Choose the right plate for you! Follow our Plate Guide to find the perfect roller skate plate.
Types of Materials Used:
Nylon plates are lighter and are often found on less expensive roller skates. Sometimes nylon plates are referred to as plastic. Nylon plates can flex, which means less power transfer. Some styles of skating require the skater to go up on their toe stops when stopping or during quick take offs, and the flex nylon plates have is not ideal for these styles. Other skaters prefer nylon plates because of how lightweight they are.
Aluminum (most common) or magnesium plates are preferred by skaters that need a plate that is less likely to break if used frequently, aggressively or used by a heavier skater. Aluminum plates also offer more power transfer (less flex) than nylon plates.
Lower priced aluminum plates have a tendency to be bit heavier and this can make skating a little more difficult for a smaller skater. Higher end metal alloy plates are lightweight like a nylon, but maintain the durability of a metal plate. If you are looking for something durable but lightweight, look for something like the avanti or avenger magnesium plates.
Axle Size/Bearing Size
Axles are commonly available in two sizes. 7mm (9/32) or 8mm (5/16). Most current skates are manufactured with an 8mm axle because 8mm bearings and locknuts are more common and readily available. Most older/vintage skates will have a 7mm axle. Email us if you're unsure!
King Pin Angle
Most skate plates come with a 45 degree angle or 10 degree angle. There are a few other angles, but these are the most common. Both styles can be advantageous for a variety of skaters. Newer skaters may find it best to use the following suggestions, or experiment with both and see which one best suits their style of skating. An example of a 10 degree angle plate is the Reactor Fuse Plate, and an example of a 45 degree angle plate is the Avenger Aluminium Plate.
10 degree plates tend to give a more stable feeling, because the kingpin and cushions are located more vertically under the skater, putting your motion in the centre of your skates. This is definitely the most common style.
45 degree plates have become very popular particularly with roller derby skaters. The cushions are positioned almost horizontally, putting your motion either in your toes or your heels, this makes the skate more responsive to direction changes. Make quick changes in direction easier and quicker. This is commonly referred to in roller derby as cutting, used to quickly get across the width of the derby track to stop an opponent. This is a 45 degree angle plate, you can see how the kingpins point to the side more than a typical plate.
Something to keep in mind when choosing a plate, is slide block compatibility. If you plan on using your skates at the skate park, choosing a plate that fits your slide block is important.
Info from: Roller Skate Nation