Inline skating (often called rollerblading) is a fun and invigorating activity that has lots of health benefits. Rollerblading is a hybrid of roller skating and ice skating, with unique features; one can go a lot faster with inline skates on any flat surface than roller skates, allowing for an excellent outdoor workout. There are a number of new and used inline skates and related sporting equipment available for purchase online.
The Benefits of Inline Skating
Regular rollerblading has a number of health benefits, including cardiovascular, muscle toning and core strength. Skating engages the large muscle groups of the thighs, hips and glutes, making rollerblading a great way to tone the lower body. Skating on a line of wheels helps to develop balance and coordination. Overall, rollerblading is an excellent low-impact workout that can burn lots of calories.
However, to reap the full benefits of inline skating, it's important to have the ideal pair of skates for the type of rollerblading that will be favored. Fortunately, there are a variety of different rollerblade types and styles for every taste and preference:
Types of Inline Skates
From the casual user to the speed skater, there's an inline skate for every approach. Consider these different types of skates for your specific rollerblading wants, needs and goals:
Recreational Inline Skates
This type refers to basic inline skates for the novice rollerblader who will be doing so mainly for fun and recreation. The hallmark of these skates is a stiff plastic boot that is lined with a soft interior for comfort, however some feature a soft outer boot. Recreational style inline skates are the most prevalent type in use and just about every brand carries this type of skate.
Fitness skates take the recreational model to the next level. They are constructed for going longer distances at greater speeds and have a lighter construction style and weight. The boot features better ventilation to keep the feet comfortable during longer, more vigorous skating sessions, and they often have bigger wheels than recreational models, allowing for faster skating speeds.
Rollerblading Trick Skates
Trick skates allow for even more aggressive inline skating than fitness models. Trick skates are for skaters who lean toward the skateboarding world and love to jump, ride rails, and even use half-pipes. These rollerblades feature a more rigid, durable boot and harder, smaller wheels constructed to withstand high velocity moves and potential wear and tear on the skate from extreme skating.
Urban Inline Skates
Urban inline skates combine the characteristics of both trick skates and recreational models for a skate suited to both aggressive and casual rollerblading. Urban skates feature a strong, reinforced boot as well as the classic wheel frame, making them an excellent choice for those skaters who want the best of both skating extremes without having to change their skates.
Roller hockey rinks offer a different take on ice hockey that some inline skaters love. Hockey inline skates resemble ice hockey skates in that the boot is often constructed out of durable leather along with a much harder lower portion for added reinforcement during vigorous hockey play. The rear wheels of hockey inline skates tend to be bigger than the front wheels in order to allow fast turns and ease of movement during play.
Speed skates are for racing and have an additional fifth wheel - one more than most typical four-wheeled skates. The longer wheel base brings added speed and quickness to the inline skating experience. Speed skates also have a lighter frame and a soft, durable boot, which helps the skater to have even more speed and agility.
Selecting Inline Skates
When choosing a pair of inline skates, the wearer should consider the following:
Movement and Desired Speed
Both wheel diameter and bearing type contribute to the agility of rollerblades. Smaller wheels offer stability for more aggressive, trick skating styles, while bigger wheels on racing skates facilitate faster speeds. The wheel bearings have number ratings from 1 to 5 with higher numbers generally indicating better performance.
Braking and Safety
While many street rollerblades have a rear braking system, hockey and speed skates generally do not. Beginners should start with a pair of skates with a built-in braking system. All skaters should invest in quality protective gear as well; just as skateboarders need knee pads, wrist guards, elbow pads and a helmet for optimal safety, this equipment can offer comprehensive protection for the rollerblader.
Buying inline skates online is easier when the buyer knows what they are looking for. Performing a search for the style and features of the skate desired can yield both used and new options.