BlueZeal Frequently Asked Questions

Products FAQs

Roller Skates

Sizing

I‘m looking for some skates but need some help with sizing. Are UK and USA sizes the same?

American sizes tend to be about 1 size larger than UK sizes. We also normally recommend to go 1 size up from your normal foot size when choosing skates.

It’s always a good idea to try some skate sizes in a local store before ordering, to see whether you tend to have to go for bigger or smaller sizes than you thought.

This is often what we tend to recommend, and sometimes people can try the exact model they want to purchase before committing to a size from us.
 
Be sure to buy one size up in your skates too. Smaller skates are no use, but skates which are slightly too big can be worn with a pair of socks and work perfectly, so we always recommend buying a size up. Many skates are a very snug fit.

Are Irish & English shoe sizes the same?

Yes, both North & South Ireland use the same sizing as Great Britain.

What’s the difference between lady and men’s skates?

The only difference is that men’s skate boots are for a slightly wider foot.

Do you recommend buying the skates in the same size as I usually buy shoes?

We  would definitively recommend to go up one size. Some skates tend to be quite tight, and a slightly large skate can easily be fixed with an extra pair of socks, whereas a slightly small skate cannot be worn. So it's often best to play safe and choose a larger size.

Which skates?

I would like to buy a pair of roller blades but unsure on which are the best type for roads/footpaths.  I don’t want them for tricks, just as a way of getting from a to b. 

For use on road and footpaths, for speed and ease rather than jumps or tricks, you would be looking for recreational skates.
 
These skates are lighter than aggressive skates (which are the skates for tricks and jumps), and their wheels are larger and further apart, meaning they go a bit faster and feel more fluid. They're perfect for nipping down the shops...
 
We'd recommend the Xcess Tech 10 (sizes 4-12), which are a very solid build, excellent ankle support (which can be quite important if you're just starting out, too, as beginners tend to lean in with their ankles) and the ability to change parts if you want to later down the line.

Another option  (a little cheaper) is the Xcess Concord II Senior (sizes 6-10) which really is just a bit of a step down in quality. It's still a very good skate, but the price represents the difference. If you are planning on using these skates several times a week, better spend the money and get the Tech 10. If you'll be using them not as often, or are unsure if you're going to be interested in skating, try the Concord for now and you can upgrade later.

The Xcess Tech 7 (sizes 6-10) is priced just below the Tech 10, but to be honest if you're going to go for the Tech series you're better off spending the extra fiver and buying the Tech 10.

The MX405 is within my price range although I'm considering  the cheaper ones like the Xcess Concord II Senior Rec. Skate. Is it definitively worth paying that bit extra. What do you get the more you pay?

Good question. A lot of it will be basic quality - how much punishment the skate can take, how long the skate will last, how much ergonomic support it will offer your foot. But there are also specific things, such as the MX405 having larger wheels (meaning you will glide further, therefore aiding sustained speed), along with a soft-body which is more breathable and easier to put on than the Concord II, and a better quality chassis leading to smoother rolling wheels and more strength and durability.
 
In the end the choice will probably be dictated by how often you are planning on these skates, and how sure you are that you are going to be happy to skate a lot once you try it. If you're only going to be skating maybe once a week, or are unsure whether you'll enjoy it, the Concord II would be fine.

If you're planning on skating every day, that kind of frequency, we'd definitely recommend forking out for the MX405.
 
In the end, you would do okay with either of them, but depending on your skating situation the MX405 might end up being a much better buy.

I need a pair of recreational skates to use in streets made up of quite uneven flag stones. I’m going to be using them a few times per week.

You'll need a fairly good quality pair if you want to use them a few times a week.
 
The cheapest you could reasonably go is the Tech 7. Consider them a budget skate for your situation, and although they would do, we'd not recommend them particularly.

Instead, we'd recommend you at least go ten pounds more, and get the MX405s. They're proving really popular and basically the best model we do in this price range - they're nice and sturdy, with a breathable soft shoe, nice big wheels for sustained gliding and a removable brake pad.

The next step up in price and quality is the S201s, which are moving into the professional recreational or freestyle skate. With the same basic construction as the MX405, the extra money basically buys you quality, with more considered ergonomic design, a more durable skate and a smoother ride which would enable you to progress to fancy footwork tricks if you wanted.

I’m trying to purchase Bauers inline skates but they don’t appear to do rollerblades any more. What’s the best make of the same quality?

You can still buy Bauer Inline Hockey Skates, but they are specifically for roller-hockey players so not the best for just ordinary recreational skaters. They also used to make quad skates but they stopped a few years ago
 
But for regular recreational skating, the only skate we have of similar quality is the Roces S201s. We'd recommend Roces as they are respected for their aggressive skates, and this is one of the few recreational skates they make. These are an excellent quality recreational skate, with good ergonomics and a construction that's going to last. Perfect for skating in parks, along pavements and down to the shops.

I’d like to buy some in-line skates for a beginner. Would the Xcess Tech 10 Rec Skate be suitable?

The Tech 10 skate would be absolutely fine for a beginner, it's one of the better of the medium-range we do, offers good ergonomic support for the foot and ankle, and glides well.

Which of the recreational skates have good padding in them?

All the skates have good padded liners. You get better quality the more money you spend, so if you need a lot of support or have ankles that require particular care you will need to spend more money on a skate such as the MX405
 
Aggressive & Recreational Skates

I’m looking for a pair of new inline skates to be used on the pavements in London. My current blades are a Rollerblade Fusion Mix brand with an abt brake and very old. What would you suggest?

If you look in the 'inline skates' section of our store, you will see the 'recreational' skates, which is what you have used before and what will be best suited to your needs now. The wheels are slightly larger in diameter and further apart, meaning building up and sustaining a cruising speed is far easier. They are also a lot lighter, meaning they are perfect for skating street and pavements. They have a break at the back of one of the skates, the same as the Fusion skates.

For a skate of similar (and in fact a bit better) quality as the Fusion, we would recommend the Xcess Tech 10 skate. It has a replaceable break, lots of ankle support and a really robust frame. It's nice and light, but it's going to have the strength to cope with repeated use on the London pavement, which can get a bit bumpy and wearing.

You do have cheaper options, but to be honest you will need the strange of the Tech 10. The Xcess Tech 7 is the next down, but is only slightly cheaper, so you're better off spending a little bit more and getting the superior Tech 10. The Xcess Concord is half the price, but it would not last half as long and won't offer nearly as much support to your foot and ankle.

The more you spend on a pair of skates, the more robust they will be, and the most support they will provide your foot and ankle.
 
What recreational skates would you recommend? I’m going to be skating a few times a week on quite even surfaces.

The Xcess MX 405 is the most affordable of our high quality skates, with 80mm wheels (the largest size, for sustained speed). It is a real leap up in performance from the rest of the skates in that price range. We'd be hesitant to recommend any of our cheaper skates such as the Tech 10, because you evidently use your skates a lot and would benefit from the best pair you can get. The Tech 10 is slightly cheaper but a step down in quality, so we'd recommend the MX if you can afford it.
 
The Roces S201 is a very good skate, but a leap up in price. You get 80mm wheels on those, a really nice looking skate, good breathable liner and good support.
 
Both are excellent skates, it's up to how much you want to spend. We think you'd get everything you're looking for from the Xcess MX.

Wheels

What do wheel sizes mean?

As a rule, bigger and harder wheels will go faster. You will find that all the recreational skates have larger size wheels, for plenty of speed and ease of skating.
The bigger and harder wheels you buy, the most unstable your skating will be, so your technique needs to be good.

Agressive skates have smaller wheels, which means it's harder to get speed but you have more stability for tricks, and a lower skate for sudden stops and turns, etc. If you are starting out, just buy the kind of skate that suits your requirements and you will get the right kind of wheels with them.

What does wheel hardness mean?

The hardness and softness of the wheels is measured in durometer grades, 88A being the hardest. 74A is the softest, but would too soft for your needs (they wear out far too fast, and are virtually impossible to buy anyway). A 78A would be the perfect durometer for you to try. The softer the skate the more shock-absorbsion you get.

It is possible to mix the wheels, so you may wish to buy a pack of 4 harder wheels and use them at the front (these tend to wear faster than other wheel positions). You'll find that kind of mixing and matching easier to do once you've seen how your softer wheels ride, and whether they wear out too fast or not.

Hard wheels are better for skating along pavewalks and tarmac roads, parks and areas where the ground is relatively smooth. You will go faster, and the wheels will last longer. Soft wheels are better suited to country lanes and rough surfaces where you need a bit of suspension. They wear out faster though. All our skates come with hard wheels, but you can order some softer wheels from us if you feel you need them.

Can wheels be replaced by me or would they have to be returned to the factory?

This is indeed something you could buy from us come the time, and change yourself. It's a fairly easy process, and we can supply instructions if that is needed.

Brakes

Do all skates have breaks?

Only the recreational skates have brakes, aggressive ones don't. If you get aggressives, the lack of brakes mean that the first thing you need to learn is a, plow-stop, t-stop or skid-stop.

Only the right foot of my new skates has a break on. It is that correct? I would have preferred to have two?

Yes, that's right, all recreational skates have just one brake. Using two brakes would be a pretty impressive feat!

However, if you're worried about getting a bit lopsided with your technique, you should be able to swap the brake over to the left one every week or so, and that way you can practise with both legs. It should be a fairly simple nut-attachment on that skate, but we'd have to look to be sure that the brake would transfer onto the other skate. If you want to do it, and have a skate-shop nearby, they' be your best bet. But normally people are happy to leave it on the right foot, and learn to brake competantly with that one.

Skates’ Weight

I'm interested in purchasing a pair of the Xcess S1000 rollerblades. Could you inform me of the actual weight of these skates as my present pair are a bit heavy!

The S1000s weigh about 2 and a half kilos. The soft-boot means they're pretty light, and you're not really going to get a significantly lighter skate than that. The more money you pay for a skate the more efficient design you get, but you also get more extras so the weight tends to stay the same. So, we don't think you would find those too heavy at all.

Kids Skates

I am after a pair of inlines for my young child with rubber wheels as opposed to the hard plastic ones. Can you recommend any for me?

Don't worry, none of our kids skates have that hard plastic we all remember for our first quad skates when we were younger (the ones that didn't travel at all, and were more like annoying boots!) and in fact have a soft rubber-like new plastic material, and even the cheapest models are going to do your child well. In fact most skates, even pro skates, these days have plastic wheels, but they're an excellent material provides speed and cushioning and is miles away from the old kids plastic wheels.
 
Which skate you buy depends on how much you want to spend, but in this situation you probably don't want to spend much, considering children are likely to grow out of the skates fairly fast.

For one of the middle-priced skates, you could go for the S1000 as they are adjustable. This would suit if your child was near the lower foot size of one of their ranges (either a junior 9 or a junior 12) because then it could be adjusted as they grew. But if that's not suitable, they would be absolutely fine with a pair of the Concord IIs. You can of course go for a more expensive skate, and many people do, that is really up how much you want to spend.

My young child wants a pair of skates. The choice on your website is big (also price-wise) and I’m not sure what to chose. Can you help?

The difference between the skates is basically quality. When you pay more money, you get a more robust skate, better ergonomic design (so better support for ankles), a more breathable liner, a skate that glides better, and so on.

If your child is already a good skater, you might want to look at the mid-range, instead of the very basic £25 models.

If you're spending in the £30-£40 region you're going to be buying him/her a good pair of skates that will let him/her get the best from the skill he/she already has, and they'll last through any punishment she might subject them to.

You can of course spend more than that, and it really depends on your budget, but some people prefer to stay under £40 with younger children, as their feet will grown out of the skates in fairly short time anyway.
 
If you'd like us to narrow it down even further, we would recommend the S1000 as a great skate to choose for young kids. It all depends on what size of skate he/she will need, but you might find that the S1000 gives him/her room to grow and you can adjust the skate around his/her feet for a few years, instead of having to throw the skates away after a year or so.

My teenager needs a pair of new skates for recreational purposes . What can you suggest?

We would recommend spending over £30 at least, in order to get a durable skate with good ergonomic support for the ankle. Above that price, it's really entirely how much you want to spend, and the more you spend the better skate you get. The MX405s are the best skate we offer in that price range.
 
In the event you want to spend more, for another level of quality in a skate, we also have the S201s which are a Recreational Skate too. But you'll probably find the MX405 will be the most you would need to spend, to get your teenager an excellent skate.

My teenager wants a pair of new skates with rubber wheels. He has mentioned Salomon.....

Certainly none of our skates have the old clunky plastic wheels, so no worries there.
 
Salomon is a very well known skates brand, with lots of street cred, which is probably why he/she mentioned that name. We do have skates in a brand to match that, but you are looking at the higher price ranges. We’ll show you a range of skates, and you can choose how much you want to spend for a better brand.
 
The cheapest skate you'd want to go down to, would be the Xcess MX405s. They're the most expensive in the Xcess range, and quite a popular mid-range skate.
 
The Roces S201 will perhaps have more credibility, as it is manufactured by a company that mainly makes aggressive skates (for ramps and tricks), although the S201s are still recreational skates. They are a leap up in price, at double the cost of the MX405s.
 
I'd like to buy a pair of skates for a young child whose feet will grow fast, so I'd like some skates that grow with him. I'm also a little concerned he is too young to skate...

Your kid will have no problems at all with inline skates, you'll find he will probably master them a lot faster than older skaters can! The only real problem some younger kids have is leaning in too much with their ankles, but this is something they will slowly stop doing. They gradually learn to trust their balance and start skating with straighter ankles. The chances are he may not even find this a particular problem.
 
In regards to him growing fast, we'd highly recommend the S1000 skates we sell. They're adjustable skates, so they will do him for a quite a while, as they will grow with him. They're also a soft-boot skate, meaning they're going to be a bit lighter for him to carry on his feet.

Protection

I’m just about to start rollerblading and need some protection.  What would you recommend?

It depends a bit on how confident you think you'll be, but if you want to go for all the pads then the Roces Combo pack is a good idea. We could sell you some wrist guards and knee pads separately but the knee pads aren't as good as the ones in the Roces pack. For that pack, you'd probably need an adults small, medium or large. The knee pads can sometimes be a bit tight, so make allowances for that.
 
And if you want more protection, we also sell padded shorts, which are great for dispelling the fear of falling backwards! We also sell skate helmets, plain black or with designs.
 
But we'd recommend you start with the basic Roces Combo pack. If you find you want more protection you can order it later, but you may find that those pads are enough for you.

I need some advice on buying the right size helmet.

The helmet size is going to be a risk, it's always hard estimating. We are not able to help you there. The only thing we can suggest is to measure the inside a hat that fits you snugly, and consult our helmet sizing chart.

Rollerblading & Weight

Is there a weight limit on skates? Would aggressive skates be better, as they seem bigger and more robust? I’m going to use them for recreational purposes.

Any of the aggressive skates are going to be able to take any weight, as they're designed for stunts and jumping, so they can take an awful lot of punishment and a lot of weight.
 
For recreational skating though aggressive skates are going to be very heavy for you, and they won't travel very far (the wheels are smaller on aggressive skates, so you have to work harder to maintain speed), so won't be as much fun for recreational skating. The S201 will do the job nicely, and will take a surprising amount of weight. For more of a guarantee though, you'd need to email us with your weight and we would contact the skate manufacturer.

Kayaks

I am interested in buying a beach kayak, but would like to know what the maximum weight for the paddler is.
 
There is no hard and fast rule on weight with these kayaks, but there is a guideline limit of 18 stone. They have been known to take more weight than that with no problem, but 18 stone is the recommended limit that the manufacturers estimate.

As I am left handed - is the paddle that comes with the kayak suitable for left handers?

There will be no problem at all with the paddle, they do not favour left or right hands, they are evenly balanced.

How long does it take to deliver a kayak?

We normally estimate about 7-14 days for the kayaks.

I am quite tall and I understand your kayaks are quite small and light. Would I be cramped?

The sit-on kayaks would give you no problem size-wise.
 
For the sit-in kayaks, up to 6 foot 2 inches you will be fine and don't need to worry. If you're above that height we'd be less able to guarantee anything, and you'd probably need to go to an actual kayak store and try some kayaks out.
 
What Kayak would you recommend that would go well in the surf, but not rule me out for the odd river trip?

Really, all of our kayaks are fine for river-trips, so for you it's a matter of finding the one that can also handle surf, as they are not all suited for that.
 
It very much depends what height of waves you are thinking of braving with your kayak. With a sit-on kayak, you are not going to be securely fastened on (you can't get leg-straps for the sit-ons) so with surf over about 2-foot you might get thrown off a few times. This isn't a major problem of course, but climbing back on every time a wave hits you could get quite tiresome, and you'd need to ensure your kayak didn't float out of reach. Being a surfer however, you might find it possible to stay on a sit-on kayak in much higher waves, so your skill level might dictate how much fun you could have with this kind of kayak.
 
A sit-in kayak would enable you to enjoy much rougher surf, but you need to be proficient at kayaking. You need to have had at least one lesson (with the instructor aware of the kind of waters you will be riding), and be very sure that you can eskimo-roll in rough conditions.

If you decided you were happy to go for a sit-in kayak, the Xcess S kayak is the model we'd recommend, and it will get you started with paddles and a spray-deck too. It's good for turning and steering in waves, and is a good little touring kayak too, for calm waters and rivers.

Scooters

I want to buy my young child their first micro scooter  Could you please advice which model is best for a beginner? We would like a light-weight and foldable one.

For a beginner we would recommend choosing between the JD Bug Original Scooter or the JD Bug Economy Scooter. Both of these are foldable and pretty light, and the JD Economy comes with a carry strap. They both have fairly good size wheels too, which is going to give your child stability as they learn to scoot.

The Sprite has a softer wheel, which will give a bit more suspension, but will wear out faster. The Economy is slightly lighter. The Sprite will take more punishment, and more weight. Of course, some of the choice will also be down to which scooter you like the look of best.
 
If you feel like spending out a little more, or think your child might be overly adventurous with bashing the scooter around and trying tricks, go for the Micro Bullet Scooter.

My teenager is looking for a micro-scooter able to go on grass. Which model will be suitable.  He is quite tall already and still growing fast, so I would like something that will last.

From what you've described, you are best to be looking at the 'Micro' scooters. They are more robust than the others, and tend to have slightly bigger wheels too. JD Bug Eco is the most basic, then there is the Micro Bullet and the Micro Flex, which is more expensive.
 
You'll find that for the extra money the Bullet has harder wheels, and a build more suitable to stand some rough usage, and perhaps the rougher grass surface. And at another leap up in price the Micro Flex is for those that are more than likely to be bashing the scooter around and trying jumps and things. While none of these scooters can stand up to a lot of punishment, the more expensive ones stand a better chance of surviving!
 
I want to buy my young kid a micro scooter and am unsure which one I should be getting.

Which scooter you go for very much depends what you think your child will be using the scooter for. If you think it's likely to take an awful lot of punishment, and he/she would be jumping with it and trying tricks and things, you'd need to go for something in the Micro Bullet range.
 
However, if you think she be using the scooter for going along pavements, in parks, down to the shops etc... you don't really need to spend over £50, and could be looking perhaps at one of the JD Bug scooters. The more money you spend, the better quality you get, so the JD Bug Economy Scooter is not quite as robust or well made as the JD Bug Scooter for example.
 
Pool Table

Does the 6' pool table come complete with pool cues?

Y
es, the pool tables do come with two 48" pool cues.

Returns

If the protection pads I buy don’t fit,  what is your exchange/return policy?

If it turns out that the pads or helmet do not fit when you try them, we're happy to take a return, as long as the items have not been used outside. Just email us and get instructions for returning or exchanging them. We can't cover the return postage though, unless the items are faulty.

If the skates I buy are the wrong size, could I get a replacement?

Certainly, if the skates are the wrong size we will take a return, we can either issue a refund or supply you with a different size. You would need to email us first to get instructions on how we would do that, before sending anything back though, and you'd need to be sure you'd not worn them outside.