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How to Choose Outdoor Skates & Wheels - 2019

Posted by Carly Quick

How to Choose Outdoor Skates and Wheels


Where Do You Skate Outdoors?

  •   Basketball/Tennis Court
  •   Park
  •   School
  •   Skate Park
  •   Street/Sidewalk

Outdoor roller skates differ from indoor skates mainly due to the wheels. If you intend to skate outdoors, it is ideal to have softer, taller wheels. Most outdoor roller skaters prefer an inline skate, commonly known as a ‘rollerblade’. Quad skates, or ‘roller skates’, don’t withstand the outdoors as well as inline skates due to the bigger footprint or surface area, as well as their wider, harder wheels. Inline skates were designed to withstand various outdoor terrains due to their softer wheels gripping rougher landscapes. Inline skates also allow for more speed, and allow outdoor skaters to go faster. Outdoor skaters are subjected to varying terrains, and an outdoor skaters’ goal is usually to maximize speed, while eliminating the impact of the challenges associated with harsher outdoor environments.

No matter whether you are skating on pavement or dirt, as an outdoor skater, inline skates are recommended to deal with the different surfaces you might encounter. However, many skaters aren't interested in learning how to skate on inlines and want to use quad skates. In this case, most quad skates will work outdoors, but you will definitely need to find a set of outdoor wheels.

Outdoor skates are available with both low top and high top boots -- this is true for both inline and quad skates. Low cut boots allow for easier maneuverability and tight turns and are generally offered in "speed" skates. So if you want to go fast, look for a low cut boot. High top boots offer more ankle support and protection and are intended for those skaters on more "rugged" terrain. In general, outdoor skates get dirty and need to be rugged because of the terrain. Look for a boot that is easy to clean.

Outdoor Skates and Wheels

Quads vs. Inline Skates for Outdoor Skating

Quads or roller skates, are the preference of many indoor skaters: dance skaters, roller disco skaters, and Roller Derby skaters. Quads have a large footprint or surface area, making skating outside more difficult, but possible with the right equipment. Although ideal for most indoor skaters, one small piece of debris can make for a huge obstacle on quads, whereas inline skates are made to withstand the outdoors. Outdoor quad skates feature the classic quad roller skate design, with two wheels in front and two wheels in the back. Inline skates normally have 3-5 wheels in a straight line. There is no ‘hard’ rule to selecting your outdoor skates. Some outdoor skaters prefer quad skates, however, quads are mainly used by and recommended for intermediate to advanced skaters. Quads are used by outdoor skaters that see a benefit in the larger footprint to travel through different types of outdoor surfaces with more stability and less speed, and it is a top choice for recreational skating of any kind. Gaining and maintaining high speed is quite more challenging on quads when compared to inline skates, but as with any skate, comfortability and personal preference is of the utmost importance.

Safety First - Outdoor Protection Is Important

If you're going to skate outside, especially if you're going to be skating on concrete or other rough/hard surfaces, it is especially important you get some protection for your knees, elbows, wrists, and head. We aren't saying you should go out skating looking like RoboCop or the Michelin Man, but some protection is advised...and if that's really the look you're going for, we do sell some awesome PhreakTape to help you keep it together. At the very least, you want knee and wrist protection because these areas are the most likely to get scraped up if you fall (and we all will eventually fall). There are many types of pads and helmets on the market, and we have a few of our favorites below. Don't go cheap on your protective gear, you wan't something that is high-quality and durable because it's important that the gear holds up in the event of a fall. The most important thing when choosing any pads or helmets is to get the right fit. If your gear doesn't stay where it's supposed to, it can't protect you. Want it all? Check out our Pads Package!

Atom Supreme Knee Pads

Atom Supreme Knee PadsThe Atom Supreme Knee Pads have improved protection and function. The Supreme Knee Caps are held on with rivets providing improved durability. Atom Supreme pads have the perfect hard cap and padding combination. Check out all of our great knee pads here!


Atom Elite Elbow Pads

Atom Elite Elbow PadsThe Atom Elite Elbow Pads are perfect for protecting your elbows! The Atom Elite Elbow pads are Kevlar-covered to protect everything from you, to the person next to you, to the skating surface. Heavy-duty, perforated neoprene wraps the protected area, providing maximum mobility, comfort and security. You can see our whole selction of elbow pads here.


Atom Elite Palm Guards

Atom Elite Palm Guards The Atom Elite Palm Guards are perfect for protecting your palms! Made with High-density foam to absorb impact, Atom's protection gear is designed to keep you safe. Adjustable Velcro straps create a custom fit and provide maximum comfort.


187 Wrist Guards

187 Wrist Guards Some skaters prefer more coverage and protection for their wrists. If this is your cup of tea, check out the 187 Wrist Guards. These wrist guards are a great solution for wrist protection and is designed to reduce the possibilites of injuries relation to skating and other sports. No matter your preference, we have the wrist guards for you!


Triple 8 Dual Certified Sweatsaver Helmet

Triple 8 Dual Certified Sweatsaver Helmet Just when you thought the Triple 8 Dual Certified Helmet couldn't get any better, they have now made it available in their amazing Sweatsaver option! The Triple 8 Dual Certified Sweatsaver Helmet is newly designed to help ensure the safety of skaters worldwide. This helmet is designed to fit various sizes and shapes of heads but also has two adjustable inserts to protect your skull with the perfect fit. See all of our awesome helmets here.


Wheel Measurement Specifications

The measurements of skate wheels are specified by diameter and durometer. The diameter is basically going to be the height of the wheel. The diameter of inline wheels usually range between 68mm and 110mm while quad skate wheels range from 58mm to 65mm. The durometer scale measures the softness or hardness of a wheel. The durometer is measured using a scale that typically ranges from approximately 74 (softest) to 106 (hardest) and is usually labeled with the letter “A”. Durometer is normally seen as the second measurement listed on a skate wheel, with both millimeter measurement and durometer, or hardness, of the wheel. For example, a skate with the label “76mm/78A” shows the diameter, in millimeters, first – in this case, the diameter is 76 millimeters. The second number displays the hardness – in this case, the hardness level is 78. In general, outdoor skate wheels are usually within the 74A to 84A range on the durometer scale. For comparison, indoor skates are, on average, in the 84A to 106A range.


Types of Skaters and Overall Wheel Preference

Different types of outdoor skaters prefer different types of wheels. Recreational outdoor skaters may prefer a medium-size, softer wheel. These wheels offer an improved grip with good control over speed and impact, as well as any vibrations they may incur. Speed skaters looking for inline wheels typically opt for a larger, semi-harder wheel due to the increased roll. Since this type of skating is usually in a controlled indoor surface such as a rink, the need for grip and terrain control is not as important as the speed a harder wheel provides. Aggressive skaters notoriously prefer small wheels, due to the increased maneuverability they need in order to maneuver quickly.

DevaSkation offers both quad and inline wheels to suit your preference and best outdoor performance. You can check out a few of our favorite quad and inline skates and wheels below and get even more options and information in the following articles.

Inline Skate Recommendations for Outdoors

Inline outdoor skaters typically prefer tall wheel diameters. A skate wheel’s diameter is equal to the height of the inline skate wheel, normally measured in millimeters. The taller the diameter of the wheel, the more quickly a skater will roll. An inline skater using a shorter wheel, compared to an inline skater with a taller wheel, will roll more slowly under the same conditions (when the skaters’ wheel, skate, and skater are the same). One thing to keep in mind as an inline skater when choosing wheels is that smaller, shorter wheels require less effort when taking off. However, once the skate is in motion, the larger, taller wheels move with more speed. Inline skates for outdoors are recommended for most skaters and we carry several top brands of inline skates. The Seba skate brand is one of the top brands on the market today for outdoor skating. Seba skates are rugged and stylish and come assembled ready to rock and roll! They are also fairly affordable for outdoor inlines. There are other brands like Luigino that are extremely high-end and should only be considered by those skaters that are advanced and serious about speed.

Seba FRX

Seba FRXThe Seba FRX skates are great for outdoor inline skating and come in a variety of color options. These skates are an urban inline and one of the most affordable freestyle skates out there. Don't let the price fool you, these are some top notch skates. Different from its predecessor, the Seba FRX, has a wider opening which makes the skate more comfortable and easier to get on and off. The Seba FRX is equally at home in urban, rink, recreational or freestyle skating.

Seba FR Junior

Seba FR JuniorThe Seba FR Junior are intended for juniors (teens). This adjustable skate is perfect for growing children who need a high quality inline skate. The small skate adjusts from size 32 to size 34. The medium skate adjusts from size 35 to size 37. You'll be flying on these awesome outdoor skates!


Seba FR1

Seba FR1The Seba FR1 are an awesome inline skate for outdoors and comes in a variety of colors. The high quality, Seba FR1 80 inline skates are consistently skater's top choice for freestyle, slalom, and dance. The wider cut boot makes them more comfortable from the start, and the 4 position plastic cuff allows you to wear them as tight as you like, but still makes getting them on and off easy. You'll absolutely love the sweet street invader wheels too!


Atom Pro

Atom ProThinking about getting into speed skating and don't know where to start? Take a peek at the complete, high-quality, entry-level inline skate package from a name you know and trust; Atom Skates! The brand new Atom Pro comes assembled with Atom Matrix 100mm green wheels. You'll be set to learn how to speed skate with the Atom Pro Carbon Fiber Shell and Heat Moldable Boot (Available in sizes 6-13) and Atom Pro 6000 Grade Aircraft Aluminum Frame.


Wheels for Outdoor Inline Skates

Inline skaters are particular about the wheels they use. Each person is different, but in general the wheels that come on the skate packages are usually pretty good. However, some people want the ultimate in performance and the wheels recommened below are the best the industry has to offer.

Seba Street Invaders

Seba Street InvadersThe Seba Street Invaders are awesome inline wheels for freeride and recreational outdoor use. These colorful wheels are designed for slalom and freestyle skating. The Seba Street Invader wheels have a wider profile then previous Seba wheels, providing a bigger footprint for greater grip and control.


Atom Matrix Inline Wheels

Atom Matrix Inline WheelsThe Atom Matrix Inline Wheels are a go to for fitness and recreational skaters because they fly outdoors! Trust yourself and skate at speeds and angles recently only possible in your dreams. The Atom Matrix Outdoor Wheels are durable and made to last on rough surfaces. Enjoy skating outside with the best wheel in the business!


Luminous Inline Wheels

Luminous Inline WheelsThe Luminous Inline Wheels will light up your world and keep you safer on the strees, especially if you're commuting on them most nights! As you cruise, these LED wheels light up and cause the exterior color to glow magnificently, illuminating your every move! These wheels are available in EIGHT different colors with a hardness rating of 85A. They sell as a four pack, so feel free to mix and match too!


Atom Boom Magic Inline Wheels

Atom Boom Magic Inline WheelsDo you have the need for speed!? Then the Atom Boom Magic Inline Wheels are for you. Now you can have all the performance of the number one road wheel in the world on the track with these super popular wheels. With MPC urethane and Inline Encompassed Technology, these wheels are sure to dominate the any surface!



Quad Skate Recommendations for Outdoors

We offer a few special outdoor quad skates in our Phreakskate line. The Phreakskates are a line of skates we have designed to offer ultimate performance at an affordable price including high quality boots and great wheels. The outdoor skates in this line are designed to handle the rigors of outdoor skating and are a great choice for all junior and adult skaters.

Phreakskate Outdoor Energy

Phreakskate Outdoor EnergyThe Phreakskate Outdoor Energy offers the best in quality and value. If you purchased ONLY the boot and the wheels you would pay over $200. This skate is complete and needs NO upgrades for outdoor skating. We have worked extremely hard to bring you a solid value and the Phreakskate Outdoor Energy is one of the best outdoor skates we've ever offered.


Phreakskate Devaskator

Phreakskate DevaskatorThe Phreakskate Devaskator is a great value for a fantastic outdoor skate for kids and teens. This skate is comprised of quality components at an extreme value. The boot is a Jackson Vibe boot that is comfortable and durable and perfect for new or beginner skaters. We have worked extremely hard to bring you a solid value and the Phreakskate Devaskator is one of the best skates we've ever inventoried!


Phreakskate Ravenous

Phreakskate RavenousThe Phreakskate Ravenous is comprised of quality components at an extreme value. The boot is a Jackson Rave boot that is comfortable and durable and perfect for new or beginner skaters. The Jackson basic plate is mounted to this boot. It also comes with Seba Luminous light up outdoor wheels that are great for outdoor skating! The skate has upgraded Bionic Abec-7 bearings so you know you'll fly on the streets!


Riedell R3 Energy

Riedell R3 EnergyThe Riedell R3 Energy has one of the most popular boots and wheels that are perfect for outdoors. The combination of performance and value has made the R3 one of the most popular skates in rinks everywhere and now you can take this skate outdoors too. Show of your style with multiple color options for your awesome outdoor wheels.


Riedell Citizen Skate

Riedell Citizen SkateThe Riedell Citizen Skate is a great skate for outdoors. This skate is actually great for outdoor or indoor fun! The citizen comes standard with Powerdyne Thrust nylon plates and Kwik Abec-5 bearings. For outdoor use, choose one of the five colors of Zen Wheels and you'll be ready to go once you take your skates out of the box.


Moxi Beach Bunny Roller Skates

Moxi Beach Bunny Roller SkatesThe Moxi Beach Bunny Vegan Roller Skates are more affordable than the Moxi Ivy and even more awesome. The Beach Bunny drym-dyed vinyl boots are attached to smaller outdoor wheels for dance skating and hitting some tricks. You'll love the glitter polyester laces and matching toe caps. These skates are available in Peach Blanket, Periwinkle Sunset, and Blue Sky which are all available in sizes 1-10 so both kids and adults can enjoy them.


Wheels for Outdoor Quad Skates

Outdoor roller skates differ from indoor skates mainly due to the wheels. If you intend to skate outdoors, it is ideal to have softer, wider wheels like the ones below and bearings like the Bionic Abec 7s. Soft wheels provide a smoother roll on non-smooth surfaces and terrain. For outdoor skates, soft wheels are also preferable because they more absorbent to shock. Don't forget, you can always contact us to adjust the wheels offered on any skate you purchase. We are always happy to help!

Atom Pulse Wheels

Atom Pulse WheelsThe Atom Pulse Wheels are the best selling quad outdoor wheel on the market so if you're looking for wheels to skate on hard or rough outdoor surfaces, look no further! These wheels are soft enough that you don't feel every bump, but roll as smoothly as any other hybrid wheel. Check out all of the color options on these awesome wheels!


Mota Freedom Wheels

Mota Freedom WheelsThe Mota Freedom Wheels are a great outdoor wheel at 61mm diameter and 82A hardness. The name of these Mota wheels say it all. Freedom wheels give you the smooth, fast roll, that you need to skate when and where you want. So, feel the Freedom to go out and explore your world with your skates and let your wings out with freedom wheels from Mota.


Radar Energy Wheels

Radar Energy WheelsThe Radar Energy Wheels are a very popular outdoor wheel. This outdoor wheel measures in at a 78A. Check this wheel out if you are a big outdoor skater, you will not be disappointed. The new 57 energy wheels come in Red and the 62mm and 65mm wheels come in three bright colors each.


Atom Poison Savant

Atom Poison SavantThe Atom Poison Savant is an even lighter upgrade to the top selling wheel ever that is great for indoor and outdoor use. This wheel is the most popular soft wheel for a reason: it works. Even after outperforming most wheels in the industry, the newest models have been given the innovative Power Lip to increase their grip and give more stabilty. You can now get these wheels in 5 great colors.


Luminous LED Quad Light Up Skate Wheels

Luminous LED Quad Light Up Skate WheelsLight up your world with these amazing Luminous LED Quad Light Up Skate Wheels! As you cruise, these LED wheels light up and cause the exterior color to glow magnificently, illuminating your every move. These wheels are available in EIGHT different colors, Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White and Yellow, with a hardness rating of 85A. They sell as a four pack, so feel free to mix and match too! Be a light in the world and glow the night away!




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