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Comparing Inline and Ice Skates to Quad Skates

Comparing Inline and Ice Skates to Quad Skates

What’s up Skate Fam? David Lawliet from
Double D Skate here. Have you ever wondered about the difference between skating in Inlines,
Quads, and Ice skates? I know I wondered about it a lot, which is why I have finally put
together a comparison of all three skates, how they function, and what skating in each
one feels like! I KNOW you’re going to love this one, so before we start please help out
our channel by liking this video and subscribing so you can keep up with all the latest skating
videos and tutorials we have to offer! Now that you’ve done that, let’s get started!
Actually, let me just say that I am going to leave out a few details, such as those
covering inline and ice speed skates. I don’t want to over complicate things, so for this
video we will be going over just the general details of each skate type.
First, the main difference you will notice is what each skate uses to make contact with
the skating surface. Quads and Inlines have wheels that are quite different from each
other. Quad wheels are wider than inline wheels, while inline wheels are usually larger in
circumference. For quads I usually use 59mm wheels, and for Inlines I use anywhere from
80 to 100mm. With ice skates there is a metal blade. The rectangular shape quad wheels create
is very different from inline wheels or ice blades which are positioned in a thin straight
line under the center of the foot. For functional thinking, you would really need to think of
the quad skate’s plate (or frame) like the inline or ice blade as it is the center point.
Quad wheels are all level which creates a stable base. Ice skates have a rockered blade
that is level at the heels and toes, but dips in the center like a rocking chair to increase
turning agility. Inlines are also usually level, but some skaters use different sized
wheels or buy rocker adjustable frames in order to create a rocking shape similar to
the ice skates. (For more information on rockered inlines check the links I’ve placed in the
description below this video.) Now that you know the main differences in
how they look, let’s talk about how they function! While boots come in different styles
and shapes the part that truly places each skate into its own category is the frame or
plate under the boot and how it works. Quad skates have a plate made of either nylon
or aluminum that has two bolts sticking out from it called kingpins. The kingpin is a
shaft housed by the moving parts: the cushions, and trucks. It also has an axel under the
heel and an axel under the ball of the foot. These parts flex in order to allow turning
and carving. The harder the cushions, the springier and more stable the skate will be,
while at the same time making it more difficult to turn. The softer the cushions the less
springy and less stable, while being easier to turn. The wheels of quad skates are typically
wide and blocky compared to inlines. Inline skates have a plastic or aluminum “plate”
as well, which is typically referred to as a “frame.” The inline frame has fewer
moving parts and basically boils down to Frames/Axels/Wheels which extends from the heel to the toe of
each foot and sometimes a little beyond. The wheels of inline skates are narrow and convex,
meaning they’re very outwardly rounded. Ice skates have a plastic frame called a “blade
holder” which house the blade or “runner.” Ice blades are the narrowest of all the skates
and have a convex, or inwardly rounded shape called a “hollow.” The hollow can be cut
at different circumferences, starting at 1 inch and going as narrow as 3/8 of an inch.
The standard seems to be ½ inch, right in the middle. That’s what I use anyway. Can
you see the subtle hollow in my blades? The shape and width between the wheels and
blades make a huge difference in how the skates work. Let’s compare the stride and turning
of each to give an example. Quads require a lot of work from the ankle
because of the wide balance point and the way trucks work to manipulate it. In fact,
the balance point is so wide that quad skaters often stand higher than inline or ice skaters.
Inlines and ice are more similar to one another, as they are balanced on a thin line. To manipulate
them effectively the skater must crouch to create a lower and wider center of gravity
for the body. The lack of moving arts means more work from the knees and hips is required
as well. Because of the convex shape of inlines the wheels must lean over on the side and
create surface contact in order to turn sharp. Too much lean results in a slide. Quads sort
of work this way, but it’s complicated since… well moving parts and flat wheels. Imagine
the wheels are gone and the center of the plate is an inline frame and maybe that will
make more sense. Ice skates, however, are vastly different in this respect. Because
of the hollow, they only have real grip when they’re far over the edge. On ice skates
you can slide on the center of the blade because the edges aren’t dug inside the ice as much.
Leaning hard on the edges digs them in the ice and achieves the most grip I can get from
any of my skates. This is probably why the style of skating ice hockey players do is
often called “power skating.” I can put way more power down in ice skates, and the
fact that the ice crunches so loud also makes it fun to do so!
In stride the standard inline skate will usually be the fastest of the three, as each push
can extend to the tip of the toe. Ice skates can also extend stride to the tips of the
toes, but because of the rocker they are less stable at high speeds. The quad skate is stable,
but speed really requires work. Since the front axel is under the ball of the foot the
stride doesn’t extend to the toe which cuts out quite a bit of pushing power.
As for how each skate feels. Well quads are usually the heaviest, with inlines being lighter,
and ice skates being the lightest. Those accustomed to inlines or ice skates often complain that
quads feel too clunky and don’t make sense in their minds, while quad skaters complain
the inlines are difficult to balance on and can be very hard on the ankles. In my opinion
that is mostly due to the fact that quad skates don’t really need to be laced and fitted
as tightly and when they use them for the first time the skater ends up leaning the
ankles instead of being able to stand straight over the blades or frames.
And that wraps up the comparison. I’m always trying to get my friends to try all kinds
of skating instead of being stuck in just one. I have personally experienced an exponential
amount of growth in my skill since I started regularly using different types of skates.
The muscle memory will be a different at first, but if you can skate in one you can figure
out how to skate in another much easier because you already comprehend the basics of skating.
In fact, if you start learning another style of skating, I guarantee that your primary
style will be strengthened by it. When you use different skates, you’re training more
muscles allowing you to create and gain more control of muscle memory for the whole body!
Think about that! Thanks for joining me today for this discussion!
Please feel free to discuss, and ask questions in the comments. Don’t forget to subscribe
and I will see you the next time I lace up!


Learned on quads, cause I'm old, and inlines hadn't been invented in the 70s. Had ice skates as well, 70s and early 80s, then didn't skate at all for 6 or 8 years, until I got a pair of inlines in the early 90s – Rollerblade Lightnings. A year or 2 of pretty regular skating and roller hockey later, I got on both ice and quads. Ice skating came right back to me, but the old style roller skates were awkward as hell – my feet would sort of drift apart, and I'd have to pick them up to correct. Now I just have a pair of inline hockey skates. I'd like to get into ice skating again, but the nearest rink's in the next town over, ~ 35 miles away. Not especially interested in quads, tbh. Sad thing is, my town's only roller rink closed a while back, so with a population well over 100,000 we only have an unmaintained, crack covered outdoor hockey rink to skate on. Right next to it is an elaborate, well maintained skate park, but I'm too old to bust my ass learning aggressive.

Quality video! very well thought out points of comparison. When I was riding on some very old quads we used to roll on just 1 foot, using the other one to push along like on a skateboard. Don't know why but hella fun :)))

My very first skating experience was on quads, I was eight or nine years old, got really good on them, skated occasionally for a couple of years, and on ice in winter, on borrowed blades.
I didn't pick up a pair of inlines til almost two years ago now, and I'm 52 ha..
It's weird how that skating feeling just came back, even tho I'd never skated inlines before, my very early experience on those quads you strap to your shoes translated easily, even after so many years.
I love to skate, so glad I rediscovered it!

why are ice skates always riveted to the blade holder? How long do the blades last? Longer than the boot I expect

I just started ice skating today, been doing inline for a year and a half and quads… maybe 6 months?

This was my thinking too, if you can better yourself in one you can better yourself in all.

I use to run a flat setup on my inlines, I tried doing a full rocker but it was tol scary. Well, until I started quad skating, my posture changed and so did my center of gravity (because of the lacking toe support) Afterword I gave my inlines a rockered setup again and immediately got the hang of it and refuse to go back.

Now that I tried ice skating, I'm already use to that bevel of the blade and picked it up instantly, never stumbling!

Love your videos guy!

Man, your videos are simply great, keep up the great work! In my case, I firstly learnt skating on quads when I was a child, then inlines. After that, I stopped for a long time until recently when I decided to try ice-skating. I had so much fun that I decided to buy a new pair of inline skates and now I can't stop skating.
Again, your videos are great, can't wait for the next one! Cheers!

Gees you are so descriptive in your videos! I really appreciate the approach you guys are taking….I think if you keep at it, you will inspire a lot of people…and breathe new life into our favorite recreation! And this is the perfect platform!

I understood everything you were saying, and it made me feel like less of a dork lol.

That last bit where you were describing the "top" of the blade to your friends…my skate buddy from way back, Nick, and I have had that exact conversation with people we took ice skating! It was awesome to hear the same words coming from a veteran such as yourself:)

Skate on!

Wonderful edit. I’ve always wanted to try ice skating however rinks are barren in my district. To travel 30km to the nearest and 50km to an Olympic one makes inline more appealing to me. None the less I love inline, I’ve had a particular fascination with hockey skates lately. They have so much tech crammed into them. Perhaps a good video idea for you. The difference between inline hockey skates and freeskates.

when you turn on quads , I seen your right foot up on to front wheels ? how do you do that smoothly? when I try my quad wants to wobble.. I'd assume that since you jam skate your trucks are loose , and I have mine somewhat loose as well.

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