What are recreational inline skates exactly and how should they be used?
Firstly, recreational inline skates are easy to use, fun and a great way to get in shape. They can be used for most skating activities and offer a good all-round skate.
If you are a beginner then no doubt you will come across the terms, inline and recreational inline skates and easily become confused.
Here’s a quick comparison between both types of skate:
- Inline skates usually have five or even more wheels on each skate and are more suited for speed skating.
- Inline speed skates have light, short boots with large wheels designed to reach and maintain higher speeds.
- They are manufactured for fast, straight skating and are not well suited to recreational skating, ice hockey, or trick skating.
- Recreational inline skates on the other hand are the most versatile and generic of skate styles.
- Recreational inline skates have medium-sized wheels and are intended mostly for skating over moderate distance and providing healthy leisure pursuit.
- Inline skates have small wheels, and often have grind plates and areas of reinforcement on the sides, toes and between the wheels to make sliding along various obstacles easier.
In the UK, recreational skates are available in size ranges: UK4 to UK12.
HOT TIP: Retailers recommend that you order one size up from your normal shoe size. This helps to increase comfort and reduce painful chaffing and blisters.
Another variation of the 2 skates discussed above is the aggressive skate, or street skate, which are designed with smaller wheels and stiffer boots, suitable for performing tricks similar to those of skateboarding, such as grinds and jumps.
Some measure of protection in the form of elbow, knee, and hand pads along with a helmet should be worn by all skaters, whatever the style of their skate and skating.
Whether you are looking for skates to suit your lifestyle or simply shopping for clothes and protection to make your skating experience both stylish and safe, an online or local skate shop should be able to outfit you properly and give you the right advice.
As a rule of thumb, good recreational skate stores should offer from budget to top of the range and from beginner to expert. They should also carry replacement stoppers, wheels and other accessories.
Make sure that any skates you choose have brakes, and remember that wheels can be swapped out to increase speed as your skill improves.
Beginners should avoid speed and aggressive skates as their lack of brakes may pose a health and safety issue.