Inline Skating Program and
By Joe Kaplenk
Where is Inline Figure Skating?
Fundamentals of Inline Figure Skates
Mounting an Inline Frame
Popular Inline Frame Manufacturers
National Inline Competition and
Seminar – “A Celebration of Inline
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This presentation will focus some of the
technical information needed to start an inline
figure skating program.
The audience will have a better understanding
of some of the technical issues with inline
Discussion will be held on the relevant
background and interests of coaches.
An invitational inline figure skating competition
will be presented.
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Inline Figure Skating, while using
techniques similar to both ice and roller
skating have differences that require
some adjustment to teaching techniques
Inline Figure skating offers an
opportunity to attract skaters to the sport
that might not otherwise be attracted.
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About the Presenter
Current USARS registered coach and competitor.
Current accredited PSA and US Figure Skating coach and competitor.
Started roller skating while looking at adults in other sports.
Co-founder and President of Adult Skaters Forum, a national level non-profit
organization of adult ice skaters.
Organized and chaired the first USFSA Adult Skaters Advisory Committee,
Chaired the first USFSA Ad-Hoc Adult Nationals Committee.
Registered local Data/Video Specialist U.S. Figure Skating
President - U.S Inline Figure Skating.
Sports video specialist in Dartfish.
Professional computer consultant.
22 years part-time Computer Science Community College Instructor.
Author of two computer science textbooks and co-author of four others.
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Research Goals Of This Project
Research was done to determine:
The variety of characteristics of various inline figure
Which features and hardware might be attractive to
certain kinds of skaters.
Determine the elements necessary for a coach to
understand some of the basic equipment needs.
Understand where changes can be made to
equipment to encourage more skaters.
Make recommendations for the development of an
inline figure skating program.
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This presentation is based on personal experience
and that of other skaters and coaches.
This is intended to be a vendor neutral presentation.
Opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect
that of USARS or any other organization or
Some ideas may be expressed as personal
preferences and you are encouraged to evaluate
equipment and share your experiences.
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Current Status of Inline Figure
Has seen growth for several years in
other countries as reported by several
Has declined in numbers in the U.S.
The number of events in the U.S. has
declined as the number of skaters
competing has declined.
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Current Inline Events
World Class Inline Freeskating
Elementary Inline Creative Solo Free Dance
Open Inline Creative Solo Free Dance
All Dance Events – Skaters can compete on
inlines with quads in the same dance event.
Precision Events – Can be mixed quad and
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Who Are The Inline Figure
Quad Figure Skaters
Ice Figure Skaters
Skaters that just want to do Inline Figure
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Inline and Ice Figure Skating
Many ice coaches find that teaching inline figure skating is quite
similar to teaching ice figure skating
Many high level ice skaters have found the transition to inline
figure skates easy. This includes Michael Weiss, Brian Boitano
and other Olympic caliber skaters.
Ice time is much more limited in other countries than in the U.S.
Inline Figure Skating is used as an alternative training
experience due to the limited availability of ice in other
A lot of Inline Figure Skating is done outdoors in other
The Paris Open, an annual winter event, attracts ice skaters
and coaches and uses ISU Figure Skating rules. It has been a
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Opportunities to Attract Skaters
Inline Figure Skating offers an opportunity to
attract skaters from other skating disciplines
• Coaches understand the training requirements.
• Equipment advances allow skaters to transition easily
to the sport.
• Skaters and coaches are willing to try them out.
• Broad opportunities to train and compete are
• Skaters and coaches from other disciplines are made
aware of the opportunities. It is necessary to think
outside the box and let them know.
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Applying Weight to a Wheel
As weight is added the wheel compresses
Whether a wheel is compressed or not needs
to be considered during inline skating.
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Three vs Four Wheel – No Weight
Three Wheel Rockered Frame - No Weight
Four Wheel Rockered Frame - No Weight
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Occurs typically on
the rear wheels of
skates. (The heel of
Three Wheel Rockered Frame - Weight on 2nd and 3rd wheels
depends on the
Four Wheel Rockered Frame - Weight on 2nd, 3rd and 4th Wheels skater’s weight and
Four Wheel Rockered Frame - Weight on 3rd and 4th wheel
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Occurs typically on
Three Wheel Rockered Frame - Weight on 1st and 2nd Wheels the front wheels of
skates. (The ball of
Four Wheel Rockered Frame - Weight on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Wheels
depends on the
skater’s weight and
Four Wheel Rockered Frame - Weight on 1st and 2nd Wheels
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Three vs Four Wheel – Equally
Weighted – Power Stroke
The Amount of
of the wheels
Three Wheel Rockered Frame the skill and
Four Wheel Rockered Frame
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Allows a frame to have more than two
wheels on the frame, but only have two
wheels make contact at one time.
The ideal situation would be to have
many very small wheels so there is a
constant curve as is done on ice.
Larger wheels means fewer wheels or a
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Why Rockering is Important
Front Wheels on Track Center Wheels on Track Rear Wheels on Track
Wheels pointed at are not straight on a circular path
Like a car skidding around a turn
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Path of Non-rockered Wheels
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Height and Rockering
The amount of rockering can be adjusted
• A frame with a center height adjustment.
• A larger wheel in the middle compared to the
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Because of the nature of the wheels and balance I’ve found that three-
turns for the lower level of skater have the following order of
• Ice – very narrow point of contact because of the rockering of the
blade makes a three-turn easiest of the three.
• Inline – a longer wheelbase makes a more stable platform. Less
floor contact than quads and hence less resistance means that
three turns on inlines might be introduced earlier in a skaters
career than perhaps commonly thought. Two wheels are typically
in contact at one time with less surface area than quad wheels.
• Quad – there are typically four points of contact for the skate with
the floor, and the need to slide the rear wheels around making a
larger surface area of contact. There is also a tendency for skaters
to fall forwards. Without toe stops this can lead to a face plant.
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Three Turns on Inlines
shifts from the
A properly rear wheels to the
executed front wheels.
three-turn only The middle
has two wheels wheel in this
on the floor at
about a point.
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Importance of Proper Left to
The basics and issues of mounting inline blades is
basically the same as the mounting of ice figure skating
Mounting can be done by a qualified ice skating boot and
blade specialist as well as a roller rink. My experience is
that both ice and and quad specialists are often eager to
try something new in mounting these frames.
Improper balancing of inline figure skating blades can
lead to difficulties in skating, particularly in properly
balancing on spins as well as landing jumps squarely.
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Left to Right Improper Balance
• Inline skaters
being too much
on the inside or
outside edges of
blades can also
have the same
• Correct Position
is shown in the
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Left to Right Balance – Skater
The skaters weight
skills may require
that the frames be
mounted further to
the inside or
You can test this by
having the skater
skate a straight line
on one foot.
But only adjust
Weight on Inside Weight on Outside after some analysis!
Frames Needs to Be Frames Needs to Be for bad habits.!
Set Closer Together Set Further Apart
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Many skaters and coaches prefer the three wheel
frames because they are shorter as well as being
lighter. This prevents the heels from interfering with
each other and may be considered more
Dancers and Precision Team/Synchro skaters prefer
the shorter frames for the same reason.
Ice freestyle skaters may have fewer problems with
longer frames because ice blades are longer.
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ABEC value doesn’t really
matter unless you are
skating around 200 mph.
What matters is the quality
of the bearings.
Swiss bearings are often
mentioned as being the
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The following list is based on recommendations from other
• Speedmax – 90A hardness seems to be popular
• “Red Star Rocket 86A red, 76mm. I used a similar Red Star in the
past (it was 84A, not the Rocket) and I was very favourably impressed
by the good response and a more-than-acceptable wear down.
• Hyper Pro 250 84A (orange, the yellows are 82A), 72mm and 76mm,
round profile (larger than Spirals/SpeedMax), very long lifetime, good
edging but a bit slow. Sometimes good deals on eBay, sometimes not.
• Kryptonics Power Play 84A black, 72mm and 76mm, round profile. I've
not used them, but I know they are considered of very good quality
• Revision Ghost "The Axis" 84A, 72mm and 76mm, round profile. The
small core should allow good edging.
• Rink Rat World Cup 84A outdoor, 72mm and 76mm. This is the only
outdoor wheel made by Rink Rat.”
• Recommendations by tguido56 on Skatelog Posting
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Choosing an Inline Frame
The technology has changed over the last 10 years and is still
There are a wide variety of different frame designs available.
Not all frames will work the same for an individual skater.
Inline frames and ice blades tend to use similar designs and meet
A coach should have as wide a possible exposure to inline frames,
equipment and teaching technique differences in order to understand
how to best match the frame to a skater.
Heavier skaters may require a four wheel frame, adjustable middle
wheel, or varying sizes or hardness of wheels in order to achieve the
best skating experience.
Standard manufacturer listed lengths may not work best with all
skaters. Some skaters from other disciplines may prefer longer frames.
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Rockered Wheel Alignment
Fixed Height Middle Wheel
Adjustable Height Toe Stop
Offset Center Wheel – Closer to front than back
wheel. A 40/60 ratio.
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Snow White Cont.
• Released at Worlds 2008
• 9 sizes of frames
• 15% lighter only 750 grams.
• Built-in bearing bushings.
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Snow White Video
• An example of
• Click on the
picture to play
by Snow White
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Four Wheels – Front and Back wheels are higher off the ground than the
middle two wheels – rockered.
Toe stop is not adjustable. But can be cut down for some finer adjustment.
Was designed to emulate an ice blade and in cooperation with several ice
coaches. Most popular inline figure skate blade at last PSA coaches
conference in an informal survey.
Longer than other inline figure skate frames and so some skaters may find the
heels touch each other on some moves. But some skaters may like the longer
length and feel more stable on them.
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PIC has released a newer four-wheel frame in the last few
years that is a noticeable improvement over the earlier design
including better quality toe stops.
PIC will shortly be releasing a P-3 that has:
• Three wheels
• A newly designed multi-layer wheel that claims better response in
jumps and edge control.
• Maintains the same turn radius as the standard PIC frame
• Will be less expensive than other frames.
I’ve found three-turns easier on PIC frames, perhaps
because of my ice background and the intent to make it
perform like an ice blade.
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A Video that shows how similar ice and inline skating is and
how it can be used to attract skaters.
The web location is:
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Adjustable Height Toe
Offset Center Wheel –
Closer to front than
back wheel. Picture from
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Custom Inlines cont.
• Recent design
• 18% lighter than previous
• Higher rebound material than
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Triax by Snyder
Can use different size wheels to get
Supposed to be easier for quad skaters
than ice skaters.
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Where to Skate
Gyms – more popular in rural areas and
Outdoors – more popular in warms areas
and other countries – particular for ice
skaters looking for alternative training
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Floor Surface Coatings
Coatings – Various coatings have
different characteristics for indoor and
outdoor skating. Some coatings require
a base or multiple base coatings as well
as a surface coat or coatings. Examples
Roll-on, Nova Play, Dura Seal, Tite Coat,
Valspar, Rink Cote, TITE-Tanium
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Interlocking Plastic or Similar
Material Tile Surfaces
In my experience:
• They are relatively poor surfaces because they are relatively slippery
compared to wood floors.
• Inline figure skaters require some time to be spent on one foot and this
doesn’t work well on these kind of surfaces.
• Hockey players often have to use super-grip type wheels to prevent the
slippage. These wheels don’t seem to help figure skaters.
I’ve found two different types of surfaces.
• Smooth or relatively smooth rubber-type surfaces – Are very poor surfaces
for inline figure skating because they have too much slippage – Examples
include Sport Court
• Web surface – very poor for inline skating and hockey because the skates tend
to slip very easily and a skater needs to be on two feet. An example is Spider
Court which has a web type surface and is great for outdoor surfaces due to its
low maintenance, but it quite slippery even for hockey players. The plastic like
material tends to crack over time and break-up
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“A Celebration of
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Useful Example: Starting a
National Event on Ice - Adults
In the early nineties, adult ice figure skating, except for dance, had
one or two events for a whole range of skills.
One adult male competed in Regionals in Freeskating in the whole
Midwest Section. 12 adults competed in the whole country in the first
year of Adults in Regionals.
A recent Adult Nationals competition had over 500 adults and
continues an overall growth. But adults don’t typically compete locally.
A key component was the support of coaches, the involvement of the
skaters and the support of the organization as well as the realization
that change was necessary.
It was also realized that Adult Figure Skating needed to be
approached on a national level with a national level event open as
much as possible to all skaters, at least initially. Eventually test
requirements and Regionals/Sectionals would be developed if needed.
Test requirements and a Sectionals for popular events were added.
Other adults go straight to Nationals with no Regionals.
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Open Inline National-level
• Create a national level invitational open competition on inline figure
skating that is also fun, a draw and team-based.
• It would be moved around the country.
• Not USARS sponsored, but USARS- sanctioned (Information to be
completed by early January).
• Any profits would go to advancing inline figure skating and skaters.
• Attract skaters and coaches from all venues of skating.
• Proposed name is U.S. Open Inline Chicago 2009 to emphasize
inclusion of not only figure skating events, but also basic skating
• “Think Globally, Act Locally” a lot emphasis will be placed on
attracting local skaters and beginners as well as high-level skaters
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All current USARS inline-only figure skating events.
Some USARS events that allow mixed quad and inlines.
Events that are currently quad-only but will be allowed to
be skated on inlines for this event.
Selected events from other skating venues, particularly
those for beginners and that are family oriented.
Spotlight and dramatic skating events like at the Gold
Skate and prop events.
Exhibitions for visiting skaters not wishing to compete.
Events requiring no special program or preparation such
as individual elements like jumps, spins, or moves, etc.
Other custom designed events.
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Location and Dates
Events: Saturday - May 2, 2009
• USA Skate Center Romeoville, IL.
• Alternative or additional location: Edge Arena, Bensenville, IL.
Seminar: Friday, May 1 – Sunday, May 3 – Scheduled at
Bensenville, Il at Edge Arena*, (length dependent on speakers)
• Nick Perna, Prominent in the development of the original PIC skate. –
various topics on inline figure skating.
• Garrett Krug, National-level skating and physical sports trainer to
Olympic caliber skaters– discussion of off-skate training techniques
• Joe Kaplenk, topic: “Sports Video Analysis using latest technology” et.
• Looking for additional speakers and demonstrators. Please volunteer.
*(Home of the Chicagos.Blackhawks, State Wars on inlines, site of ISI Worlds
2007, 2007 U. S. Figure Skating Adult Nationals, 2008 PSA Conference).
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Volunteers Needed For the Event
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Open Inline Competition
Joe Kaplenk, Chair, 708-707-0992,
Mary Lu Wehmeier, Meet Director
firstname.lastname@example.org, home phone 909-860-2494.
Rhonda Arena, email@example.com
Others to be added
Other skaters and coaches are welcome to help with
the planning on the committee and the event.
Contact one of the committee members to volunteer.
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Join us for a
skating after this
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No One Waits!
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Where to Get More Information
www.skatelog.com for great discussion.
Competition website - We will be putting up a
website after the first of the year with info on
the competition. Keep in touch and watch
skatelog.com for details.
Watch for mailings
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be
added to the competition mailing list.
Send me an email for an updated copy of this
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