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Why are some inline skate wheels slippery for indoor rink skating?

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Question: Why are some inline skate wheels slippery for indoor rink skating?
Sometimes a new inline skater slides, slips, falls and loses control more when skating on smooth indoor surfaces, but appears to skate fairly well on outdoor surfaces. This may be a sign of a wheel problem, a poor wheel choice or a bearing problem.
Answer: Inline skate wheels may be slippery for indoor rink skating if there is a wheel quality problem, if the wrong wheels are being used or possibly if there is a wheel bearing problem.

Inline Skate Wheel Problems

Sometimes inexpensive youth and adult inline skating equipment is sold with low cost hard plastic wheels that can not grip an indoor floor properly. It doesn't matter quite as much when the skater rolls outside, because the rough textured outdoor surfaces help grab the slick wheel surface and allow the skater to get side push. Skating on a wood, tile or other smooth indoor surface means that the skater is now trying to push a slick wheel surface against a smooth floor that will not grip it. The result will be slipping or slow movement.

The Wrong Inline Skate Wheel

Sometimes good quality inline skates may have good wheels of the wrong durometer that can not grip an indoor floor surface properly. The contrast of hard wheels on a slightly rough textured outdoor surface will allow a skater to push without slipping. But the same wheel on a smooth indoor surface may result in slipping or limited control.

Inline Skate Bearing Problems

Budget inline skating wheels may also have slow bearings that make the skater work harder and and push beyond their skill level to accommodate the bad bearings. This may also result in control and slipping problems on any surface.

If you or your young skater has this problem, take the skates to your local rink pro shop or sporting goods store and explain what is happening. Unlike a department store, a good rink or sports specialty shop sells an assortment of replacement wheels from hard to soft durometers that are designed for various skating conditions. They can also replace bearings, if needed, and inspect the inline skates for other possible performance problems.

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