CHOOSING YOUR INLINE SKATES
Our full line-up of inline skates is guaranteed to keep you rolling from dawn 'til dusk. How to choose your skates is the next question. We stock inline skates for men, women and children and cater to all skill levels. In-line skating is becoming more and more popular and falls among one of the most popular summer sporting activities. Whether part of a team, event or going solo, there are a few considerations to make when choosing the right pair on in-lines. Several criteria should be considered such as your skill level, style of skating, size of wheels, boot liner, type of frame, quality of bearings and so on. Take a look at the information that we've provided below, hopefully we'll help shed some light on the decision making process.
SKATERS' SKILL LEVEL
The equivalent skill level of a skater as it relates to choosing the proper inline skates can range from beginner to expert with intermediate, advanced intermediate, and advanced thrown in between. Just like any equipment for your sporting endeavors, there is a variety of equipment available. Entry level skates will tend to be made with a plastic shell and have smaller wheels and lower grade bearings. As the quality of a skate increases to compliment a skaters skill level, skaters will realize the benefits of better components in the construction and materials of the frame, bearings, wheels and boots. Just like anything sports gear you'll want to match your ability and activity level with the type of skate. Look into purchasing an inline skate that best matches your ability or slightly better to enable you to grow into it.
Fitness Inline Skates
Modern inline skates were originally designed to be used for fitness training during the off season for ice hockey players, by ice hockey players. Today, fitness skates are designed specifically for those individuals who seek to utilize their skates for getting in shape, or skating very frequently. In a nutshell, fitness skates are high performance recreational skates. Their design is similar in practically every aspect, with the exception being that they're geared towards individuals who skate longer distances. Variances between recreational and fitness skates exist in the bearings, wheel size, and overall weight. Fitness skates will typically have faster bearings and larger wheels to generate speed for longer skates.
Additionally, skate weight is lower for this same reason. Fitness skate boots will likely be more comfortable due to liner construction, as well as circulate air better via integrated ventilation ducts. Fitness skates offer numerous advantages when it comes to exercise, most notably, keeping the sport exciting! Skating is a fast-paced, exciting activity that offers a lot more than your treadmill or yoga ball will. Furthermore, fitness skating is a low impact activity that will generate little wear-and-tear on your joints and bones. Also, fitness skating can burn as many calories as running. The list of benefits is long, but the bottom line is that inline skating is a great fitness activity. If you plan on using your skates to get in shape via long, fast skating adventures, then fitness skates are likely the best option for you.
The most popular type of inline skate is the recreational inline skate. Designed for anyone looking to simply go out and enjoy all that inline skating offers. Recreational skates can be used for a quick skate around the neighborhood, a buzz down your local bike trail or any way in which you choose to stay fit. Unless you're in need of a specific skate type, a recreational skate is going to be the most likely selection for you. Recreational skates are offered in a variety of models, from a number of manufacturers, and for all levels of skaters.
Skate materials, closure systems, and features will vary from skate to skate. Recreational skates will typically have a soft boot construction. This type of boot is constructed of reinforced mesh and cloth with hard plastic cuffs in the back for support. Soft boot construction allows for a more comfortable skate that is also lighter and more breathable. Back in the day, inline skates were constructed of uncomfortable, hard plastic shells. Over the years, this construction was abandoned in favor of the previously described soft boot style. Recreational skates will also feature a number of different closure systems. Standard lacing, ratchet buckles, and power assisted (Quick Lace) systems are some of the options you'll typical in a recreational skate.
Inline Speed Skates/Racing Skates
For the serious skater who is looking for competition and fitness, racing skates offer the best of both worlds. Racing skates are the fastest skates available due to the use of advanced inline skating technology. The purpose of their design is simple: Go fast...Really Fast! If you're interested in a simple stroll around the neighborhood this isn't the option for you. Racing skates are very lightweight, have bearings that are either ranked very high on the ABEC scale, or they're Titanium, Ceramic, or Swiss. They also utilize a maximum five wheel chassis setup and no brake. Boot design is much like a shoe with a soft boot reinforced with carbon fiber.
Additionally, the cuff is lower because a taller boot means more weight. Wheels are typically very large in diameter to give the racer more speed and better acceleration. Also, the frame of a racing skate is made of either carbon fiber or aluminum to further reduce the skate weight and increase skating performance. When it comes to racing skates, the bottom line is that they're designed for speed and nothing else. They are very efficient, lightweight and smooth, with the sole purpose of getting the skater from point A to point B faster than anyone else.
Kids´ Inline Skates
Kids´ in-line skates are characterized by their adjustable nature that can accommodate several foot sizes from 29 - 41 (EU sizes) and are known for having softer, smaller wheels with diameters ranging from 64-76 mm for greater stability and slower performance. These skates are typically equipped with a Quick Lace system for easier handling.
Urban Skates/Street Skates
In recent years, a new skate type has gained in popularity. Urban skates, also referred to as Street skates, are essentially a hybrid of Recreational and Aggressive style skates. Skates found in this category offer the look and feel of an Aggressive style skate with the functionality for longer skating ventures, like a Recreational skate. Urban skates feature a wheel and bearing setup like one you would expect to find on a recreational skate (wheels 82mm or larger), but a boot design that can withstand tricks, jumps, and whatever other type of beating you want to throw at it while you're skating down the street. To aid in faster and easier cornering, the frames on urban skates are shortened so you get the speed of the larger wheels but the ease of cornering a shorter frame. These skates often come without a brake attached but the brake system will typically be found in the box and can be easily installed.
Roller Hockey Inline Skates
At the risk of pointing out the obvious, Roller Hockey skates are designed for…wait for it…hockey. Roller Hockey is one of the fastest growing sports for people of all ages and as a result, roller hockey skates have become immensely popular. This however isn't a huge surprise when you factor in that the popularity of inline skates is attributed to two hockey players. Their desire to train for ice hockey when ice was not readily available has evolved into a sport for all ages and genders a global level.
Roller hockey is a fast paced, high energy game that requires less equipment with more action than ice hockey! Most local indoor roller rinks offer roller hockey leagues for every one. The design of roller hockey skates is very similar to ice hockey skates. Boots are made with reinforced leather and stitching, with some using additional material such as carbon fiber or plastic to enhance the boot. The fit and feel is also similar to an ice hockey skate, so the transition for ice hockey players is practically seamless. Most roller hockey frames are made of airplane grade aluminum that provides increased durability and a lower weight.
The brake can be a very, very important part of an inline skate, especially for beginners. Almost all inline skates will come with a brake although some specific models of skates will not come with brakes.
Skates with a Brake
Brakes are found on nearly every recreational and fitness skate. Typically, the brake will come attached to the right skate, but is often interchangeable between skates. This is done so that left-foot dominant skaters can switch the brake to the left skate.
Skates without a Brake
Although this may seem to be a bad idea for beginner and novice skaters, some skates do not offer a braking system. Aggressive skates, roller hockey skates, and race skates are just some of the skate styles that do not offer a brake system. The reason for this is that brake systems on these types of skates tend to get in the way of performance and skaters in these disciplines tend to be more confident in their skating.