Skate Terminology

The word itselfs means slithering or sliding in old english and is thus first used to describe a sport, for the activity of ice skating. There are now many different type of skating (ice, roller, inline) with many sub categories (hockey, figure, speed, aggressive, downhill, dance, marathon, etc). All the participants of each of the these sub categories, refer to their own discipline by the common name of skating because within their subgroup the context would be obvious. When we use "skate" or "skating" on this website it will always mean inline skate or inline skating. 

Roller skating
Historically it referred to an ice skate that is equipped with wheels where the wheels could be either in a line (inline), or side by side (quad). Over hundreds of years many forms of rollerskates have been invented but the quad skate was the one that had the early big succes in the 1880's, 1920's, 1950's and 1970's. This is manly because inline skates require a much more supportive boot, more like a ski. The term Roller skating in modern times refers to a skate with the wheels side by side. 

Skate board
In the 1940's kids had old roller skates in their garages. When they took the boot off, and mounted the plate on a board. This way they could use their old roller skates as a skate board. Skate boarding owes its name from roller skating

Inline skate
A skate that has the wheels in a row from the front to the back (hence in-line). It can be anywhere from 2 up to 6 wheels. Most inline skates have 4 wheels. A good pair of skates has a strong supportive boot like a ski, much more than like an ice skate.

A term mostly used by non inline skaters. The word solely describes the position of the wheels however and should NOT be used as a verb or a noun like "inlines" or "inliners"

Used mostly by english speakers to describe inline skates. Rollerblade is however a brand name. Because of this it can never be commonly adopted all over the world because the brands (Rollerblade brand included) are fighting against this misunderstanding. As long as we will have skate brands, we will have the term "inline skating". To strengthen the connection of the mainstream to the messaging of our core scene it is best to use and promote the correct terminology where we can.

This term is used mostly by english speakers as a shortened version of Rollerblades. Like its brother term "Rollerblades" it is discouraged to be used by each and every brand of inline skates and thus also can not be found anywhere on this website.

The Dutch ice skating brand Zandstra owns this term as a patented name. They had an early inline skate in the 1970's already called the Skeeler and this is how the term was widely adopted by Dutch speed ice skaters wanting to roller skate. Because of this connection with speed inline skating, the Dutch skating league SBN (Skate Bond Nederland) in the 90's defined skeeleren as follows: "Een skeeler is een skate met 5 wielen" meaning any skate with 5 wheels would be called skeeler. Back then 5 wheels where used for speed, now speed skaters use 3 so this definition is outdated. The SBN got merged in the KNSB (Koninklijke Nederlandse Schaatsbond) in the mid 00's and the KNSB now says that skeeleren refers to inline skating but should be discouraged as a term. Learn more about the term Skeeleren:

This is the Spanish word for ice skates, roller skates and inline skates. For inline skating specifically they use "Patines en linea"

Roller Freestyle
Fise is a French skatepark competition with big obstacles where some of the best riders in the world are competing against each other. In French Inline and roller skating are just called "roller". It is very confusing however that they use the term "roller" for inline skating because this is usually referred for skates with the wheels side by side.

Another confusion is their usage of the term "freestyle". Within skiing, freestyle is used for big jumps, but for inline skating freestyle is a well defined disciplined of flat ground skating. 

Recreational inline skates
This term is really misleading. If you type it in an search engine mostly bad and weak soft boots come up and they are unfortunately not the type of skates rec skaters are best off buying.
A big part of the skaters in the world are recreational users and these are the skaters that also know the least about their favorite activity. They need a skate that offers them control and stability to be able to enjoy it. 

Freestyle inline skates
Freestyle skates to ride on the flatground with. These skates are a great value for money option for recreational users. Learn more about freestyle inline skates:

Urban inline skates
A fancy way of saying freestyle inline skates. Urban implies that you will be skating through the city, and freestyle implies you will be skating on a flatground, but generally the hardware indicated by both terms is the same. Ironically the best hardware to skate through an urban city with are not urban skates nor are they freestyle skates. The best skates to skate through a city with are flow inline skates.

Slalom inline skates
Very maneuverable skates used to zig zag through a row of cones. The boots have great sideways stability, but the frames are super short and have rockering. This makes them unstable from front to back. Slalom skaters use this instability to tilt the skate easier for riding on their toes and heels. Most skaters however would use this instability mainly to fall :P

Flow inline skates
This is a fairly new form of freestyle skating where a nice and stable boot from slalom or aggressive skating is used together with a very long frame for extra stability. The frame gets its manouverability from its build in rockering. The concept was first made populair by the Wizard brand of frames. The combination between stability and manouverablility makes this the skate ideal for both advanced skaters wanting to make beautiful flatground moves and for beginner recreational skaters wanting to be in control.

Aggressive inline skates
Inline skates used to grind on. They are equipped with smaller wheels (usually between 55mm and 65mm in diameter) that leave out a space in between the middle wheels called a groove. There is also a space on the outside side of the frame, underneath the boot called a soulplate. This groove and soulplate can be used to balance and grind on handrails, ledges, curbs and copings. Learn more about aggressive inline skates here:

Street Aggressive Inline Skates
Also shortened to "street skates". Calling it the shortened version makes this a very confusing term for outsiders because these skates are actually horrible to skate on the street with. They have very small wheels and often only have 2 of them to accommodate grinding. Within aggressive skating there are different disciplines to do tricks in like "vert", "park" and "street". The hardware for 3 these disciplines can barely be considered to different. Sometimes the term street skates is confusingly used for aggressive inline skating. Learn more about aggressive inline skates here:

Skates that have 3 big wheels, Usually 3x110mm or 3x125mm. They are a common trap for people that (used to) own a slow old pair of skates and want something faster and thinking bigger wheels are always better. Not realizing that the added height and the often short wheel base makes these skates very unstable and dangerous. More info on triskates:

For inline skates this is very similar to a ski boot. All modern brand skates from after the mid 00's) have the frame mounted in a way that it can be easily taken off. When we sells a skate without the frame and wheels, it is called a "boot-only".
The most used color for boots is black.

Hard boot
A skate boot that has a liner that can be taken out of the boot. These type of skates offer the best value for money. Most hard boots vary from 200 to 400 euro's Learn more here:

Soft boot
A skate boot that has an integrated liner that can not be removed. Soft boots broadly come in 2 versions. They can be cheap and offer very bad sideways stability resulting in skaters not having the control to feel save, or they are very expensive. The costly carbon based soft boots are only for skaters wanting the best of the best. Learn more here:

The inside padding of a skate boot that can be taken out and replace. Learn more about liners:

This is the part that holds the wheels and is mounted underneath the boot. Mostly made out of metal for adult skates. Aggressive skates and kids skates mostly use plastic frames. More info about skate frames here:

Original mount
Back in the 80's and the first plastic ice skates where modded and converted to inline skates by manufacturers. They mounted the frame with multiple rivits on the side of the frame just like the ice skate frames were. Usually 4 rivits under the heel and 6-12 rivits in the front. This mount is still used on the Roces 1992 and Implala Lightspeed skates for example. Learn more about mounting standards:

165mm mount
This is the most common way to attach a skate frame to a skate boot. It uses two bolts (usually M6) per skate. The distance between the bolts is exactly 165mm. Furthermore this mount uses a raised heel unlike the UFS mount which is for flat boots. This 165mm standard is also used in high end ice skates. Learn more about mounting standards:

Trinity mount
When you put two bolts in the front on the side, the energy transfer is much better, and the front mounting bolt does not sit in it the way which makes it possible to make the skate lower to the ground.

UFS mount
It stands for Universal Frame System and is used on almost all aggressive skates. There are however also allot of UFS  frames on the marked with bigger wheels. This way you can convert any aggressive skate to accomodate different styles of skating. Learn more about the UFS mount:

This is the length of the frame, measured from the center of the front wheel untill the center of the last wheel. Short frames are good for heel/toe rolls but are very unstable. Long frames are very stable but not manouverable unless you use them with a rockering. Learn more about frame length:

This term means literally "going back and forth". Hence the use of a rocking chair, or in the form of rock music where one can also go back and forth.
A rockered skate has a frame where the front and back wheels sit 1-3 millimeters higher then the middle wheels. Slalom skates use a short wheelbase rockered frame and flow skates use a long wheelbase rocked frame.

This is one of the most popular manufacturing techniques to make metal frames with. Learn more about frame manufacturing and material here:

Groove or H-block
This is the part of an aggressive skate frame where one can grind on. It sits between the middle two wheels. Because the aggressive skates use small wheels there is a space left here. Modern aggressive frames have a rounding in the middle called the groove. This is a synonym for the term H-block. This term comes from the fact that if you look at an aggressive frame from the bottom it looks like the letter H. Learn more about grooves here:

Frame spacers
The frame spacer sits between the wheel and the frame and does a few things. Axles will get hot and the frame spacer makes that plastic frames do not melt right where the axle touches the frame. It also makes sure that the wheel does not rub on to the frame. Some designs also offer the spacer to sit in different positions to enable rockering options. Learn more about frame spacers here:

Frame mounting bolts
They are the bolts used to mount a frame to a skate boot. Most skates use standard M6 hardware for their bolts. There are a few exceptions though annoyingly. Learn more about frame mounting bolts:

Wheels are mounted to the frame with an axle bolt. There are single axles that screw in the frame itself and there are double axles that both have a nut and a bolt. Double axles are mostly used for plastic frames

Wheel Diameter
This is the size of a wheel. Each wheel has the same debth/width, it also always fits the same 608 bearing size, but the diameter can change allot. The smallest wheels are about 55mm and the bigest 125mm. Our advice is to get the biggest wheel size that fits your frame. Learn more about wheel diamter here:

Wheel rebound
This is the most important but least well know metric of a wheel. The higher the rebound value of a wheel the better and you can test this yourself by throwing a wheel to the ground and seeing how far it bounces back. Learn more here:

Wheel compound
This is the part of the wheel where you actually ride on and describes the chemistry of the rubber material (also called urethane). The specific mixture of the wheel urethane is the determining factor in the quality of a wheel, and also of the price. The best compounds use allot more ingredients and are therefore harder to make and often better. Learn more here:

Wheel core
The inside structure of the wheel except for the urethane and the bearing. The core often has spokes, especially with bigger wheels. The stiffer the core the faster the wheel rolls. Learn more here:

Wheel profile
If you look at a wheel from the front, then it can have a few different shapes. Pointy, round or flat. Each of these profiles offers a slightly different riding experience from speedy to stability. Learn more about wheel profiles here:

Wheel Hardness
This is one of the least important things to know about a wheel. Every wheel lists a hardness indicated with an "A" symbol. It can vary anywhere from 80A to 95A. 
Diameter, compound, rebound, brand, core, profile and even the color are arguably more important then how much "A" a wheel is. Learn more about hardness here:

These wheels are used on aggressive skate frames to prevent wheelbite. Grindwheels are always the middle two wheels and are super hard so that they have zero grib. Learn more about grindwheels:

Anti rockers
Another word for grindwheels, indicating that you have the opposite of a rocked setup. Learn more about anti-rockers:

This is when you attempt a grind, but get stuck on the obstacle you are grinding because one of your grippy wheels desides that your grind is over

Bearing spacers
This small part is more important then one might think. Without the bearing spacer the wheel will barely roll when you tighten the axle.

Shock Absorbers
This is a little piece of foam that can sit underneath the heel in some skates. There are shock absorbers with different hardnesses and different thicknesses. A thick and soft shock absorber is advantageous for the impacts of jumps but takes up allot of control and energy when you skate around. No shock absorber or just having a small and hard one offers allot of control but might give you an unpleasant ride.

The part of the plastic boot that actually wraps around the foot. It is in fact the essence of the skate. The shell determines the specific fit of each model. It is rare that brands offer shells for the aftermarket, here are a few:

A plastic part of the boot that wraps around the calf of the skater. It has hinges on both side to enable the ankle to flex forward. There is no standard cuff sizing and each brand and model uses a different type. It is rare that a cuff from one model can fit on another. Use our skatepart finder tool help you get the right cuff for your skates:

Cuff bolt
This is the bolt that attaches the cuff to the shell. Learn more about what types of cuff bolts there are here:

Top buckles
The buckle that is mounted on the cuff. It usually has 3 bolts. 2 on the outside for the buckle itself and one bolt on the inside for the receiver. This Standard Buckle Mount is called SBM3. Learn more about top buckles here:

Ankle buckles
This is the buckle that sits over the laces and over the ankle. It usually is attached with 2 bolts. One bolt on the inside and one bolt on the outside. This Standard Buckle Mount is called SBM2. Learn more about ankle buckles here:

This bath tub shaped piece of plastic wraps underneath and around the shell on aggressive skates. The soulplate will make the side of the boot stick out so that skaters can use it to grind with. The grind that you do with it is called a soulgrind (this is where our name This Is Soul comes from). The soulplate is usually made out of harder plastic then other skateparts because it needs to slide as frictionless as possible. Learn more about the history of soulplates here:

Allen key
Most cuff bolts and axles use a standard allen key to tighten. This is an essential tool for skaters to carry with them for mid skating repairs. Learn more about usefull tools here:

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