Inline figure skating is a branch of roller figure skating (often called artistic skating) which has emerged as a competitive discipline in its own right very slowly. In the 1880s, ice skating instructors were hired by roller rinks to teach skating basics to beginners and figure skating maneuvers to advanced skaters on quad skates. Figure skating on inlines has appeared at various times since then for ice cross-training, but did not get recognition as a sport in its own right until 2002, when inline freeskating events for women and men were included as part of the World Roller Figure Skating Championships in Germany for the first time.
Inline Figure Skates
Today's roller sports include inline figure skating equipment that uses contemporary ice or roller figure skating boots mounted on rockered skate frames that support 3 or 4 wheels in a line with a rubber toe-stop or toe-pick, mounted on traditional roller or ice figure skating boots. The popularity of inline figure skating has grown with the development of high quality inline figure skating equipment and customizations that allow each skater to attempt more difficult maneuvers. Inline figure skates are expensive, but new entry level skates or carefully selected used equipment is affordable.
Figure Activities for Inline Skaters
Inline figure skaters use the same training structure with private lessons and group class training, proficiency testing, shows, special events and competitions that is used by ice figure skaters and roller artistic skaters. Inline figure skaters can choose to join a skating club, social skate and practice with friends or skate alone. You should learn the basics first, then benefit from cross-training, competitive or social activities in inline figure skating.
Inline figure skaters participate in freestyle singles, freestyle pairs, compulsory dance, creative dance, show team and synchronized inline roller figure skating disciplines, just like ice skaters and roller artistic skaters. But in this version of the sport, the competitors execute program requirements on inline skates. Many championships are combined with roller figure skating, since both disciplines can use the same type of skating surface with similar free skating, dance and creative events. But there are also inline only events like the Paris Open. Inline figure skating is currently governed by the Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports, which includes it as an artistic roller skating sport on inline skates at its world championships. This sport is not yet part of the International World Games Association (IWGA) event. Inline figure skaters around the world are now performing double and triple jumps, a range of spins, interesting choreography and all of the senior level dances while using inline skates. Ice figure skating federation members often use inline figure skating for cost effective off-ice training.
Roller and ice enthusiasts choose inline figure skating for many reasons:
- Inline figure skating is fun
- Inline figure skating can be done on many surfaces at many locations
- Inline figure skaters can achieve cross-training goals
- Inline figure has competitive opportunities
- There are opportunities to travel
- Inline figure can be an on-going non-competitive activity
- Recreational inline skating includes a variety of activities that are suitable for skaters of all ages and many skating levels.
- Inline fitness skating is more goal-oriented skating to achieve medical, mental or physical benefits.
- Street and road skating are organized group events on public thoroughfares and smooth paved roads.
- Speed skating and inline racing are recognized as competitive disciplines around the world.
- Marathon skating events are taking place on every continent.
- Freestyle slalom skating lets you dance and spin around cones.
- Dryland skating or inline figure skating is very similar to ice figure skating.
- Inline hockey skating is a popular year-round sport at amateur, scholastic, and professional levels.
- Inline roller soccer is a unique version of regular soccer.
- Roller cricket athletes play all batting, bowling and fielding positions on roller skates.
- Roll ball is becoming a popular school sport.
- Inline basketball is an easy roller sport to develop.
- Aggressive and stunt skating includes jumps, grinds, slides and flips.
- Urban inline skating is a great activity for young or young-at-heart thrill-seekers.
- Skate cross is an aggressive ramp and obstacle course race on inline or quad skates.
- Off road and all terrain skating combines mountain biking and skiing with inline skating.
- Nordic inline skating is also called cross-skating or Nordic blading.
- Kite skating is an extreme inline-based roller sport.
- Wind skating or skate sailing is a wind powered inline sport.
- Downhill racing is similar to the Alpine downhill ski racing.
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.