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                         GENERAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Frequently Asked Questions for

   (last changed Monday, 19-Aug-96 09:44:30 MDT)
   This Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) file is Copyright  1995 by
   Anthony D. Chen and is made available as a service to the Internet
   community. It may not be sold on disk, tape, CD-ROM, packaged or
   incorporated with any commercial product, or published in print,
   without the explicit, written permission of the copyright holder.
   License is hereby granted to redistribute on electronic or other media
   for which no fees are charged (except for the media itself), so long
   as the text of this copyright notice and license are attached intact
   to any and all republished portion or portions.
   Disclaimer: This file is presented with no warranties or guarantees of
   ANY KIND including correctness or fitness for any particular purpose.
   The author(s) of this material have attempted to verify correctness of
   the data contained herein; however, slip-ups can and do happen. If you
   use these documents, you do so at your own risk.
   This FAQ may be cited as:
     Chen, Anthony D. (1995) " Frequently Asked
     Questions (FAQ)" Usenet, available via
     anonymous WWW:
  Table of Contents:
     * Q: What is the difference between in-line skating and
     * Q: What are the origins of in-line skates?
     * Q: I'm interested in getting a pair of in-lines for outdoor
       skating. I want to get decent stuff, but I'd rather not spend a
       lot of money. What do I need to get?
     * Q: Are buckles better than laces?
     * Q: I want to get good in-lines, but I can only afford $150.
     * Q: I'm considering getting used skates. What do I look for?
     * Q: How do I stop on in-lines?
     * Q: I've learned how to slow down. how do I go faster?
     * Q: How do I learn to skate backwards?
     * Q: What sort of maintenance do I have to do on my in-lines?
     * Q: How do I handle dogs chasing me while skating?
     * Q: What can I do to help prevent skating bans?
     * Q: What other information is out there to help me with in-line
     * Glossary of Inline Skating Terms
   (Compiled and authored by Tony Chen, Phil Earnhardt, and George
   _Q: What is the difference between in-line skating and
          _A_: In-line skating is the official term for the sport
          commonly called "rollerblading" or simply "blading". The
          commonly misused term of "rollerblading" is due to the company
          called Rollerblade. Rollerblade wasn't the first to produce
          in-lines, but managed to popularize in-lines faster and farther
          than anyone previously (in the States anyway). Rollerblade was
          the only company in the in-line market for a long while, so
          they became the marekt leader. This lead to the generic use of
          the term "rollerblade" to stand for all in-lines, even if made
          by different companies. This is similar to the use of
          "kleenex", "coke", "Q-tip", "xerox", and other products.
   _Q: What are the origins of in-line skates?_
          _A_: (Merged paraphrased text from Wheel Excitement, The
          Complete Blader, and Blazing Bladers)
          The first in-line model was developed in the early 1700s by a
          Dutchman who wanted to simulate ice skating in the summer by
          nailing wooden spools to strips of wood and attaching them to
          his shoes.
          The next version appeared in 1760 when a London instrument
          maker, Joseph Merlin, decided to make an entrance to a
          masquerade party by skating in on metal-wheeled boots while
          playing a violin. He ended up skating into a huge mirror at the
          end of the ballroom, not having learned to stop or steer.
          In 1823, Robert John Tyers of London designed a skate called a
          "rolito" by placing five wheels in a row on the bottom of a
          shoe. The rolito was not take seriously at the time.
          In 1863, an American, James Plimpton, found a way to make a
          workable skate. He came up with a four-wheel skate with two
          pairs of wheels side by side, and so the modern four-wheel
          roller skate was created. Roller skates allowed turns, and also
          forwards and backwards skating. The invention of ball bearing
          wheels in 1884 helped the sport even more.
          Tyers' design did not go entirely unnoticed however. In the
          Netherlands, after the canals had melted, "skeelers" (5's) were
          used as a means of dry-land cross training, competition and
          transportation for over two decades.
          Finally, in 1980 when two brothers from Minneapolis were
          rummaging through a pile of equipment at a sporting goods
          store, they found an old in-line skate. Scott and Brennan Olson
          were ice hockey players and so they realized the cross-training
          potential of the in-line skate.
          They redesigned the skate, using a hockey boot, polyurethane
          wheels and adding a rubber heel brake, and found they could
          skate as they did on ice. Soon after, they began selling skates
          out of their home and eventually Rollerblade Inc. was born.
          _(end paraphrased text)_
          There were also some Soviet in-lines from around the same time.
          These in-lines were being developed for Speed Skating dryland
          training. Besides having inferior wheel material, they only had
          a single bearing cartridge in each wheel.
          The first mass-produced Rollerblade skates had two-part metal
          runners. The smaller skates had more overlap between the two
          metal parts; the large skates had less. The "bushings" were 4
          plain vanilla washers per wheel; they were cumbersome to
          assemble/remove and mechanically flawed: dirt/sand would get
          between the inner washer and the bearing. Also, there was just
          a washer's worth of clearance between the rail and the wheel:
          it was very easy to trash a wheel by rubbing it against a rail.
          The holes along the side of the runners were oval; the rock of
          the skate was determined by how much you slid the bolt up or
          down when you tightened it. Finally, the brakes were old roller
          skate toe stops -- they were not very efficient.
          The first massively successful Rollerblade skate was the
          Lightning. It had a robust fiberglass runner for each size of
          skate. The bushings fit into oval holes in the runners -- rock
          was set by whether you put the bushing in up or down. The
          linkage between the wheel and runner was far more mechanically
          efficient and there was no way to rub wheels on the runners.
          Wheel removal/insertion was far easier. And Rollerblade's
          brake, while far smaller than the old "toe stop" brake, was
          much more efficient and lasted longer.
   _Q: I'm interested in getting a pair of in-lines for outdoor skating.
          I want to get decent stuff, but I'd rather not spend a lot of
          money. What do I need to get?_
          (See the Buying Guide for Inline Skates for more in-depth
          _A_: First off, your budget should include protection: knee
          pads, wrist guards, and a helmet. Elbow pads are optional.
          These "pads" should have a hard plastic shell -- they should
          slide on the asphalt when you fall. Good brands of protection
          are the Rollerblade TRS or the Dr. Bone Savers (DBS) set of
          accesories. For helmets, any well-fitting ANSI/Snell approved
          bicycle helmet should be fine.
          The in-line industry is a lot like the bicycle industry --
          specialty shops generally sell and support more expensive
          functional skate brands and department stores generally sell
          inexpensive lines that will never work well. Also, there's
          usually a much greater chance of getting spare parts and
          service from a specialty shop than a department store.
          Rollerblade is the best-known brand of in-line skate; they make
          a whole family of different in-line skates. Any skate in
          Rollerblade's line at or above the Lightning skate should work
          well and last a long time. Other reputable manufacturers are
          Ultra Wheels, Bauer, Roces, and K2.
          You may wish to rent a model of skates before buying. Some
          shops will discount part of the rental from purchase price if
          you buy skates later.
          The fit should be comfortable but snug. Unlike hiking or
          running shoes, it's OK for your toes to be loosely in contact
          with the front of the boot.
          Unless you have a background of speed skating, beginning
          skaters should avoid the 5-wheel skates. The problem with isn't
          the inherent speed of the skates, but since manueverability and
          flexibility are sacrificed for the sake of racing performance,
          so turns and other maneuvers require more commitment. The
          5-wheelers are great fun, but master the fundamentals on a
          shorter wheelbase first.
   _Q: Are buckles better than laces?_
          _A_: If you're looking to buy skates nowadays, you'll notice a
          wide variety of support systems: laces only, laces with one
          buckle, one buckle (rear-entry style), two buckles, three
          buckles, or maybe even a multitude of straps like in K2 skates.
          Hockey skates are usually laces only. 5-wheelers come in
          various types: laces only, lace and one buckle, or multiple
          buckles (typically recreational 5-wheelers).
          The issue of buckles vs. laces is still a fairly often debated
          subject, and the bottom line is whatever works for you. Anyway,
          here are some good and bad points of each support system
          (recreational skates only).
               o PROs
                   1. Faster to put on.
                   2. More durable.
                   3. Adjustable on the fly.
                   4. Allows for vented shells.
                   5. Maintain their hold, no loosening.
                   6. Possible to adjust support in separate areas.
               o CONs
                   1. More expensive (in general).
                   2. Can cause too much pressure on parts of the foot.
               o PROs
                   1. Cheaper (in general)
                   2. Much less prone to point-loading pressure on
                      specific spots, pressure is distributed evenly.
               o CONs
                   1. Slower to lace up than to buckle up.
                   2. Prone to breakage.
                   3. Cannot easily adjust tension without stopping and
                      re-doing the whole thing.
                   4. Laces don't allow for much venting in the shells.
                   5. They eventually loosen while you skate.
                   6. Not very easy to adjust support in sparate areas.
  Laces & buckles:
               o PROs
                   1. Support adjustment is easy (if you normally only
                      adjust the ankle).
               o CONs
                   1. Laces don't allow for much venting in the shells.
               o NEITHER
                   1. Mid-range pricing.
          Buckles may seem like they've got a lot of good points going
          for them, and they do. However, the two bad points can be big
          ones. Cost is the most obvious factor. If you can't afford
          buckle skates, you'll likely have to settle for laces only,
          and/or add your own. The other factor is fit. If the skates
          don't fit you quite right, the buckles can cause over-pressure
          on certain parts of your feet. Fit is one of more important
          aspects of choosing a skate, and while liners of most skates
          eliminate this point- loading problem to a good extent, it may
          not be enough for some people.
          So what can you do if you've got lace-only skates and want to
          have the convenience of buckles but can't afford to buy a new
          pair? You might consider adding buckles. Either adding one
          buckle at the ankle or doing away with laces altogether and
          adding two or three buckles. Many ski shops will be willing to
          do this for you. Or you can add your own.
          To retrofit buckles onto your skates:
     From: (James A Holroyd-1)
     1) Buckles: can be obtained at ski shops, snowboarding shops, or
     from an old pair of ski boots. I got mine from a snowboard shop,
     sold as an extra buckle kit for snowboard binding ankle straps.
     ** NOTE ** Make *sure* the mounting surfaces of the buckle are only
     slightly curved. Too much curvature in this area (the bit that
     touches the boot) will pull your boot out of shape and be very
     2) Drill with various bits.
     3) Mounting hardware for buckles: you can rivet them, or use
     T-bolts. I used T-bolts with loctite on the threads, and they stay
     on well.
        Step 1.
                Put your skates on and figure out where you want to put
                the buckles. I would recommend leaving the eyelets for
                the laces accessible. This way, you can still lace up
                your skates, then tighten the cuffs with your buckles The
                laces sit behind the strap, and don't loosen up as much
                as if you leave them tied off below the cuff. Remember to
                place the buckles far enough apart so you can tighten
                them, but not so far that you can't get the tongue into
                the ratchet.
                *** IMPORTANT *** The buckle levers go on the *outside*
                of the skate :) This is very embarrassing when you get it
                wrong (I did, first time), as every time your skates get
                close together, they either catch on each other or
                unlatch the lever, or some combination of the two. Not
        Step 2.
                Mark where you will have to drill holes to mount the
        Step 3.
                Take the liners out of the boots and drill the holes.
                Start with a small, sharp bit (that boot plastic is
                *tough*, it could take a while) and work up to the size
                that accomodates the mounting hardware you're using.
        Step 4.
                Mount the buckles. If you are using the snowboard
                buckles, the mounting hardware that came with them should
                work. Just make sure that nothing sharp is sticking into
                your liner, as it could chew up the liner and/or your
                ankle. Don't forget the loctite (although it's really not
                critical until you've got the placement right, or until
                you're 10 miles from home :) )
                This method works great with my lightnings. I got a pair
                of skates that, IMHO, are as good as those costing a lot
                more. However, I would not try this trick with any of the
                skates with flimsier liners. The Zetra's are pretty
                uncomfy after a while, as the edges of the cuff do tend
                to dig in. I ended up putting extra foam padding
                (ensolite) around the ankle area before I sold them to a
                friend. He took it out, and apparently has no comfort
                problems. Your mileage may vary.
                Buckle add-on kits are now being sold in skate shops
                specifically for in-lines. They run about $20 or so per
                pair of buckles. Ask your local skate shop or call up one
                of the mail-order shops in the FAQ.
   _Q: I want to get good in-lines, but I can only afford $150._ (See
          also the Buying Guide for Inline Skates)
          _A_: At this price point, you'll have to be pretty resourceful.
          First, note that the in-line "season" begins somewhere around
          the end of March. You'll probably find some good bargains in
          stores in the Jan-Mar time frame. Like many sports, the in-line
          market is style-oriented: you may find last year's style at a
          huge discount.
          Even at this price level, you should avoid "department store"
          skates (unless you want to buy skates that you won't use).
          You're far better off buying a pair of used Rollerblade
          Lightning skates. If you don't see anyone selling your size,
          consider putting an ad advertising that you want to buy skates.
          Make sure to get pads too. Don't skimp on protection! A knee is
          a terrible thing to waste. Used protection in good condition is
   _Q: I'm considering getting used skates. What do I look for?_
          See the Buying Guide for Used Skates
   _Q: How do I stop on in-lines?_ (see also, the stopping file, for more
          _A_: Good question. You've taken the most important step --
          realizing that there is a need to be able to slow down. The
          rest is just practice.
          There are several general techniques for stopping while
          remaining on your skates: generating friction by dragging your
          brake pad, generating friction by sliding your wheels laterally
          against the ground, jumping onto grass and killing your speed
          by running out, and pushing against a slower-moving or
          stationary object with your hands.
          I finally learned how to brake well when someone described this
          image: your brake foot has just slipped on a banana peel.
          Whoops! Your brake foot will be about a foot in front of your
          body. The leg will have a slight bend. The rear wheel and the
          brake will be in contact with the ground.
          At first, your non-brake foot will be bearing almost all your
          weight. That leg will be directly under your body, and the knee
          will be bent. The amount of bend in your knee will determine
          how much braking force you can apply.
          Your feet should be very close to your centerline. This should
          help keep you going straight forward when braking (pretty
          There should be a slight forward bend in the waist. It may also
          help to keep the hands at waist height or so. This keeps your
          center of gravity lower. Try to keep your hands (and your whole
          upper body) loose; clenched fists do not make the brakes work
          any better! Relax.
          After you've tried a dozen or so stops, add one more
          refinement: drive your back knee into the back of the front
          knee while braking. This creates a triangle with your lower
          legs and the pavement between your skates. As all the
          Buckminster Fuller fans out there know, triangles provide
          structural stability. This triangle should enhance your braking
          power and ability to run smooth, straight, and true while
          As you master braking, begin to shift more of your weight to
          your front foot. The Masters of Speed Control can actually
          decelerate while standing only on their front foot. Good trick,
   _Q: I've learned how to slow down. how do I go faster?_
          _A_: First off, keep learning how to slow down! Learn new
          techniques; refine the ones you already know. Until you master
          slowing down, your mind will limit how fast it will let you go
          on skates.
          Watch good skaters. Notice that they rarely have both skates on
          the ground at the same time. This independent leg action is
          something you'll master over time; you can practice by seeing
          now long you can glide on a single skate. When you can glide on
          a single skate for more than 30 seconds (both left and right
          legs!), you're well on the way.
          Notice that almost all of the side-to-side motion is happening
          below the waist. Eliminate any twisting motion in your
          shoulders -- keep your shoulders square to your direction of
          travel. If you want to move your arms, move them forward and
          back -- crossing patterns may have you twist your shoulders.
          Relax the muscles in your lower back to allow your upper body
          to remain quiet.
          Watch your stride. Are you pushing more to the side or to the
          back? Shift your stride to be pushing almost exclusively to the
          Where do you set your skate down at the start of your stride?
          Shoulder width? Start setting your skate down on the centerline
          of your body. After you're comfortable with that, start setting
          your skate further in beyond your centerline.
          Do you flick your toe at the end of your stride? If so, stop.
          Instead, flick your heel -- drive your heel out at the end of
          the stroke. This will feel very strange for the first 10,000 or
          so times.
          Relax. Then relax some more. Discover levels with levels of
          relaxation. Travel fast while moving your skates slowly -- your
          body is swimming through air. Consider beginning to practice
          T'ai Chi Ch'aun postures daily. Relax some more.
   _Q: How do I learn to skate backwards?_
          See part 2.1 of the FAQ
   _Q: What sort of maintenance do I have to do on my in-lines?_ (See
          also: part 4 of the FAQ)
          _A_: Things that need maintaining are the wheels, bearings, and
          Wheels sometimes need rotating to keep the wear on all the
          wheels even. To rotate a set of wheels, you simply move wheels
          to different positions. The swapping scheme you use it ups to
          you. Some people have a set rotation they always do (wheel #1
          -> #2, #2 -> #3, #3 -> #4, etc.) and some people just try and
          place the wheels so that the wear is more evenly distributed.
          Do what's best for you.
          For your bearings, practice preventative maintenance: avoid
          sand, dirt, and water as much as possible. These nasties are
          what cause bearing failure. If you want bearings to last,
          vacuum in/around your runners with an upholstery accessory
          after every skating session. If you do want to (or have to)
          skate in sand/dirt/water/mud, get a set of sealed bearings.
          Buy a Rollerblade "Y" tool to remove bearings from spacers, or
          buy one of the aftermarket bearing spacer kits. These make
          bearing removal much easier.
   _Q: How do I handle dogs chasing me while skating?_
          (From George Robbins)
        On the physical side
                Many people recommed a bicycle style water bottle, dogs
                tend to be confused/diestressed by getting a spray of
                water in the face. Since you can spray from a distance,
                this is generally safe and the bottle is also useful for
                you own refreshment.
        On the psych-warfare side
                Threaten back by either skating directly towards the dog
                or making some kind of striking/throwing motion with your
                arms, preferably with a stick or some kind other sort of
                safety extension. Dogs generally thtreaten potential
                territorial invaders and become more or less agressive
                depending on the response.
        On the chem-warfare front
                Some people recommed mace or other chemical deterrents.
                These will cause the animal severe pain, so be sure that
                the dog is really threatenting and not just putting up a
                noisey territorial display. Also don't rely on these
                100%, since while skating you may miss or the dog may
                attack anyway, so be prepared to strike and run. Some
                folks also recommend ammonia in the water bottle, but
                make sure you don't get confused and take a sip.
        On the legal front
                Take note of what property the dog seems to be defending
                and it's description, especially collars or tags. If
                you're in an area with an enforced leash law, don't
                hestitate to report the animal. If not, you can still
                report the dog to the police, sheriff or animal control
                authorities, especially if it did physically attack
                and/or bite you. This may or may not get a positive
                response, but the owner *is* legally responsible for
                keeping his animals under control and one that attacks
                you today may attack child skater or cyclist tomorrow.
        On the other side
                Be prepared to sprint through or away from the dog's
                territory. Motions or sounds will attrace the dogs
                attention, but they usually won't chase seriously beyond
                a predetermined territory. Keep your arms up/close to
                your body, so that if the dog does try to bit it will
                probably and up with a mouth full of boot. If the dog
                does bite an break your skin, clean the wound immediately
                and seek medical attention.
   _Q: What can I do to help prevent skating bans?_
  Some Common Sense Approaches For Avoiding Skate Bans
          A Letter For Skaters (from Dave Cooper at IISA) As more and
          more in-liners take to the roads and paths of this great
          country, encounters between skaters and the civilians (any
          non-skater) become more likely. Cities, parks and educational
          institutions are taking a second look at in-line skaters and
          asking whether they can abide by wheeled beings plying their
          pavement. In large measure, their decisions to give in-liners
          the green light are formed by the image they have of the local
          skate talent. Here are ten common sense things you can do to
          get out in front of the restrictions in your community. By
          presenting the image of a sane and reasonable collection of
          carbon molecules you might avoid future unpleasantness:
         1. _Skate Smart_ - Build the image of the in-line skater as a
            safety conscious individual.
         2. _Align With The Bicyclist_ - Bikers are pursuing a legitimate
            sport, let this rub off.
         3. _Sponsor Family Days_ - Any time Grandma and the kids do
   must be o.k.
         4. _Skate With Community Leaders_ - Most have always "wanted to
            try it" Educated them.
         5. _Offer The Law Enforcement Community Help_ - Extra eyes for
            the police, our friends.
         6. _Sponsor Safety Clinics_ - Who knows, you might even get
         7. _Attend Regulatory Meetings (Traffic, City, School)_ - Wear
            your nice clothes.
         8. _Sponsor A School Program_ - Get the educators behind the
         9. _Visit The Rental Shop_ - Help them have safe customers.
        10. _Police Yourself_ - Organize (or don't), but make sure
            skaters obey the right laws at the right times.
          Remember that the sport of in-line skating is very cool, very
          fun and can be quite wacky, but as a role model for the
          beginner we all have a responsibility to execute our stranger
          and more dangerous maneuvers out of eye and camera shot. By all
          means, push the sport, make the best of your skate, but also
          Skate Smart, Skate Polite and, when appropriate, skate stealth.
          For more information on specific programs that can help your
          area - please contact the IISA,

          Dave Cooper
          International In-line Skating Association
          Government Relations Committee

   _Q: What other information is out there to help me with in-line
          Here's a list of inline skating magazines out there: InLine
          Subscriptions Dept.
          P.O. Box 527
          Mt. Morris, IL 61054
          or call customer service at 1-800-877-5281
, Inline Magazine, Natalie Kurylko, editor
          Speedskating Times
          2910 NE 11 Ave
          Pompano Beach, FL 33064
          (305) 782-5928
          Daily Bread
          280 Highland Rd.
          Laguna Beach, CA 92651
          (714) 497-2636
          Box Magazine
          818 Lincoln Blvd.
          Slab 103
          Venice, CA 90291
          Roller Hockey Magazine
          12327 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 202
          Los Angelas, CA 90025
          phone 310-442-6660
          fax 310-442-6663
          9 per year @ $20
          Inline Skater
          4099 McEwen, suite 350
          Dallas TX 75244-5039
          6 per year @$17.95
          Global Skate
          PO Box 8400-361
          Westminster, CA 92683
          E-mail GLOBALSK8@AOL.COM
          4 per year @ $8
          Inline Retailer
          2025 Pearl St.
          Boulder, CO 80302
          fax 303-440-3313 12 per year @ $30, or free to qualified
   Inline Skater ( There are several videos
   that are marginally good at training. One of these is the
   Rollerblade/Ski Magazine Skate to Ski video. Your local Rollerblade
   dealer should have training videos available for viewing in the store
   and/or rental.
   _Reading list:_ (mini-reviews by George Robbins)
   See also George's Skating Book FAQ which covers books for all
   types of skating (roller, ice, inline).
   Blazing Bladers by Bill Gutman
   A Tom Doherty Associates Book, 1992.
   Cover price: $6.99 ($7.99 CAN)
   ISBN 0-812-51939-6
   One of the two easier to find books, this provides a reaonsable
   overview of the sport, but suffers somewhat from "generic how-to"
   publishing. The author tends to recite what "experts" have told him
   without much conviction and some of the photographs don't fit well
   with the text. Still has a good section on "street tricks".
   The Complete Blader by Joel Rappelfeld
   St. Martin's Press, NY, New York, 1992.
   Cover price: $8.95
   ISBN 0-312-06936-7
   This book is nearly as good as _Inline Skating_, but is more oriented
   towards fitness/health aspects. There seems to be as much space
   allocated to stretching and conditioning as skating. One useful
   section describes construction and use of a slide-board for off season
   The Complete Guide and Resource to In-line Skating
   by Stephen Christopher Joyner
   Betterway Books, Cincinnati OH - 1993
   Trade Paperback, 176 pages, $12.95
   ISBN 1-55870-289-X
   As a resource guide, this is a useful book, the appendices list
   Magazines, Manufacturers, Retailers, Organizations, Roller Hockey
   Leagues, IISA certified instructors and also a rather eclectic
   bibliography. The rest of the text is OK and has a few interesting
   features, but either of the first two in-line books (The Complete
   Blader and Inline Skating) mentioned above would be more useful,
   especially for the beginning skater. Some Specific irritations are
   only the briefest mention of roller hockey where I would exepect at
   least an information presentation of rules, equipment and game play,
   and a strong anti-quad bias including a history of skating which leaps
   from Plimpton's error (a steerable truck quad skate) to Scott Olson's
   Rollerblade as if no-one enjoyed skating in the interiem.
   Inline Skating by Mark Powell & John Svenson
   Human Kinetics Publising, 1993
   Trade Paperback, 134 PP, $12.95
   ISBN 0-87322-399-3
   Of the recent rash of in-line skating "how to" books, this is probably
   best and most balanced one. It has good coverage of equipment and
   basic skating skills, mention of dance and fun skating, and doesn't
   suffer from any fitness obsession.
   Laura Stamm's Power Skating by Laura Stamm
   Leisure Press, 1989
   Cover price: $17.95
   ISBN 0-88011-331-6
   Wheel Excitement by Neil Feineman with Team Rollerblade(R)
   Hearst Books, New York, NY 1991.
   Cover price: $9.00
   ISBN 0-688-10814-8
   At one point, this was the only book on in-line skating and it still
   serves as a decent introduction to the sport. Lots of pictures of
   California kids having a good time. The actual text is a little thin
   and any of the above books are better if you can find them in your
                           INLINE SKATING GLOSSARY
          Stands for Annular Bearing Engineer Council. The ABEC-1,
          ABEC-3, ABEC-5 ratings you see for bearings are supposed to be
          indications that the bearings meet the stated ABEC
          specifications of a certain precision level. ABEC-5's are
          supposed to be fastest but there is yet no hard evidence that
          in real world situations that this is true.
          These are those metal things inside the hub of your wheels.
          There's two per wheel. Inline skates currently use bearings
          that were already standard in the bearings industry, before
          inlines were popular. They are "608" bearings, indicating the
          inner (6mm) and outer diamters (8 mm).
   _bearing spacers:_
          These are those small parts that go in between your bearings so
          that the axles can go through your wheels. Most stock spacers
          are plastic, some may be metal. Hop-up kits provide metal ones.
          Some spacers may also be threaded (so that axles screw directly
          into the spacers instead of just passing through).
          This is a wheel configuration used by many rail-sliders which
          has the larger wheels on the toe and heel positions, and the
          smaller wheels (like Lil' Roxx or Midgets) in the middle to
          allow the sliding to take place without the wheels being in the
   _bashing (stair bashing):_
          A synonym for stair riding. Also sometimes called "stair
          Skating crossovers is simply skating along a curved path while
          still stroking. To do this, you have to cross the outer skate
          over the other one and hence the term "crossover". Done
          properly, a crossover will not only let you maintain your speed
          going into the turn, but also let you increase it to an extent.
          The turns that ice speedskaters do during the Olympics are all
          crossover turns. Figure skaters will often do backwards
          crossovers during their routines, and hockey players do a
          variety of both during games.
          Durometer is an industry hardness rating for polyurethane,
          which is the primary wheel material. Ratings such as 78A or 85A
          are usually seen on wheels. The higher the rating the harder
          the wheel. 100 is the highest (although no skaters probably go
          beyond 92 or 95).
   _frame spacers:_
          These are those small parts on your skates that go between your
          wheels and the runners. Many skates have eccentric, oval shaped
          frame spacers so that you can flip them 180 degrees to rocker
          your skates.
          A prefix used for any trick done backwards, as in a "fakie
   _grind plates:_
          These are flat metal or hard plastic plates that are bolted on
          to runners for grinding and rail slides so that the original
          runners won't get shredded to pieces.
   _hop-up kits:_
          Hop-up kits are simply upgrade kits that include frame spacers,
          bearing spacers, and axels. They're made of aluminium or brass
          or some other metal. Some incorporate threaded spacers too. The
          advantage in using hop-up kits is that you can crank down real
          hard on your wheels without compressing the spacers. The stock
          plastic spacers on most skates will compress or even crack if
          you do this a lot.
          This means the entire skate (boot and runners) is
          manufacturered in one solid piece. This can produce a lot more
          stiffness in the skate, which may or may not be good, depending
          on your skating style and purpose.
   _rail slides:_
          This is a skating trick where you slide along a rail in various
          stances. Most often an anti-rocker or all-small-wheel setup is
          used in order to let the runners slide along the rail. It wears
          down plastic runners fairly quick so rail sliders usually put
          on grind-plates on their runners.
   _road rash:_
          Any scrapes, gashes or other injuries incurred from wiping out
          and sliding on pavement.
          Rockering your skates means to arrange the wheel heights to
          approximate a curved (ice skate) blade. Normally this is done
          by raising the front and rear wheels slightly by flipping the
          frame spacers, or by lower the middle two wheels, or by doing
          both. Rocker provides for much more responsive turning at the
          cost of some stability.
          Skitching comes from "skate hitching". Skitching is simply
          hanging on to some moving vehicle and letting it pull you
          along. Potentially dangerous of course.
   _stair riding:_
          This is a common skating stunt where you literally ride down a
          set of steps. It's bumpy, but with the proper stance and
          balance it's pretty fun. Always use protective gear when doing
   _wheel rotation:_
          Polyurethane wheels eventually wear down, but you can often
          extend the life of your wheels by flipping and/or rotating your
          wheels amongst themselves so that you can skate on the
          less-worn areas of your wheels.
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   Copyright  1991-1996 Anthony D. Chen (

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