When comes to inline skating or rollerblading in general, a lot of consumers are under the mistaken assumption that the only way you can upgrade really is replacement. I wish that everybody had that option because it means that everybody would have enough money to simply just buy a new set of inline skates.
Unfortunately, unless you are made of money, you would have to pay attention to extending the life of your property. This really is the best way to get maximum value. You can make sure that it’s properly maintained. You can make sure that it is clean so that the accumulated debris and grime doesn’t wear down the wheels too quickly.
This is all well and good, but if you want a much better experience, you probably have thought of upgrading your equipment. And in that context, you might have been tempted to simply chuck your old equipment for new ones. As tempting as that idea may be, chances are, you’re still on the fence. It’s very easy to see why. This is not exactly rocket science.
Again, you’re not made out of money. If you’re a typical American consumer, you probably already know that there are probably better uses of that money. For every dollar that you could be spending on new inline skates, you could be spending dollars on something else that’s more pressing like paying the rent, your education, getting food, and so on and so forth.
Also, another factor that may be keeping you from actually pulling the trigger and making the call is the fact that there are all sorts of other expenses that pop up from time to time that take up whatever resources you have. This is all understandable and that’s why a lot of consumers who are in the exact same position as you don’t automatically jump at the opportunity to swap out their old inline skates.
A Better Alternative
The default alternative for somebody who has old inline skates is to feel left behind. It’s very easy to be in this emotional state because if you go to any public park like Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and you see everybody having a great time on rollerblades, it’s too easy to look at their boots and see a sparkling new designs and you get taken in by the smooth gliding actions that they take and it’s too easy to feel like you’ve been just left behind. You look at your equipment and you say, “Man, why am I wearing this gear from several years ago? I deserve so much better. Why can’t I have the same gear as everybody else? This sucks.”
Well, it’s easy to fall into such thought pattern, but you have to understand that you actually have more options available to you than you care to realize. You really do. It’s not an either or proposition where you’re either stuck with gear that is several years behind in terms of technology and performance, or buying expensive new gear. There is a happy middle ground. You just have to realize that.
The happy middle ground, of course, is upgrading. What is upgrading? You swap out the wheels, you swap out some removable parts of your inline skates and you get a higher level of performance. You also extend the life of the unit. Sounds awesome, right?
Well, not so fast. Don’t get too excited. Keep in mind that upgradability varies from brand to brand and model to model. Some brands of inline skates are known for their scalability. In other words, you only need to buy a boot or a unit and you can rest assured that you can swap out as many different parts for a long time to come because the parts are standardized. They are actually designed from the ground up, to be upgraded over time.
Unfortunately, when people buy inline skates, they don’t usually think that far ahead. They often focus on the price, they often focus on the brand, and they call it a day. In other words, they let impulse take over and the buying criteria of scalability or upgradability is actually an afterthought assuming that it’s even a consideration.
You have to look at the model that you have and do some research. Is it upgradable? Does it use a standard frame for that brand that enables you to swap out different parts for new aftermarket parts or branded parts? Ideally, you should have inline skates that you can use aftermarket parts on.
Why is this a big deal? Well, a lot of people often confuse aftermarket parts with cheap parts or even counterfeit parts. It doesn’t have to be that bad. When it comes to aftermarket, we’re really talking about tapping the creativity and imagination of the larger marketplace out there to give you a better functionality, better features and, in many cases, better quality.
I know that sounds crazy, but there are aftermarket players out there who produce gear that actually lasts a longer time and delivers a much more solid experience than the original branded part. Again, it sounds outlandish, it sounds out of control and out of this world, but this is absolute truth. You only need to buy a car and buy aftermarket parts for certain brands and you would know exactly what I’m talking about. This also plays out in the world of inline skates.
Upgrade Your Old Inline Skates
So if you don’t want to feel left behind, and if you want to really tap into new functionalities as well as extend the life of your property and maximize total consumer value for the product that you bought, you might want to consider upgrading. Again, the assumption here is that you bought inline skates that have been designed for upgradability. In other words, you can swap out parts, you can take out the different parts to reach other parts. This also assumes that there is an aftermarket or an original equipment manufacturer market for the parts that you’re looking for.
What Exactly Can You Upgrade?
Well, the most obvious thing that you can upgrade are your wheels. You can get higher profile wheels for better performance, you can get thinner wheels for better shock absorption, you can go crazy with different wheel variations. Again, they must fit. They must snap into the size specifications of your unit, otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.
You can also play around with the braking system. You can also even play around with the outer shell of the boot. Again, it all depends on how the unit was designed in the first place. If it was designed for maximum customization then you should be good to go.
Before you start thinking of chucking your old inline skates or rolling by the goodwill store to donate your inline skates, think twice about upgrading. It might be available to you and it might pack a lot more value than you simply saying goodby permanently to your old skates.