Comment choisir ses rollers enfant

How do you choose kids' skates?

This guide will introduce you to the different kinds of skate, their technical characteristics, and the essential criteria you need to take into account when choosing skates for your kids.



There are two main categories of children's skates: inline skates and quads, both with 4 wheels.

Kids' inline skates give a fast and smooth glide while helping kids keep their balance as the wheels stick out beyond the front and back of the skate. They are, however, a bit less stable than quad skates for kids, particularly if they're used to the lateral balance and very good stability that quads give when standing still. On the other hand, quads don't let you pick up much speed and their large wheels can sometimes get stuck in cracks in the road.

Quads are therefore better for very young children and beginners, but can later be replaced by inline skates.

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Like with all skating equipment, kids' skates have certain technical characteristics that you need to understand before buying. The wheels come with different bearings, diameters and degrees of hardness. When choosing the right bearings for your kids' skates, i.e. the rotation speed, you should take a look at the American ABEC standard (Annular Bearing Engineer Council). The higher it is, the better the quality of the bearings. Beginners therefore need lower ABEC numbers, while experienced riders want higher numbers.

The diameter of the wheels is also important; it increases with your child's experience. As for the hardness, it's indicated by the letter A accompanied by a number from 74 to 100. A 74A wheel has a lower bearing quality, is very supple, more comfortable, grippier and wears out faster. The closer the hardness gets to 100A, the higher the bearing quality, the better the responsiveness, the less grip it has, the more vibrations there are and the longer the lifespan. Lastly, the frame is what transfers your foot's pressure to the ground. It can be made from composite material or aluminium.

In the first case, the frame gives a smoother and more comfortable glide but will be less responsive. In the second case it makes skates more responsive but requires better technical ability.

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For a child aged five who's just getting started with skating, go for a pair of skates with rigid boots that will hold their feet firmly in place and protect them from impacts. To begin with, use a pair of quad skates to make learning easier. You may want to choose a model that has two wheels at the back and one at the front, but which can be transformed into three wheels in a line.

For riders who've mastered the technique of skating, turning and braking, and are starting to play around with their skating, we recommend kids' skates with a composite frame and an ABEC bearing that helps them improve.

If your child is very experienced, you could start looking at skates whose wheels are much bigger. Go for an aluminium frame and ABEC 3 or even 5 bearings. This will give your young rider a more precise ride as well as better feel.

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Another important criterion is the size. Your child's skates need to fit, so they need to correspond to their shoe size in order to hold their feet in place properly. Make sure that the fastening system is also effective and that their ankles are well supported. Be aware that you can get models that grow with your child to fit three different sizes. This means you don't have to buy a new pair every year.

And don't forget protective equipment (which even comes in girls' and boys' models): a helmet, kneepads, elbow pads and potentially wrist guards to keep their skating sessions safe.