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Old March 21st, 2011, 03:24 AM   #1
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Default Inline outdoor skates

Okok, so Im a quad skates lover through and through! but my boyfriend wants to buy inline skates. I plan on starting roller derby soon and he saw me all excited about skating, ordering skates, looking for helmets and pads... and he decided he wants to skate outdoors with me, wich will be good for me having extra time on skates and doing something together. anyway, he set his mind he wants inlines, but i dont know anything about them!

wich would be a good inline skating setup? any useful threads here i could read to help him choose his inlines? thanks in advance!
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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:19 AM   #2
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noone? :/
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Old March 24th, 2011, 12:41 AM   #3
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Probably look at "fitness" type inlines. I have a pair of Rollerblade brand fitness skates, with a "soft" boot. These worked well on rough outdoor trails as well as the rink (they don't get used now as I went back to quad skating). You won't need a really expensive skate to start with, but also don't go for the cheapest one. But the soft boots are better. I used to use the hard boot ones years ago and they were okay, but when I got the soft ones a few months ago, they were so much more comfortable. I think most fitness skates come with the soft boot these days.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 03:17 AM   #4
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How much money has he got to spend?

Top priority I'd say, is to get something with a (preferably one piece) aluminium frame. Plastic (aka composite) frames *suck* on inlines, they feel sort of ok, but they subtlety destroy any sense of stability and confidence. Changing to metal frames is a night and day difference.

r.e. Hard shell boots vs soft shell: I have both, and I don't find any comfort difference. But the hard shell boots are more supportive in the front, in that they stop the front of the foot from sliding sideways, but I only notice that when doing slalom tricks. Hard shell boots (generally) have removable/washable liners too. Soft shell boots are a bit lighter too in general. Hard shell boots are generally more expensive, since they are a bit niche these days, only slalom or vert skating folks really need the extra support.

Hockey skates are another animal again, generally very light, not much padding, but hard shell (for puck protection as much as foot support). 2nd hand hockey skates seem to go for very little money.

Frame length is the other big thing to consider:
- Shorter frames = more maneuverable
- Longer frames = higher stability at speed, and can take bigger wheels for better handling of the rough stuff.

Anywhere you can go on quads, 80mm wheels will be fine, but the bigger the wheel the more comfy they get on the rough stuff, and faster, but harder to cope with as a newbie, and the longer frame needed to accept them gets harder to steer.

Peruse inlinewarehouse.com & skates.com to see what's available.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 01:39 PM   #5
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The two major 'outdoor' inline manufacturers are Rollerblade and K2, in the US. Other brands are harder to get. I'm not sure I completely agree with the need to get an aluminum frame. However, if your going a little upscale and spending over $200.00, then the aluminum frames are more rigid and so more responsive. If you're going under $200, then it may not matter. The plastic looking frames from these companies are actually composites and still work comparably if you need to save money.

I've skated on hockey skates, regular inlines, pre-speed skates, up to custom speed skates. I'm presently mostly using a pre-speed skate from rollerblade as I often skate with my daughter, and that's what she uses. My custom speed skate is simply too fast to match speeds with her. This works for us. We both use a Rollerblade Tempest 90. It skates similar to a speed skate but more maneuverable and with a comfy boot. While slower than a speed skate, they still go quite fast on a bike trail and we can still draft a lot of bikes. The frame length on these is 11.25 inches (a speedskate frame is about 13 inches and a regular skate is about 10.5 inches). These skates will be faster than most of the quad skates I see on my skating trail (but I know next to nothing about quad skates). Skating speeds with these on a bike trail are 12 to 15 mph and peak speed is just over 20mph. A speed skate would be 3 to 5 mph faster for a non-athlete, like me. I prefer Rollerblade over K2 as the Rollerblade softboot has better foot hold both in the heel and the front of the boot and so works better. (I've owned both brands.)

A regular skate, with 10.5 inch frame (or so) will be a 2 or 3 mph slower and maybe match outdoor quad speeds better.

I don't recommend roller hockey skates for bike trails unless you plan to play hockey a lot. They're great for roller hockey but lack the forward speed on a bike trail.

Finally, the 'urban' skates look really cool to me, though I've never used them. They're built for hard street use and trick skating. The frames are shorter, 10 inches or less, but are still built for roll and are a good choice for the skilled skater who likes a variety of skating skills (backwards, forwards, jumps, slalom, etc.) but still wants decent speed. They can be pricey and often use a hard boot. The hard boot is comfortable but resists injury. It may be a little heavier than the pre-speed boot and so there lies the difference. I skate mostly bike trails so went with the pre-speed skate. If I lived in a city or skated city streets, I'd likely go for a pair of these.

Hope that helps.

Mike B
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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Skates.com or Inlinewarehouse are both really good sites to research.
stick with K2 or Rollerblade avoid anything sold in kmarts and "Sporting goods" stores. (roller derby, bladerunner, mongoose, etc.)
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 08:24 PM   #7
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has he ever skated in his life?
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