The roller skate shoes are probably one of the most precious possessions of anyone who loves roller skating. As a result, a lot of skaters are very picky about the attributes of their roller skates.
Some people think having a lighter skate is better, while others like to believe heavier skates are the way to go. So, the question is, should roller skates be heavy? Or should they be light?
Weight of a skate barely affects the performance. It is so negligible that it only comes down to personal taste whether you want a lighter skate or a heavier one.
So yes, the weight of a roller skate does affect the performance. It is negligible in most cases but there are specific situations where heavier skates are better than light, and vice versa. Now I’ll be elaborating on all you need to know about roller skates and the effect of their weight so that you can decide what to get based on your needs.
The Effect of Roller Skates Weight on Performance
Lighter equipment will increase the speed of an athlete and lower his or her stamina consumption and fatigue. This much is a very established fact about any sport that is primarily about speed. It’s the same with Roller skates.
You are putting on a weighted object with wheels at the end of your limbs, so it makes sense that the lighter it weighs, the faster you can move it around. That all is true, but the effect is barely noticeable in terms of practical performance.
Most skaters don’t feel that much of a difference in terms of speed. But lighter ones do act as a boost to their endurance. They are a bit easier to move around when doing tricks. They are especially noticeable for going uphill; because the lighter the weight of your roller skates, the less mass you have to drag up.
So why do some people insist that heavier skates are better? That’s because heavy skates feel more secure and stable compared to their lighter counterparts. There is a substantial difference in quality between a heavier set of roller skates and a lighter one. They can handle more pressure, and a lot of people just like that extra weight under their feet.
Also, heavier roller skates offer a superior grip on slippery surfaces, especially the ones with heavy wheels.
In the end, the difference in performance is slight at best. And it is never a good idea to sacrifice durability for lighter weight.
Roller Skates Material and Weight
Roller skates are designed to withstand the weight of a full-grown human a few times over. It is understandable because of all the jumps and flips people end up doing with them. They need to be very resistant to pressure and strain.
Most skates are made with a combination of Hard nylon or urethane plastic, and even steel gets used for the frame of the chassis and brakes. The wheel frames are made commonly of aluminum and carbon fiber composites or even titanium for custom made skates.
The thing you should notice is that these materials are damned strong. But they are so densely packed; that they can’t be too light. Lowering the density to make skates lighter will only cause them to have less durability.
This is why the average weight of a light skate doesn’t drop below 2lbs. And heavier weight usually means superior durability. And since the effect on performance isn’t that noticeable, a lot of people feel safer with a heavy pair of roller skates on.
Weight Limit of Roller Skates
If you ever went to buy a pair of roller skates, you must have come across the weight limit tag that comes with them. Roller skaters are designed to hold a substantial amount of weight, but there is a limit to it. More heavy skates are usually sturdier, and they have a higher weight limit.
It is a tag you need to keep an eye on if you are overweight. The limit accounts for all the jumps and tricks you can do. The actual durability of the skates is a lot higher than what the tag says, but it’s a good idea to buy one suited for your weight as they will last you a lot longer.
Light skates usually have a much lower weight limit. Even if you weigh over that limit, there shouldn’t be any significant problems as long as you do standard skating. But as I said before, it’s a good idea to stick to sturdier stuff. We have written an article Do Rollerblades Have A Weight Limit?
Are Heavier Skates Better for beginners?
The answer is yes, and no. Heavy skates feel stable. It’s easier to keep your balance on them. Especially, with smaller wheel sizes. But they are also a bit rigid, so they don’t go as fast as ones with a lighter frame and bigger wheels.
It’s easy to see why a beginner would like this sort of roller skates. They give a solid and protective feeling that a lighter variant cannot. But this also makes a beginner stay a beginner for a longer time. It’s harder to do tricks with a super heavy pair of skates because it takes more torque to lift them off the ground.
So, beginners will feel a lot more comfortable with a super heavy pair of skates, but it is usually a good idea to switch to a bit lighter stuff later on.
Is it Worth Getting Lighter Skates?
A rule of thumb while choosing the right weight for your skate is depending on your instinct. Just pick the weight that feels natural to you. A pair of roller skates with the same amount of weight might feel too heavy to one; or too light to another.
So just stick with the weight that feels more natural as that will boost your performance a lot more than a pair that doesn’t feel right.
You should also consider the durability of the skate. This is more important than weight. Never sacrifice strength at the cost of weight. If a pair of skates has the same amount of strain resistance but weighs less than another, that is the only time where it is possible to get the lighter one.
Do Professional Skaters Worry About the Weight of Their Skates?
Professional skaters have custom made skates according to their preferences and habits. They don’t particularly care that much about the weight. Most pro skaters use skates that are usually a bit lighter than the average skates but not by much.
A lighter skate is indeed easier to maneuver, but even pro skaters don’t sacrifice endurance for lesser weight. They usually use a pair that feels natural to them while also being substantially strong and resilient.
Though the companies that make skates compete with each other by offering a lighter skate with the same amount of durability. None of them can make that much difference because they are limited by technology; designs can only get you so far.
A lot of people fuss over the weight of their skates. They fail to see the point that, unlike bicycles and other sports, skate shoes don’t play that much of a role in terms of aerodynamics. They don’t need to be super light or super heavy to provide good performance. The only time you are likely to feel the weight is when you jump.
So, should roller skates be heavy? No, just pick the one that feels natural to you, and you’ll be fine. Hope this article was able to help you out with your question. Have a wonderful day.