Kids wanna skate? We can help with that!

Posted by Kit Slade on

Trying to wrap your mind around all the choices available when it comes to buying ‘baby’s first skates’? Let us help you make that decision with confidence.

All our skates are ‘hand me down’ quality - meaning, you can expect to pass them down from one sibling to the next, before handing them off to the cuzzies! Here’s what we look for when bringing in stock for the shop:

High quality urethane components - All skaters benefit from quality components, but our beginners especially need equipment that supports their learning and enhances their confidence!
No flimsy plastic wheels prone to flat spots allowed at Seaside! Whether it’s softer wheels easily able to withstand rough and uneven outdoor surfaces or harder wheels with the perfect combination of slip and grip for smooth indoor rinks, this is not a component we’re willing to compromise on!
In addition to wheels, cushions - essentially suspension for skates - are also vital to the skater’s safety and enjoyment. All the skates we stock come with pliable, high-rebound cushions critical to the ease of smooth movement.

Sturdy, replaceable toe stops - You’d be surprised at how many inexpensive skates on the market don’t offer replacements for this vital component - once the toe stop’s worn down, the skates have no brakes!  We expect skaters to wear through their stops, and carry replacements for every skate we sell (and even some we don’t). They’re inexpensive, and so easy to swap out that many of our pint-sized customers pull up to our workbench, borrow a tool and replace it themselves. Don’t worry, we always give a quick safety check afterwards!

Skates from reputable manufacturers with a proven track record for quality control and warranty replacement services - We’ve built strong relationships with companies carefully vetted and selected on your behalf. In the rare cases of a quality control issue, we know we’ll be able to ‘make it right’ for our customers. That said, we just want to go on record saying that, to date, we haven’t had a single pair of children’s skates returned due to equipment failure!

It should go without saying then, that we stand behind all the skates we carry. Have we made your decision-making a little easier? 

Having ticked ‘safety’ off your checklist, you’ll need to consider the following:

Flat sole or skate with a heel? 

For recreational skating - hitting the footpath, playground, local rink, or even the skate park, skaters should go with their personal preference.
For roller derby or hockey, we recommend a skate with a flat sole. In this category, we love CrazySkate Rockets for the tiniest skaters. They’re lightweight, and exceptionally stable due to their wide-set wheels. These start in a JR10/EU 28. Once your child fits into a US1, Riedell Darts are a fantastic option, and the CrazySkate Zoom starts at a US3.
For artistic or figure skating, a heeled boot with sturdy ankle support is a must. We wholeheartedly recommend SureGrip Fames. They come stock with premium urethane indoor wheels, perfect for your local rink or hall. They’re also the smallest skate we carry, starting at a JR 8!
Speed skating? Pay close attention below.

Inlines or quads? Ah, the endless debate. Seriously, come have a korero with the kids at Raumati Rollers one afternoon - they’ll passionately school you on the merits of their choice! 

Photo credit: Charlotte Fielding

If competitive speed skating is a goal, inlines are essential. They’re just faster, especially once skaters are old enough to graduate to increasingly wider circumferences of wheels. We’re only just starting to gain knowledge in this area, so for the time being, we have limited our range to entry level, size-adjustable inlines from CrazySkates. These are perfect for recreational skaters and those getting started in speed skating.
Full disclosure - everyone on the team at Seaside got their start on quads; it’s where our heart (and our collective expertise) is, so we’re a little biassed. Parents and caregivers often ask which is easier to get started on, and honestly, we don’t think there’s a definitive answer. We know folks who are equally comfortable on both, and have seen kids switch quite easily between formats. We love the stability of quad skates, but we sell heaps of inlines and kids clearly love both options.

Size-adjustable? These are your most budget-friendly option - one skate fits your child through 4 shoe sizes! Our trusted friends at CrazySkates have cornered the size-adjustable market with some great options for you. These will run you anywhere from $138 - $179, which is a pretty sweet deal, considering they will fit one child through 4 shoe sizes!

GlitterPops, Retro Rollers and Primes are classic heeled skates, with high ankle boots.
Sk8 Sneaker Skates have a flat heel, and are stylistically similar to a high top sneaker - it’s one of our newest offerings, and is a hot commodity among our wee style icons!
Inline skaters have their choice of the 148s or Trix Pros.

Of course, for the littlest legs that are only JUST about ready to carry the extra weight of wheels, toe stops and a plate attached to their footwear, a size-adjustable skate might be too much for them to manage. For our tiniest keen beans, or for aspiring artistic skaters (where wheel placement under the ball of the foot is crucial to performance), we recommend a single-size skate, like the Rockets or Fames.

Hopefully, we’ve made your decision making a little easier with what we’ve shared. We’ve done our homework, and because we regularly offer community skate sessions, we get to see our recommendations in action. GlitterPops, for example, have stood up to two years of lending to keen beginners at our Raumati Rollers after school sessions. The backbone of our children’s loaner fleet, we haven’t needed to retire a single pair; the tough plastic exterior boot stands up to repeated scuffs and slides on some rough surfaces - all the components, from wheels to toe-stops to the size-adjustment lever on the heel, have exceeded our expectations!

Still got questions, feel free to drop your local skate experts a line at, or better yet, stop by the shop in Paraparaumu or pop one of our skate sessions on your calendar!