Demystifying Inline Skating Disciplines: A Complete Guide

This article delves into the ten most popular inline skating disciplines, their history, skate models, notable skaters, events, and more.

We may earn a commission through affiliate programs if you click links in the Demystifying Inline Skating Disciplines article.

Exploring the Diverse Disciplines of Inline Skating

Inline skating is a beloved activity that brings people together, offering a delightful and freeing experience as you glide along, feeling the wind on your face. The world of inline skating encompasses a range of styles and disciplines to explore. This article delves into ten of the most popular inline skating disciplines, offering valuable information on their history, skate models, notable skaters, and significant events associated with each discipline.

Whether you’re a beginner seeking to learn more about the sport or an enthusiast looking to expand your knowledge, this article aims to provide valuable insights and enhance your understanding of inline skating. While we focus on the ten most popular disciplines in this article, it’s important to note that there are several more obscure inline skating disciplines, which we will cover in future articles. You can either scroll through the entire article to discover them all or utilize the table of contents below to jump to specific sections that interest you.

Table of Contents
  1. Fitness and Recreational Skating
  2. Aggressive Skating
  3. Slalom Skating
  4. Urban Skating
  5. Wizard Skating
  6. Speed Skating
  7. Marathon Skating
  8. Ultra Skating
  9. Downhill Skating
  10. Off Road Skating

Fitness and Recreational Skating

Fitness and Recreational Skating Inline Skating Disciplines

Recreational Skating on Rollerblade Brand Skates

Fitness inline skating is a form of skating focused on recreational and endurance aspects, promoting cardiovascular health and physical fitness. It involves skating on roads, bike lanes, or paved trails either alone or with friends. Fitness skaters often cover longer distances and skate more frequently. Fitness skating aims to maintain and improve fitness levels while enjoying the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and exploring the surrounding environment.

Related: The Best Recreational Inline Skates For Beginners

Fitness vs Recreational Skating
Fitness vs Recreational Skating Inline Skating Disciplines

Inline Skates for Fitness (left) and Recreational Skating (Right) are Similar

Fitness skating and recreational skating are two distinct inline skating disciplines. Recreational skating is focused on fun, socializing, and enjoying the experience of skating, while fitness skating is centered around improving physical fitness and endurance. Recreational skaters typically skate at a relaxed pace, exploring various locations, while fitness skaters aim for longer distances and engage in more challenging workouts. Fitness skaters often use specialized equipment to optimize their performance and achieve their fitness goals. Although there can be some overlap, the main difference lies in the purpose and approach toward skating.

Related: The 10 Best Inline Skates for Kids

Popular Fitness Skate Models
Popular Fitness Skate Models Inline Skating Disciplines

Powerslide Phuzion Argon (Left) and Rollerblade Macroblade (Right) Fitness Skates

Several popular fitness and recreational skate models are available, including the Rollerblade Zetrablade ($139), K2 FIT Series ($199 – $299), Powerslide Phuzion Series ($189 – $279), and Rollerblade Macroblade Series ($189 – $299). These skates offer comfort, stability, smooth ride, and various features suitable for different skating styles and skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skater, you can find a model that meets your needs and provides an enjoyable skating experience.

Related: Rollerblade Zetrablade Review: The Perfect Beginner Skate?

Frames and Wheels
Popular Fitness Skate Models Inline Skating Disciplines

Rollerblade Zetrablade (Left) and K2 FIT 84 BOA (Right) Recreational Skates

The most popular frames for fitness and recreational inline skating include 4x80mm and 3x100mm setups. These setups offer a balance between maneuverability and stability, or increased speed and better roll, respectively. As for wheels, sizes ranging from 80mm to 84mm are commonly used for recreational skating, while larger sizes from 90mm to 100mm are preferred for fitness skating. The choice of frames and wheels can vary depending on personal preference, skill level, and intended skating activities. It’s advisable to experiment with different setups and seek advice from experienced skaters to find the most suitable combination for your specific needs.

Related: The 15 Best Helmets for Inline Skating

Aggressive Skating

John Sullivan filming with Anthony Medina for Candy (Photo by Joseph Gammill) Inline Skating Disciplines

John Sullivan filming with Anthony Medina for Candy (Photo by Joseph Gammill)

Aggressive skating is an exciting and daring style of rollerblading that involves performing tricks and stunts on ramps, rails, and obstacles. It’s all about pushing the limits and showing off your skills! Aggressive skaters use special inline skates that are designed to withstand the intense demands of the sport. With aggressive skating, you can jump high, grind on rails, and do impressive tricks that will leave everyone amazed. It’s an adrenaline-pumping activity that combines athleticism, creativity, and a fearless spirit. So, if you’re looking for an action-packed and thrilling way to rollerblade, give aggressive skating a try!

Related: Best Pads for Inline Skating

Vert vs. Street Skating
Mark Heuss with an air over the hip (Photo By Stefan Byer) Inline Skating Disciplines

Mark Heuss with an air over the hip (Photo By Stefan Byer)

Vert inline skating is a discipline of inline skating performed on vert ramps, focusing on riding higher than the coping and executing aerial tricks. Aggressive street skating, on the other hand, takes place in urban environments and emphasizes ground-based tricks on street obstacles. Despite street skating being more popular and widely practiced, vert skating has faced a decline in recent years, resulting in fewer skateparks featuring vert ramps. However, vert skating maintains a small yet devoted following.

Related: The 20th Colorado Road Trip Recap

History of Aggressive Inline Skating
YouTube player

Harvesting the Crust (1996), One of my Favorite 90s Aggressive Skating Videos

Aggressive inline skating has been around since the 1990s, gaining popularity during the rise of the extreme sports movement. Over the years, it has progressed significantly with the introduction of new tricks, advancements in skate technology, and the growth of dedicated skate parks and competitions. Skaters continually push the boundaries, innovating new tricks and styles, and the sport continues evolving each year.

Related: United Front (2001) Remastered in HD: An Inline Skating Odyssey

Aggressive Inline Skates
Aggressive Inline Skates

Andrew Broom Razors Shift (Left) and Aaron Feinberg USD Aeon (Right) Aggressive Skates

Some examples of aggressive inline skates include the USD Aeon ($269 – $379), USD Sway ($219), Razors Cult ($179 – $199), Razors Shift Andrew Broom ($369), Roces Fifth Element ($229 – $329), and Rollerblade Blank ($299 – $309). These models are specifically designed for aggressive skating, with durable materials and features to withstand the impact of tricks and grinds.

Related: Andrew Broom Razors Shift Pro Skate Released

Frames and Wheels
50/50 Frames and Wheels

50/50 Frames and Wheels

UFS (Universal Frame System) is a standardized mounting system used in aggressive inline skates. It allows skaters to easily switch and interchange frames, providing flexibility and customization options.
Aggressive inline skates typically use smaller wheels ranging from 54mm to 60mm in diameter. The smaller wheels offer more stability and maneuverability, making performing tricks and grinding on obstacles easier.

Related: WYII 2019 Part 1: The Blader Experience

Anti-Rocker vs. Flat Rocker
Aggressive Inline Skates

Anti-Rocker Rollerblade Blank (Left) and Roces Fifth Elements Flat Rocker (Right) Aggressive Skates

The difference between anti-rocker and flat rocker refers to the wheel setup on aggressive inline skates. In anti-rocker, the two middle wheels are replaced with smaller, harder wheels, which allows for better grinding on rails and ledges. On the other hand, a flat rocker means using four equal-sized wheels, providing a smoother ride and better overall performance.

Related: Back to Blading, Lawrence Ingraham Rediscovers and Shares His Passion for Inline Skating

Notable Aggressive Inline Skaters
YouTube player

Andrew Broom’s Razor Pro Skate Edit

There are several notable names in aggressive inline skating. Chris Haffey is recognized as one of the most influential skaters, known for his technical skills and innovative style. Roman Abrate is another prominent skater known for his powerful and creative approach to aggressive inline skating. CJ Wellsmore is known for his versatility and smooth execution of tricks. Fabiola da Silva is a legendary Brazilian inline skater known for her pioneering skills and fearless style, widely recognized as one of the greatest female athletes in the history of aggressive inline skating. Also, skaters like Joe Atkinson, Eugen Enin, Mike Johnson, Michael Kraft, Mery Muñoz, Andrew Broom, and Nils Jansons have made significant contributions to the sport with their unique styles and technical abilities. These skaters continue pushing the boundaries of aggressive inline skating and inspire the next generation.

Related: Best Aggressive Inline Skates – The Ultimate Guide

Aggressive Inline Skating Events
YouTube player

Winterlcash 2023 Official Aftermovie

Major events such as Winterclash and Blading Cup showcase the intensity and creativity of aggressive skating. Aggressive skating has a devoted following in countries like the United States, Brazil, and Spain.

Related: Chris G on the Streets at the 2021 Blading Cup

Slalom Skating

Ewelina Czapla • Powerslide FSK Hardcore EVO

Ewelina Czapla • Powerslide FSK Hardcore EVO

Inline slalom skating is a cool and artistic rollerblading style involving gliding smoothly through a series of cones or obstacles. Skaters perform fancy footwork, spins, and turns while gracefully maneuvering around the course. It’s like a beautiful dance on wheels! Unlike racing or doing tricks, slalom skating focuses on precision, balance, and control. It’s a great way to show off your skills and express your creativity. So, if you’re looking for a fun and stylish way to rollerblade, give slalom skating a try!

Related: 50 Awesome Gift Ideas for Inline Skaters

Different Types of Slalom Skating
YouTube player

Slalom Skating For Beginners Tutorial

Inline slalom skating encompasses various disciplines that focus on technical footwork, agility, and precise maneuvering. The main types include classic slalom, speed slalom, battle slalom, pair slalom, and slide slalom. Classic slalom involves navigating through cones or obstacles while performing tricks, turns, spins, and jumps. Speed slalom emphasizes high-speed skating while weaving through closely spaced cones. Battle slalom is a competitive format where skaters compete against each other, showcasing their skills and earning points based on difficulty and style. Pair slalom involves synchronized routines performed by two skaters, requiring teamwork and coordination. Slide slalom combines slalom with slides and drifts for added style and fluidity.

History of Slalom Skating
Slalom Inline Skating Disciplines

Skating on the New Rollerblade Crossfire

Slalom inline skating has a long history, beginning in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It has evolved from classic slalom to encompass various disciplines such as speed, battle, pair, and slide slalom. Advancements in skate technology, competitive events, and the online community have contributed to its progression. Slalom skating is recognized globally and continues to captivate with its combination of technical skill, creativity, and athleticism.

Slalom Skate Models
Slalom Skate Models

Powerslide Hardcore Evo Pro (Left) and Tau Carbon (Right) Slalom Skates

Popular slalom inline skate models include FR Spin Freestyle ($469), FR Igor ($749), Powerslide Tau ($499), Powerslide Hardcore Evo ($599), Rollerblade Crossfire ($439), Flying Eagle Drift 2 ($439), Seba Trix ($325), and Seba High Light ($349). These models are known for their performance, durability, responsiveness, maneuverability, and comfort, making them favored among slalom skaters.

Carbon vs. Plastic Boots
Carbon vs. Plastic Boots

Seba High Light (Left) and FR Igor (Right) Slalom Skates

When deciding between carbon and plastic boots for slalom inline skating, it’s important to consider factors such as weight, rigidity, performance, durability, and cost. Carbon boots offer advantages like lightweight design, increased rigidity, better energy transfer, and durability but are more expensive. Plastic boots can still provide good performance and comfort, especially for beginners or those on a budget. Ultimately, the choice depends on your skating goals, skill level, and budgetary considerations.

Frames and Wheels
Slalom Inline Skates

Flying Eagle Drift 2 (Left) and Rollerblade Crossfire (Right) Slalom Skates

In slalom inline skating, skaters typically use short frames for better maneuverability and quick response. Rockered frames, with a raised middle section, enhance agility and facilitate smoother turns. Smaller wheels, around 76mm to 80mm, offer better control and responsiveness, while harder wheels (85A to 90A) provide less grip and more slide for swift transitions. Slalom-specific wheels optimized for grip, control, and maneuverability are also available. Skaters often customize their frames and wheels based on personal preference and surface conditions.

Related: Interview with Freestyle Slalom Skater Sveta Stepanova

Frame Rockering
YouTube player

What Are ROCKERED Inline Skates ? -Tutorial-

Rockered 4-wheel frames are the most common frames used for slalom skating. However, Speed slalom skaters may use flat 3x110mm frames but will rocker one of their two frames with a smaller/worn-down wheel. On the other hand, rockered frames have a raised middle section, with front and rear wheels lower than the middle wheels.

This setup enhances maneuverability and agility by reducing the number of wheels in contact with the ground. Rockered frames are popular in freestyle, allowing for sharp turns and quick footwork. Sliders skate flat or anti-rockered, with the middle wheels being smaller, or may even remove their middle wheels. How someone rockers their wheels depend on personal preference and the specific demands of each discipline.

Related: Interview with Champion Slalom Skater Jon Larrucea

Notable Inline Slalom Skaters
YouTube player

Ewelina Czapla • Powerslide FSK Hardcore EVO

Several highly skilled slalom inline skaters have made a mark in the sport. Notable names include Daria Kuznetsov, Sveta Stepanova, Jon Larrucea, Ewelina Czapla, Naomi Grigg, Sebastien Laffargue, Igor Cheremetieff, and Vasilisa Maslova. These skaters have achieved success in competitions, showcasing exceptional technical skill, creativity, precision, and dynamic performances. They serve as inspirations for aspiring slalom skaters globally.

Related: Interview with Inline Slalom Skater Ewelina Czapla

Slalom Skating Events
YouTube player

Final Freestyle Slalom Battle Woman – World Skate Games 2022 Argentina

Slalom inline skating is an exciting sport that brings together talented skaters worldwide to compete in major events organized by the World Slalom Series. These events showcase the impressive skills and tricks of the participants as they navigate through a series of cones and obstacles with speed and precision. Skaters showcase their agility, balance, and creativity, making the events thrilling for both participants and spectators alike. The World Slalom Series is a platform for the best skaters to showcase their talent and compete for recognition and accolades in this dynamic and visually captivating sport.

Related: The 36 Best Inline Skates and Rollerblades

Urban skating

Urban Skating Inline Skating Disciplines

Dustin Werbeski Bonking Through the Circles

Urban inline skating is a fun and adventurous way to explore the city on wheels! It’s all about skating through the streets, parks, and urban landscapes, enjoying the freedom and excitement of inline skating. Urban skaters use specially designed inline skates that offer a smooth and comfortable ride while maneuvering through different terrains. Urban skating allows you to glide along sidewalks, zoom through crowded areas, and even navigate obstacles like curbs and stairs. It’s a great way to stay active, discover new places, and experience the thrill of skating in an urban environment. Whether cruising along the waterfront, exploring city parks, or simply commuting around town, urban inline skating is a fantastic way to have fun and stay active outdoors. So grab your skates, put on some protective gear, and hit the streets for a thrilling urban skating adventure!

Related: Alex Burston on Life, Skating and his New Found Love of Big Wheel Blading

History of Urban Inline Skating
Danny Aldridge Inline Skating Disciplines

Danny Aldridge Mute Grab in Barcelona

Urban inline skating emerged in the late 1980s as a response to the limitations of traditional skating environments. Skaters took to the streets, sidewalks, and skate parks, adapting techniques from skateboarding and BMX. Specialized equipment like aggressive inline skates was developed, featuring reinforced boots and smaller wheels for urban obstacles. Urban skating has diversified into various disciplines, including slalom and downhill. It remains a popular sport for self-expression, fitness, and exploring urban landscapes. Skaters continue to innovate and inspire through competitions and online platforms.

Related: Are You Down? The Blading Evolution of Cameron Card

Urban Inline Skate Models
Urban Inline Skates

Rollerblade Twister (Left) and Powerslide Next (Right) Urban Skates

Urban inline skating has a wide range of popular skate models to choose from. Some well-known options include the Powerslide Zoom ($169 – $229), Powerslide Next ($249 – $339), Rollerblade Twister ($319 – $339), FR FR1 ($329 – $389), and the Flying Eagle F6S Falcon ($197). These skates are favored for their durability, maneuverability, comfort, and adaptability to different urban skating styles. Many other models are available, allowing skaters to find the perfect fit for their needs and preferences.

Related: Interview with Dustin Jamieson

Frames and Wheels
Urban Inline Skates

Powerslide Zoom (Left) and Powerslide Zoom Pro (Right) Urban Skates

Urban inline skates come in different setups with varying frame lengths and wheel sizes. These setups include 4x80mm, 4x90mm, 4x100mm, 3x100mm, 3x110mm, and 3x125mm. Each setup offers different benefits for urban skating.

The 4x80mm setup provides a balance between maneuverability and stability, making it suitable for urban environments with frequent stops and starts. The 4x90mm setup offers increased speed and maintains stability, allowing skaters to cover longer distances while still maintaining good maneuverability. The 4x100mm setup strikes a balance between speed, stability, and maneuverability, making it suitable for urban skating on both smooth and moderately uneven terrain.

Related: Interview with Dustin Jamieson

Urban Inline Skates

FR FR1 Intuition (Left) and Flying Eagle F6S Falcon (Right) Urban Skates

The 3x100mm setup is designed for increased speed and improved maneuverability. With a reduced number of wheels, it offers better agility for urban skating. The 3x110mm setup prioritizes speed and efficiency, allowing skaters to cover longer distances and achieve higher speeds over various urban terrains. The 3x125mm setup maximizes speed and provides excellent roll, making it ideal for skaters who prioritize speed and want to skate long distances on relatively smooth surfaces.

The choice of wheel setup depends on individual sk style, preference, and the type of terrain encountered during urban skating. Smaller wheel setups offer greater maneuverability, while larger wheel setups provide higher speeds and better performance on longer stretches.

Related: Interview with Chinese Freeskater Awei Xiao Living in Raleigh, North Carolina

Notable Urban Skaters
YouTube player

Nicola Torelli – UC Wheels Pro Team Introduction

Some of the best urban inline skaters include Si Coburn, Nick Lomax, Bill Stoppard, Nicola Torelli, and Danny Aldridge. These skaters are known for their technical skills, creative tricks, and stylish approaches to urban skating. They have made significant contributions to the sport and have won numerous competitions. Their talent and innovation have pushed the boundaries of what is possible in urban inline skating.

Related: The Absolute Best Socks for Inline Skating

Wizard skating

YouTube player

Junkyu Park Put on an Amazine Section for the Them 909 x Brain Dead Skate

Wizard skating is a style of inline skating that encourages creativity and self-expression through movement. It combines elements from different skating disciplines like freestyle slalom, freeride, and aggressive skating. Wizard skating focuses on smoothness, flow, and artistic expression, often incorporating dance-like motions and tricks.

The term “wizard” in wizard skating originated from a brand called Wizard founded by Leon Basin in 2014, which produces frames designed explicitly for this skating style. Leon, the Mushroom Blading crew, and a handful of others played a crucial role in pioneering this skating style, which has become popular worldwide. In recent years, several frame companies have launched wizard-inspired frames, contributing to the significant growth of wizard skating. Wizard skaters use their inline skates to perform intricate footwork, spins, slides, and jumps.

They continuously push the limits of balance and control, pushing themselves to achieve new feats on their skates. Wizard skating prioritizes style, creativity, and personal expression rather than speed or competition. This style of skating has gained popularity through online videos and social media, inspiring skaters worldwide to explore their creativity and push the boundaries of what can be achieved in inline skating.

History of Wizard Skating
YouTube player

Disembark featuring Leon Basin and Mike Torres

Wizard skating is a unique style of inline skating that emerged in the early 2010s. Skaters like Leon Basin, Joey McGarry, Stuart Brattey, and Todd McInerney brought creativity and artistry to their skating by combining elements from urban, slalom, and aggressive skating. In 2014, Leon Basin founded Wizard and started producing UFS frames designed explicitly for Wizard skating on aggressive inline skates.

These Wizard frames have a longer wheelbase, which increases stability and allows for smooth and flowing movements. The popularity of wizard skating grew rapidly thanks to online videos and social media, inspiring skaters worldwide to explore this creative style. Other companies also joined in by creating wizard-inspired frames in UFS and 165 mount versions. This expansion provided more options and enabled the wizard style of skating to reach beyond just aggressive skaters.

Today, wizard skating continues to evolve and flourish, strongly emphasizing style, creativity, and personal expression. The community of wizard skaters is vibrant, constantly pushing the boundaries of what can be accomplished on inline skates. Whether on the streets, at skate parks, or in dedicated wizard sessions, skaters are embracing this unique style and enjoying its freedom of expression.

What are the Best Boots for Wizard Skating?
Wizard Skating Boots Inline Skating Disciplines

Seba Carbon Boot w/ Wizard NR90 Frames (Left) Iqon AG10 Boots w/ Wizard PR80 Frames (Right)

Choosing the right skates is crucial for a great Wizard skating experience. Many frames, including Wizard and Wizard-inspired ones, are designed for UFS mounting commonly used in aggressive inline skates. Carbon Seba boots ($600 – $700) are popular for their precise control, comfort, and power transfer. These boots have a flat base, allowing you to remove the soul plate and mount frames directly to the boot, enhancing control and reducing weight. Other UFS carbon boots commonly used for Wizard setups are the USD Carbon ($299) and the IQON AG10 ($630).

When it comes to Wizard skating, some skaters choose aggressive plastic boots. However, it’s crucial to carefully consider the skate and frame combination to achieve optimal performance. It is recommended to use frames with 80mm or smaller wheels when mounting them to a soul plate. Larger wheels can cause increased flex in the plastic boots, affecting their performance. Most plastic boots require keeping the soul frame on because the bottom surface is typically not flat. This can make the skates heavier. One popular option for plastic boots is the Them 909 ($320 – $339), which gained popularity through its endorsement in Junkyo Park’s Them 909 x Brain Dead video.

YouTube player

Excellent Wizard Skating Tutorial

To make Wizard skating accessible to more skaters, brands like NN and Endless have developed Wizard-inspired frames that fit both UFS and 165 mount setups. This means any boot with a 165 mount, whether plastic or carbon, can be used with these frames. The 165-mount option has expanded Wizard skating beyond the aggressive skating niche, attracting the larger urban skating community.

Ultimately, the best skates for Wizard skating depend on personal preferences and skating style. Exploring different options and seeking advice from experienced skaters can help you find a setup that offers comfort, control, and performance.

Frames and Wheels for Wizard Skating
Frames and Wheels for Wizard Skating Inline Skating Disciplines

Seba Carbon Boots with Wizard PR80 Frames and 80mm Brain Dead Wheels

The most popular choice is Wizard Frames ($400 – $500), which was explicitly designed for Wizard skating and is available for UFS mount aggressive inline skates. Other brands like Endless ($199 – $259), NN ($209 – $219), Roka ($190 – $228), Rockin ($233 – $310), and more have also developed their own Wizard-inspired frames, catering to both UFS and 165 mount setups. These frames provide options for skaters using different boot types and mounting systems.

As for wheels, it depends on personal preference and the specific style of Wizard skating you enjoy. Generally, smaller wheels are preferred for more technical and maneuverable tricks, while larger wheels are favored for speed and smoother rides. Many skaters opt for wheels with a hardness rating (durometer) between 85A and 90A, which offer a good balance of grip and slide. Popular wheel sizes for Wizard skating range from 80mm to 100mm, depending on individual preferences.

Notable Wizard Skaters
YouTube player

Leon Basin in The Wizard of Wall Street

Several skaters have made notable contributions to Wizard skating, a style known for its creativity and expression. Pioneers like Leon Basin, Stuart Brattey, Joey McGarry, and Todd McInerney, along with skaters such as Shaun Unwin, Michael Kraft, Junkyu Park, Mike Torres, Nicola Torelli, Benji, and Thomas Thellmann, have gained recognition for their exceptional skills and unique styles. These individuals have played a significant role in popularizing Wizard skating and have inspired others in the community through their innovative approaches and technical abilities.

Speed Skating

Speed Skating Inline Skating Disciplines

Felix Rijnen Leading the 2017 Arena Geisingen International race in Germany

Inline speed skating is a fast and exciting sport where skaters race on inline skates. They aim to be the fastest on the track using technique, strength, and strategy. The sport involves racing on smooth tracks using specially designed boots and larger, harder wheels. Skaters strive to achieve high speeds and navigate turns while maintaining momentum. Inline speed skating attracts athletes of all levels and offers a thrilling experience for those seeking the excitement of high-speed skating.

Inline speed skating encompasses various disciplines, including indoor track speed skating, outdoor road speed skating, skating, and track time trials. Indoor track speed skating occurs on smooth tracks, while outdoor speed skating is performed on paved surfaces. Track time trials are individual races against the clock. Each discipline presents unique challenges and requires specific skills and techniques. Inline speed skating is an exciting sport that combines speed, technique, and endurance.

Inline Speed Skating History
YouTube player

1996 Indoor Speed Skating National Championships

Inline speed skating originated in the 1980s when Dutch skaters began experimenting with inline skate designs. The sport quickly gained popularity, leading to the introduction of commercial inline skates. Inline speed skating became an official discipline recognized by the International Roller Sports Federation in the 1990s. Since then, it has evolved with advancements in equipment, including boots, frames, wheels, and bearings. Inline speed skating has become a competitive sport with international events like the World Inline Speed Skating Championships. It continues to attract skaters worldwide who appreciate the excitement and speed of the sport.

Inline Speed Skates
Inline Speed Skates

Rollerblade Powerblade Elite (Left) and Powerslide R2 (Right) Inline Speed Skates

There are several popular inline speed skate models available, including the Powerslide R2 100 ($349), Powerslide R4 110 ($379), Powerslide Core Performance ($499), Powerslide Puls ($549), Bont Jet ($399), Atom Pro ($299), Luigino Strut Striker ($369 – $389), and Rollerblade Powerblade Elite 3WD 125 ($399). These skates are known for their high performance, lightweight construction, and features that optimize speed, control, and comfort. Whether you’re looking for a customizable fit, excellent power transfer, or durability for long-distance skating, these models offer options to meet different skating needs.

Boots, Frames, and Wheels
Inline Speed Skates

Atom Pro (Left) and Luigino Strut Striker (Right) Inline Speed Skates

Inline speed skating requires specialized equipment, including boots, frames, wheels, and bearings. Speed skating boots provide a snug fit and are made of lightweight materials like carbon fiber and have low cuffs. Frames are typically made of aluminum or carbon fiber, with a longer wheelbase for stability and efficient power transfer. Speed skating wheels are larger and harder, ranging from 90mm to 125mm, with higher durometer ratings for top speed and reduced rolling resistance. High-quality bearings with precision ratings ensure smooth and efficient rolling. These components work together to optimize performance and speed in inline speed skating.

Notable Inline Speed Skaters
YouTube player

Joey Mantia Inline 60 kph! Double Push Compilation

Several notable and accomplished skaters have emerged throughout the history of inline speed skating. A former American skater, Chad Hedrick excelled in inline and ice speed skating, earning multiple World Championships and Olympic medals. Dante Muse of Des Moines, Iowa was known as one of the best roller and inline speed skaters in the 80s and 90s. Bart Swings from Belgium has also enjoyed great success in both disciplines, consistently performing at a high level in international competitions. Erin Jackson (USA), a remarkable inline speed skater, made an extraordinary transition to become an Olympic speed skater, securing her place in history as the first Black woman to win a Winter Olympic gold medal in an individual sport.

Joey Mantia, an American skater, has achieved impressive inline and ice speed skating results, securing multiple World Championship titles. Gabriela Rueda (Colombia), is a trailblazer for Colombian inline speed skating with remarkable international achievements. Pedro Causil, also representing Colombia, is recognized for his speed and agility on the inline track, winning multiple World Championship medals. Sabine Berg from Germany has been a dominant force, claiming numerous World Championships and setting multiple world records. These skaters, through their exceptional talents and outstanding achievements, have left a lasting impact on the sport of inline speed skating and inspired a new generation of aspiring athletes.

Inline Speed Skating Events
YouTube player

World Games 2017 – Speed Skating – Final – Men 200M

Inline speed skating is highlighted by several major events that draw elite skaters worldwide. These include the World Roller Speed Skating Championships, where athletes from various nations compete in track and road racing disciplines under the organization of FIRS. The Inline Speed Skating World Cup is a series of annual international races, with skaters accumulating points to determine the overall champion. The Pan-American Games feature inline speed skating competitions among countries from North, South, and Central America. European skaters showcase their talents at the European Speed Skating Championships, while the Asian Roller Skating Championships provide a platform for skaters from Asia. Additionally, each country holds its own national championships, allowing skaters to compete for national titles and qualify for international events.

Marathon Skating

Marathon Skating Inline Skating Disciplines

Felix Rijhnen Crossing the Finish Line (Photo by Stefan Beyer)

Marathon inline skating is a discipline in which skaters compete in long-distance races, covering distances ranging from 42 kilometers to over 100 kilometers. These events take place on closed road courses, allowing skaters to race safely. Skaters start together in a mass start and aim to maintain a fast pace throughout the race.

Techniques like drafting and strategic decision-making play a crucial role in achieving success. Marathon inline skating requires physical fitness, technique, and mental focus. It attracts recreational skaters and professional athletes, and safety is prioritized with protective gear. Marathon inline skating combines endurance, strategy, and excitement for skaters of all levels.

Related: Interview With World Champion Inline Speed Skater Felix Rijhnen

Marathon vs. Inline Speed Skating
Marathon vs speed skating

The Start of the 2017 Berlin Marathon (Photo by Stefan Beyer)

Marathons are long-distance endurance events where skaters aim to complete a specific distance, typically 42 kilometers or longer. The focus is on endurance and completing the race in a timely manner. Skaters use specialized marathon skates with longer frames, comfortable boots, and larger wheels.

In contrast, speed skating involves racing against opponents over shorter distances, such as sprints or laps on a track. The primary emphasis is on speed, agility, and tactics. Speed skaters use specific inline speed skates with shorter frames for agility, low-cut and lightweight boots for flexibility, and smaller wheels with a high durometer for maximum speed.

Related: The Berlin Marathon x The Lino Life

History of Inline Skating Marathons
Inline Skating Disciplines

Skating the Northshore Marathon in the Rain (Photo by Maureen Steltz)

Inline marathon skating emerged as a discipline in the late 20th century as inline skating gained popularity. The Berlin Inline Marathon, established in 1997, is considered a significant milestone in the history of the sport. Since then, various major events have been organized worldwide, attracting skaters of all levels. Inline marathon skating provides a platform for skaters to test their endurance and showcase their skills. Advancements in skate technology have contributed to the growth of the sport. Today, inline marathon skating continues to be a thrilling discipline enjoyed by skaters of different backgrounds and skill levels.

Related: A First-Timer’s Perspective: 8 Things I Learned from Skating in the Northshore Marathon

Inline Marathon Skates
Inline Marathon Skates

Powerslide Arise Marathon (Left) and Rollerblade E2 (Right) Marathon Skates

To choose the best skates for inline marathon skating, consider individual preferences and requirements. Popular models include the Powerslide Arise Marathon ($529), Powerslide Arise RD ($579), Bont Jet ($399), K2 Redline 110 ($619), Rollerblade REVV BOA 125 ($595), and Rollerblade E2 110 ($309). These skates are specifically designed for long-distance skating, featuring lightweight materials, comfortable liners, responsive frames, and large wheels for efficient roll and speed. It’s important to try different models and consult with experienced skaters to find the skates that best suit your needs.

Related: Angie Wong the Woman Behind the Pengzhou International Marathon

Boots, Frames, and Wheels
Inline Marathon Skates

Bont Jet (Left) and K2 Redline 110 (Right) Marathon Skates

Inline marathon skating requires specific equipment to enhance endurance and performance. Marathon skates feature boots with a comfortable and supportive design, often with higher cuffs for increased ankle support. The frames are longer to accommodate larger wheels and ensure stability during long-distance skating. They are made from lightweight and durable materials like aluminum or carbon fiber. Marathon wheels are larger in diameter, ranging from 100mm to 125mm, enabling better roll, momentum, and stability on varied surfaces. Together, these components optimize the skater’s ability to endure and perform well during marathon skating events.

Related: The 2017 NYC Marathon and 100K as Experienced by Arnav “Sonic” Shah

Notable Inline Marathon Skaters
Bart Springs is One of the Best Marathon Skaters in the World

Bart Springs is One of the Best Marathon Skaters in the World (Photo by Stefan Beyer)

There have been notable inline marathon skaters who have made significant contributions to the sport. Bart Swings, Erika Zanetti, Felix Rijhnen, Katharina Rumpus, and Nolan Beddiaf are some of the top athletes who have excelled in inline marathon skating. They have achieved remarkable success, including multiple victories, podium finishes, and record-breaking performances in major international events. Their skills, determination, and accomplishments have solidified their status as some of the best in the discipline.

Related: Interview with World Champion Inline Speed Skater Bart Swings

Inline Skating Marathons
Swiss Roller Tour - 2017 Engadin Marathon

Swiss Roller Tour – 2017 Engadin Marathon in (Photo by

Inline skating marathons are significant events that take place worldwide, allowing skaters to test their endurance and skill. Some of the significant marathons include the Berlin Marathon, New York City Skate Marathon, Paris Rollers Marathon, Athens to Atlanta Road Race, and NorthShore Inline Marathon. These events attract participants from all over the globe and offer a thrilling experience of racing through iconic city streets or picturesque landscapes. Skaters of all levels, from elite athletes to recreational enthusiasts, come together to challenge themselves and celebrate the sport of inline skating.

Related: Recap of the 2017 Engadin Marathon in St. Moritz, Switzerland

Ultra Skating

Ultra Skating - Inline Skating Disciplines

Marian Sorge and Santiago Lopez on the 4,400-mile skate through South America

Ultra skating refers to inline skating extremely long distances, typically beyond the standard marathon distance of 42 kilometers. Ultra inline skaters take on the challenge of covering 50 kilometers to several hundred kilometers in a single session. These skaters push the limits of endurance and stamina, often engaging in multi-day events or races that span several consecutive days. Ultra inline skating requires a high level of physical fitness, mental resilience, and meticulous preparation in terms of equipment, nutrition, and hydration. It is a demanding discipline that attracts skaters seeking the ultimate test of their capabilities and a unique adventure on wheels.

History of Ultra Inline Skating
Ultra Skating - Inline Skating Disciplines

Marian Sorge and Santiago Lopez on the 4,400-mile skate through South America

Ultra inline skating emerged in the 1990s or early 2000s as skaters sought to push the limits of distance and endurance beyond traditional marathon skating. Skaters began challenging themselves to cover longer distances of 100 kilometers or more in a single session. Organized ultra-skating events, such as 24-hour races and multi-day challenges, gained popularity, providing a platform for skaters to showcase their endurance. Ultra inline skating has since become recognized as a distinct discipline within the sport, inspiring skaters to set new records and pursue personal challenges. Today, it remains a niche but thrilling aspect of inline skating.

Related: Caleb Smith Discusses His Ultra Skating, Camp SkateIA, and More

Skating Across Countries
Ultra Skating - Inline Skating Disciplines

Skating in the Andes Mountains

A small group of extraordinary individuals has taken the already incredible discipline of Ultra Skating to even greater heights by embarking on daring journeys across countries. Skaters like Russel Moncrief, Kacie Cleveland, Marian Sorge, Santiago Lopez, Mike Lempko, and Zach Choboter have crossed the vast expanse of the United States, Canada, and multiple countries in Europe and South America. These epic adventures involve enduring long distances, unpredictable weather, and challenging terrains, including mountains and vast open lands. The road conditions vary from freshly paved surfaces to potholed asphalt and sometimes dirt or gravel.

Related: Mike Lempko Completes Cross Country Skate For Charity From SF to NYC

Skates for Ultra Inline Skating
Skates for Ultra Inline Skating

The Powerslide Arise RD (Left) and Rollerblade REVV BOA 125 (Right)

In ultra-inline skating, popular skate models are chosen for their performance and durability during long-distance skating. Some notable options include the FR FR1 310 Intuition ($329), FR Skates FR1 325 Intuition ($389), K2 Mod 110 ($449), Rollerblade REVV BOA 125 ($595), and Powerslide Arise RD ($579). These skates feature features such as carbon fiber shells, customizable fits, responsive frames, and large wheels to enhance speed, comfort, and stability. The choice of skates ultimately depends on individual preferences and specific requirements for ultra-inline skating.

Related: Checking in with the Blade Ventures 7,000KM South America Skate

Boots, Frames, and Wheels
Skates for Ultra Inline Skating

The FR1 310 Intuition (Left) and K2 Mod 110 (Right)

For ultra-inline skating, skaters use specialized skates designed for long-distance endurance. These skates prioritize comfort, support, and performance over extended periods. They feature boots with higher cuffs for ankle stability, longer frames for stability, larger wheels for maintaining speed and momentum, and high-quality bearings for efficient rolling. Some skates may also have cushioning or suspension systems to absorb vibrations. Finding well-fitting and durable skates is essential for a comfortable, successful, ultra-inline skating experience.

Related: Mike Lufholm on Inline Skating 153 Miles Along Minnesota’s Scenic North Shore

Notable Ultra Inline Skaters
YouTube player

A Short Documentary on Caleb Smith’s Ultra Skate from San Francisco to Los Angeles

Notable ultra-inline skaters have emerged in the sport, showcasing their skills and achievements in long-distance events. Skaters like Eddy Matzger, Caleb Smith, Arnav Shaw, Eric Cruz, Parker Bugg, Andrés Trujillo, Faust Núñez, Dominika Drzemicka, Frank Lorenz, Piotr Mostowiec, Szymon Wlodarski-Stepień, Sam Fistel, and Mike Lufholm have achieved success in ultra-inline skating, demonstrating their endurance, competitiveness, and dedication to the sport. Their contributions have helped elevate the profile of ultra-inline skating and inspire others in the community.

Related: Caleb Smith Conquers the 467-Mile RAGBRAI Challenge

Ultra Skating Events
Caleb Smith and Arnav Shah

Caleb Smith (left) and Arnav “Sonic” Shah (right) skating in the 2023 RAGBRAI Challenge

The Athens to Atlanta Road Skate (A2A) and RAGBRAI (The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) are notable ultra-inline events. A2A is a challenging 87-mile road skate from Athens to Atlanta in Georgia, USA, showcasing endurance and skill. RAGBRAI, primarily a bicycle event in Iowa, welcomes inline skaters to cover 50 to 70 miles daily, exploring scenic landscapes and vibrant communities. Both events provide skaters with exciting opportunities to push their limits and connect with fellow enthusiasts in the world of ultra-inline skating.

Related: Athens to Atlanta 87-Mile Ultramarathon Recap

Downhill Skating

Downhill Skating - Inline Skating Disciplines

Gabe Holm’s Downhill at the Maryhill Race

Downhill inline skating (DH) is an exhilarating and fast-paced sport involving steep slopes and hills. It’s all about the thrill of speed and the excitement of racing down the slopes on inline skates. Skaters wear special equipment, including helmets and protective gear, to ensure safety while enjoying the adrenaline rush. Downhill skaters use high-quality inline skates with durable wheels and a strong braking system to maintain control and slow down when needed. The goal is to navigate the slopes smoothly, using proper techniques and body positioning to maintain balance and stability. Downhill inline skating requires skill, focus, and a love for speed. It’s a thrilling adventure that lets you experience the excitement of racing down hills while enjoying the beauty of the surrounding scenery. So, if you’re up for an exciting challenge and a thrilling ride, grab your skates, gear up, and get ready to feel the wind in your face as you conquer the slopes with downhill inline skating!

Related: Interview with Downhill Inline Skater Noel Jarillo of Madrid, Spain

History of Downhill Inline Skating
Downhill Inline Skating in Airborne and Brink!

Downhill Skating Scenes in Airborne (left) and Brink! (right)

Downhill inline skating emerged as inline skating gained popularity in the 1980s. It involves descending steep slopes at high speeds and has evolved into a recognized sport with organized competitions. Skaters push the limits of speed and technique using specialized equipment and safety gear. During the height of rollerblading’s mainstream success in the 1990s, two movies stood out as popular showcases of inline skating: “Brink!” (1998) and “Airborne” (1993).

These films featured thrilling downhill races as pivotal moments, inspiring a generation of children to don skates and fearlessly zoom down hills. Downhill inline skating continues to grow, with purpose-built tracks and courses designed for racing. It showcases skaters’ dedication, equipment development, and the excitement of high-speed descents.

Related: Interview with French Inline Downhill Skater Etienne Herreros

What Downhill Inline Skates Are Available?
YouTube player

Romane Favia and Renato Pennuti 110km/h Inline Downhill Run

While various inline skating disciplines offer a wide range of skate options, it’s important to note that only Canariam makes a dedicated downhill skate. Instead, you can find downhill-specific frames explicitly designed for this discipline. Cádomotus, FR, Seba, and Flying Eagle are notable companies that cater to the downhill skating community by producing specialized frames.

Frames and Wheels
Dowmhill Skates

Seba DH90 Downhill Frames (Left) and Flying Eagle Slope Killer Downhill Frames (Right)

When it comes to downhill inline skating, skaters need specialized frames designed for high speeds and stability. Long frames are popular because they improve balance, while stiff frames made of materials like aluminum or carbon fiber ensure efficient power transfer. Two standard frame configurations are 5x80mm and 5x90mm, which are known for maintaining speed and stability. On the other hand, some skaters do prefer and use 4-wheel setups such as 4×100, 4×110, or 125-110-110-125. Skaters also prefer hard wheels with a durometer rating of 85A to 90A because they provide control and make sliding easier. The wheels have rounded edges to reduce risks on the road surface. While three-wheel setups are generally not used for downhill skating, they can be suitable for gentle slopes. The setup choice ultimately depends on individual preference and course conditions.

Notable Inline Downhill Skaters
YouTube player

Maxime Genoud Downhill in Switzerland

Downhill inline skating is indeed known for its high speed and thrilling nature. While many talented downhill skaters are in the community, some notable names include Romane FaviaRenato PennutiAndreu GresesChristian MontavonGabe HolmEtienne Herreros, and Sandro Bovo. Then some constantly produce downhill content, such as Maxime GenoudNatan LakonishokFranches Velez, and Lina “Linis” Yara. These skaters have made a name for themselves through their impressive skills, fearless approach, and remarkable performances in downhill competitions and events. They have contributed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in downhill skating and have earned recognition among their peers and fans for their contributions to the sport.

Related: Interview with Inline World Speed Record Holder

Off Road Skating

off-road skating - Inline Skating Disciplines

Eric Cruz – Bank to Tree Stall (Photo by Joseph Gammill)

Off-road inline skating is a specialized and relatively uncommon sport, with far fewer participants than other forms of inline skating. Skating on flat ground and uphill can be challenging and physically demanding, requiring significant effort and stamina. To overcome this, many skaters hike up mountain bike trails with their skates and then enjoy the thrill of skating downhill. It’s important to note that off-road skating is intense and carries certain risks, making it suitable only for experienced and skilled skaters comfortable with the potential dangers.

Adequate safety measures and precautions, including protective gear, should always be prioritized when engaging in off-road inline skating activities. Off-road inline skating offers a unique opportunity to explore nature, discover new trails, and enjoy the great outdoors. It combines the excitement of inline skating with the thrill of off-road adventures. Whether you’re gliding through forest trails, exploring mountain paths, or skating along scenic off-road routes, this sport allows you to stay active, challenge yourself, and experience the beauty of nature in a whole new way.

Related: Eric Cruz Talks Off-Road Skating on Powerslide 125 SUV Skates

History of Off-Road Inline Skating
off-road skated

Rollerblade Coyote (Left) and the Roces Big Cat (Right)

Off-road inline skating is rooted in the late 1990s when the demand for skates capable of handling rough terrains began to emerge. One of the pioneering skates in this field was the Rollerblade Coyote, introduced in 1997. It featured a sturdy frame and larger wheels with aggressive tread patterns, allowing skaters to navigate off-road surfaces with better stability and traction.

Another off-road skate was the awkward-looking cross country-inspired Roces Big Cat, also released in the 1997s. These early models set the foundation for the growth of off-road inline skating as a niche sport, inspiring the development of specialized skates catering to outdoor adventurers’ demands. Since then, the sport has evolved with new brands and improved designs, providing skaters with more options and enhancing their ability to explore the outdoors on their inline skates.

Related: Javier Rosa Discusses Off-Road Skating

Current Off-Road Skate Models
Powerslide Next Off-Road Inline Skates

Powerslide Next Renegade Werbeski Pro 125 (Left) – Powerslide Next Edge SUV 150 (Right)

The popularity of off-road inline skating has led to the development of various models that cater to the demands of outdoor enthusiasts. Some popular off-road inline skates include the Powerslide Zoom Renegade SUV 125 ($449), Powerslide Next Renegade Werbeski Pro 125 ($479), Powerslide Next Outback SUV 150 ($449), and Powerslide Next Edge SUV 150 ($479). These skates feature different wheel setups, such as three-wheel or two-wheel configurations, with larger wheels ranging from 125mm to 150mm. They are designed to provide stability, maneuverability, and durability on rugged terrains, allowing advanced skaters to enjoy off-road adventures confidently.

Related: Conquer Any Terrain: Next Renegade Werbeski 125 SUV Skate

Frames and Wheels
Powerslide Kaze off-road skates

The Powerslide Kaze 125 was my first Off-Road Skate (Photo by Stefan Beyer)

Unlike traditional inline skates, off-road skates have large air-filled tires instead of urethane wheels. These tires provide excellent shock absorption and traction on uneven surfaces, allowing skaters to roll smoothly over rocks, roots, and bumps. Off-road inline skating involves using specially designed rigid plastic boots with two or three-wheel frames and larger wheels (125mm or 150mm) to navigate rough and uneven terrains. The two-wheel versions have a shorter chassis and are lighter and more manageable.

The choice of wheel size depends on the type of terrain, with 125mm wheels being more suitable for hard-packed trails and 150mm wheels for more rugged downhill courses. Off-road skates do not have brakes, so skaters must rely on their skills and control to manage speed and stop effectively. It is an advanced discipline that should only be attempted by experienced skaters who have received proper training and wear protective gear.

Related: Christophe Matuszak Off-Road Skating on the Kizer Trimax Frames

Notable Off-Road Inline Skaters
YouTube player

Dustin Werbeski Skating the North Shore Downhill Mountain Bike Trails in Vancouver

Dustin Werbeski is a renowned off-road skater, known for his viral YouTube videos with millions of views. He captivates audiences with his impressive skills and daring tricks, making him a prominent figure in the off-road skating community.

Related: Dustin Werbeski: Redefining Big Wheel Blading

Dedication, Practice, Passion, Mastery

The level of difficulty varies among disciplines. Freestyle skating and aggressive skating often demand extensive practice, patience, and creativity to master technical tricks and develop a personal style. Speed skating requires a combination of strength, endurance, and technical precision to achieve remarkable speeds. Slalom skating demands exceptional control and footwork, while downhill skating requires courage, reflexes, and adaptability to handle high-speed descents. Becoming proficient in any discipline requires dedication, consistent training, and a passion for the sport.

Mastering any inline skating discipline requires dedication, practice, and a love for the sport. Progression varies among disciplines, with some requiring more technical expertise or physical conditioning than others. Freestyle, aggressive, and slalom skating demand precise control, coordination, and creativity, which can take considerable time to develop. Speed skating requires a combination of speed, endurance, and technical proficiency. Fitness, urban, and downhill skating offer opportunities for recreational enthusiasts to enjoy the sport at their own pace. Regardless of the discipline, perseverance, proper training, and guidance from experienced skaters are crucial to becoming skilled in inline skating.


Inline skating encompasses a diverse range of disciplines, each offering unique experiences and challenges to skaters. From the artistic flair of freestyle skating to the adrenaline-pumping downhill descents, the inline skating community thrives on diversity. Skaters of all disciplines contribute to the vibrant world of inline skating, pushing the boundaries of what is possible on wheels. Whether it’s showcasing creativity, chasing speed, conquering obstacles, or embracing an active lifestyle, inline skating disciplines have something for everyone to enjoy and explore.

, , , , , , , , , ,
Similar Posts
Latest Posts from


  1. Love the article. Now you just might want to add some more females in the notable skater section of some of the parts like for example in Speedskating with Ms. Rueda and Erin jackson! And of Course fabiola da silva and merry munoz. Just of the top of my head. I know there are a lot more.

    1. Thank you for the feedback! I will promptly incorporate female representation in those disciplines. Just like other articles on this platform, this piece will undergo continuous updates and improvements. We value all input and suggestions, so please feel free to share them.

  2. This is a fantastic article Jan! Thoroughly researched and extremely helpful. Looking forward to sharing it widely!

    1. Thanks, James! Glad you like it. This article will constantly be updated and improved on.

  3. […] Demystifying Inline Skating Disciplines: A Complete Guide […]

Comments are closed.