When you start roller-skating, you have to tackle the big question: quad or inline? Both types of skates have pros and cons, and both types of skaters will argue that their preferred style is superior. But what about the skaters who want it all?
Quad Skates vs. Inline Skates
If you’re switching skating styles, you need to understand how they’re different. A quad skate has less ankle support and can’t pick up as much speed, but its toe stop makes for intuitive breaking and its square wheel design gives skaters firmer footing. Inline skates are made for speed, fully supporting the ankle as skaters zip around the rink. But while inline skates have good front-to-back balance, they lack the side-to-side balance of quad skates, which may cause balance issues when making the switch.
Making the Trade: Quad and Inline Skates
If you’re switching from quad skates to inlines or vice versa, remember these tips:
- Watch your balance. Quad skates have side-to-side balance while the wheel alignment of inlines gives skaters better front-to-back balance. New inline skaters tend to bend their ankles inward, while new quad skaters can pitch forward if they’re not careful.
- Stop (in the name of skating). There’s nothing quite as terrifying as that moment when you brake with your toe stop . . . only to realize there isn’t one. Instead of pitching forward on the floor (and risking injury to yourself and others), practice the stopping motion before you hit the floor. Quad skates have a toe stop, while inline skates have a heel stop. Because inline skates are built for speed and agility, some lack a brake entirely. Practice the T-stop if you’re wearing inline skates without a heel stop.
- Practice patience. No matter how good of a skater you are, there’s always a learning curve when switching styles. Have patience and keep practicing. In the end, you’ll gain mastery of both kinds of wheels (and get the bragging rights that goes along with it). In the meantime, have fun with it.
At Skatetown USA, we have a full selection of quad and inline skates. Rent a new style the next time you come skate and let the learning begin.