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Inline Skates


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inline skates Inline skates are roller skates that have four or five wheels arranged in one straight line rather than the two-in-front, two-in-back wheel configuration of quad roller skates.  For braking purposes, they usually have a heel stop instead of a toe stop.  Primitive inline skates were demonstrated as early as 1760, and the first inline skate design was patented by a French inventor in 1819.  Later in the 19th century, more maneuverable quad style skates were invented and quickly became popular.  It wasn't until about twenty years ago, during the 80s and 90s, that Rollerblade introduced new inline skate designs using modern materials.  These innovative inline skates rode a fresh wave of popularity with America's X-generation.

inline roller skating Inline skates are composed of a boot attached to a frame that holds the wheels in place.  The wheels contain bearings, which allow them to rotate freely around their axles.  A high boot is used, except in the case of speed skating, which uses a lower boot to allow for increased ankle inflection.  Recreational skating boots are soft, with shock absorbent padding, whereas hockey skate boots are harder.  Recreational skates generally use high-grade polyurethane frames; cheap inline skates are often made of other plastics.  Inline speed skates are constructed from carbon, extruded aluminum, or stamped aluminum.  Bearings enable the wheels to rotate smoothly; their precision is rated from 1 to 9, where 1 is lowest quality and 9 is highest quality. 

Several types of inline skates are available, including aggressive or street skates, recreational skates, hockey skates, and speed skates.  The outside diameter of the wheels depends on the skating style:  54-56 mm diameter wheels are used for aggressive skating, 68-72 mm wheels are used for artistic skating, 72-76 mm wheels for recreational skating, 59-80 mm for roller hockey, and 80-110 mm for speed skating.

Inline skating is a great form of exercise as well as an enjoyable activity.  Gear such as a helmet, wrist guards, and knee pads are recommended to protect against injury.  On, you can compare inline skate specifications and shop for inline skates from selected skate manufacturers.

Shop For Inline Skates

  • Hockey Giant
    This retailer of roller hockey and ice hockey equipment offers inline hockey skates, protective gear, and skating apparel.
  • Inline Warehouse
    Offers a broad selection of inline skates and accessories.

Inline Skate Manufacturers

  • Rollerblade
    Supplier of men's, women's, and kids' skates, as well as helmets and rollerblading gear.
  • K2 Skates
    Offers inline training skates, recreational and fitness skates, and junior skates.
  • TourHockey
    Features inline skates, ice skates, protective gear, and accessories.
  • Mission Hockey
    This hockey equipment manufacturer offers inline ice hockey and roller hockey skates.

Inline Skating Resources

  • Skate Safely (pdf)
    This Consumer Product Safety Commission publication offers basic skating gear checklists and safety tips.

Related Skating Website

  • Hockey Gear - ice hockey and roller hockey equipment.

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