As with winter crosscountry skis, roller skis can be divided into two basic groups: classic and skating. If you want to perform all techniques, you should buy both types of roller skis. There exist also “combined” skis, but their usage for an individual style is worse (even more so than in the case of winter “combi” skis).
Classic style skis:
- The main feature is the use of wheels (front or rear) with one-way bearings, which allow the “kick” like classic winter skis – only with the difference that the summer variant has a 100% kick (in dry conditions:-). When mounting the wheel with a one-way bearing forward, it is necessary to focus more on the tight techniques however, the “slip” like at snow does not occur (unless you drive at mud;-).
- The ski girder tends to be longer (> = 70 cm), wider wheels (3.5 ÷ 4.5 cm) with a smaller diameter (7 ÷ 8 cm).
- The wheels material is mostly rubber. There you can often choose more ing hardness, which significantly influences the speed and also the durability of the wheels (stories of the destruction of the new set of “soft” wheels during a single race are not the exception…).
- For some roller skis, polyurethane wheels can be found – which are fast and are mainly used for children and juniors, which make training easier.
- For training of “double-pool” technique it is also advisable to use classic skis with wide low wheels due to overall greater stability of skis and greater similarity with classic skiing on snow.
Skis for Skate:
- They have wheels with double direction bearings.
- The girders are shorter (about 60 cm) with narrower (approx. 2, 5cm) and larger wheels (approx. 10 cm).
- For training are sufficient rubber wheels, which have even greater grip and are bit slower than polyurethane wheels. PU wheels are faster but they can glide in the wet and requires experienced skiers.
For both main types of skis, there are several types of frames to choose from:
- Aluminium frames (mostly made of aluminium alloys) – they are characterized by relatively high resistance and stiffness.
- Frames based on wooden laminates (similar construction classic skis) – have a higher flexibility and more imitates riding on snow. At the same time, by absorbing vibration, it saves your knees during training.
- Carbon frames – are characterized by a light and stiff structure which helps to transfer the force into the reflection. But together they can also dampen vibrations from low-quality asphalt.
- Plastic girders-not too widespread due to higher weight and less stiffness.
If you are new to roller skis and have no experience, it is recommended to discuss your expectations with your dealer. It is necessary to clarify what technique you want mostly to ride (classic or skate). If you will use roller skis mainly for rides, training or races. And last but not least what type of binding (shoes) you have available or intend to purchase. If possible, it is advantageous to try the different types of roller skis, so let them choose the “top” for you.
For roller skis alone, you will need sticks with special spikes on the asphalt. The length is the same as the “winter” sticks for your character height. Cycling helmet is also a necessity, and gloves are recommended to avoid blisters on the hands:-)