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Learn About Inline Street Skating

Street and Road Skating Provide Social Tours on Wheels

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Learn About Inline Street Skating
Photo © Joerg Reimann, iStockphoto.com

Street and road skating includes group social skates, skating tours or sometimes even fund raising roller activities for participants wearing quad or inline skates along public thoroughfares and smooth paved roads. Street and road skates are usually organized by a host group, club or team and have pre-determined scenic routes as well as rules for required skills, safety and road etiquette. They can be planned for any day of the week, but the Friday Night Skate (FNS) is a popular group skate format.

Almost Anyone Can Street Skate

Most street skating events are free and many are regularly recurring social activities for the majority of the participants. Street skates in tourist destinations are often used as a safe way for visitors to see the sights, meet locals with a common interest and get a little exercise, too. Street skating organizers usually welcome most skating levels and skating styles as long as the skater has enough speed and stamina to keep up with the group, good maneuvering skills are required for all participants and each skater should have the ability to come to a quick and controlled stop on the terrain that is included on the selected route. New skaters that do not have these skills may need to leave the group and return when they have better skating skills. Many host groups even offer skating lessons or access to roller sports training programs to help prepare new skaters who need to build skills in order to participate.

Since some street skates often include hundreds of participants, skate patrols, skate marshals or even police officers often provide help in supervision of the group for the safety of the skaters. All groups remind participating skaters in advance that they skate at their own risk and may be legally responsible for possible property damage en route.

There are street skating events all over the world, but the Pari Roller, which began in 1994, is known as the biggest weekly street skating event in the world. This Friday Night Fever-filled activity attracts as many as 35,000 skaters, depending on the season. Munich, Berlin, London, Nottingham and San Francisco are other cities that have very active street skating communities.

How is a Road Skate Different?

Many street skaters are not quite ready for this type of group skate. Road skating is a more sophisticated inline roller sports activity on the roads. The participants skate in tighter packs - much like road cycling. And the skaters use skills and techniques more similar to inline speed skating strategy, including drafting, that help them conserve energy to skate longer and travel much faster than individuals in a regular street skating group.

These road skating events, like the famous Athens-to-Atlanta 86 mile road skating marathon, combine social and training benefits for speed and marathon skaters. Some serious fitness skaters who have high-end equipment and good training, may also road skate as a fitness challenge.

Street and Road Inline Skates and Gear

Recreational inline skates are usually not enough for a recurring street skating activities and not suitable at all for road skating. Most active street skaters choose higher quality fitness skates or entry level speed skates to get a comfortable fit, more control and more speed than most recreational models provide. All road skaters use intermediate-to-high-end inline speed skating skates and gear.

One thing that is always important for any level of street or road skating is a good set of safety gear. This complete set of protective gear will include four important things - a helmet, a knee pad set, an elbow pad set and wrist protectors or guards. Some skaters use additional safety gear like night lights and reflective gear, too.

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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