The skill level associated with inline skates can range from beginner to expert with intermediate, advanced intermediate, and advanced in between. Just like any equipment for athletics there are various skill ranges of inline skates available. The inline skate skill range will start out at beginner with composite framed skates, with smaller wheels and lower grade bearings. As a skate’s skill level goes up you will get better components including aluminum and metal alloy frames, higher grade bearings, larger wheels and more performance oriented boots. Just like anything else you will want to match your ability with the type of skate you need. Buy an inline skate that best matches your ability, or is slightly above so you can grow into it.
Beginner Intermediate - These skates generally have a composite frame and smaller wheels. These skates will have a smooth roll, lower top end speed and provide maximum control over the skate allowing a newer skater or someone who isn’t totally comfortable on their skates yet to learn and progress to the next level.
Intermediate - These skates will have upgrades in the boot, frame, wheels and bearings over beginner skates. They provide a lot of support without adding weight, they will generally have a larger wheel and a higher grade bearing than beginner skates, this provides a smooth roll and will give the skater a higher top end speed. These are for skaters who are more comfortable on their skates and are progressing to skating longer distances.
Adv. Intermediate - These skates will have an aluminum frame and will have larger wheels that generally fall into the 80mm-90mm range. These skates will provide better energy transfer for the skater. They will also provide a smooth roll and a higher top end speed. Ideal for skaters who are comfortable on their skates and will be skating multiple times a week and starting to cover longer distances.
Advanced - These skates will have an aluminum frame and will have larger wheels that generally fall into the 90mm-100mm range. These skates will provide maximum energy transfer and a high top end speed. Also at this level there are more skates with lower cut boots, these skates will still provide support but the skater will be relying more on their technique than the support of the skate. Skates of this level are designed for skaters who are skating long distances either training or even skating marathons.
Expert - These skates will have an aluminum frame and will have larger wheels that will be 100mm and up. These skates will offer the highest top end speed and the most energy transfer you will find in a skate. These skates will provide support but the skater will be relying mostly on their technique when skating and not the support of the boot. These skates are for skaters who don’t want a limit to how far they can skate, whether its distance training or skating marathons. The skater using these skates is probably on their skates more days than they are not.