Roller skating is a fun sport to get into, but at what cost?

Just like most sports, there’s a financial barrier to entry with roller skating for beginners since at the very least you need the skates themselves to get going.

But that’s not all you’ll need. You can read all the roller skating tips in the world, but if you don’t have a decent pair of skates, you might not get that far.

It’s easy to overlook all of the equipment you might need for roller skating if you’ve never done it before. After investing in the perfect skates, you’ll need to turn your attention to all the necessary protective gear, since you’re going to fall over a lot!

Even after you’ve read guides on how to roller skate for beginners, falls are unavoidable, it’s just a part of the skating life.

In addition to protective gear, you might find that you want some extra roller skating gadgets once you’ve learned how to rollerskate to enhance the experience.

We’re going to kick off this beginner’s roller skating purchase guide with a comprehensive guide on how to find the right skates and how much you should expect to shell out for the perfect pair.

We’ll then discuss all the protective gear you need since this is almost as important as the skates themselves.

Finally, we’ll touch upon the various gadgets you might consider investing in.

Before we get started though, did you know you can find a local roller skating tutor through the Superprof website? It’s an easy way to get the help you need in the beginning and skyrocket your success on skates.

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How do you choose the Right Skates?

roller skate record
Choosing the right pair of roller skates will come down to various factors. Source: Unsplash

When it comes to picking out your first pair of skates, you want to make sure you get it right. After all, these will be the skates that you perform your first roller skating tricks and skating moves in.

The last thing you want is to bring the skates home only to find that you’ve wasted your money on a pair that doesn’t quite feel right or fall apart after your first few sessions. Skate accessories such as the skate tool can help prevent this problem, but roller skates for beginners can still sometimes lack durability.

With that in mind, it’s important to know what to look for in a good pair of skates.

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled all the info you need to know right here including pricing so you can make an informed decision when the time comes.

Soft vs Hard Boots

One of the most important factors to consider when investing in a pair of new skates is durability.

You don’t want a pair that is easily scuffed or scratched, and you certainly don’t want a pair that starts to look old and worn after just a few skate sessions.

The main determining factor for durability is of course the construction.

There are soft boots and hard boots, and both have their benefits. While soft boots are better for moving around, dancing, and keeping your feet cool, hard boots provide greater support and will last longer.

Size

To make sure you get the right size skates - which is of course hugely important - you’ll need to measure your feet and legs accurately.

In many cases, it’s as simple as choosing your shoe size, but this won’t always work.

Some skaters prefer to go one size up from their standard shoe size, and we would recommend this too since it gives your foot a little more space which is more comfortable for long skates.

Of course, it should go without saying that it’s a good idea to try out some skates in person before you part with your hard-earned cash if anything just to get a feel for what size might suit you best.

Wheels

The four pairs of wheels you glide around on with your skates have to be solid and suitable for the terrain you want to move around on.

Just like the construction of the boots, the wheels can be either hard or soft.

While the softer wheels will grip the ground easier they won’t last quite as long. The harder wheels will be a more durable option, but won’t provide quite as much grip or shock absorption.

Pricing

So, now that you’ve got an idea of what makes a good pair of roller skates and how to pick some out for yourself, let’s talk money.

The price of a pair of roller skates is dependent on a variety of factors, such as the following:

  • Quality
  • Material
  • Wheel type
  • Truck type
  • Bearings

A pair of skates that are made from genuine leather will of course set you back more than a pair made from microfiber. The construction quality and material of the trucks will also affect the price, with everything from aluminum alloy to nylon being popular choices for a lot of skaters.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that it’s possible to buy roller skates as part of a bundle that comes with all the protective gear you need, so while this will increase the price it might prove cheaper overall. It’s normal for skates to come with wheels and bearings included, though.

If buying skates for children, consider investing in a larger size than you think they’ll need since it’s always good to allow room for growth.

Generally speaking, you should be able to pick up a pair of roller skates for as little as £25, but as a beginner, you could easily pay north of £100 to get the perfect pair.

For more advanced skaters, it isn’t out of the question to spend somewhere in the region of £500+ for a quality pair of skates.

Protective Gear

shopfront
Head to a sports store in your local town centre and you should be able to find all the protective equipment you need. Source: Unsplash

It’s not uncommon to buy all the protective skate gear you need as part of a bundle, which will typically set you back around £30-35, though if you want to buy the pieces individually based on your needs then the prices will vary.

Knee Pads

Knee pads are all that you’ll have to soften the impact on your knees when you inevitably take a tumble or two forwards. As such, they’re a crucial piece of protective equipment to invest in.

To get your hands on a solid pair of knee pads, you shouldn’t need to spend too much more than £10-15. Though what you’ll find as you do your research is that often the knee pads will come bundled together with wrist supports, and these two items together will usually be around £25-30.

Wrist Support

When you fall what’s the first thing you do?

If you’re anything like me, you’ll put your hands out to soften the impact.

This is why wrist supports are non-negotiable for roller skaters, especially beginners.

This simple piece of equipment is robust enough to protect your wrists from nasty sprains, fractures, or worse.

How much does it cost?

On its own, a pair of wrist supports will set you back around £10 or so, but as we mentioned above, you’ll usually find it coupled with knee pads for the price of £25-30.

Helmet

To go rollerskating without a helmet is risky. To do so as a beginner is a death wish.

To get a solid helmet that protects your dome and the grey matter within it, you’ll have to part with at least £20-25.

Once you have the helmet, it’s unlikely that’ll ever break, so provided it fits your head and your brain doesn’t grow over time, you’re set for anywhere up to a lifetime!

Useful Gadgets

girl showing skates
Toe stops are what you see on the front of the skates, and they're one of the most important gadgets for skating hands-down. Source: Unsplash

You don’t need an awful lot to go roller skating, and these gadgets aren’t exactly essential, but you’ll probably find that you’ll need them before long.

So what are these highly functional roller skating gadgets we’re alluding to?

Skate Tool

Essentially a T-shaped Allen Key with various other functions, the skate tool is all about making quick adjustments to your skates on the fly.

If you don’t have one, then you might get frustrated when you put on your skates one day only to find that the wheels feel loose. Not to mention the fact that this can be dangerous.

With a skate tool, you can pretty much loosen or tighten anything on your skates, from the wheels to the toe stop and even the truck. That means you’re guaranteed a snug fit and comfortable skating experience every time.

Skate tools are so affordable that we recommend buying one before you’ve even had your first skating session. Once you’ve bought it, you have it, and you don’t need to wait for it to arrive once you do find that your skates are feeling a little loose.

This nifty gadget shouldn’t cost you more than £10-15.

Toe Stop

Toe stops are what you use to brake when you’re gliding around, and you’ll find them in the toe of the boots.

It’s always good to have some on hand, just in case your current set ever gets worn down or starts to falter.

You can buy all kinds of toe stops, so feel free to indulge in a colorful and vibrant set or stick with a neutral color like black or grey.

Toe stops will cost you around £10 for a set of four, which will come with the bolts you need to attach them to your skates.

Jam Plugs

Jam plugs are what you can use instead of toe stops if you want a more seamless skating experience, which jam skaters and dancers often do.

While this may not be an essential purchase for a beginner, if you’re interested in different styles of skating, it could be worth a punt.

Jam Plugs are inexpensive, so you can get a pack of eight for less than £10.

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Samuel

Sam is an English teaching assistant and freelance writer based in southern Spain. He enjoys exploring new places and cultures, and picking up languages along the way.