in-line skating

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Inline skating or inline skating (also rollerblading ) is a type of locomotion using the skate step and is both a sport and a means of locomotion as a road user. Here are inline skates (in-line skates) is used.

The sport is usually practiced on smooth surfaces such as streets, paved paths, sidewalks or special squares. Although inline skating has been around for around 200 years, competition with two-lane roller skates prevented it from spreading. This only changed in the early 1990s after a phase as a trend sport . Inline skating has meanwhile become firmly established.

Chad Hedrick , the most successful speed skater in the world


Model "Volito", 1823 by Robert John Tyers
German postage stamp from 1997

In 1760, the Belgian Jean-Joseph Merlin developed an ice skate with two metal wheels on the blades, which is an early form of today's inline skates. The basic idea was further improved by wooden rollers and brakes. Robert John Tyers from London redesigned ice skates, which he provided with steel rollers standing one behind the other, the patent for this was granted on April 22, 1823.

Due to the poor road conditions (cobblestones), however, the early inline skates were unable to make a general breakthrough. In 1863 the American James Leonard Plimpton developed the conventional roller skates , each with two wheels attached next to each other, which were characterized by better grip and easier control. They almost completely pushed the forerunners of inline skates off the market.

From the 1960s, there were constructions from the Soviet Union and the GDR that were used as a replacement for ice skates and training equipment, but were not marketed. In the 1977 DEFA film The Dancing Shoes , you can see (involuntarily) imitations of ice skates with rollers as runners.

On October 6, 1970, Friedrich Mayer applied for a patent for a "two-roller inline skate", but after no manufacturer could be found, he disclosed his patent in 1972.

Under development manager Joe Hertz, SKF developed the “Speedy” system in 1974, which was basically an inline skate chassis with matching wheels. It came onto the market in 1977 and also had interchangeable skate blades. Since no suitable shoe was offered, a buyer had to buy ice skates and have the existing blade removed. Production was discontinued as early as 1978 because a consumer product was viewed as disadvantageous for the product portfolio.

The company had no great interest in marketing the product via the advertising effect for the use of ball bearings; in addition, the buyer had to purchase ice skates and replace the chassis.

The breakthrough came with ice hockey player Scott Olson, who founded Rollerblade in 1979, who not only managed to establish himself under the ownership of Benetton, but also to displace roller skates. In 1995 3.5 million inline skates were sold in Germany. In the same year, the first instructors (teachers) in Germany were trained by the American IISA (International Inline Skating Association). This laid the foundation for thousands of inline schools throughout Germany. After the boom in the early 2000s, inline skate sales have stabilized.



Soft boots

As skate is defined as the unit of shoe, track and rollers. Depending on the requirements, there are different types of skates such as fitness boots , aggressive or speed skates . A good fit of the skate is important because of the elevated position.

protective gear

The usually recommended protective equipment consists of a tightly fitting helmet and knee, elbow and wrist protectors .

Basic elements


The movement in inline skating takes place through the skating step . The forward acceleration results from the adjustment of the skate. When pushing alternately to the side, there is thus also a forward force. In the acceleration phase and at low speed, the shear angle at which the skates are started is large. This angle decreases at higher speeds.


The two most common braking methods are the heel brake and the T-brake . The speed can also be reduced in the plowing position or by slalom driving . Finally, there are also possibilities to slow down the ride by moving the skates sideways ( Powerslide ).

Heel brake (stopper brake)

The skate with the stopper is pushed forward until the stopper touches the ground. At the same time, the body weight is shifted to the rear skate without a brake. The lower you bring your body's center of gravity, the greater the braking effect. The body's center of gravity also moves backwards and prevents falling forwards. Compared to a T-stop, the cost of a new stopper is much cheaper than buying a new one.
In some models of inline skates, the heel stoppers (usually only on one side) are provided with an active brake that presses the stopper onto the ground when the foot is stretched using a scissor mechanism.


With the T-brake , the body weight is shifted from the step position to the front leg and the rear inline skate is positioned across and pressed onto the road. The two skates describe this one T . The T-brake is significantly more difficult in terms of motor technology than the heel brake. The dragged skate can cause a torque around the body axis if it is not put on properly. This can easily lead to a fall. Disadvantages of the T-brake are also high wear on the rollers on one side and the relatively low braking effect.

The snow plow brake

With this braking variant, the skates form a V that opens towards the rear . As with skiing, the skates have to drift so that they don't run into each other. Since the grip of the rollers is high on dry asphalt, the center of gravity must be as deep as possible and far behind the skates. The braking effect of this technique is high, but it is quite difficult to keep your balance.

The spin stop (half-moon brake)

While twisting the upper body, place one foot backwards to the direction of travel. According to the torque, an arc or crescent is described until one comes to a standstill. Since you are turning around an imaginary pole, this technique is also known as the “lamppost brake”. This braking technique can only be used at low speeds.

The Powerslide

This is an efficient braking technology with a medium braking distance. It requires a high level of skill, as extreme cornering and finely dosed edge pressure are necessary. A skate is placed across the direction of travel (as with the T-Stop). However, the skate is not dragged behind, but rather touches down in front of the body's center of gravity, and almost all of the body's weight rests against it. In the standard version you start backwards and keep your center of gravity as low as possible, then you put one skate across in front of the other. The rear skate rolls backwards and stabilizes the lean angle. The Powerslide can be practiced on slippery surfaces or on a wet track. If the skate is not guided exactly perpendicular to the direction of travel and in front of the body's center of gravity, an undesirable angular momentum can arise, as with the T-Stop.

The parallel slide

Also called a hockey stop. You drive forward and place both skates parallel to the direction of travel. This is the most efficient braking method, albeit a very material load.


FIRS ( Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports ) is the world association for roller sports, it coordinates the sporting regulations and organizes world championships in the disciplines of roller hockey, figure skating, inline hockey, alpine and speed skating (formerly roller speed skating). Members of the FIRS are the national associations: DRIV (Germany), ÖRSV (Austria) etc. The IIFSA (International Inline Figure Skating Association) is responsible for the category inline figure skating at the international level and the EIFSA (European inline Figure Skating Association) at the European level , the inline skater hockey category is represented internationally by the IISHF ( International Inline Skater Hockey Federation ).

The official disciplines

The official disciplines are those which are recognized by the World Association for Rolling Sports (FIRS) and in which world championships are held regularly (annually). An exception is inline skater hockey , which is organized by the IISHF .

Figure skating

see main article Artistic Skating

Figure skating is structured like figure skating , only on roller skates. As with ice skating, there are pair and individual competitions.

Inline figure skating

Inline figure skating has been represented as a separate discipline 'inline artistry' at the roller figure skating world championships for several years.

This sport is even closer to figure skating than roller figure skating, because in inline figure skating the rollers are attached one behind the other and in a cradle (similar to the ice skate iron). This enables an elegant and agile running style. A change between the sports of ice and inline figure skating is also possible at any time, as the technique to be learned (unlike roller figure skating) is very similar.

Inline hockey (and inline skater hockey)

Inline hockey game

Inline hockey is a derivation from ice hockey , instead of skating on ice, inline skates are used to play disembodied on smoothed concrete or special sports floors. Inline skater hockey differs again in that it is played with the body and without offside and icing, and a ball is used instead of a puck.

Speed ​​skating / inline speed skating

Main article: Inline speed skating

Inline speed skater at the marathon race of the European Championship (road) 2005 in Ludwigsfelde.

In this variant of the sport, the aim is to be the first to cross the finish line with the front roller. The race distances vary between the individual sprint (from 200 m) over the 1000 m sprint to mass start races over the length of the marathon, or even longer distances, e.g. One-Eleven (111 km) in Switzerland, the Athens-2-Atlanta (86 Miles ~ 138.4 km) in the USA or the 24 Hours of Le Mans (France).

The races are held either on circular courses (100 m to 400 m track) with partly elevated curves or on roads.

The sport is practiced by inline speed skaters, sometimes from around the age of four. While competitions are about mastering the sports equipment, for adult athletes, in addition to strength and endurance, tactics are of decisive importance. It is important to use the slipstream of the person in front to save energy. The organization of the drivers in teams also means that the course of a race is most comparable to that of a bike race .

The equipment of a speed skater consists at least of a bicycle helmet and a pair of speed skates . These consist of three parts, the shoe itself, the rail and the rollers. In general, these parts are screwed together and therefore interchangeable. The position of the rail relative to the shoe can thus be varied. While the rail used to hold five rolls (rarely larger than 84 mm), four (larger) rolls are now standard. The folding rail from speed skating has not caught on in inlining. The rollers now usually have a diameter of 110 mm. (Between 2005 and 2007 the maximum permitted roll size was 100 mm.). With the introduction of the Triskate (3x125mm), which are only allowed on the street, there was a further significant technical advantage. The length of the rail including rollers must not exceed half a meter. The shoes are mostly ankle-high. They consist of a carbon shell that is padded with leather on the inside. Wearing a helmet is mandatory according to international regulations.

The largest inline competition in the world in terms of the number of participants is the Berlin Marathon . The leading nations are Switzerland, Colombia, Italy, USA, South Korea, France, Argentina, Taiwan, Chile and New Zealand. With 50 world titles, Chad Hedrick is the most successful inline speed skater. By winning the gold medal in speed skating at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin (after only three years of training on the ice), he made a significant contribution to increasing the importance of the sport.

Championship in slalom 2008 in Munich.

Inline alpine

Main article: Inline Alpin

When inline Alpin it comes to travel as quickly as possible a road (with a slope of 6% to 15%) downhill, wherein means to bypass sticks tilting rod (for slalom, giant slalom, parallel slalom). Similar to skiing , inline alpine is divided into the disciplines slalom, giant slalom, parallel slalom and downhill (downhill). The skates used have 4 or 5 wheels. The roll size varies between 80 mm and 110 mm. The protective equipment consists of a helmet (often with chin protection), knee and elbow protectors as well as back and chest protectors. The sticks are provided with an impact protection.

The first world championship took place on June 6, 2004 in Assling. The leading nations are Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. This sport has many parallels to alpine skiing and was originally developed as summer training for winter sports enthusiasts.

Inline downhill

Main article: Inline downhill

Inline downhill is a form of inline alpine in which an asphalt route is driven downhill. A typical downhill route has an average gradient of 7 to 13 percent and several hairpin bends. The average speed is around 60 km / h. On some routes, however, speeds of around 110 km / h are reached. Races have been held regularly in the European and World Cup since the mid-1990s, and since 2000 the FIRS has held world championships every year.

The trend sport variants

Pari Roller in Paris


This variant is suitable for all age groups and most beginners will continue to use it permanently. Motivation can be relaxation, group and landscape experiences, health promotion or endurance training . A wide range of popular sports events is offered:

  • Skate nights, usually after work or at night,
  • Inline meetings, usually weekly evenings during the week,
  • Skater runs, usually during the day at the weekend, such as Rhine on Skates in the Middle Rhine Valley (135 km, 2007: 1200 participants) or Filstal Skating in the southwest, or else
  • Events with a competitive nature

Regardless of whether at events or as a single driver, fitness skating with a little practice and moderate driving style can also be done well with suitable strollers or wheelchairs on suitable stretches, integration of disabled people can be optimally realized, and families do not have to do sports together because of the offspring Refrain from activities.

Soft boots with brakes are mostly used .

Nordic skating / Nordic blading

Nordic skating is analogous to Nordic walking . Here are sticks used to the forward movement also assist with the upper body. This has considerable advantages, especially on steep climbs. When Nordic blading own movement patterns in any way with the arise speed skating are to be compared. Technically, speed skating and Nordic skating are quite different. The speed skating is more of the speed skating comparable to the Nordic Skating rather with the technology in cross-country skiing . Germany and especially Bavaria are leaders in the sport. The route lengths are usually between 5 km and 21 km.

Freestyle slalom

Inline skaters in the slalom course

In freestyle slalom it is important to ski down a route marked with cones as tricky as possible.

Rules: At championships, up to three courses, each with 20 cones, must be traveled. The stretches are filled with 8 cm wide and 8 to 10 cm high cones at a distance of 50, 80 and 120 cm from the center of the cone to the center of the cone. In one or more runs, the skater has 90 seconds to perform as many heavy figures as possible on the lanes. The figures are rated with points between 0 and 100. Deductions are made for knocked down pins (0.5 points), falls (2 to 5 points) and missed rows of pins (10 points). If there are several runs, the best will be counted.

The most important championships take place in Paris (WorldCup), Monza, London and Moscow.

For freestyle slalom, shoes with a relatively short "rocked" rail, medium-sized, hard (hockey) wheels and without a heel brake are suitable. For private practice, empty film cans that are weighted down with a stone because of the wind are ideal.

In 2011 the 5th world championship in freestyle slalom took place in the arena geisingen.

Street skater while "grinding"
Skater in the skate park

Aggressive inline

For this variant of inline skating, good body control and little fear of falling are important. With this variant, great attention is paid to the elegant execution of the tricks. There are basically two sub-categories:

When street skating is usually skated in public places in cities. Here the tricks are done creatively either on the obstacles , walls, stairs, railings, ramps and the like, or in an artificially created obstacle landscape ( skate park - partly made of wood, but also made of metal or concrete) which is based on urban space in a skate-optimized form. With pure street skating outside of the skatepark, the use of public space and the damage to property and noise often associated with skating can occasionally lead to confrontations with residents, house and property owners and law enforcement officers. A terrain suitable for street skating is called a spot .

In addition, there is the area of vert (from English vertical, German vertical) in aggressive skating . Here, a specially created halfpipe is used , a system with a U-shaped profile, in which the skater drives on two opposite steep walls (vert), which are vertical in the upper part, which are rounded off ( transitions ) with a horizontal plane ( flat ) are connected. In vertskating, the tricks are performed either as flight tricks ( airs ) above the steep face or on the edge of the steep face, which is usually provided with a steel tube ( coping ) ( liptricks). A popular modification of the halfpipe is the mini ramp, a lower construction without the vertical part of the steep wall. Next the spin ramp , that is, two quarter pipes are placed next to each other, so that a point with 2 copings is created.

Due to the high material stress, special aggressive skates are essential for aggressive skating . Since there are usually no brake blocks on the inliners and the rollers are therefore braked, they have to be replaced regularly or moved to another location on the inliner. In current models, a screw-off rail is usually standardized. In addition, the UFS (Universal Frame System) was introduced, which enables different skates and rails to be put together by the same arrangement of the fastening screws on all rails from the manufacturers represented in this sport. A lateral support surface between the shoe and the rail (soul plate) has revolutionized grinding - i.e. sliding on obstacles. The splint is also used for many grinds. To make this easier, many skaters take out the rollers in the middle of the rail. Many rail manufacturers do without the rollers in the middle and replace them with a specially shaped plastic block that increases the gliding ability. Grinding requires a lot of skill, balance and courage, as falling on a rail , curb or the like can cause serious injury. This sport should only be practiced with appropriate protective clothing.

As in many other types of fun sports, English terms have become commonplace for the tricks that are common in aggressive skating . A detailed list can be found under inline skating .

Inline basketball

Inline basketball (IBB) is played on normal basketball fields and is also very much based on the rules of basketball. Step rules are replaced by second rules. Because the participants move on skates, the game has a different dynamic than normal basketball and at the same time turns out to be a bit more complicated, as you have to compensate for your own speed when throwing a basketball. IBB requires a high level of safety and maneuverability on skates. It is played without a hand protector, otherwise the ball cannot be controlled. Fitness or hockey skates are used as skates, which are agile and enable a quick start.

Inline soccer

Inline soccer (also called roller soccer) is often played by speed skaters during training. The rules are similar to those of indoor soccer. The game is played either on defrosted ice hockey rinks (there on hockey goals) or in handball halls (there on handball goals).

Legal situation


Additional symbols for inline skating and roller skating free in the German road traffic regulations valid since 2013
Separate tracks in a park in Poland

Inline skaters must use the sidewalk or hard shoulder, if available and usable; the rules for pedestrians apply to them. With the additional sign “Inline skaters and roller skating free”, inline skating and roller skating can be permitted on the roadway or the bike path.

The legal position of inline skaters has long been a matter of dispute. One opinion was that in German road traffic law inline skaters are considered pedestrians and inline skates are to be regarded as play equipment according to the road traffic regulations. According to another reading, inline skates would be “designed and intended for speeds greater than walking pace” and should therefore be classified as vehicles; so they would have to drive on the road.

The Federal Court has ruled in 2002 that inline skaters are up to statutory regulation of the group assigned to the particular means of transportation. This legal regulation has now taken place and manifests this classification ( § 24 StVO). Inline skaters are therefore legally considered to be pedestrians who have to use them on footpaths, on roads without a footpath outside built-up areas on the left side of the road, in town on the left or right side of the road.

Since a vehicle is a prerequisite for the offense of "drunkenness in traffic" ( Section 316 StGB), but inline skates have not been recognized as such, they are not covered by this provision.

The amendment to the road traffic regulations as of September 1, 2009 introduced an additional sign with an inline skater pictogram in Section 31 , which allows inline skaters to use the lane, especially in 30 km / h zones and cycle streets , as well as cycle facilities . In Germany, inline skaters are not allowed to drive on cycle paths without appropriate signs.


In Austria, driving on sidewalks, sidewalks and pedestrian zones with roller skates (the legislator only knows the umbrella term here, which also includes traditional roller skates) is generally permitted, as long as nobody is endangered or hindered. The use of cycle paths is also permitted, and cycle lanes may also be used in urban areas. Otherwise, the use of the general carriageway in the longitudinal direction is not permitted, but you can cross. Public transport passengers are forbidden to enter the vehicles "with roller skates or inline skates" - according to the Motor Vehicle Act (from 2001).


In Switzerland, according to the ' Road Traffic Act ' (SVG), inline skates are so-called 'fäG' (vehicle-like devices). They can be used wherever pedestrians are allowed to move, also on cycle paths and on side streets when there is little traffic. Main roads are not allowed. You have to adhere to pedestrian and 'fäG' prohibition signs (prohibition sign with an inline shoe on it). At night, a white light must be attached to the front and a red light to the rear for marking. 'fäG' have the same rights as pedestrians, including on the pedestrian crossing.

See also

  • Flaeming-Skate : Well-known German skate track in Brandenburg
  • Rollerskating : Designates, in contrast to rollerblading / inline skating, classic roller skating

Web links

Commons : Inline skating  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikibooks: Inline skating  - learning and teaching materials

Individual evidence

  2. ^ Herbert A. Henzler, Lothar Späth: "The Second Turn: How Germany Will Create It", p. 21, 1998
  3. Annex 2 of the Road Traffic Regulations , number 23 to sign 244.1, explanation 2. Archived copy ( memento of the original dated June 29, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. in conjunction with Section 24 (1) and Section 25 of the Road Traffic Act, in particular Section 25 (1) sentences 1-2 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Section 31 (2) of the Road Traffic Act
  5. Skateright: Theses on the classification of inline skates as vehicles in road traffic
  6. ^ BHG ruling on the classification of inline skates
  7. Drunk on inline skates: No drunk driving
  8. Inliners get their own traffic sign
  9. Changes due to the 92nd Federal Act: 20th Amendment to the Road Traffic Act
  10. StVO on roller skating: §9, §17, §88, in particular: §88a; §94d. Consolidated on an ongoing basis:
  11. Traffic Rules Ordinance Art. 50