the same grip of friction that older skates do. Newer skates also tend to have an average tightness set on the wheels when they are packaged. In this case, readjusting the tightness of the wheels should make them slower.
You can also try rolling the wheels of your skates on the road before using them. By wearing the wheels down a bit, you make them rougher around the edges. This increases the friction between the ground and the wheel which can help it go slower when you use them.
The Wheels Are Too Loose
The most likely cause behind your roller skates going too fast is the settings of the wheels. Having tight wheels makes it harder for them to spin thus making them go slower. On the other hand, wheels that are loose move more freely which makes them go faster.
However, it is also important to make sure that you do not make your wheels too tight. This will make movement too restricted and can damage your skates or even cause accidents.
Your Wheels are Too Small
Smaller and lighter wheels tend to be faster. A lot of this is also related to posture and the force with which you skate. However, the general consensus is that having wheels that cover a larger area reduces your speed while skating.
If your wheels are too small, be sure to get them replaced by professionals. While tightening and loosening wheels can be done at home, adjusting wheel size is a bit more complicated. Usually, wheels will have to be detached and replaced. This is not something you should attempt at home as it may damage your skates.
You Are Skating On a Smooth Surface
Smooth surfaces provide less opportunity for friction. Less friction means that the speed at which the wheels glide over surfaces is much faster. Roller rinks in particular have incredibly smooth surfaces so that people can skate faster.
To go slower on skates try skating on a road or any surface that has a slightly rough texture. However, be sure that you do not skate on uneven or bumpy grounds. This may lead you to fall and get hurt. It can also damage skates from constantly bumping into rocks or pebbles.
What Do You Do If Your Roller Skates Are Too Fast?
Now that you know why your roller skates are too fast, we can start discussing solutions. Speed is all about physics. Force is equal to mass times acceleration. To control the speed or acceleration at which you are moving, you need to control the force and mass of the object.
But enough with logistics. Now that you are aware of the science behind it, here are some things you can do if your roller skates are too fast.
Tighten Your Wheels
As already discussed, one way of making your skates slower is by tightening the wheels. For basic skates, you can usually do this at home using a special wrench for roller skate wheels.
However, please note that not all skates are designed the same way. Some skates can actually get damaged if you try to tighten or loosen your wheels. Make sure to do proper research on your skates before trying to adjust the wheels.
Add Weight to Your Skates
You can do this by getting heavier wheels or by tying weights to your skates. Get some weights and tie them to a cord. After that, you tie the cord around your ankles over your skates.
The general idea is to increase mass as a way of reducing acceleration or speed. Do not forget to be careful when choosing weights. Too little weight will not make a difference while too much weight will hinder your movements.
Get Your Skates Dirty
Pro athletes are always advised to keep their skates crisp clean to make them go faster. Since our goal is to make them slower, we can attempt to do so by doing the exact opposite. Note that this does not mean you should make your skates dirty. What I’m suggesting is that you wear them down.
Roll the wheels of your skates on the ground a few times. By getting them a little worn down, you can increase the grip of the wheel on the ground thus making the skates move slower.
Put Less Force in Your Kick
The reason your skates are so fast may have nothing to with the skates and everything to do with how you use them. The force of your first kick during takeoff largely determines the speed at which you go.
To go slower, try making a small gentle kick while you are skating. Increased force leads to increased acceleration. Therefore the less force you apply, the slower you will move.
Get Slow Roll Bearings
If all else fails you always have the option to buy slow roll bearings. This is also a good option in case your skates do not have the option of tightening or loosening the wheels. Having the wrong bearings can have an impact on how you skate.
Slow roll bearings are popular among beginners who are afraid of going too fast and getting into accidents. These are a great option to consider if you find all the other solutions too technical.
If you’re using “my roller skates are too fast” as an excuse for not skating, I hope this article has encouraged you to get back into the game. Now that you know why your skates were so fast, you should have no problem adjusting them to a speed more suitable for you.
Thank you for reading and happy skating!