The right skate for you
At Shop Task, we have categorized our inline skates into five main sub-groupings that we believe appropriately reflects a diverse range of disciplines in inline skating. These categories include:
A fundamental component of choosing the right skate, is a proper fitting. A correctly sized skate is essential for realizing the true potential of any skate as it maximizes long-term control, comfort, and performance. Please watch our video below in order to ensure a proper fit. If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact us.
When reading through the following descriptions, we advise you to carefully think about the ways in which you would like to experience inline skating in order to draw connections between your individual wants/needs and the different types of inline skates. At the end of each description a link is provided allowing you to browse through all of the inline skates falling within that particular category. However, since some skates are more versatile than others, certain models will appear under more than one category. These more versatile skates are a great all-around option since they enable you to explore more aspects of skating and allow you to gain a more complete understanding of this endlessly fun activity that so many of us have fallen in love with.
These skates embody the everyday spirit of inline skating. With this type of skate you can hit the trails, commute to and from work, explore the city, or really make the most of your imagination. These skates vary in both wheel size and boot construction.
As a general rule of thumb, smaller wheels offer superior control and maneuverability, whereas bigger wheels offer greater top-end speed and distance with every stride. Soft-boot skates are a more lightweight option, well suited to experienced casual skaters, since the majority of the boot is made from flexible fabric. Hard-boot skates are primarily constructed from plastic and/or carbon fibre, which makes these skates more supportive, responsive, and durable than their soft- boot counterpart. We like to recommend hard-boot skates for most skaters because they offer the most support and control, which in turn brings about superior performance. We do not recommend soft-boot skates for beginners or skaters over 150 lbs because of their minimal support.
These skates best accommodate a very particular set of needs for a specialized approach to inline skating, which is commonly known as ‘aggressive skating’. They enable you to interact with your environment in a completely new way, whether you want to ride the smooth concrete waves at the skatepark or grind down a gritty aggressive rail, these skates have what it takes to get any job done. Available in a variety of different boot styles and wheels set ups.
For a traditional Park/Aggressive skating experience, we recommend a hard plastic boot with a higher cuff and removable liner, since they tend to have a good general fit as well as a great deal of stability and ankle support. These types of Park/Aggressive skates are a great choice for newcomers and beginners, as they make the learning process both easier and safer.
For more experienced skaters, carbon fibre boots are a suitable option. Skates with carbon fibre boots offer a closer fit, as they tend to be made in individual shell sizes. Moreover, they are extremely lightweight, supportive, durable, and responsive.
The two most common wheel set ups for all aaggressive skates are referred to as “Flat” or “Anti-rocker”. Anti-rocker wheel set ups come with smaller plastic or hard urethane wheels in the center of each skate, making grinding on rails or ledges easier. Flat wheel set ups come with 8 urethane wheels, all in the same size/diameter, making the skate faster, more maneuverable, and easier to control, while also offering greater shock absorption. We highly recommend flat wheel set ups for newcomers and beginners, as it not only offers a better all-around experience of aggressive skating, but also teaches skaters improved technique and habits.
Remember, whether you choose to ride flat or anti-rocker, you can always change your set up and experience something new, since aggressive skates are largely interchangeable. Many experienced aggressive skaters have multiple set ups that they switch in and out depending on the obstacles they are skating or their mood.
These skates are designed around creating a skating experience that allows you to maximize the distance travelled with each stride with minimal loss of energy. As such, these skates are neither maneuverable nor particularly supportive, making them an unsuitable option for beginners. Moreover, the larger wheels place the skater higher from the ground, further reducing stability, which requires greater ankle strength and balance.
These skates perform best on trails, paths, enclosed tracks, and open roads. On these unobstructed pathways skaters are able to experience a very rhythmic and methodical stride. Long distances can be covered with ease by simply maintaining a constant unchanging stride.
When choosing options from the Speed collection, the most important aspect is determining the appropriate wheel size. More often than not a 90mm wheel set up is more than sufficient, as this type of set up offers the best combination of speed and control, without overly limiting maneuverability. 100mm and 110mm set ups are typically best suited to experienced and specialized skaters.
Freeride skates offer a high level of support coupled with precision control and maneuverability. Generally freeride skates are hard boots with a high supportive cuff equipped with a comfortable liner, powerful shock absorber and 80-84mm wheels. The ease in which one is able to accelerate or decelerate efficiently in tight spaces makes them perfect for an urban environment. Furthermore Freeride skates allow skaters to see the city and re-imagine it as their personal playground, whether you're weaving through a sea of people or jumping over obstacles these skates are right there with you.
See our Freeride skates...
Freestyle slalom skating is the practice of skating through cones, often while performing intricate maneuvers while traversing the line of cones or speeding through the cones on one foot. These skates generally use a very supportive shell and a smaller wheel / shorter frame base to maximize control and maneuverability. Elements of dance and artistic expression are often involved, and these skates can be used to incorporate those elements into your skating outside the cones!
Many slalom skaters will "rocker" their wheels, putting smaller wheels in the front and back to decrease the surface area of the wheels touching the ground which increases maneuverability and allows the skates to pivot more easily. Traditionally, this will involve decreasing the size of the 1st and 4th position wheels by 4mm. Rockered Frames will have this effect built into the frame, so changing wheel size is not necessary.
The Right Skate
Be honest and true to yourself. Keep in mind what is best for another skater might not necessarily be what is best for you! Carefully take into consideration your individual skills, needs, and aspirations as a skater before finalizing any decisions.
Leon Basin, owner of Shop Task, shows you how to measure your skate size. Demonstrating that it can be difficult to judge how a new skate will compare to a skate that has been broken-in to the shape of your foot.