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Slalom Cone Skating Forum Discussions about slalom cone skating, high-jump, and other freestyle trick skating. (Note that vert, street, and park skating discussions should be posted in our aggressive skating forum.)

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Old April 28th, 2015, 10:48 PM   #17
Smooth Roller
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sussex, UK
Posts: 111

Originally Posted by Oicusk82huh View Post
Am I going to completely loose my mind trying to find time for all three?
It might actually work out well for you. If you're not feeling it one day on one particular type of skate, then you can just switch to one of the other two types. You might even find it enjoyable comparing and contrasting which techniques translate well from one type of skate to another, and which techniques absolutely do not.

One word of warning: I know several established inliners who decided to try quads. All of them went through exactly the same experience. They all said that while they really enjoyed skating on quads, doing so totally screwed up their inline skating ability. One (very accomplished) slalomer was freaking out and said that she had lost the ability to do everything except the absolute basics on inlines. Another friend of mine said that after skating quads, going back to inlines made him feel sick (literally). The side-to-side motion from balancing on thin inlines wheels, coupled with the wobbling back and forth (due to the banana rockered setup that he has on his inlines) was giving him motion sickness that he'd never had before.

Needless to say, they all got over it The only reason they were panicking was because their bodies had not yet got used to the idea of having to adapt stance and technique (because they never had to make any such adjustments before when they were only skating on one type of skate). However, after about a week of regularly switching back and forth, their inline skills fully returned and they could skate either type of skate to their full potential without even thinking about it.

I just thought I'd mention this because it could be quite disconcerting if something similar were to happen to you and you thought you'd suddenly lost 25 years of your inline skills for good. If there's anything that would further destroy your inline mojo, it would be something like that.

Although ice skating is more similar to inlines than quads, I suspect that there will still be significant differences. So that fact that you're already switching between different ice and inlines may mean that you won't require the same adjustment period that my friends did who had only ever skated one type of skate. There's also the fact that you did skate quads prior to starting inlines, so you're probably much less likely to be affected.

Originally Posted by Oicusk82huh View Post
Oh yeah, one last question. I have noticed many people in the UK using those hard cover quad skates. What kind of skates are those?
They're basically copies of old-school ice hockey boots.

Like several other countries, the UK reached its peak of quad skating in the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, with land space being so limited on a small-ish island (and therefore extremely expensive), rinks were very few and far between. As an example, London (despite being huge and one of the major capital cities of the world) does not have one single roller rink.

This complete lack of rinks meant that the UK did not get the rink culture that the US has, and consequently the skate equipment that was generally available here was basically just trashy junk. Adult skaters therefore started looking to put together their own skates. There were already a few high end roller skates that were essentially ice figure skating boots on wheels, but because of the urban street skate culture that had developed in the UK (due to there being nowhere else to skate) Art / Figure boots did not fit in that style (they were considered to be too feminine and "ice dancey"). With no other decent skates available, people looked to another type of ice skate; the ice hockey boot. Ice hockey was perceived to be about speed, agility and aggression, so they suited the street style that was developing here around 1980.

People therefore started taking the blades off ice hockey boots and attaching plates to them instead. It became so popular that even when other types of skates did finally start to become available (still in small numbers) people would rather have ice hockey boots because that's what they'd seen their favourite skaters wearing. It then just seemed to stick as a UK thing, and it's been going ever since.

The reason for the plastic hard shells (with the padded liner boots) is because that's what ice hockey boots were like in the early 1980s. Nearly all hockey boot manufacturers got rid of their stitched leather hockey boots and switched over to moulded plastic ones with a liner (which were considered to be high-tech and futuristic at the time). One of the most prominent brands was Bauer. Years later when ice hockey boot manufacturers switched back to stitched boots (but now using advanced composite materials) the moulded boot thing had become so embedded in the UK street-skate psyche that they stuck with it regardless, paying ever more crazy prices for old discontinued plastic boots that were no longer being made. The trend became so big that even Bauer noticed, and for a few years they actually started shipping their plastic ice hockey boots to the UK, but already fitted with roller base plates and wheels (because Bauer knew what people were doing with their skates). This didn't last for very many years because it was only a UK thing, and the numbers shrank dramatically once the inline craze hit in the 90s. Suddenly quads were considered clunky and old fashioned.

These days there are a few Chinese companies that have stepped in to fill the void (because there is still huge demand for that type of skate in the UK). These companies basically copied the old Bauer moulded boot design of the 80s and made a cheap contemporary equivalent. They sell loads of them seeing as there are no other genuine ice hockey boots made in plastic any more.


A few UK quad street skaters are now migrating to the latest stitched / composite ice hockey boot designs, because they're much lighter, breathable etc. while retaining a similar aesthetic and still providing good ankle support for aggressive skating, jumps, street hockey etc. However, the new stitched boots are nowhere near as comfortable as those with the padded liner (especially the toe cap, which can be downright agony to do toe moves in)


With the resurgence of quads in recent years, we now have increasing numbers (but still relatively few) who now skate on decent "proper" roller skates (e.g. Bont, Riedell etc.) This is simply because things like YouTube allows UK skaters to see what skaters in other countries wear, and online shops allow easy purchasing of skate gear from abroad. Neither of these things were available in the 1980s, which is why the UK skate scene developed in its own bubble, separate to what other countries were doing skate-wise at the time.
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