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Step Six: Learn About the Frame

The frame attaches the wheels to the boot. The better the skate, the more likely that the frame will be rigid, aligned properly, and securely attached. A too-flexible frame dissipates the skater's energy; poor alignment causes the wheels to track poorly. Simply put, the wheels deliver a better ride if they are all going in the same direction at the same time.

If you are interested in being able to do quick turns and pivots, consider a frame that will allow you to adjust the middle two wheels slightly lower. This procedure, called "rockering," simulates the curve of an ice skate blade. Skates are usually sold with the wheels all at the same level. Less expensive skates do not have a rockering capability.

Frames are made of plastic or metal. Those on racing and most hockey skates are made of metal. Some frames can be loosened from the boot and aligned in a slightly different direction. This is sometimes very important to a skater who has orthopedic problems. Frames should allow for larger or smaller wheels to be used. 

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