In the Outdoor Skating post from a couple weeks ago, we talked about what wheels, bearings, and gear work well for taking your skating passion to the street. I'd like to continue that topic by discussing a few more outdoor skating essentials.
Changes to Your Skates
cushions. If you don't know much about cushions or even what a cushion is, check out More Cushion for the Pushin.
If you still have the cushions that came with your skates, chances are they are hard. Hard means stiff, stiff means you are going to feel every crack and pebble. Stiff means you are going to shimmy your thighs into Jello oblivion. Stiff means your feet will vibrate until they go numb after a few short minutes of skating. Get the picture?
If you have already discovered the joys of softer cushions, you may need to go softer or even conical to keep your legs and feet happy for the long haul.
Other things to consider are some sturdy laces and protective leather toe guards. The best laces I've found so far are hands down Crazy laces. I haven't seen a broken one yet, which is important because having a lace break puts a damper on any skating activities. As for toe guards, I recommend getting some plain Derby Vixen toe guards, which are more protective than strips but you won't be getting your fancy ones torn to shreds.
What to wear
What is the weather like? Are you skating in a hot, muggy climate or will you need to bundle up to stay warm? Whatever the climate, dress like you are going to work out. Flexible, moisture wicking clothing that you can wear in layers work best. Check out Pivot Star's Francey Pants if you are in the market for some sweet workout pants. If you are in a cold climate it can be important to be able to shed layers as you start to sweat, then replace them as you cool afterwards.
Some skaters like to wear jeans when skating outside to protect themselves from road rash, but I don't recommend them. Jeans aren't comfortable to work out in and collect sweat like crazy. Learn to tuck and roll when you fall to reduce the chances of getting road rash.
I suggest wearing sunglasses, even if it isn't too bright out. They help to keep the wind and bugs out of your eyes as well as excess sunlight.
Pretty much dress like you are going to practice, but add some shades and sunscreen!
What to pack
I have a couple of small back packs with internal bladders that I like to take with me when skating outside. Not only do they carry my water, but I can also stash my keys, ID, Chapstick, cell phone and sunscreen.
If I'm going for a long skate-over an hour or so-I'll bring some snackage like nuts or energy bars. Nothing too heavy but substantial enough that you won't have to stop again for a while.
Hopefully these tips will help you enjoy skating outside even more. If you have your own tips or tricks please share!
Heartless wheels at the end of May to one lucky G Spot reader, all you have to do to enter is post a Roller Derby themed haiku in the comments. If you post as "Anonymous," make sure you put a name in your comment along with your haiku so I can enter you in the drawing.
Until we skate again,