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Complete Information on the World of Inline Skating (Rollerblading TM)

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Step One: Determine Your Skating Interests

One of the great things about inline skates is that they can be adapted to a wide variety of activities. You will need to determine the activity you are most interested in and choose a type of skate made for that purpose. It is possible to play hockey on a recreational skate, race on a fitness skate, do tricks on a hockey skate; in other words, you can use one type of skate for other activities. However, this will not produce optimal results for serious use.

Here is a general description of the basic skate types. Unless you are certain that your interests are exclusive to one type of skating, you will most likely want to start with a recreational skate.

Hockey - These are constructed very much like ice-hockey skates. They are made of stitched leather and lace up for a very close fit. They have wheels designed for the very quick movements of this sport.

Speed - Racing skates have five wheels, a long wheel base, and a low-cut leather boot. They typically have no brake. These are for very experienced skaters.

Freestyle - Most moves that are done on ice can be done with inline skates. The boot is similar to ice figure skates, but uses a pick stop mounted on the frame.

Recreational - These are the skates that started it all. They are typically designed with a plastic boot to hold the ankle firmly and wheels that permit a large degree of control.

Fitness - Similar to recreational skates, they are usually lighter, offer a lower- cut boot, and have larger wheels. These skates are also used for cross-training.

Aggressive - These skates are made for doing stunts on ramps and rails. They have smaller wheels, grind plates, and are constructed to withstand extreme use.

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