The question “Which skates are easier, quads or inlines?” has become one of the most asked questions on my social media channels recently as the pandemic skate boom globally has encouraged many more people to start rolling. There is often a lot of confusion about which skates are easier or harder and therefore which should people choose?
With the growth of quads many people are discovering that rollerskating is not as easy as it looks and many people assume quads are easier. That’s not necessarily the case and I see many people choosing their skates based on the wrong criteria.
I replied to the question, “which skates are easier, quads or inlines?” with a video and my demo of skating with one inline skate and one rollerskate simultaneously, I hope shows that wheels are wheels and the same rules apply.
Here’s a few general guidelines that can help you make the choice;
– Do you know what kind of skating you will likely be doing when you get into it? For example;
Skate dancing or jamming to music.
Indoor pandemic skating
Skating for fitness and recreation and covering increasingly longer distances for an aerobic workout.
Urban skating on streets and roads (once you have gained the necessary skills).
Roller Derby (when pandemic restrictions begin to lift).
Each of these kinds of skating lends itself to different kinds of skates. In general, rollerskates and quad skating was designed for indoor rinks, very smooth surfaces and particularly skate dance. This can be done even in small indoor spaces and is ideal for lockdown and socially distanced or isolated skating.
Skating outdoors on roller skates is much more challenging than on inlines as the roughness of most outdoors surfaces will slow down and trip up a roller skater more easily than an inline skater. So if you are skating outdoors on roller skates, make sure you choose your skate area very carefully. Slopes on roller skates are again more difficult than on inlines and stopping on quads on slopes is particularly challenging.
Outdoors fitness, speed and urban skating is much better suited to inline skates and rollerblades as the curved wheel profile means they go over rough surfaces easier and the larger the wheels the smoother the ride. Street skating in quads is a huge challenge and should be avoided unless you have very good acceleration and stopping skills, so for intermediates and above only.
The actual mechanics of how to skate, stop and control your wheels is very similar on inlines and quads. What you have to do with your body to control any kind of skate is pretty similar. You need to bend your knees in a particular way, direct your knees in and out to steer and keep your weight on the front half of each foot. If you skip any of these technique basics in either kind of skate then you’ll increase your risk of falling.
People assume quads are easier because the wheels are flat on the ground and there is no sideways tilt like a rollerblade. This is true, but the instability of quads is related to the much shorter wheel base front and back so roller skaters are far more likely to fall over backwards if they make a mistake.
Inline skates are more unstable sideways than roller skates so bladers are more likely to have a sideways fall. The good news is that if you learn, practice and master the correct techniques, both kinds of skates will feel stable and you’ll enjoy the rolling feeling and become relaxed when you skate.
Those of you who skate on both, what are your opinions about which skates are easier, quads or inlines?
You may also benefit from the following Blog Posts about getting started
in roller and inline skating.