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What are Inline Skates?

Posted by Carly Quick

What are Inline Skates?

Poll

Why do you Inline Skate?

  •   Aggressive
  •   Freeride/Recreation
  •   Fitness/Commute
  •   Speed/Downhill

Inline skates, which many people refer to as "rollerblades", are used for various types of inline skating.  Rollerblade is actually one of the first brands of inline skate that were made and there are many more brands of fantastic inline skates available now.  Inline skates are inspired by ice skates. The average inline skate has four or five wheels arranged in a single line. Most inline skates have a stop or brake attached to the frame on the heel, rather than a toe stop, which is more commonly seen on quad or roller skates.

Inline skates date back to the late 1700’s, and were designed to have a similar look and feel of ice skates that skaters could be used in warm weather. The company Rollerblade offered the first commercially available inline skate. Inline roller skates are preferred by roller skaters of all levels and types. Inline skates have a boot that is attached to a frame, which keep the wheels in place. Bearings allow for the wheels to freely move around an axle. Inline skates, or rollerblades, normally have a rubber brake on the heel. The brake is typically on one foot, most commonly placed on the frame of the right skate.

Types of Inline Skating

Various types of inline skating have become popular over the years. Aggressive, Speed/Downhill, Fitness/Commuter, and Freeride/Recreation skating have the largest following of inline skate users. Inline skates also offer an alternative to the use of ice skates for ice hockey players who want to practice outside of the rink. The demand for inline skates for hockey is primarily due to the fact that ice is not always readily available, and some hockey players simply prefer inline skating for hockey.

Parts of an Inline Skate

The best inline skate is a light one – the less weight, the better speed and performance. The major parts of inline skates are the boots, frames (with or without brakes), wheels, and bearings. Take a look at the sections below to learn more about each of these parts!

Inline Skate Information and Recommendations

How Do I Choose an Inline Boot?

Inline skates boots are commonly made out of three materials, either: leather, carbon fiber, and/or fiberglass. Many inline skaters prefer a high boot, as it gives more ankle support. This style is ideal for a beginner inline skater or anyone who feels more comfortable with increased ankle support. Some inline skaters prefer a lower cut boot, which allows for more movement and flexibility in rotating the ankles. The harder the boot, the more protection a skater has. Harder boots are ideal because they protect the foot against impact, and also provide more control of the skate and its speed and direction. Harder inline skates are more shock absorbent, especially important in outdoor skating. Check out some of our favorites below and you can click here to see our full line of inline boots.

Aggressive

nameThe Seba CJ Wellsmore carbon and fiberglass boot was designed and tested with Seba's pro team. The CJ Wellsmore Aggressive Skates have a uni-mold design. The boot and liner are one-piece, providing near perfect fit while still retaining excellent comfort and support. Aggressive skaters will love any of the skates in the CJ line!

 

Speed/Downhill

Inline speed skates typically have carbon fiber boots, providing excellent support.

Strut BootThe new Luigino Strut Boot is even better than their original, and very popular, Strut Boot. This amazing speed skate boot features a blended carbon fiber shell and is now available in 4 vibrant colors! Atom has even upgraded to Nano Buckles and waxed laces for improved fit ensuring your heel will be locked into place from the very first time you lace them up.

 

Fitness/Commuter

Inline fitness or commuter skates typically have mid to high boots, providing excellent support. Depending on your exact needs, you are sure to find a skate to give you the support you need for long skates and the speed you want.

nameThe Seba Marathon Skate is a favorite for fitness skaters. This mid cut boot is designed to give you the extra edge you need to increase your speed! The carbon fiber boot makes it light and the premium insoles make it super comfortable.

 

Freeride/Recreation

Recreational inline skates normally have a softer boot, in order to maximize comfort.

nameWe love the Seba FR1 Skate and their whole FR line. We promise it's not just because you can get them in this awesome Devaskation Orange. The high quality, Seba FR1 boots are consistently skater's top choice for freestyle, slalom, and dance. This wider cut boot, new FR liner, and premium insole makes them more comfortable from the start, and the 4 position plastic cuff allows you to wear them as tight as you like, but still makes getting them on and off easy.

 

 

How Do I Choose an Inline Frame?

Inline skates frames are typically made out of plastic. Serious or competitive speed skate frames are often comprised of carbon fiber, aluminum, or magnesium, as the extra tough materials protect the foot and skate while in demanding skating situations.

Many inline skates have a hard rubber heel brake on the heel of one or even both skates. In the case of one brake, it is typically found on the right skate. When a skater lifts their toes, they force the heel brake to the ground that allows them to completely stop or to slow down.

Aggressive

Street UFS FramesThe Street UFS Frames are what you'll see on Seba's CJ skates for a reason, they work! These frames are sturdy and designed to give you the best aggressive skating experience. They are a perfect fit for small wheels and antirockers so you can nail it every time. Get yours in Black, Blue, Green, Orange, Purple, Red, White or Yellow!

 

Speed/Downhill

Pilot Striker Mark II FrameThe Pilot Striker Mark II Frame will give you the utmost confidence to take it to the next level. This newly designed frame is lighter, stiffer and more affordable than the previous version so you get a better frame at a better price! Designed by EO frames and available in 3/4 wheel configurations with wheel sizes from 84-110 as well as an 3 wheel 125mm option. All of the Striker Mark II frames are extruded out of 6000 series aircraft aluminum and weigh less than 200 grams.

 

Fitness/Commuter

Seba Marathon FrameThe Seba Marathon Frame are better than you could imagine! They are super light so your feet stay happy while also giving you the power to skate for long distances. Get this awesome frame to fit four 100mm or 110mm wheels!

 

 

Freeride/Recreation

Seba 4D FramesThe Seba 4D Flat Frame will revolutionize your own Skating style. The newly designed 4D Flat frames now have three cross braces which makes them ultra strong! These matte black frames were designed just for freestyle skaters and are available in 243mm with 165mm Mount.

 

 

How Do I Choose Inline Wheels?

The most important element of an inline skate’s performance is the wheels. Devaskation carries a variety of inline wheels! Many indoor inline skaters often prefer harder wheels, as soft wheels can make for slower speed indoors. Outdoor inline skaters tend to prefer softer wheels, which have more give than harder ones, and take things like potholes and divots on outdoor surfaces with little to no impact. The harder the wheel, the more durable it is, but not necessarily faster. Softer wheels have improved grip over hard wheels and make for a smoother skate if one is on a rough terrain with potholes or bumps. Inline skate wheel sizes vary in diameter and profile, depending on the skate style. Most all inline skate wheels are made out of urethane, a durable plastic. Different types of rubber and plastic have been used in making inline skate wheels, but many have shown to wear down quickly or create resistance for an inline skater when compared to urethane.

Overall, inline skates with bigger wheels are faster than skates with smaller wheels. Aggressive inline skaters typically prefer the smallest size wheels. Moving up in wheel size, with the wheel size increasing by approximately 2 millimeters, the following skating styles are in order of wheel size from smallest to largest: aggressive, freeride/recreation, fitness/commuter, and speed/downhill skating (speed skating having the largest wheels). There are pros and cons in relation to wheel size. Although larger wheels are ‘faster’, it takes a skater more energy to start moving. Conversely, smaller wheels accelerate more quickly and tend to be easier to maneuver. These are things to consider when looking for the perfect skate to fit your preferred skating style and needs.

Another factor to think about when choosing inline skate wheels is how many you want to have on each skate. Aggressive inline skates have as little as 2 wheels, while some speed/downhill skates have 5 or 6. The more wheels an inline skate has, the more stability they have at high speeds.

Aggressive

Seba Street Aggressive WheelsThe Seba Street Aggressive Wheels are a must for aggressive skaters. These 60mm wheels are 88A and come in 2 colors. Don't forget to complete your setup with Seba's Anti Rockers!

 

 

Speed/Downhill

Check out our Best Wheels for Inline Speed Skating Article for more awesome wheel options.

Atom Boom Magic Now you can have all the performance of the number one road wheel in the world on the track with the new Atom Boom Magic Wheels. With MPC urethane and Inline Encompassed Technology. These wheels are sure to dominate the track!

 

Atom Boom RoadThe Atom Boom Road is just one of the latest additions to the Atom inline wheel lineup. The Boom Road is a banded wheel at an amazing price point, allowing you to perform at your peak at an affordable price. These wheels are an X-Firm hardness for the perfect combination of grip and speed.

 

Fitness/Commuter

Check out our Best Wheels for Inline Fitness and Commuter Skating Article for more awesome wheel options.

Atom MatrixThe Atom Matrix wheels represents a MAJOR overhaul utilizing Atom's X-Flex core and proprietary 'Insane Thane' formula. Insane-Thane surpasses ALL previous Atom Wheels formulas. Trust yourself and skate at speeds and angles recently only possible in your dreams. The Atom Matrix Outdoor Wheels are durable and made to last on rough surfaces. Get these in 90mm or 100mm to work best for your fitness/commuter skating style!

 

Seba Speed WheelsThe Seba Speed Wheels are what you need for a fast and smooth ride! Who doesn't want a wheel that excels in both durability and grip? These wheels will have you flying down any surface in no time! These come in 100mm so you'll be sure to get the workout and distance you crave!

 

Freeride/Recreation

Check out our Best Wheels for Inline Freeride and Recreational Skating Article for more awesome wheel options

 

Seba Street InvaderThe Seba Street Invader Wheels are designed for slalom and freestyle skating. The Seba Street Invader wheels have a wider profile then previous Seba wheels, providing a bigger footprint for greater grip and control. These awesome wheels come in 4 sizes and 11 vibrant colors!

 

Luminous LED Wheels Light up your world with these amazing Luminous LED Wheels from Seba! As you cruise, these LED wheels light up and cause the exterior color to glow magnificently, illuminating your every move! These wheels are available in EIGHT different colors with a hardness rating of 85A.

 

 

How Do I Choose Inline Bearings?

Bearings allow inline skate wheels to rotate in a smooth fashion. The ideal bearing for an inline skate doesn’t have to be expensive. When purchasing bearings, the most important factor is arguably that the bearings have waterproof and/or dirt proof seals. If debris or moisture gets into a bearing, the wheels will not rotate smoothly, making for a rough skate! Lightly lubricating inline skate bearings with a tiny bit of light grease or gel is recommended on occasion to maintain a smooth skating experience.

Ball bearings are sometimes mistaken as a crucial element to the speed of an inline skater. This misconception is debunked by the fact that brand new, clean inline skate bearings only contribute to about 2% of the speed or rolling resistance of the skate. Check out our guide to bearings article to learn more about the bearings you need!

Aggressive

Seba ILQ9 Pro BearingsThe Seba ILQ9 Pro Bearings are favored by pros everywhere. Superbly engineered by Seba for a super smooth ride.

 

 

Speed/Downhill

Bones Swiss Ceramic BearingsThe Bones Swiss Ceramic Bearings are one (if not the) best bearings you can buy. The Cerbec ceramic balls are much lighter, harder, stronger, and longer lasting than the finest steel ball bearings. With these bearings, you'll go faster and farther while they resist dirt and moisture to keep you going.

 

Fitness/Commuter

Bionic Swiss BearingsThe Bionic Swiss Bearings feature titanium ball bearings and utilize shields to protect the internal parts of the bearing from dirt and liquids, enhancing their longevity. The shields help contain the lubricant in the bearing, and they are fixed to the outer ring and have a non-rubbing seal to the inner ring. For new or replacement bearings, the bionic swiss bearings are a great choice!

 

Seba Storm Wheel BearingsThe Seba Storm Wheel Bearings are both dust and water resistant as well as rustproof. This set of high quality bearings will give you years of skating pleasure with no slowdown at all. These bearings are constructed to the highest tolerances for skaters who demand the very best.

 

Freeride/Recreation

Bionic Abec-7 BearingsThe Bionic Abec-7 Bearings are lubricated with speed oil and require no break-in period. These bearings are rated abec-7 for awesome performance. Delrin cage reinforced. Great for skaters of all experience and made to last!

 

 

Yolo Abec-7 BearingsThe Yolo Abec-7 Bearings are made and designed by some of the world's best skaters, specifically for the high performance and longevity demanded by true competitive skaters. All Yolo Bearings are ultrasonic cleaned, pre broken-in, oiled, and packaged by hand at Yolo Headquarters in Scottsdale, AZ.

 

 

DevaSkation has a huge selection of inline skates from top brands such as Luigino, Mota, and Seba. Now that you're an expert on all the types and parts of inline skates, happy shopping!

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