Inline Skate Guide

Inline skates have advanced a lot over the last few decades, with more setups and types of skate than ever before. When considering what type of skate is right for you, it can all seem a little overwhelming, and even advanced skaters can lose track of all the options and configurations available. So let's take a look at what goes into an ordinary inline skate, as well of the different types of skating and inline skate setups available:

Inline Skate breakdown at Extreme Skates

    What are the parts of an Inline Skate?

    • Cuff: The protective and supportive element that wraps around the top part of the skate, providing ankle stability.
    • Hinge Screw: Connects the cuff to the shell, allowing for movement.
    • Top Buckle: Positioned at the top of the skate, it’s a fastening mechanism used to secure the foot inside the boot.
    • 45° Buckle: An angled buckle that provides additional foot support.
    • Liner: The inner boot or padding that ensures comfort and cushioning for the foot.
    • Shell: The hard outer structure that houses other components and supports the foot.
    • Slider Protector: Attached to the side of the shell, it protects against wear during slides or falls.
    • Laces: Used to tighten and secure the liner around the foot.
    • Brake: Located at the rear of one skate, it’s used for slowing down or stopping.
    • Mounting Screws: These screws attach various components (frames, brakes, protectors) to each other or to the shell.
    • Frame: The frame is the structure that holds the wheels in place beneath the boot. Frames can come in various configurations depending on the type of skate.
    • Wheel: The round components that make contact with the ground, enabling movement.
    • Bearing: Allows the wheels to rotate freely on their axles.
    • Bearing Spacer: Positioned between bearings in a wheel assembly for stability and smooth rotation.

    What types of Inline Skates are there?

    • Fitness Skates: These are perfect for recreational skating, cardio workouts, and long-distance skating. They typically have a comfortable fit with a traditional 4-wheel setup and are great for beginners.
    • Urban Skates: If you’re into city cruising, freeride, or freestyle/slalom skating, urban skates are your go-to. They offer manoeuvrability and versatility on a range of terrain and are some of the most common skates on the market right now.
    • Aggressive Skates: Otherwise known as Park Skates, this setup is for those who love grinds, slides, airs, and ramps. Aggressive skates have reinforced frames, smaller wheels, and customised elements designed to aid in stunts.
    • SUV Skates: If you’re an off-road adventurer, SUV skates are built to handle rough terrain and extreme off-road skating. Fitted with large tires instead of traditional skate wheels, they're made to tackle the places traditional skates can't reach.
    • Racing Skates: Designed for speedskating, marathons, and downhill skating. These skates prioritise aerodynamics and performance. With an extended wheelbase and high performance wheels and bearings, these skates are all about shaving milliseconds off lap times.
    • Hockey Skates: Whether you’re playing competitive hockey or street hockey, these skates provide the necessary support and agility. Featuring reinforced boots and raised cuffs for ankle protection, they're all about control, grip, and roll.
    Types of Inline Skate setup
    What are the different boot types?
    • Soft Boots: Supreme comfort, lightweight, and integrated liners, these boots are generally more sneaker-like and will be mounted to the rest of the components.
    • Hard Boots: Enhanced durability and support, they will feature a hard outer shell with reinforced or replaceable components and a removable inner boot.
    • Blade & Walk (Step-In) Skates: Lightweight and without a liner, they are designed to work with everyday footwear, clamping around your shoes and ankles— making them convenient for transportation and commuting.
    • Hybrid Boots: Balanced support and flexibility, with integrated liners, Hybrids combine elements of both the soft and hard boot styles. They provide increased durability compared to soft boot skates and will often be made from high-impact materials such as carbon fibre for durability.
    • High Cut Boots: Offer increased support and structure, making them better for beginners. They reduce muscle fatigue and improve stability.
    • Low Cut Boots: Allow free ankle movement, they are focussed on performance and agility. Efficient power transfer and lightweight design means they are generally for expert skaters.
    Types of Inline Skate boot
    What are the differences between 3-wheel and 4-wheel inline skates?
    1. Number of Wheels:
      • 3-Wheel Inline Skates: Also known as tri-skates, these skates have three larger wheels compared to the conventional 4-wheel inline skate.
      • 4-Wheel Inline Skates: These skates have the standard four wheels and offer more stability with a lower centre of gravity.
    2. Wheel Size:
      • 3-Wheel Inline Skates: Typically equipped with larger wheels ranging from 100mm to 125mm in diameter.
      • 4-Wheel Inline Skates: Usually feature smaller wheels, ranging from 70mm to 90mm.
    3. Stability vs. Speed:
      • 3-Wheel Skates: While they provide extra speed due to the larger wheels, they are less stable than regular 4-wheel skates. They offer better maneuverability.
      • 4-Wheel Skates: These are better suited for those seeking extra stability rather than pure speed.

    Hopefully this gives you something to think about when looking at your next pair of skates. Remember, if you have any questions, Extreme Skates is always happy to offer more information. Hit us up via our handy chat bubble, or contact us by phone or email any time. Happy skating!