Quads

Quads are ‘old style roller skates’ with 2 pairs of wheels, rather than rollerblades or inline skates which have all 4 wheels in a line. Quads became popular in the 1970s and 80s but have never gone out of style and are now experiencing somewhat of a revival. At Skatefresh you can join us in our lessons wearing your quads and we will show you everything you need to know, including what is different and what is the same (as with inlines). We can show you and even demo the bits which are different from the inline skaters and you will still learn all the class syllabus. Our instructors all wear inlines for group classes but Nick, Hugh and Asha are available for private quads lessons.

If you would like to join a group class choose the appropriate group for you and follow the booking instructions on that class page. To contact any of the instructors for private quads lessons please email  Bookings@skatefresh.com and tell us your preferred lesson date and time.

If you haven’t bought your skates yet and are wondering if you should get quads or inline skates, here are the basics you should know before you do any skate buying.

Quads and inlines use a very similar movement in order to propel yourself and skate. It is only in the stopping department that they are significantly different (inlines have a brake on one heel and quads have 2 toe stops). Learning to stop on any skates is a lot more difficult than learning to move, but beginner quads skaters seem to have a harder time learning to toe stop than inliners learning to heel brake.

Quads were designed and are still best used for dance skating, roller disco, indoor skating and Roller Derby. The large surface area of the wheels make skating outdoors in quads much more difficult. Any tiny piece of gravel will be much more of an obstacle on quads than on rollerblades. Inline skates are absolutely designed for outdoors and speed. It’s easier to go faster on inline skates, it’s much easier to deal with different surfaces and pavement/street skating is not recommended on quads unless you are a much more advanced skater. The apparent ‘stability’ of quads skates often overshadows the fact that they are so much more difficult for gaining and maintaining speed, that very often skaters on new quads become very frustrated because they see the inliners gaining speed much more easily. If you spin some quad wheels with your hands and compare them to inline wheels, you will see which spins for longer.

People often like the idea of quads when they start skating again as adults as they can remember skating on quads when they were younger. The problem is that many people do not take into account these issues with quads and outdoor skating and end up buying quads and then wanting to skate for fitness, recreation and transport. This is not ideal. Quads go much slower and you need speed to go over bumps, so new skaters on quads tend to progress slower than inline beginners. This is surprising as the first thought is usually that quads are easier (as they don’t wobble sideways). However, although standing in quads is a bit like standing on a brick, (ie no sideways wobble), quads do not have any ankle support and so actually do not feel as supportive as inlines. An inline skate encases your entire ankle in hard plastic so that you are very supported and this actually makes it easier.

If you still aren’t sure we suggest you perhaps hire a pair of inlines for your first 1 or 2 lessons and see how that goes (you can hire skates from Club Blue Room at Marble Arch. Then make your decision. Many people buying quads now, do so simply because they think inlines are more difficult and they don’t have any experience of those, so sticking to what you know seems like the best option. In our experience, 9 times out of 10 these new quads skaters go and buy inlines soon after.

If you are still in doubt, contact Asha or Nick for more personal advice

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