Whether you are just getting into roller skating or an experienced skater, chances are you are enjoying it and would like to get better. As with many things, the more you practice the better you will get. But practicing in a skating rink all the time might not be possible. That is why many skate indoors, especially children.
For those who skate indoors, the question that might come to mind does roller skating damage wooden floors. The short answer to the question is an astounding no. Roller skating on wooden floors does not damage floors whatsoever. Beginners and some experts might even prefer wooden floors since they offer better grip in skating rinks.
That is only one part of the story though. If you want to know more about skating on different surfaces and why wooden surfaces are better for beginners, then keep on reading.
Does Roller Skating Damage Wooden Floors?
Although you can technically skate on any floor surfaces, all surfaces are not made equal. Some of you may think skating on wooden floors can end damaging the floor itself by leaving marks and scratches.
That is not quite true. Wooden floors are preferred by some skaters. Maple wood floors for example, even tend to be some of the more expensive surfaces you can skate on.
There are a couple of different surfaces skaters may choose to skate on. You have wooden floors, concrete and even verses courts. Out of these three wooden floors are often preferred due to better grip and for being softer.
Why Do Skates Not Mark Wooden Floors Anymore
Modern skates are built in a way where the longevity of the surfaces is taken into consideration. Back in the day, skates were built with harsh material that left marks and damaged the surfaces you skated on.
Metal wheels were quite common in earlier times. However, as technology has progressed, skates are much more surface friendly.
- Softer Rubber Wheels
Skate wheels are now made from a softer rubber material. They are generally softer than the surfaces they are used on. This eliminates any chance of damage. Also, the softness even benefits the skater as it provides them with a better grip overall.
- Non-marking Brake
If you are familiar with skating, you know about brake pads skaters use to slow themselves down. They work by using friction to slow you down and make direct contact with the surface. Even that is not enough to mark the surface since modern brake pads are made from non-marking materials.
- Non-protruding Components
A skate is designed to keep all components such as the axles and moving bearings inside the shoe. They do not make any contact with the surface, thus eliminating any chance of damage.
Taking Proper Care of Wooden Skating Floors
No matter what surface you are skating on, if you do not take proper care of it, it will not end up lasting for long. Here are some tips on taking care of wooden skate floors.
- Make sure the skates are appropriate – Taking care of wooden skate floors does not begin with the floor itself. Start by checking if the skates themselves are suitable for use on wooden surfaces. They should have softer wheels and non-marking brake pads.
- Use proper wood-cleaning products – You can easily find high-quality wood cleaning products that are specially made for wooden floors. Avoid any hard detergents or chemicals when cleaning wooden floors as they might end up doing more damage than good.
- Wring out excess water –Leaving excess water on the wooden floors is not recommended. Residual water on the wooden floor can cause damage. To avoid this, when you are using a mop to clean floors, wring out any excess water and just use a damp mop to clean.
- Fix already present cracks – If your floor already has cracks, those should be fixed immediately. Otherwise, water can penetrate through and cause further damage overtime as well.
Why Wooden Surfaces are Preferred for Skating
There are a couple of reasons why many skaters might even prefer going for wooden floors when skating.
Inexpensive to Maintain – Compared to other conventional surfaces, wooden floors are less expensive to maintain. There is a caveat though. You will need to take proper care of wooden floors to avoid cracks and moisture penetration.
Having said that, if proper care is taken, a wooden surface, in the long run, can end up costing less in maintenance.
Wooden floors are softer – Wooden floors are softer too. So, your landing is somewhat cushioned by the wooden floor as well. This is good for your joints and overall health. If you happen to take a fall (and you are bound to fall at least once) it will not hurt as much.
It looks better – Alright, this might be a personal preference but most skaters would agree that a wooden floor looks better and more inviting than any other floor types. There is a homely and high-end feel to it.
Why Do Beginner Skaters Prefer Wooden Floor Surfaces?
If you are a complete beginner, it is no shock that you might take a fall or two. Wooden surfaces are softer compared to concrete and others as we mentioned before. This can help cushion your fall somewhat and cause less injury overall.
The relative softness also ties in well with some health benefits. Landing on wooden surfaces when doing tricks is less strenuous on your joints too!
Another reason why wooden surfaces are better for beginners is practicing on wooden floors is one of the easiest ways to get the hang of skating.
This is primarily due to the better grip. Wooden floors tend to be a tad bit sticky and less smooth. While that might sound counterintuitive when you are skating, it can come in handy to maintain your balance.
The grip and better balance minimize the risk of falling and thus lesser injuries occur altogether as well.
You also might be interested in our another article about 9 Rollerblade Tricks for Beginners: A Step by Step Guide.
Wooden Floor Alternatives for Skating
There are three main surfaces used for skating. Of course, one of them is wooden floors. Other are:
- Concrete –Concrete surfaces are preferred by more experienced skaters. Concrete surfaces offer less grip and are smoother. If you want to go fast and want to do more advanced tasks, concrete surfaces are the best. However, concrete surfaces are also quite painful if you take a fall on them too. One advantage of concrete surfaces is they are less expensive upfront and are less expensive to maintain.
- Versa court – Perhaps the least preferred surface for roller skating. There are a couple of reasons why courts are not any skater’s first choice. First up, they make a lot of noise. Versa courts are even rougher than all other variants. As for grip, they provide the worst grip from all the three common court variants.
Usually a skating rink will either have concrete or wood floor surfaces. This is simply because they are the two best options when it comes to court surfaces. Of course, there will be personal preferences for each skater.
The thing to remember here is if you want more grip wooden floors are the best. For someone who wants a smoother and faster experience and wants to perform advanced tricks, concrete is the way to go.
Roller skating is one of the most exhilarating and fun activities you can do. It is thrilling and even has health benefits. If you were wondering does roller skating damage wooden floors, hopefully, you are not concerned anymore.
So, what are you waiting for? Gear up and get skating.