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Downhill Inline Skating

Alpine Downhill Racing – No Snow Required


Downhill Inline Skating
Photo © Marcio Eugenio, iStockphoto.com

Downhill inline skating is one of many gravity sports, and it is a variation of the inline roller sports that is similar to the Alpine downhill ski racing. The biggest difference is that these racers cover a downhill distance on paved mountain roads using inline skates instead of skis on a snow covered mountain. These skaters reach speeds as fast as 60 miles per hour.

Technical Downhill

Technical downhill skating requires inline skating down steep city streets. This downhill discipline is done with or without using ski poles and demands perfect turns on each curve of the road to prevent skidding.

Downhill Inline Racing

In downhill inline racing, four to six racers start each race at the same time, so drafting and passing strategies are a very important part of each race. Any athlete who chooses a downhill inline skating discipline should understand that advanced skating skills are required, including turning, braking and balancing at speeds that can easily reach 35mph and in some cases have gone over 75mph.

Downhill Inline Skates

The downhill inline skate comes with a longer frame and large, softer urethane wheels. Downhill skaters ride on these five or six wheeled speed skates, and they also usually wear specially designed protective speed suits with aerodynamic helmets. This equipment helps the racers maintain as much speed as possible and allows them to effectively maneuver on curves. Downhill speed skates do not have brakes, so a variety of stopping and slowing techniques - including slaloming and v-plowing – are used to control speeds.

This discipline of inline skating is not suitable for beginners or recreational skaters. It is important to master high speed balance skills, drafting and excellent stopping skills in order to participate in downhill inline racing activities. Serious speed skating enthusiasts, thrill seekers like Jean-Yves Blondeau and experienced athletes looking for cross training activities for skiing are good candidates for downhill inline skating activities.

Downhill Governing Bodies and Organizations

There are several downhill sports governing bodies and organizations. The International Gravity Sports Association (IGSA) is the world sanctioning body for extreme gravity sports racing, including street luge, downhill skateboarding, classic luge, inline skating and gravity bike events. The International Inline Downhill Association (IIDA) is the organization that was established as the world sanctioning body of inline downhill skating roller sports. The International Downhill Federation (IDF) is a democratic, non-profit organization that regulates and promotes the downhill skateboard racing sports. The International Downhill Racing Association (IDRA) is a grassroots nonprofit organization for downhill street luge and long skateboard enthusiasts.

The kind of skating that interests you will determine the type of training, skates and gear you will need. Take a good look at many of the inline skating roller sports options:

You can also get a quick overview of many inline skating sports. If you are not sure that your interests will be dedicated to any one of these specific skating styles, start by building a good foundation in recreational or fitness activities and training. Good basic skills will take you in any direction that you want to roll. If you do not find an inline roller sport that is just right for you, then take a look at the quad skating sports opportunities.

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