Aggressive roller skates might seem like they’re the same as inline roller skates. After all, you have sports footwear that has one line of rubber wheels and you move your calves, butt and hips in such a way that you achieve a high rate of speed.
You also are able to achieve a lot of quick turns and you can get really creative in a tight space. On the surface, it may seem like you’re dealing with roughly the same piece of equipment, however, upon closer inspection, there’s actually quite a world of difference. It really all boils down to functionality.
When people buy aggressive roller skates, they want to do certain things that they cannot do with inline roller skates. The people who are in the market for aggro skates are looking to do tricks that involve lots of turns, lots of quick stops and a tremendous amount of control.
Think of it as comparing somebody who’s skating on the ice just to go around the ice skating rink and have a good time compared to somebody who is actually doing figure skating or speed skating. See the difference? This difference in purpose is reflected in a difference in hardware.
The big difference between inline roller skates and aggressive roller skates involve the size of the wheels as well as the size of the chassis. Aggro skates use a chassis that is much lower profile than a typical inline roller skates. This lower profile chassis has wheels that are much smaller. We’re talking between 64 millimeters and 68 millimeters.
Aggressive skates require this because when you have that low profile, you are able to achieve a greater degree of stability. This stability gives you the control that you need to do some really amazing moves like grinds, jumps and certain types of landing. Also, aggressive skates have boots that are designed to take quite a bit of punishment. Since you’re going to be jumping and landing and executing tight turns while maintaining stability, the boot’s shell has to keep up. And this is why they are built to be very tough, durable and also protect the foot at all times.
Given the difference in functionality between inline skates and aggressive skates, it’s easy to see why these differences in purposes result in quite a big difference in how the wheels are set up. Aggressive skates are designed in a way that there is a guard piece on its wheels.
This is very important because since you’re going at a high rate of speed to perform tricks and you’re doing a lot of landing, it’s very easy for wheels to normally get damaged without those guards. Also, if you’re going to do some grinding at a skate park, this can mess up your wheels very quickly and that’s why guard pieces are engineered into aggressive skates.
This is not the case with typical inline skates, because those skates are not meant for aggressive tricks. You can pull a few tricks here and there, but for the most part, it’s not meant for heavy duty trick moves. You can execute tight turns, you can go at a high rate of speed. You can do all of these and skate long distances, but as far as heavy duty wheel damage protection goes, you don’t get it. This is the price you pay for the function of the typical inline skates or rollerblades.
Keep these differences in mind when choosing between inline roller skates and aggressive roller skates. Aggressive roller skates are heavy duty skates that are meant to take a lot of punishment. Believe me, if you’re doing a lot of grinding or you’re going to a skate park and executing tricks, you’re going to be putting a lot of stress on your wheels.
This is why they’re designed a certain way. This is why they tend to have a lower profile. On the other hand, you give up quite a bit of comfort because to protect the wheels properly and to help you execute those trick moves, you need a more robust shell for proper foot protection.
Inline roller skates, on the other hand, are just typical inline skates that you use when you’re just going out on a stroll or hanging out at the park. They help you get places very quickly, they help you cover a large space in a short period of time, and the focus is on a high degree of maneuverability and speed, at least when compared to roller skates. Rollerblades are more maneuverable, they can make tighter turns, but they’re nowhere as tight as the moves you can execute with aggressive roller skates.
It’s important to keep in mind how crucial the ability of aggressive roller skates’ ability to take punishment. Aggressive skating is all about thrills, chills, and spills. Yes, there will be pushing. Yes, there will be jostling. There will be lots of pressure and high impact contact in a short or small space. All these factors can be murder on weak or badly designed rollerblades. Aggressive skating is all about speed, maneuverability and execution, yes but it also must be able to pull these off within the confines of hardcore competition and cheek to jowl space. There’s really no room for error. Given the mission critical requirements of this type of competitive skating, it is no wonder these rollerblades are designed the way they are.
Think of aggressive roller skates as specialized equipment for full body contact skating. The same basic needs are still there. They still have to be met-the ability to turn sharp corners, the ability to stop quickly, the high level of maneuverability and the quick execution. However, they have to deliver all these in tight spaces and under lots of pressure. These can break weaker designs and that’s why there’s such a huge diversity of aggressive skating designs in the marketplace. It’s all about finding the right mix so teams can deliver solid results time and time again. To say that there’s still a lot of space for innovation in this market segment would be an understatement indeed.