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Inline Skating Glossary

Stands for Annular Bearing Engineer Council. The ABEC-1, ABEC-3, ABEC-5 ratings you see for bearings are supposed to be indications that the bearings meet the stated ABEC specifications of a certain precision level. ABEC-5's are supposed to be fastest but there is yet no hard evidence that in real world situations that this is true.

These are those metal things inside the hub of your wheels. There's two per wheel. Inline skates currently use bearings that were already standard in the bearings industry, before inlines were popular. They are "608" bearings, indicating the inner (6mm) and outer diamters (8 mm).

bearing spacers:
These are those small parts that go in between your bearings so that the axles can go through your wheels. Most stock spacers are plastic, some may be metal. Hop-up kits provide metal ones. Some spacers may also be threaded (so that axles screw directly into the spacers instead of just passing through).

This is a wheel configuration used by many rail-sliders which has the larger wheels on the toe and heel positions, and the smaller wheels (like Lil' Roxx or Midgets) in the middle to allow the sliding to take place without the wheels being in the way.

bashing (stair bashing):
A synonym for stair riding. Also sometimes called "stair bumping".

Skating crossovers is simply skating along a curved path while still stroking. To do this, you have to cross the outer skate over the other one and hence the term "crossover". Done properly, a crossover will not only let you maintain your speed going into the turn, but also let you increase it to an extent. The turns that ice speedskaters do during the Olympics are all crossover turns. Figure skaters will often do backwards crossovers during their routines, and hockey players do a variety of both during games.

Durometer is an industry hardness rating for polyurethane, which is the primary wheel material. Ratings such as 78A or 85A are usually seen on wheels. The higher the rating the harder the wheel. 100 is the highest (although no skaters probably go beyond 92 or 95).

frame spacers:
These are those small parts on your skates that go between your wheels and the runners. Many skates have eccentric, oval shaped frame spacers so that you can flip them 180 degrees to rocker your skates.

A prefix used for any trick done backwards, as in a "fakie 360".

grind plates:
These are flat metal or hard plastic plates that are bolted on to runners for grinding and rail slides so that the original runners won't get shredded to pieces.

hop-up kits:
Hop-up kits are simply upgrade kits that include frame spacers, bearing spacers, and axels. They're made of aluminium or brass or some other metal. Some incorporate threaded spacers too. The advantage in using hop-up kits is that you can crank down real hard on your wheels without compressing the spacers. The stock plastic spacers on most skates will compress or even crack if you do this a lot.

This means the entire skate (boot and runners) is manufacturered in one solid piece. This can produce a lot more stiffness in the skate, which may or may not be good, depending on your skating style and purpose.

rail slides:
This is a skating trick where you slide along a rail in various stances. Most often an anti-rocker or all-small-wheel setup is used in order to let the runners slide along the rail. It wears down plastic runners fairly quick so rail sliders usually put on grind-plates on their runners.

road rash:
Any scrapes, gashes or other injuries incurred from wiping out and sliding on pavement.

Rockering your skates means to arrange the wheel heights to approximate a curved (ice skate) blade. Normally this is done by raising the front and rear wheels slightly by flipping the frame spacers, or by lower the middle two wheels, or by doing both. Rocker provides for much more responsive turning at the cost of some stability.

Skitching comes from "skate hitching". Skitching is simply hanging on to some moving vehicle and letting it pull you along. Potentially dangerous of course.
stair riding:
This is a common skating stunt where you literally ride down a set of steps. It's bumpy, but with the proper stance and balance it's pretty fun. Always use protective gear when doing this!!!

wheel rotation:
Polyurethane wheels eventually wear down, but you can often extend the life of your wheels by flipping and/or rotating your wheels amongst themselves so that you can skate on the less-worn areas of your wheels.

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