What are aggressive skates and what are the top brands?
By. Chris Gorski
The term aggressive skates refers to the inline skates or Rollerblades that skaters wear to do tricks either in the streets or at a skate park. These inline skates are often referred to as Rollerblades and these aggressive skaters are often referred to as Rollerbladers although Rollerblade is an actual brand name of inline skates. These skates offer a different design than standard inline skates and are meant specifically for aggressive skating with additional padding and protection built into the skates.
What make aggressive inline skates different than regular skates?
When you first look at a pair of aggressive skates you will see some substantial differences in comparison to the skates that are used for recreational skating. Aggressive skates offer many differences in design and construction throughout the skate including modifications in the skates boot and liner along with modified frames, wheels and components. Overall aggressive skates need to be durable and able to withstand the abuse that rollerbladers put their skates through. We’re going to cover a few of the major functions of an aggressive skate below and have broken it into two separate areas to best explain.
Aggressive skate boots and liners: The boots and liners in aggressive skates need to not only offer a great deal of comfort but also offer protection from impacts. The liners in aggressive skates will offer a great deal of padding with extra padding in the ankle area to protect against rolled ankles while landing tricks. Below the liner in some skates will be an additional shock absorber which will sit below the heel to protect against impacts from jumping gaps. The boots on aggressive skates offer in most cases a hard plastic outer shell to give protection and the ability to easily slide on obstacles. If the boot is not a complete hard shell style it will offer hard plastic support where needed with a softer material where applicable.
Aggressive skate frames, wheels and components: Aggressive skates are made to be used for tricks from grinding down handrails to jumping stair gaps and everything in between. To ensure that these skates are able to take the abuse they are designed with thicker and more supportive plastics, specially designed frames to enhance grinding areas and smaller wheels for better control. Aggressive skate frames are made of a more resilient plastic and will slide faster when doing grinds on obstacles like benches, handrails and more. The smaller wheels stop aggressive skaters from getting too much unwanted speed and give them a greater amount of control over bigger and faster wheels. Often the middle wheels will be even smaller and made up of a harder plastic. These middle wheels referred to as anti-rocker wheels don’t touch the ground and are in place to guide the skaters as they grind obstacles.
Top Brands of aggressive inline skates
Rollerblade Aggressive Skates: We have to start with Rollerblade aggressive skates because with no Rollerblade we would have nothing. Rollerblade aggressive skates are really the foundation that the entire skating platform has been built on. Of course many of today’s skaters don’t remember the original Rollerblade skates like the Swindler, Chocolate, Dirks, Lightning or the whole TRS lineup. With such a solid foundation Rollerblade has cemented its relevance in the field of aggressive skating and continue to offer great skates with leading technology including the Solo line up from the pro models like the Estilo RG and SB for team riders Rob Guerroro and Sven Boekhorst to their entry level skates like the Solo Era and the New Jack 3. All of these Rollerblade aggressive skates offer top technology from their Delrin/Kevlar DuPont frames to the comfortable and supportive Blank liners.
K2 Aggressive Skates: K2 is another founding father of aggressive skating and has offered some classics in their line up along with being the original soft boot styling in aggressive skates. Some of the great oldies from K2 included skates like the Fat Bob, Backyards, K2 125’s, K2 250’s and the K2 Fatty Pros which are still around today but with updated technology. The soft boot technology of K2 aggressive skates have always been a high point offering great comfort and stability that users love. The fatty pro may be the original but skaters looking for a slightly different style can relish in the K2 Varsity aggressive skates which offer a new tennis shoe style boot with a wide soul plate making grinding an ease.
Razors Aggressive Skates: Razors is by no means a newcomer to the aggressive skate industry with such classic skates like the Superflat, Cult, Creams or countless Shima pro models and Genesys models. Razors skates have aged like fine wine as they keep getting better and better and more refined with updated technology and features. Razor is an aggressive skate company to their core as you won’t find any Razor brand “recreational” skates. Now Razor aggressive skates still have updated Genesys models including a kid’s skate that adjusts for some growing room. You can still get the budget friendly Razors Cult skates where you get Razors quality at a lower price or go for the high end with pro model aggressive skates like the Razor Iain McLeod or Alex Burston. Available in all these models there is sure to be a Razors aggressive skate that fits your style!
Remz Aggressive Skates: Remz may seem fresh to some but they have been around since the late 90’s and was the first aggressive skate manufacturer to produce a skate without any external buckles or cuffs. Remz skates are popular among skaters as they innovated the hard/soft boot design offering customizable ankle support and a unique rear lacing system. The creed of Remz is “freedom of feet” to offer users skating with their aggressive skates the best ability to flex and feel free in their skates. Remz offers the OS series which relies on a similar design as they first started with but also have their new HR series which is more of a softer boot design with hard plastic supports built in.
Now you know the main differences between aggressive skates and regular inline skates or Rollerblades. Now that you know about all that goes into a set of aggressive skates and the differing brands that make up the top of the market it may be time to pick up your first pair or a new pair of skates. Aggressive skating is fun and always has been so pick up a pair today and see what you’ve been missing!