Skates: Skate Journeys is pleased to offer SEBA skates in their rental fleet. These high quality, very supportive skates will set you up for success. 95% of our instructors wear these skates. They can be found at the brick and mortar Shop-Task in Seattle, Skate Crazy and Inline Warehouse, [online-only stores]. For quad skates, we recommend brick and mortar Fast Girl Skates in Seattle.
While Big Box stores offer you convenience for buying many items, we suggest that you not attempt to purchase skates at chain stores (eg. Big Five or Target). Purchasing a $70 pair of kids’ skates means that they will be of cheap construction; and the wheels, brakes and spacers are often made of plastic instead of urethane, rubber, and aluminum respectively. You should expect to pay approximately $115.00 for good quality skates kids and $175 for adults. These skates will also likely have a high resale value. We will check your skates at the rink and determine if they will provide your child, or you, with what is necessary to learn and improve. For Inlines we recommend skates purchased at Shop-Task and for quads, work with the clerks at Fast Girl Skates. Then you can be confident you have purchased quality skates that you can use for learning, playing and they will last.
The biggest issue that is easily seen, is that the wheels on the cheap skates DO NOT ROLL. Spin the wheels and you will see them roll less than three revolutions. Secondly, and the bigger issue is one of support, as new skaters tend to cant their feet inward, creating a triangle with the skates and legs instead of having the skates directly underneath them in a parallel, upright (center edge) position. A good quality skate will insure that the new student is set up for success.
We loan you our skates, at our rink classes, for free for your first four classes, so try our skates out first before purchasing. When you attend our first class, you will be emailed a welcome letter which includes information on brands we recommend. Note that we do not recommend: Bladerunner, Schwinn, Fila, Chicago, any skate without an actual brand (a knock off) and any of the major brands models that are less than $170 for adults and $110 for kids. Do not believe it when they state the original price for an adult skate is $250 but it’s on sale for $125. Work with our director to find the right skates for your goals!
Protective gear: This type of gear is easier to find and some of the big chain stores have great quality brands. Look for gear that has cushioning for impact in the knees and elbows and good sliders on the palms with wrist protection on the back. The stores recommended above for skates also carry a wide variety of gear. We can recommend Triple 8 gear as high-quality. Skate King Roller Rink now offers Triple 8 Gear at their pro shop for $27, so you can now buy it right after classes.
Helmets: Our helmet of choice is the Triple 8 brand with the sweat saver band inside. “Protect” and other ‘utility’ helmets also provide good protection and are often cheaper. While bike helmets work fine, if you are taking up skating, we recommend purchase of the utility helmet with the flat back. Please note that ‘bike’ helmets have been rated appropriate for skating, but the inexpensive ones tend to be “one-hit” use meaning if you drop them on the ground, or fall, they should be replaced immediately. We hope you don’t fall, but it is likely and we want you to protect your head.
Please note that Skate Journeys does not provide helmets for rent, please ensure that you bring your own helmet. For parents, please check for proper fit regularly as the straps loosen up, your child’s head grows, and inspect the helmet for damage. Bike helmets are most often ‘one-impact’ and if you drop them they can often sustain fractures. Make sure the “brain bucket” is in great working order.
We receive no remuneration from the above brands or stores, although SEBA & Triple 8 have provided us with a non-profit price discount for our rental fleet purchases.