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The logo of Sliding Tiger: an animated sliding tiger

You can now compose your own inline skate! You can choose which frame, wheels, etc. you want to combine with which inline skate boot. See HERE.

Sliding Tiger is a webshop for inline skating and also a real store with real people.

Send us an e-mail or phone us and ask for the inline skater who has packed and shipped your parcel when you have some questions or want some advice.

Custom skates: An example

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Ever thought about upgrading your skates or putting together a custom set that's totally you? Well, I recently got my hands on the NN dragon+ frame and, of course, I went for the best in the market with such an amazing frame.

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Navigating the Chill

skating on wet road

As the weather starts becoming rainier and the roads more often wet, inline skaters need to adapt their approach to glide gracefully through the changing seasons. While the allure of brisk air and the crunch of leaves under your wheels may be tempting, it's crucial to recognize the unique challenges that autumn and winter bring to the world of inline skating. In this blog post, we'll explore the potential dangers and offer some valuable tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable skating experience.

  • Quick and Short Pushes for Slippery Roads

    The first rule of autumn and winter inline skating: adjust your push. The roads can be treacherously slippery, so those long and powerful pushes you're used to might not be your best friend during these seasons. Opt for quick, short pushes to maintain better control over your movements. This adjustment will help prevent unexpected slips and slides, keeping you on your feet and out of harm's way.
  • Watch Out for Leaves and Wet Metal Surfaces

    Leaves are some of the most dangerous things you regularly encounter during autumn skating adventures. Unlike on a bike, they will absolutely mess you up while skating. They turn any road into an absolute nightmare to ride on since they take away any grip you would have had on the road.
    Textured metal plates like manhole covers on the other hand are difficult terrain because of a combination of a lack of grip and your wheels getting caught easily in the textured surface, forcing your foot in a different direction.
  • Rain Trousers: A Must-Have for Dry and Warm Legs

    Rain is a frequent companion during the autumn months, and winter often brings its fair share of slush and (hopefully) snow. To protect both your pants and keep your legs warm, invest in a good pair of rain trousers. These will shield you from the elements, allowing you to enjoy your skating sessions without worrying about damp clothes or the biting chill.
  • It: Keeping Rain at Bay

    Picture this: you're cruising along, raindrops tapping a rhythmic melody on your helmet. While the sensation can be poetic, it's not always practical. Invest in a snug cap to keep rain out of your face. Not only does this small addition help maintain visibility, but it also adds an extra layer of protection against the cold. Opt for a water-resistant material to maximize the effectiveness of your cap in wet conditions.
  • Distances: A Crucial Consideration

    Autumn leaves and winter precipitation can significantly extend your braking distance. Keep this in mind and adjust your speed accordingly. Take a more conservative approach when approaching intersections or downhill stretches, giving yourself ample time to brake safely. Being mindful of your braking distance can prevent accidents and ensure a smooth, controlled ride.
  • Guarding Against the Winter Wind

    As the temperatures drop, so does the risk of wind chill. Don't forget to protect your neck from the biting winter winds. A scarf, neck gaiter, or a specialized windproof neck guard can make all the difference, keeping you warm and shielded from the harsh elements.
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Custom skates: A quick breakdown

Sliding Tiger Wizard Custom skates offer one of the best ways to familiarise yourself with all the components and their strengths. However, it can also be time-consuming and require effort to achieve the right setup. To assist you along the way, here's a guide that might prove helpful.
  • Boot

    Let's begin with the part you'll likely use the most. Even if you decide to change the frame later, you'll probably stick with the boot you already have. Therefore, we recommend visiting a physical store to try out a few boots. I suggest opting for a hardshell boot with a replaceable cuff. This allows for more customisation, and you can swap out the cuff if it breaks, enhancing its longevity. Another advantage of hardshells is the ability to replace the liner, improving the overall fit.
  • Liners
    Selecting the right liner can be tricky since each liner fits differently in every shell (the hard outer part of your boot). This makes customisation more challenging but equally enjoyable. Pay attention to the size and thickness of the liners. For instance, the FR1 liner may feel uncomfortable in the powerslide NEXT shell due to its thickness. On the other hand, a thinner FR intuition liner in your normal size might enhance the feeling of the NEXT boot. Many aggressive skates can benefit from a MyFit liner, known for being heat-mouldable and providing a great feel for aggressive skating.
  • Frame

    Your frame is, next to your boot, the most important part in determining the feel of your ride. Check the Sliding Tiger blog for more detailed guides, but here's a quick overview: ensure it's compatible with the mounting standard used on your boot (normally 165mm with a raised heel for freeride and freestyle, UFS for aggressive and trinity for Powerslide's patented system). The wheelbase (length) of the frame, along with whether it's flat or rockered, influences manoeuvrability. Popular aftermarket frames include Endless, Wizard, NN, and Oysi.
  • Bearings

    Now, let's discuss bearings. They determine how smoothly you can ride and can be chosen based on different goals. For rain or wet conditions, go with rustproof bearings or ceramics. In dry conditions, consider ABEC 7 or 9 for a good balance of price to performance. Wicked, a Powerslide daughter brand, is the standard for bearings, but others prefer twincam for its two metal shields and its MW standard (comparable to ABEC). According to some team members, twincam bearings also provide a smoother ride.
  • Wheels

    Finally, let's talk about wheels. Choosing the right wheels can be challenging since everyone has different preferences. It's mainly about trial and error to find what suits your style. Some team members prefer FR speed and UnderCover team wheels for their balance between sliding ability and grip. Others enjoy adding a unique look to their skates with LED or firestone wheels.
I hope this guide excites you to explore and find what fits you personally. While I can't provide a guide that is clearer or easier to follow, remember that skating is a highly personal adventure, and no two people have the same feet, making it even more challenging to create a comprehensive guide. If you have specific questions, I recommend making some friends in the skating scene and asking them about their experiences. read more

How to choose a skate

choosing inline skates can be scary

Inline skating is a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors, get some exercise, and have loads of fun. However, to make the most of your inline skating experience, you need to choose the right pair of skates. Whether you're a newbie eager to hit the pavement for the first time or a seasoned skater looking to upgrade, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential factors to consider when selecting the perfect inline skates.

  1. Skate Type:
    The first step in choosing inline skates is determining the type that suits your needs. Inline skates come in various styles, including fitness skates, aggressive skates, freeride skates, and more. If you're looking for a comfortable ride around your neighbourhood or local park, fitness or freeride skates are the way to go. On the other hand, if you're an adrenaline junkie who enjoys tricks and stunts, aggressive skates are your best bet.
  2. Size, Fit, and Boot Design:
    Getting the right size is paramount for a comfortable and enjoyable skating experience. Begin by consulting the manufacturer's sizing chart to match your shoe size with the appropriate skate size. It's crucial to remember that inline skates should fit snugly but not be uncomfortably tight. Additionally, consider the boot design, which comes in various styles, such as hardshell, softshell, and hybrid. The choice between these designs largely depends on your personal preferences. Hardshell boots offer exceptional support and control, making them ideal for advanced skaters. In contrast, softshell boots are often more comfortable for extended rides, offering a bit of flexibility for those who prefer a more relaxed fit. We’ll leave carbon boots and integrated liners out of the picture here, since these are mostly used by people who know what they are looking for, but feel free to ask more info about those in our store or by email.
  3. Maintenance:
    Educate yourself on how to maintain and care for your inline skates. Regular maintenance can extend their lifespan and keep them performing optimally. Basic maintenance tasks include cleaning, tightening bolts, and replacing worn-out wheels or bearings. For example, if you skate through the rain, you might want to consider special wheels and bearings that are optimised for those conditions since normal bearings aren’t made for wet conditions and may show signs of rust after only a couple rides through the rain.
  4. Closure System:
    Don't forget to consider the closure system, whether it's traditional laces, buckles, or Velcro straps. Ensure that the closure system not only offers a secure fit but is also easy to use, allowing you to adjust your skates quickly. Here you want to think about how much patience you have to put on shoes (or in this case, skates), if you lack the patience to tie your shoelaces for example, you might want a simpler system compared to people disciplined enough to take the time to properly adjust their laces every time.
  5. Frame and Wheel Configuration:
    The frame and wheel configuration on your skates can significantly impact your overall experience. For beginners, a longer frame with larger wheels provides better stability, making it easier to maintain balance. Additionally, consider the material of the frame, whether it's aluminium, plastic, or another type, as it can affect the weight and durability of your skates. For most people, the sweet spot here is an aluminium frame, which offers performance and durability. Mind that these exist at different price points and qualities.
    As for wheel sizes, 80mm is the sweet spot for allround, but you of course don’t have to limit yourself to the basic option. Look at what wheelbase feels natural for you and the compatible wheel sizes with that length.
  6. Wheel Hardness:
    The hardness of the wheels on your inline skates is measured on the durometer scale. Softer wheels (with a lower durometer rating) provide excellent grip but tend to wear out faster, making them suitable for indoor or smooth outdoor surfaces. On the other hand, harder wheels (with a higher durometer rating) are more durable and perform well on rough outdoor terrains but may feel less forgiving on bumpy roads.
    The sweet spot between durability and comfort lies somewhere around 85A here. Keep in mind that it is advised to not go any lower than 82A if you want to ride outside (officially 80A, but that’s a load of I’m not finishing that). Harder wheels, like 88A and above are mostly used for aggressive skates because they slide easier.
  7. Brake and Extras:
    Consider whether the skates you're interested in come with a built-in brake or if you'll need to purchase one separately. Additional features like shock absorption, ventilation, or interchangeable frames can also enhance your skating experience, so weigh these options based on your preferences.
    My advice is learning how to stop properly without a brake as it gives you more control than using a brake. But some people feel safer with a brake for some reason. Add-on brakes are therefore also more recommended than built-in ones, as they will allow you to start out with a brake and allow you to grow once you have built up the confidence and necessary skills.
  8. Budget:
    Inline skates come in a wide range of prices, so it's essential to determine your budget before shopping. While it's tempting to go for the most affordable option, it's wise to invest in a reliable and durable pair that suits your skating needs. Quality skates can be found at various price points, often starting around €150 for aggressive and freeride. Most (higher) midrange quality skates can be found around the €200-250 price point. Slalom and other more specialised skates often start around €270 and up.
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