If you are doing any kind of skating, whether on the ice or with inline skates or roller skates, the thought of speed has probably crossed your mind many times. After all, it’s very easy to achieve a high rate of speed when doing inline skating. It’s a lot of fun.
At first you struggle with your balance, but once you have got that out of the way, it’s very easy to look at skating really as more of speed racing. You want to cover as big of an area as quickly as possible. I really can’t say I blame you, speed and skating do go hand in hand.
Now, if you really want a serious answer to how fast you can go on skates, you have to pay attention to what kind of skating you’re doing. There’s a big difference between ice skating, inline skating and roller skating.
There’s a reason why skating is divided among these three different categories because they impact not only the equipment you use, they also impact maneuverability, comfort, training and, yes, speed. To get a clear answer on how fast skates go, you need to first focus on what type of skates you are using.
Inline skates can get really, really fast. Again, there is quite a bit of a learning curve in the beginning, but once you are able to achieve stability and balance, you can go really fast because you have a wider range of motion as far as boosting your speed is concerned compared with roller skates.
Roller skates or quad skates are easier to use. It’s easier to roll around on roller skates because they have four wheels. They’re also spaced in a way that it’s much easier for you to achieve your balance. It’s also easier to stop with them. With that said, once you are able to achieve stability with inline skates, you can move at a very high rate of speed. It really depends on the surface as well as your experience.
With inline skates, you should expect to go fairly slow 2-5 miles per hour in the beginning. If you’re just a newbie or you’re just a person who’s just trying to enjoy the outdoors and skating leisurely, this is your average speed. Now, if you have a few months of experience under your belt and you’ve been around the block, you can get your speed up quite a bit. We’re talking about up to 6 miles per hour.
Now, if you look at skating as a way to lose weight or you’re looking at it as a form of cardiovascular exercise, the speed that you reach can go much higher. We’re talking about up to 9 miles per hour. According to some exercise guides, you can burn up to 350 calories per hour by just doing inline skating and the optimal speed for this is 9 miles per hour.
Now anything beyond this is really racing. For example, if you are going to compete in an inline skate marathon, speeds of up to 20 miles per hour is not unheard of. This is the peak marathon speed. Now, anything past this involves sprinting.
I hope it’s very clear to you the big difference between sprinting and a marathon. Running a marathon or skating a marathon is all about covering a huge distance at a stable rate of speed so you can finish faster than everybody else. It’s all about stamina.
Sprinting, on the other hand, involves covering a distance in as little time as possible. When you’re sprinting on inline skates, speeds of up to 30 miles per hour is not a problem. Everything past this depends on the kind of plane you’re on. If you are on a downward plane or you’re going downhill, you can reach up to 70 miles per hour. Of course, at that rate, things can get quite scary because the faster you go on inline skates, the less control you have. Stopping might be a problem.
Let’s get one thing out of the way, typical roller skates that has four wheels don’t really go as fast as inline skates. Their focus primarily isn’t speed, but more of artistry. Even roller derbies really don’t focus on speed as much as the aggressive action in the roller derby arena.
Keep this in mind because it’s too easy to think that you can achieve a high rate of speed with roller skates and end up going nowhere near the speed you would get with inline skates or rollerblades. With that said, if you are roller skating on a hilly terrain that is at a steep angle, you can reach a high level of speed.
Now, this can get a little bit tricky because you have to stop and work with the terrain, otherwise, you’re going to spill. In other words, you’re going to fall and you might scrape, cut or bruise yourself. It can get nasty really quickly. So do yourself a big favor and make sure you pay attention to how the terrain is laid out so you can brake accordingly.
You can navigate fairly hilly terrains with roller skates and achieve a high level of speed comfortably. It all boils down to how you handle it and how aware you are of the different obstacles and surface issues of the road that you are using.
Keep in mind that since inline skates are more maneuverable and deal with obstacles much better than traditional roller skates, you might have serious problems with roller skates if you hit a small gravel or a crack on the road when you are skating downhill. This can lead to a fall, this can lead to serious stoppage, it can lead to all sorts of injuries. So consider yourself warned. Roller skates do a worse job at handling obstacles on the road than inline skates.
You can reach very high rates of speed with ice skating. You basically are more in line with the speeds that you reach with inline skates. Whatever speeds you can achieve with rollerblades, you can pretty much achieve with ice skates. In fact, your speed might actually be higher if you are dealing with inclines or steep falls.
In fact, depending on the ice surface, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that you can skate at a much higher speed because the ice is so much smoother and offers less resistance than the typical concrete or asphalt surface that you deal with when you’re using inline skates.
Keep the discussion above in mind when looking for speed while skating. Skates do go really fast, but it depends on the type of skate you’re using, as well as the conditions that you’re skating in.