Roller skating, roller blading and ice skating are all sports with their own specialised equipment. From the most basic skates or blades to the array of supporting equipment, there is plenty to choose from for both amateur enthusiasts and professionals. Choosing the right skating equipment can have a big impact on overall performance and enjoyment of these activities. To select the proper equipment, consider its main use and choose models appropriate to your skill level.Ice Skating
Those interested in ice skating need to make a fundamental choice early on between figure skates, hockey skates and speed skates. These ice skate types all differ in design and materials, according to their function on the ice. Figure skates are usually made of leather with a thick toe and a sharp blade. They are built for accuracy and allow the most freedom of movement, supporting jumps, spins and quick turns. The figure skates are also the top pick for recreational skating, though those who do not plan to compete can also use more affordable leather alternatives.Hockey Skating
Hockey skates are thicker and contain shock absorbers to withstand the challenges of a full-contact sport. Even though they are lighter than figure skates, they include shin guards, ankle guards and other protective features which make them less flexible. Hockey skates are a good choice for speed as they are faster than figure skates and allow sprinting, but those whose real desire is maximum velocity should opt for a model of speed skates. Light and fast, speed skates are the priciest and hence best for those taking up speed skating professionally.Skates with Wheels
For fun off the ice, you have the option between roller skates and roller blades. Roller blades have more versatility and offer many sports options. Different wheel sizes and wheel spacing allow combinations of speed and maneuverability which users can cleverly utilize. Roller skates are suitable for roller dancing and roller derby.All Purpose Protective Gear
Both amateurs and professionals can also benefit from adding skating protective gear to their skating kit. Since falling from time to time is unavoidable, all skaters are advised to equip themselves with a set of wrist guards, knee guards and elbow guards. For sports use, advanced guards, as well as a helmet, might even be mandatory.