Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tis the Season...for Outdoor Skating!

Spring is finally here! (For us in the Northern hemisphere that is...) and that means Outdoor Skating!  So other than the wind blowing through your hair and getting a nice dose of vitamin D from the sun, what does that mean for us?  Well, when trail skating you have to hop over obstacles, stop quickly, skate up hills, and deal with different skating surfaces which helps you to become a more confident and skilled skater.  Here are a few tips for those brave enough to hit the trails on eight wheels.
I've heard from a lot of skaters who are upgrading from their first pair of skates that they are going to use their old skates as "outdoor skates."  From my experience, this rarely actually happens.  Once you get used to your awesome new skates it is quite difficult, and often unnecessary, to go back to that old pair. 

If you are bouting, scrimmaging, or doing some seriously heavy practicing on asphalt where you are going to be falling a lot, then I could see wanting to wear your less expensive boots...but if you are just going to be doing some trail skating or practicing on smooth concrete there really isn't a need to keep those old skates around.

What you will need, however, is some outdoor wheels.  If you haven't had a proper set of outdoor wheels and have only tried skating outside with old indoor wheels, you are in for a treat!  Outdoor wheels are about 78a hardness, which is super soft and will roll over cracks and rocks with ease.  I recommend either Pulses, which come in a variety of colors, or Kryptonics, which not only come in a variety of colors but also 3 sizes to choose from.  Here are the details:

Atom Pulse Wheels
Atom Pulse Green, Pink, Smoke, Blue, and Purple Wheels
  • 78a durometer (super soft)
  • 65mm x 37mm
  • Pink, Blue, Green, Purple, Smoke
  • Weight-2 lbs for 8 wheels

Pulses are popular for a reason, not only will you roll over cracks and pebbles with ease, but they are also available in 5 sweet colors-they look like gummy Life Savers!  They are shaped like regular indoor wheels (not slim or micro) so they are nice and stable for long trail skating sessions.

  • 78a durometer (super soft)
  • 62mm x 37mm available in Red, Black, Blue, or Clear
  • 65mm x 40mm available in Red, Black, Blue, or Clear
  • 70mm x 42mm available in Red, Blue, or Clear 
  • Weight-Route 62's 1.6 lbs, Route 65's 1.9 lbs and Route 70's 2.65 lbs

Kryptonic Route 62, 65, and 70 Wheels

I have been skating on Kryptonics for years and love their unique shape which not only makes them lighter in weight than they would be with a normal edge, but pebbles ping out from under your skates instead of getting stuck and making you go flying (not fun!).  The Route 70's are a bit on the heavy side, but they are super stable and nice for beginner skaters.

If you are used to slim or low wheels for indoor skating, the Route 62 or 65 wheels will work well for outdoor skating and shouldn't feel too different in terms of width or height when switching from indoor to outdoor and back again.

A few skaters have asked me what I think about skating outside with hybrid wheels (usually about an 84a durometer wheel).  These wheels tend to lose their stickiness ability once you skate outside on them so I prefer to keep them really clean and use them for super slick floors; however, if you only have a choice between hybrid or indoor wheels, go with the hybrids...your feet will thank me when they don't go numb from the vibrations!

Cheezeballs Gouda Bearings
Now that we've gone over wheels, let's take a second to talk bearings.  Personally, I prefer to use cheap or older bearings in my outdoor wheels, such as Qube Pink bearings.  That way, if I skate through a puddle or get caught in some rain and the bearings seize or rust, I won't feel bad about tossing them.  It is also helpful to use bearings that have dust covers on them to help keep them from seizing.  The other alternative is to get some ceramic bearings, which won't rust, but they will cost you a pretty penny.  If you're going to go the ceramic route, I highly recommend Cheezeball Gouda bearings-so fast and smooth! 

If you are a new reader of the G Spot and would like to learn more about bearings, here is a post you may find helpful...Get Your Bearings.

187 Lock-In Recaps

All we have left now is protective gear...you can (and probably should) use all the same equipment as when you skate inside, but will probably want to either use some old knee pads or get some that have knee caps you can easily replace such as the new 187 Pro Derby knee pads.  Not only are the Lock-In Recaps easy to replace, but they lock in place (these babies are never accidentally falling off!) and also come in tons of colors.  Before ordering, make sure you know if you have the old 187 knee pads or the new ones, and pay attention to the sizing chart because they come in two sizes. 

Lastly, I'd like to give you a few tips I have had to learn the hard way...keep your knees bent when going over rocky or uneven terrain, keep one foot in front of the other when going fast (helps to keep you from doing a Superman), tuck-and-roll when you fall since it's hard to slide on asphalt, and always yield to vehicles, even if you have the right-of-way.  You are now ready to get out there and start skating on your favorite bike trails or back roads! 

For the next blog post I'm going to continue this topic.  There are a few more items to discuss for outdoor skating such as: what to pack for long trail rides, what to wear, and helpful changes to your skates.

When you're hitting the trails, why not contemplate the great sport of Roller Derby and compile a haiku?  You could win a set of Heartless wheels for your trouble.  Just leave your poem in the comments between now and May 31st and you could be skating around on some of the slimmest (and sweetest) wheels in the Derbyverse!

Edit: I need a name (real/derby/whatev) to keep track of entries into the contest. 

Until we skate again!


  1. Roller Derby Lass
    Cannot Write Nice Haiku Poem
    Victim of High Block

  2. Skating outside rules!
    Oh shit! Big crack in sidewalk!
    Stay low, no problem.

  3. Long time derby ref
    Now sees pink knee pad recaps
    super fabulous

  4. The world is my track
    I am fearless on the road
    Oh shit no a twig

    1. Thank you for the lovely haiku! Please leave your name (derby name is fine) so I can put it in the drawing :)

  5. skate fast and turn left.
    who knew going 'round in circles
    would take me so far

    1. Thank you for the lovely haiku! Please leave your name (derby name is fine) so I can put it in the drawing :)

  6. Round and round we go.
    Hips, butts... elbows, forearms, NO!
    Skate fast, hit harder.

  7. I never thought that
    I would proudly show off my
    giant black ass bruise.

  8. I'm behind the pack
    Cannot seem to get a grip
    Some new wheels might help :)!

  9. Wheels are too pricey
    I have student loans to pay
    Pain is costly too

  10. Come up hard and fast
    The blockers think they have you
    And jump the apex

  11. Lala LaBombsYa
    My derby wife, she hits me.
    Then she gives me hugs.

  12. Pulses are pretty,
    But I beat all the jammers
    with ugly Street Hogs

  13. Derby is my love.
    Not my first love, but my greatest.
    Until death takes me.

  14. bruises are sexy
    purple badges of honor
    we wear them with pride

  15. Poems for new wheels
    Did Wookie's trip to Japan
    Inspire the haiku?

  16. rain, Sitka weather
    outdoor skating zipping by
    wanting wheels to fly

  17. Rain, sleet or snow won't keep me from staying low and to hit them hard, so they remember my name and number!! :-D
    Kommando Karen U812

  18. Retired from derby
    Summer trails calling my name
    Time to lace up skates

    Lascivious Lenabelle 24/7

  19. Bear hot on my tail
    Sliding like the lazy tide
    Summer roller ride

    Crash, Sitka Sound Slayers

  20. Memories of my first ever outdoor skate:

    I am skating fast
    faster than a hurricane
    oh shit plows don't work

    Wren E Gade
    Hellfire Harlots, Nottingham UK

  21. twenty four wheels outside
    swerve, turn and spin around
    muscles groam smiles shine

    Dedicate to Cozy & Rebecca, it was so much fun the first outdoor skate of 2013!!

    Pink Slammin'

  22. Voodoo stalks my left
    Creeping, chasing, breaking, right?
    Watch me vanish...POOF!

    By Ella
    Rage City

  23. Off Season?

    The change of season
    Might see a change of my wheels
    Never my focus

    ~Athena Latina

  24. Daughter and I skate....
    Together we develop
    Wicked Derby Skills!!!!

    Siouxsie Queue
    FBXRG/Gold Diggers

  25. Keep eyes locked on hers
    As her skates dig, ours do too
    INSIDE! Jammer Up!

    I'm also adding this gem from my boyfriend which he made up with after watching me count on my fingers.

    Haiku would be tough
    Roller Derby is two words
    But four syllables

    AZRG/Hail Marys


Thank you for taking the time to post your comment. If you asked a question, I will do my best to post an answer within a couple days. If you need an answer quicker than that, feel free to e-mail me at ShockerKhan2N1@gmail.com.

Until we skate again!