Slide Blocks vs No Slide Blocks for your Park Skates
When you get your first pair of roller skates, they will most likely not come with slide blocks. But if you follow park roller skaters on social media, you’re probably thinking, what are those things on the bottom of their skates? Do I need them to park skate? And the short answer is no, you do not need them initially, but if you want to start sliding, you will need to invest in some. Let me break it down.
What are Slide Blocks?
Slide blocks are typically made of plastic and are shaped to make it easier to slide across coping, ledges, rail, and other obstacles. There are many brands on the market right now, with different shapes and sizes. But not all slide blocks fit every roller skate, and it’s always best to check with the manufacturer before ordering if you are unsure. Knowing the type of skating you want to perform and the angle of kingpin of your plate will narrow down your options.
hint: bont will soon release the bont block, a slide block created for the bont tracer or prodigy roller skate plate. designed and tested by the Bont ParkStar team, this slide block will allow you to slide smoothly across any surface. the curve radius and edge design were carefully considered to ensure you can lock on securely with your skates flat or at an angle. more information and review to come soon
Why use Slide Blocks?
As you start to get more confident at the skate park and look to touch and stall on coping, then slide blocks are an excellent idea to protect your roller skate plate and allow you to unlock more tricks. Sliding is one of my favorite things to do!
Without blocks, you can damage your trucks and even your plate (if you have a larger foot than mine). If you plan on stalling without blocks, I recommend buying a metal plate as it will last longer than a plastic plate or invest in some slide blocks.
Note: Adding slide blocks to your roller skate setup will increase the weight of your skates.
Stalling with and without Slide Blocks.
Stalling on the coping with and without slide blocks is possible. But due to the different foot and body positioning, the feeling of “locking” onto the coping is very different. That is why some skaters find it challenging at first when switching from no blocks to having slide blocks.
Without Slide Blocks.
With no blocks, locking onto coping is more of an a hooking motion. For backside tricks (back towards the deck), you are hooking onto the coping with your back wheels. For frontside tricks (chest towards the deck), you are hooking on with your front wheels.
You will feel very secure when stalling and won’t roll off the coping, but you won’t be able to stand upright on the deck as your skates will always be angling you into the ramp.
With Slide Blocks.
With slide blocks, the feeling is very different. Instead of hooking onto the coping, you need to use your momentum to pivot your body axis around the coping.
The pivot motion allows you to stand upright on top of the deck if you wish, but you will not feel as secure “locking” onto the coping. Since the gap between your wheels now has a block of plastic designed for sliding, your skates will feel quite slippery. It’s a lot easier to slip off the coping if you become off balance.
Body and Foot Positioning of Blocks vs No Blocks
Check out my YouTube video below for more visuals on the differences between skating with slide blocks vs no slide blocks.
Shorty (Christine Murray) started roller skating in 2009 when she joined the Canberra Roller Derby League. Over her 10-year roller derby career, she skated for Team Australia, Team Korea, and Gotham Roller Derby. After retiring and moving to South Korea, Shorty expanded her roller skating passion to park skating and continued teaching via her YouTube Channel, Shorty’s Skate Series, to give back to the community. Connect with her on Instagram and check out her YouTube channel for skate park tips and tutorials!