In this ice-free time, it seems appropriate to post about ways to keep skating off the ice. Skating on wheels—both quad and inline—has evolved in new directions that take advantage of the unique properties of these skates. I’m particularly interested in old skating moves that have survived on wheels, but not on ice.
Freestyle slalom skating consists of a series of tricks done around a line of cones. Skaters usually use inline skates, though quad roller skates are sometimes used, and occasionally people try slalom tricks on ice, generally in hockey skates. Here are a couple of example videos that will give you a sense of how it works.
I find freestyle slalom skating more interesting than artistic inline skating, sometimes called inline figure skating, because it doesn’t try to be ice figure skating. It clearly draws some inspiration from figure skating, but has gone native, taking advantage of things inline skates can do that figure skates can’t, like gliding on the front or back wheel alone.
Some relics of early twentieth-century figure skating survive here. Many slalom tricks seem to be based on grapevines, two-footed maneuvers that were banished from figure skating because they didn’t fit the increasingly narrow definition of what skating was. Skating on one foot was more highly prized than skating on two feet. Other moves, like extra pivots, have also been preserved. Watch for more about these in the coming days.