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 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 InlineSkates.us,
you can compare inline skate specifications and shop for inline skates
from selected skate manufacturers.