How to Convert Ice Skates to Roller Skates – Full Guide 2024

how to convert ice skates to roller skates
Photo by Weston MacKinnon on Unsplash

Do you have an old pair of ice skates just lying around and you suddenly decide to pick up roller skating? Well, you’ve come to the right place because, in this article, I’ll teach you How to Convert Ice Skates to Roller Skates or quad skates.

Ice skating may be fun but it can get really expensive. As a result, a lot of people switch to roller skating. If you’re doing the same, you have the option to buy new roller skates, or,  convert your ice skates into roller skates and save loads of money.

Converting ice skates into roller skates is just a matter of taking off some parts and attaching new parts. Simple, right? Not really. This is a detailed guide on how you can do it.

So take your ice skates out of the closet, get your tools out of your garage, and get started.

Why Would I Want To Convert Ice Skates Into Roller Skates?

Why would I want to convert my ice skates into roller skates? Isn’t the answer simple?

  • Ice skating can be really expensive.
  • Most ice rinks don’t have real ice.
  • Most areas don’t have an ice rink.
  • You can roller skate almost anywhere.
  • Roller skates are way easier to manage.
  • Roller skating is more easy going and fun rather than hardcore and sporty. (Not implying that ice skating isn’t fun. Do what suits you best.)

Well, now you know the pros of roller skating over ice skating. And these are the reasons why you might want to switch from ice skating to roller skating, or, I don’t know; maybe you like the feel of wheels under your feet better than ice skating. Do what suits you. That’s what I always say!

What Makes Roller Skates Different from Ice Skates?

You might want to know what makes ice skates different from roller skates. Well, everything.

  • Ice skates have blades, roller skates have wheels.
  • Ice skates don’t have trucks while roller skates do.
  • Ice skates are more like a combo between a motorcycle and an ice sledge under your feet.
  • Roller skates feel more like a car under your shoes.

There you go. Everything’s different. You probably know all these things but I still mentioned them just in case.

How to Convert Ice Skates to Roller Skates

Components Needed To Convert Ice Skates into Roller Skates

Here are all the parts you’ll need to convert your ice skates into quad roller skates;

  • Quad plate
  • Heel
  • Trucks
  • 32 Bearings
  • 8 Wheels
  • Bearing Spacers
  • Bolts
  • Locking Nuts
  • Washers
  • Axle nuts

It’s time to gather these parts. They’re all very important. You can either order them online or visit your local skate shop if you have one in your area.

You’ll also need a lot of tools like hex key, screwdriver, hammer, rivet remover, wrench, and maybe an electric drill, etc. More on that later in the article.

Steps To Make Your Ice Skates Into Roller Skates:

I’ll list the steps first and then we’ll discuss each step and its ‘how to’ in detail.

  • Step 1 – Removing the Ice Blades
  • Step 2 – Drilling Holes for Quad Plate
  • Step 3 – Attaching the Quad Plate
  • Step 4 – Assembling the Trucks
  • Step 5 – Attaching the trucks
  • Step 6 – Attaching the Wheels
  • Step 7 – Attaching the Toe Stop
  • Step 8 – Final Touches

Now it’s time to follow through each part of the process step-by-step. Follow this tutorial to get the desired results.

Step 1 – Removing the Ice Blades

Ice skates have a frame with blades attached under them. The frame is attached to the bottom of the boot by rivets. To take the frame and the blades out, you need to remove the rivets.

Tools and Components You’ll Need

Here are the tools you’ll need to remove blades from the boot:

  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Rivet remover – If you don’t have these, pliers could work too, however, it would take a little effort

The Process

Follow these steps to remove the blades:

  • Remove the insole from your ice skate boots.
  • Remove the laces.
  • Fix the screwdriver into the opening of the rivet from the inside of the boot.
  • Bang the screwdriver with a hammer, to put that.
  • This will loosen the rivet.
  • Repeat the same steps for all the rivet openings.
  • Now use the rivet remover or pliers to shake and pull the rivets out from the boot from the bottom of the shoe.
  • This might take some time if the rivets are really tight.
  • Pull out the ice blade frame from the boots.

Now you’ve got a pair of boots that are ready to be converted into roller skates by attaching quad roller skate parts to it.

Step 2 – Drilling Holes For Quad Plate

The quad plate is the piece of material that stays between the trucks and the bottom of the boots. It flattens the bottom of your roller skates and provides the base and general structure for attaching the trucks.

Tools and Components You’ll Need

Here are the tools you’ll need to drill holes in your quad plate:

  • Quad Heel
  • Quad Plate
  • Pen or marker
  • Hand power drill

The Process

You have to be careful in this step. One wrong location for the hole and your boots may no longer be useful for roller skates. Here’s how to drill holes in the right places.

  • Flip the boot so that its bottom part is facing you.
  • Fix it on a stand for convenience.
  • The heel of part of the boot might be raised.
  • In that case, align the quad heel to fill in the arch or the heel.
  • Align the quad plate on top of the quad heel and the boot.
  • You must align everything in the center which is already marked by the rivet holes. However, you can go up or down, right or left based on your preference.
  • Be careful to align the right quad plate on the right boot.
  • The toe stop lock on the quad plate must be on the inside of your foot so you can loosen or tighten the toe stop easily.
  • Mark the locations of the holes in the quad plate on the bottom of the boot.
  • Double check if the marks are in the correct spots.
  • Take your hand drill and make holes in the marked spots.

There you go, your quad plate is ready to be put into place.

Step 3 – Attaching the Quad Plate

Now it’s time to attach the quad plate. Quad plates are attached to the boot with the help of bolts, washers, and nuts.

Tools and Components You’ll need 

Here are the tools you’ll need to fix the quad plate in place.

  • 8 mounting bolts
  • 8 washers
  • 8 lock nuts
  • Wrench/drill with a socket
  • Dremel
  • Quad heel
  • Quad plate

The Process

Follow the following steps to fix the quad plate on your boots.

  • Put four bolts through the four holes on each boot through the inside of the boot.
  • The bolts should stick out from the bottom of the shoe.
  • Take your quad heel and put it through the bolts.
  • Now put your quad plate through the holes.
  • Put the washers into the mounting bolts.
  • Put the locking nuts into the bolts.
  • Tighten the lock nuts with a wrench or a socket.
  • The nuts should be really tight, or your roller skating might become dangerous. You may have to go through a little fall if they come out in the middle of your skating.
  • Now it’s time to break off the mounting bolts using a Dremel so that they don’t get in the way of your trucks.

Your quad plate should be fixed tightly on your boot.

Step 4 – Assembling the Trucks

You might be able to get already assembled trucks. However, this is a complete tutorial that explains everything in detail, so I’ll also list the steps to assemble trucks on your own. If you already have ready-made trucks, you may skip this step.

Tools and Components You’ll Need

Here are the components that go into your trucks.

  • 4 Hangers – Two for each skate
  • 4 9/16 hexKingpins – One for each truck
  • 8 Bushings – Two for each truck
  • 4 Locknuts – Two for each truck
  • 2 Jump bars for roller skates

The Process

Here’s the complete process of assembling trucks for your ice skates.

  • Take a kingpin.
  • Put one bushing into the kingpin.
  • Put the hanger into the kingpin.
  • Put in the other bushing.
  • Put in the jump bar.
  • Secure everything with a lock nut and tighten it lightly with your hands.
  • Repeat the same steps to make the other truck while putting the other part of the jump bar in the truck

There you go. You’re getting closer and closer to achieving your mission.

Step 5 – Attaching the Trucks

Tools You’ll Need

You’ll just need some simple tools to attach the trucks tightly.

  • Wrench
  • 9/16 hex socket attached to the drill

The Process

Here’s how to attach the trucks to your ice skates so they’re all nice and tight. The trucks must be tightly secured in your quad plates in order to make your roller skating safe.

  • Put one kingpin into one of the holes in the quad plate.
  • Tighten it by hand while slightly holding the locking nut with your hand so that it doesn’t spin with the kingpin.
  • Do the same thing with the other kingpin.
  • Put the pivot attached to the hanger inside the pivot hole.
  • This allows you to maneuver while roller skating.

Now it’s time to tighten the trucks.

  • Use a wrench to tighten the locking nut completely.
  • Once it’s fully tightened, turn it back half a turn.
  • This will leave room for tightening the kingpin with the socket.
  • Use a drill with a socket attached to its end, to tighten the kingpin.
  • Do the same with the other trucks.

Wow, your ice skate has almost taken the shape of a roller skate, which is awesome.

Step 6 – Attaching the Wheels

It’s time to attach the wheels. There are two kinds of roller skate wheels.

  • Indoor wheels – These wheels are hard and are used to skate indoors where the surface is flat and the wheels don’t need to grab the floor for stability. They’re used in indoor skate rinks and roller derby.
  • Outdoor wheels – As the name suggests, these wheels are for outdoors where the surface is all rough and jagged and stability is at its lowest. Outdoor wheels are made of softer rubber that grips the ground and makes roller skating smooth, even outside.

Well, you should make the decision and get the kind of wheels you want to use.

Tools and Components You’ll Need

  • 8 Wheels
  • 16 Bearings – Two for each wheel, in case your wheels already don’t have them
  • 8 Spacers – One for each wheel. Your wheels might already have these, so you might not need them.
  • 8 Axle nuts – It should have the same diameter as the axle on your trucks. The most common are 8 mm axles but there are also 7 mm axles, so you might want to check out your trucks first.
  • Torque wrench

The Process

  • Put the bearings into the hole of the wheel with a spacer between the bearings.
  • Put the wheels on the axle of the trucks.
  • Put in the axle nut and tighten it by hand.
  • Use the torque wrench to tighten it further.
  • It should not be so tight that the wheels are locked and can’t spin.
  • It shouldn’t be so loose that they can fall at any point.

You must be feeling really happy at this point. Your ice skates are technically roller skates now.

Step 7 – Attaching the Toe Stop

That’s the last step to making your perfect roller skates.

Tools and Components You’ll Need

Now all you need is

  • Toe Stop
  • Allen key – It comes with roller skates, but you might not have them. You can borrow it from a friend or have someone install the toe stop for you.

The Process

  • The quad plate already has a hole for the toe stop as well as the Allen screw to tighten it.
  • Put the toe stop into the hole and adjust it according to your preference.
  • Use an Allen wrench to tighten the Allen screw.
  • This will secure the toe stop in place.

Step 8 – Final Touches

It’s time for the finishing touch.

  • Put the insole back into your boots.
  • Clean your skates for a shiny look (if you want to, and don’t use water).
  • Put in the laces.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully converted your ice skates into roller skates. You can use these skates anytime, anywhere. No worrying about the ice rink being closed for the weekend. You can skate casually to your school and look cool.

No more walking, just skating.

Good luck skating and have fun!

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