Scooters vs Skateboards vs Inline Skates

We know that most of you will have a preference already – and if that’s the case, we won’t be able to change your minds anytime soon. But what about those of us who are taking our first steps into the world of wheeled transport and want something different from the usual BMX or mountain bike?
Well, we’ve got three options for you which will soon have you on your way with a new-found sense of freedom. Prepare to feel enlightened as we provide you with some inspiration.
The Scooter
Starting with the new kid on the block which has made a comeback, how about one of the many scooters we carry? The beauty is in their versatility and flexibility which make them a great companion on trips to school or when riding with mates.
You will find that the skill level required to excel on a scooter is lower than both skateboards and inline skates, making them a great introduction into personal travel for beginners. Riding a scooter also requires the least amount of effort as the handle bars assist you with balancing and provide a stable surface to hold on to.
• There is a scooter available for everyone – whether big or small, young or old.
• Our micro scooter range remains the most popular but we carry all the well-known brands of stunt scooter.
We suggest that you head over to our product pages so you can see some of the styles we’ve referenced in action.
The Skateboard
The skateboard remains the transport of choice for those wishing to enter the world of extreme sports. We’ve all played Tony Hawks Pro Skater and wished we could pull of the moves possible in game; well this is your chance.
Skateboards are a personal choice with some preferring longboards for more stability at speed and some sticking with the tried and tested skateboard, perfect for ripping up half pipes. Skateboards are a little harder to ride than scooters but we find that most people pick it up pretty quickly.
• The original way of tearing around town and honing your stunt skills.
• A range of boards for everyone, from beginners to pros.
You have got to take a look at our skateboard pages where we showcase the range of boards we have in stock. We also carry the parts that allow you to build or customise your own.
Inline Skates
Last but not least are inline skates, a variation of traditional rollerblades. They take their origin as a tool to assist professional ice skaters in training but they’ve become a fan favourite in their own right with a huge following.
The stunt scene is as developed in inline skating as it is for skateboarding so if you’re looking for an alternative, look no further.
• A style for everyone – from freestyle to aggressive, and children to adults.
We carry all the popular brands so you’re sure to find something suitable on our inline skate pages.
Pick Your Transport of Choice
By now, you should have figured out where your tastes lie. The team here at Slick Willies knows all things scooters, skates and boards so make use of our knowledge by coming to visit us here at our London store at 12 Gloucester Road, SW7 4RB or by calling us on 020 7225 0004 and we’ll get you kitted out with some new wheels.

Fun facts about Inline Skating


Although inline skates don’t have as much of a culture attached to them as skateboards, there’s still a big scene that has grown up around them. They are seeing a new resurgence as a way to keep fit and be sociable, with skate nights planned up and down the country. So, what do you know about inline skating? Here’s some fun facts for you.

1. Inline skates were invented when a US hockey player from Minnesota was trying to find a way to practice out of season, way back in 1980.He created his own pair in his parents’ basement. Before long, it caught on with professional sports people such as figure skaters and other hockey players and then made it’s way into the mainstream.

2. The craze was invented just before the millennium. Before that, people were using quad skates, with 4 wheels set closely together, often called roller skates. Whilst these are still in use these days, inline skating has become infinitely more popular since the 1990’s.

3. Inline skates also have a retro feel, as they are associated with so much culture from the 1990’s. Movies (remember Clueless?), ads and music videos from this time show people inline skating.

4. They are also known as rollerblades. This emerged because Rollerblade was a brand of skates that became the market leader during the 1990’s. What do you call them? It probably depends on when you were born! You can buy your own pair of Rollerblade skates at Slick Willies.

5. Inline skating is fantastic exercise. It’s fun and easy to learn, plus it’s inexpensive. It’s low impact so it’s suitable for most people. You can do it alone or with friends, or you can make friends whilst doing it. You can push as hard as you like and start learning tricks and turns, or take part in competitions. You can also take part in competitive speed skating in at events around the country.

6. If you are just learning to skate, take some practical advice from the experts and stay close to things that you can lean on or grab onto like walls or railings. Many inline skates don’t have rubber brakes on, unlike the roller skates you may have gotten used to as a child. When you gain a little experience, you’ll learn how to stop with sharp movements, but at the start, you may find yourself stumbling or falling more often than not. If you’re more experienced on roller or quad skates, you may find it hard to reverse your stop motion, as quad skates have their brakes on the toe, not the heel.

If you want to give inline skating a try, Slick Willies has a fantastic range to choose from. We also sell skateboards and scooters and can assist you with clothing, accessories and expert advice. Simply visit our product pages to find out more.

How to do skateboard tricks


How to do Skateboard Tricks

If you have mastered the basics of skateboarding such as rolling, pushing, balancing and turning, it may be time to start learning new tricks. By following some simple instructions put together bySlick Willies, who specialise in skateboards, scooters, inlineskates and much more, there is no reason why you can’t progress from being a beginner to a pro. All you need is your skateboard, your passion and drive.

The Kickturn
The kickturn is a good place to start when learning how to do tricks on skateboards. This move involves leaning back on your board to lift the front wheels off the ground and do a 180 degree turn. This fast and precise move can be done either on the ground or on a ramp and is a good building block to try other advanced tricks. Slick Willies have a selection of skateboards available to suit any level of ability, whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned pro.

The Ollie
This is probably the most important trick you need to learn because it’s a starting point for other advanced tricks. Put simply, this is a jump while the board sticks to your feet. To perform an ollie, you need to bend your knees as if crouching as you roll forward and then jump, allowing the tail of the skateboard to come off the ground and into the air. To get this trick right, you need proper foot alignment, good balance and timing skills.

The Nollie
This is a trick that is opposite to the ollie. Basically put, the nollie involves popping the front of the skateboard off the ground as you jump as opposed to the back. Once you have got to grips with the ollie, the nollie is easy to learn.

The Manual
The manual is similar to doing a wheelie on your bike. The move involves you leaning back on the skateboard and lifting the front wheels off the ground while rolling forward. Balance is key to performing a manual so take time to position feet correctly. Once done, lean your weight backwards until the front wheels come off the ground and hold the position as you continue to roll. Be careful not to lean too far back and always wear a helmet. Slick Willies have lots of helmets in a range of colours that can be matched with skateboards.

The 180
The 180 is one of the difficult basic tricks to learn, so ensure you have mastered ollies and kickturns before attempting it. This trick involves both you and your board to spin 180 degree in the air and landing switch side. You can perform the move either frontside or backside. To do a frontside 180, place your feet in ollie position and as you crouch down preparing to jump, turn your shoulders toe-side towards the back. Next, pop the back of the board off the ground, rotate your shoulders frontside as you jump. The rest of the body and board will follow.

With 30 years of experience selling skateboards, scooters, inline skates and clothing gear, Slick Willies has a team of experts who can assist you with any queries on how to perform skateboard tricks. You can become from beginner to pro in no time with the right help. And if you need the right gear and accessories, you can shop for skateboards here.

The Unstoppable Rise of Freestyle Stunt Scooter Riding


A few years ago some people were looking for a new energetic buzz to try out. As an alternative to the older trends of skateboarding or inline skating, the freestyle stunt scooter was born. Scooter riding quickly rose to become the new rage at skate parks and on the streets, with riders performing a new breed of tricks to watch or try out. Not only is scooter riding fun and easy to learn, but the seemingly endless amount of possible tricks also makes it fun for spectators.
The Emergence of Stunt Scooters
The more traditional street-based sport of skateboarding had its nascence in the 1970s. This was a time when the energetic youth of the cities realised that skateboards were not just for little kids, but a serious piece of gear for performing tricks and stunts, as well as weaving through city streets effortlessly. In the ‘80s and ‘90s dedicated skate parks began to be built in our cities, and inline skating also became a trend because of the appeal to learn and master stunts and tricks, and the benefit of mobility.
Since the year 2000, another serious piece of stunt equipment emerged on the scene, as people realised that scooters can be just as much fun, nimble to perform tricks, and are not just reserved for the domain of kids any longer. Newer technology, design, and better-built scooters are helping experienced riders to perform amazing stunts and amaze onlookers, causing more and more people to take up stunt scooter riding. The scooter movement is now taking the world by storm.
Scooter Popularity
These days, mixed in with regular skaters you will find plenty of people working on their latest tricks and stunts on their scooter. When scooters first appeared on the scene, many traditionalists snubbed it off as a passing fad, but as the popularity of freestyle scooter stunt riding has grown over the past two decades, it seems that it is here to stay. We have been witnessing the birth of an extreme sport that will become just as popular as skateboarding, and it is still rising in popularity.
Most of the appeal of the scooter movement has been its simplicity. Taking a very simple piece of kit – the scooter – but with a design using the latest technologies that make it lightweight and versatile, this allows people to learn, perform and create a whole host of tricks. The possibilities seem endless as riders keep on inventing new tricks, encouraging others to learn them. It’s an extreme sport that fits into itself, creating organic growth. The stunt scooter community is growing daily.
You can visit our visit our store to check out our latest lines of scooters. Slick Willies are located at 12 Gloucester Road, London, SW7 4RB, and we’re open Mon to Sat from 10am to 6.30pm, on Sundays 12pm to 5pm. The nearest tube station is Gloucester Road, then walk up the road (north) for about ten minutes (1/2 mile), crossing over the Cromwell Road (A4), going past the post office, then our shop will be on the left. Alternatively, you can give us a call on 020 7225 0004 during our store opening hours if you want to speak with us.

Famed Southbank Skateboard Spot Could Re-open


In 2004, two-thirds of the famous skateboarding site at Southbank in London was fenced off and closed without warning. This came as a great shock to the many hordes of skateboarders who had been coming to the area for decades. Ten years later, in 2014, the final third of the area was also threatened with closure and redevelopment but somehow managed to escape it.
Things have now changed, and as of late 2017 the other two-thirds of the Southbank skate site could reopen, and the entire area may return close to its former glory. The local council are requesting £790,000 to pay for the restoration of the original site, and also a new education centre to be built next to it. Despite this hefty sum, it is basically a victory for the skateboarding community.
Where It All Began
In the 1960s a group of mostly avant-garde architects designed the festival wing of the Southbank Arts Centre in London, and with it, they had inadvertently created the UK’s most popular urban skate site. Not that the architects knew this would happen since skating was not introduced to Britain until around ten years after the building was completed.
As part of their design, the architects left several public spaces that had no predetermined purpose. It is rumoured that Southbank was discovered by an American skateboarder called Jim Slater, who was immediately impressed by the terrain and layout of the open space, comprising of flat ground, stairs, railings, and banks – all a perfect combination for people to bring their skateboards along and adopt it as their own space.
Along with its convenient central London location, the design of the Southbank Festival Wing really was a happy coincidence for the urban skateboarding movement. The site was also an open public space that had beenunoccupied, thus making it even more appealing and ripe for skateboarders to move in. It remained that way until 2004, at the time of which the Southbank Centre managers decided to redevelop the area, much to the dismay of the skateboarders who’d called it their home for so long.
The Rebirth
Even though the future of Southbank has been in question for so long, the good news for skateboarders is that the legendary site could open again if the £790,000 funds are raised. It is a fair amount of money, but the skateboarding movement remains hopeful this target can be reached through the correct fundraising channels. Even though the site will never be quite the same again, as some of it was already redeveloped, we certainly support the move to reopen Southbank as a skateboard space.
Our shop is located at 12 Gloucester Road, London, SW7 4RB, and you can come and visit us every day of the week. On Mondays to Saturdays we’re open from 10am until 6:30pm, and on Sundays we have reduced opening hours from 12pm until 5pm. Alternatively, you can call us at Slick Willies on 020 7225 0004 (in-store) or 020 7225 0202 (online) and we’d be glad to have a chat with you.

Family-Friendly Fitness for 2018


For most of us, the turn of the year also means creating some new year’s resolutions. Among the top preferred lifestyle changes is whipping our bodies into shape. Creating fitness goals for 2018 may seem reasonable and sensible, but it’s not always that easy if we are parents.
There is a good way to help get into shape that can also include your children. You needn’t join a gym and worry about childcare arrangements while you want to work out. Just buy a pair of inline skates for you and your children, and then you can exercise together.
The Birth and Rebirth of Roller Skating
Roller skates seem like they’ve been around forever, but the truth isn’t far off. The first patented design came in 1760 from a Belgian inventor called Joseph Merlin. During the 1860s a new design was developed using four wheels, and roller skating remained massively popular from that time until the 1930s. The decades-long roller skating craze died down a bit from then, and then there was a slight upsurge in popularity during the disco era of the 1970s, but it wasn’t until another redesign that roller skating regained its mass appeal.
During the late 1980s,roller skates were redesigned with the wheels all inline, and they became known as ‘rollerblades’.Prior to this time, they had usually been quad skates, meaning they had two aligned front and rear wheels, much like a car does. The quad design does provide more stability and is easier to learn and master, but never as much speed and agility. If you’re able to be patient and dedicated in order to conquer the skill of inline skating, you’ll find that these kinds of skates provide much more manoeuvrability and are more liberating.
The Appeal of Skating
There are many advantages to roller skating over other kinds of activity. It provides a complete aerobic workout, burning 350 calories per hour if skating 6 miles per hour, or 600 calories if skating 10 miles per hour. On top of this, exercising using inline skates comes with very low impact on knees and joints, unlike jogging.
Furthermore, inline skating targets areas where we may want to lose fat and build muscle, such as lower body and abs. Just think what a great way this is to exercise every morning whilst dropping the kids off at school. It means exercise for you and exercise for them and saves time compared to walking, and saves money compared to other forms of transportwhen doing the daily school run.
If you want to come and have a look at our product range ofinline skates, for adults and children,then please drop by our store at 12 Gloucester Road, London, SW7 4RB.We’re easy to get to, just ten minutes’ walk from Gloucester Road Underground Station, which is on the Circle, District, and the Piccadilly Lines. You can also call Slick Willies on 020 7225 0004 (in-store) or 020 7225 0202 (online) to have a chat with us.

Cruisers have Long-Term Appeal in Skateboarding


Since the 1970s, skateboarding emerged from the shadows and has become one of the most popular extreme sports. Skateboards appealed to people because they are light and versatile, relatively easy to learn to use, and also the added benefit of being able to get around as a piece of self-propelled transport. Through the ‘80s and ‘90s the sport rose in popularity, and these days it’s firmly planted as a permanent fixture on the extreme sports scene.
Yet, the popularity of skateboarding has waxed and waned over the years. As with all new or emerging trends, skateboarding has seen fluctuations in its popularity in a cyclic fashion. The mid-‘70s, mid-‘80s, and mid-‘90s all saw a boom period in skateboarding, followed by a sudden drop in sales. However, the appeal of skateboarding is very resilient, and the extreme sport keeps bouncing back, often with some variations and a new breed of followers, ensuring that it will remain ever-popular.
Enter the Cruisers
One of the reasons why skateboarding tends to go up and down in popularity is that it can be fairly difficult to learn. The traditional kind of skateboarding, which involves performing tricks and stunts, is a bit complicated to master, and whilst many people have an initial impulse to learn, after a couple of years of commitment they essentially give up trying, more often than not.This is where cruisers enter the scene as a permanent, accessible genre of skateboarding. They don’t require having to learn all the latest tricks to have fun and present a sustainable form of skateboarding that won’t peak and trough in popularity.
To differentiate between types of skateboards, they are generally categorised into three styles: ‘skateboard’, ‘longboard’, and ‘cruiser’. Skateboards are the traditional kind, geared towards performing tricks and stunts. They come in many variations but are all designed to do the same thing. Longboards are generally a minimum of 36 inches and really are built for speed over versatility. For this reason, downhill racing is popular using longboards.
The final kind is a cruiser, which is smaller in length than a longboard, but bigger than a regular skateboard. They aren’t really designed for performing tricks and are easier to learn how to use than a regular skateboard. Cruisers also come in a lot of variations, such as different wheel or deck sizes, but they are still small and light enough to be able to carry around. These cruisers are firmly planted on the skateboard scene and are very popular with long-term users. Cruisers remain a growth category in the skateboard market.
We have a wide range of skateboards, longboards and cruisers available at our London store. To get here, walk for ten minutes from Gloucester Road underground station. Exit the station and head north for about ten minutes, and you’ll find Slick Willies on the left. Our shop is open from 10am to 6:30pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 12pm to 5pm on Sundays. If you’re coming by car, you can approach Gloucester Road from the east or west on the Cromwell Road (A4) or High Street Kensington (A315). Feel free to give us a call on 020 7225 0004 during our store opening hours if you want to speak to us.

Better-Extreme: London’s Largest Indoor Skate Park

We recently got in touch with the good people over at Extreme – officially London’s largest indoor skate park and a state-of-the-art climbing zone! With 900 square metres of skate ramp terrain, Better Extreme is the new must-visit place on the London skating scene. Based in Mayesbrook Park between Dagenham and Barking, Extreme has been designed and built by experts for enthusiasts of all abilities – including amazing features such as London’s very first key-hole Birchwood bowl.

As expected, the facility is fully kitted out with; a half-pipe, spine transfer, pyramids, stair sets and banked ramps and more. One of the best things about the Better Extreme Skatepark is that you do not have to be a professional to enjoy your time there! The aforementioned offerings are spread across three different zones to accommodate beginners, professionals, street skaters and ramp riders alike.

The Park opened its doors earlier this summer. On the 6th – 7th of June, the Extreme team welcomed amateur skateboarders and BMXers from across the city to celebrate the launch, inviting them to put the park through its paces and compete in an Am Jam. The weekend also saw live music, great DJs and evening socials for everyone who took part.

We caught up with Jamie Ross, head of the Extreme brand to discuss the new space.

  1. How do you feel about the new space?

    I couldn’t be happier with the work that Dave and guys at Carve Skate Park Designs have produced. They have captured everything that I asked them to and some!

    What I love about the park is that there is something for everyone and you can quite literally skate around the whole place without having to push! One of the big areas of focus for us is that there is progression, people can start from the front where it’s nice and flat and progress steadily into the bowl when they are ready and take in a bit of street too of course!

  2. From when you were growing up, to now, what are your thoughts on skate culture in London? And how much has it changed?

    I grew up in the north east and it was a very different scene all together I pretty much had to skate on my own. It was great watching video tapes of the scene in London and it was what got me into street skating (and a lack of transition where I lived).

    There is a real edginess in London which is so good, it really draws out creativity in people. It has become really raw and less like our counterparts over the pond. I think this is something great and unique within UK skating and gives us a distinct global identity.

    The skating today is just crazy. I can’t even imagine doing half of what people are doing today, without dislocating a hip anyway!

    The thing that amazes me is that the culture and supportiveness in skating still remains and I’m continuing to meet some amazing people young and old and I love that.

  3. What impact do you think a space like yours will have on the skate scene in London and in the Borough of Barking and Dagenham specifically?
    We’re hoping that we can give people a place to skate, BMX, Scooter, Inline that people don’t have to sweep (as we do this) and a place for people to hang out.

    It’s also really important that we have a safe environment where parents can feel secure that their kids are going to be well supervised by friendly and supportive staff.

    We hope that we can start to develop opportunities for many more people to get into these activities and start to help grow and develop ‘extreme sports’ further.

    We’re also hoping to get into schools and to be able to give something different for kids to do rather than the usual school sports offering. We just want kids to give it a go and we want to help them with every step of the way.

    Because Better Extreme is part of a charitable social enterprise, it is really important to us that everything we do is for the benefit of the local community. Any financial surpluses are reinvested back into our facilities and services. It’s a really exciting time for us and a real opportunity to help increase the status and quality of skate parks and hopefully we’ll be able to roll out this model to other locations around the UK.

  4. What advice do you offer to new skaters coming up?

    Don’t give up, keep trying and the rewards are like nothing else. Listen to those who have been skating for a while it will help you a lot. Definitely learn the basics before trying to tre-flip off the bat.
    Most importantly just enjoy, there’s nothing else like it.

  5. Wish you much success, what are the future plans?

    We have another couple of parks in the pipeline, one in Greenwich and one in Waltham Forrest. We are also starting to look into developing a Foundation whereby we can offer financial and training grants to talented young sportsmen and women.

Follow Extreme on Facebook and Twitter to support the community! You can also book a session today!

Skateboard Buying Advice

Here we take you through what you need to consider when buying a skateboard or skateboard parts. We sell complete skateboards for kids and then we sell individual components, that make up a complete. These consist of the deck, trucks, wheels, bearings, grip-tape, risers and bolts.

Check out our buying advice videos below to help you when making a skateboard purchase:

 

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Skateboard Trick Tips

This is our skateboard trick tip guide where we take you through the various skateboard basics, helping you progress along the way. If you’re new to skateboarding this will be perfect to help you understand and then learn the basics.

 

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Our Facebook / Our Instagram / Skates & Ladders Facebook / Skates & Ladders Website.