Roller Skating: Quads vs. Inline Skates
Roller skates have been around since the eighteenth century, but were not particularly popular. As the popularity of the past time grew, sports were invented around it and the roller skate itself evolved. The invention of quad skates increased the range of different sports that people were able to play. The quad allowed for more manoeuvrability as opposed to the speed that inlines offered. If you’re struggling to decide which type of skates to go for, then these tips will help you decide.
What Type of Skating Do You Want To Do?
If you’re new to skating, then you need to consider why you want to skate, as the different types of skates are used for different reasons. Generally speaking, if you want to play roller derby or figure skate, then quads are going to be the best for you, whereas if you plan on racing, then inlines are your skate. Generally it is considered that inline skates are better for outdoor skating as they can avoid and overcome obstacles easier than quads because of their width. You can use inlines indoors as well, but quads are not suited to outdoor skating.
How’s Your Balance?
Quads are heavier, but they offer more stability than inlines, so may be better for beginners. This stability will also mean that your ankles will feel more supported, though inline skates offer more rigid support for the feet and ankles and as the wheels extend further forward and backwards on the foot, it may be easier to balance.
The braking systems on inline and quads are different too. The quad has a toe brake, whereas inline skates have a heel brake. Some pro inline skaters remove the heel brakes and use other means of stopping. So when you choose your skate you should take into consideration which feels more comfortable for stopping. Bear in mind, however, that you will probably get used to the stopping mechanism once you are accustomed to skating.
Wearing proper safety equipment such as a helmet, knee, elbow and wrist pads are essential for skating and even more so for beginners who are more likely to fall over.
Some sports are specifically suited to one type of skate than the other, but others have been adapted so you can use either type. Roller figure skating and rhythm skating is still predominantly quad skating, but the use of inlines is growing within social skating. Speed skaters mostly use inline skates in their competitive events, but there are also quad speed events too. Roller derby-ers mainly use quads, but the refs are generally on inline skates. Roller hockey has divisions for both types of skates, and if you play socially it’s not uncommon to find a mix of the two. This is also true for roller soccer. So the sport that you want to play doesn’t necessarily confine your choice when it comes to skating.
If you don’t fancy playing a sport and just want to learn how, then depending on whether you want to skate indoors or out, quads are better for manoeuvrability and inlines are better for speed.