How Fast Are Inline Skates

Watch this video to gauge how fast I can go on 4x110mm inline skates.

Me, Bujie bombing a hill somewhere in East Africa.

How fast can you go on rollerblades? The average and top speed reachable on inline skates depends on a slew of factors. Factors that can influence your inline skating speed include your skating ability, technique, boot type, slope gradient, and wheel size.

Wheel hardness/softness (durometer rating), wind resistance, pavement quality, and bearing quality can also impact your inline skate speed.

Related: How to Make Inline Skates Faster

How Fast Can Inline Skaters Go?

Most inline skaters roll along at a speed of 8 to 16 mph while the speediest rollerbladers can maintain an impressive 25 mph. On some race tracks, some speed gods have clocked speeds of up to 60 mph.

Who’s the Fastest Inline Skater in the World?

Guinness World Records notes the fastest inline skater ever recorded was Tobias Gustafsson. This speedster hit an astounding 163.23 mph in 2001 in Sweden—albeit with a bit of help: towing.

Italian skater, Sandro Bovo, clinched the crown of the world’s best downhill inline skater on February 21, 2016.

He achieved this incredible fete by hitting a mind-boggling 77.47 mph on rollerblades in Teutonia, Brazil. I get uneasy every time my car’s speedometer points at 120 km/h, but Bovo traveled at an insane 125 km/h on skates!

A Little-known Guy, Probably the Swiftest Inline Skater!

Ever heard of Abdul Karim Habyarimana? He’s an incredible Burundian inline skater residing in Rwanda. This video (17million+ views as of this writing!) showcases the guy’s matchless speed on inline skates and godlike fluidity.

The guy skates on less-than-perfect streets, even dirt roads. But that hasn’t hindered him from becoming a legend.

Exciting news! Next time Karim visits Nairobi, we’ll request him to showcase his exceptional blading skills right here at

How Long to Travel a Mile on Rollerblades?

It depends. Skate at 10 mph, and you’ll cover a mile in a quick 6 minutes. Slow the pace down to 5 mph, and it becomes a 12-minute sprint.

Bump it up to 12 mph, and voila, you’ll conquer the same mile in just 5 minutes. It’s all about how fast you’re skating and how long you can maintain a certain skating speed.

How to Skate Really Fast On Rollerblades

a skater standing in 5 wheel inline skates; they're speed monsters

To go faster on inline skates (Skating Magic video), you must combust a lot of the gas you got and really flex those leg muscles. Also, throw in good skating technique and use souped-up-for-speed inline skates.

But that’s not all. Start sprinting right out the gate for a speedy start, but don’t stop there. Master crossovers so you can get into and exit turns lightning-fast.

Finally, add super-sized skate wheels to the mix, and turbocharge your glide. That’s how you skate as fast as a bat out of hell.

Wait…does a bunch of hills dot your route? That means a naturally faster ride haha. Here’s a few expert tips for safe downhill skating.

8 Factors That Determine How Fast You Can Go on Inline Skates

  1. Wheel size and number of wheels
  2. Your skating ability/technique
  3. Bearing quality
  4. Pavement quality
  5. Wheel hardness: hardness/softness of the wheels
  6. Wind resistance
  7. The gradient of the surface
  8. Boot type

Let me now expound a little on each these factors that determine your speed on inline skates.

1. Size and Number of Wheels on Your Skates

5 wheeled inline skates
Photo credit:

Ever wondered why inline speed skates have more wheels than other skates? It’s because the extra wheels on speed skates translate into reduced rolling friction. Weight spreads out, minimizing deformation on each wheel.

But five-wheel inline skates are no longer the preferred choice for speed skaters. These days, skaters prefer 4×110 and 3×125 setups over five-wheel skates.

Maybe manufacturers realized that stiffening the rubber and using fewer wheels does the job just as well. All without the extra weight, smart thinking!

Small vs. Big Inline Skate Wheels

Bigger wheels on inline skates make for greater speed. That’s why speed and long-distance rollerblades have large wheels.

Smaller wheels offer better acceleration. That’s why street and aggressive inline skaters often opt for smaller, harder wheels.

Good rollerblades for rough roads, like the Maxxum Edge 125, are crazy fast. They’re not ideal for beginners.

Want the absolute speed demons? Get a pair of off-road skates with 150mm air-filled wheels.

Why Are 3-Wheel Inline Skates So Popular?

Speed, that’s why.

Three-wheel inline skates are super fast, because they typically have bigger wheels. But if the skate features shorter frames, it’s not the best option for speed or distance rollerblading.

Many long-distance and speed skates have rather long, low-profile frames to foster stability when skating at high speeds.

super fast 3 wheeled inline skates
Photo credit:

Triskates rock bigger wheels than 4 or 5-wheel skates. That’s why they’re crazy-fast. Most come with 100mm, 110mm, or 125mm wheels.

Make sure to wear proper skate gear (video) before strapping these boots on…because 3-wheeled rollerblades don’t roll — they fly! I speak from experience hereI’ve been skating for the past 16 years.

2. Your Inline Skating Ability

Nail the correct inline skating technique, and your rollerblades will become highly responsive speed monsters. Don’t forget to hit the gym to strength-train and build some muscle.

Skater strength + skating ability = amazing rolling speed. Some of the skills you can master to go faster on rollerblades include:

  • Jumps
  • Sprinting
  • Crossovers
  • Skating backward
  • Stopping techniques including heel braking, the T-stop, Powerslide, soul slide, magic slide, and whatnot
  • Balance and other exercises such as walking up and down stair sets with your skates on among others; here’s a video we published a while back on how to go aster on inline skates

Check out pros like me (if I say so myself), Bill Stoppard, Ricardo Lino on YouTube for tips and tricks on how to quicken your pace on skates.

3. Does Inline Skate Bearing Quality Affect Speed?

Bearing quality and design matter for speed on inline skates. However, a higher ABEC rating doesn’t always guarantee faster speed.

When it comes to inline skate bearing performance, personal experiences can vary. I’ve had ABEC 7s feeling like 3s and ABEC 5s racing like 7s.

What about the much-touted Swiss Ceramics? In my opinion, running premium bearings makes a difference speed-wise.

But race-worthy bearings can be pricey. Unless you race or just like buying expensive things, you probably don’t need them.

Related: How to Buy Inline Skate Bearings

Go for quality skate bearings from reputable brands like Bones. Break them in, thank me later.

Personally, I swear by Bones Reds—they’re super reliable. But remember, your skating skill and other factors outweigh bearing choice for speed.

4. Pavement Quality

The rougher the pavement, the slower you’ll go.

Fresh asphalt makes for a great riding surface. However, fresh tar can be pretty sticky. So when skating on a newly paved road, expect to go slower due to increased roll resistance.

Related: How to rollerblade on rough ground

5. Hardness vs. Softness of Your Wheels

Harder rollerblade wheels roll faster than softer ones. Check the durometer rating on the wheel’s side to gauge its hardness or softness when shopping.

Durometer values for inline skate wheels usually range from 75A to 90A, although I’ve come across 95As.

A lower durometer rating means a softer wheel while higher numbers indicate a harder one. Though harder wheels excel in speed, they’re not great for shock absorption.

If speed thrills you, a rating of 85A to 90A should work well. Experiment with different hardness ratings to find your perfect durometer match.

6. Wind Resistance Or Drag

The wind can be a potent force. Sailors in the past harnessed wind power to propel ships, but that’s when they blew in the right direction.

When blowing in your direction of motion (I love me some tailwind!), the wind can help you skate a tad faster. But when blowing against your face, the resistance can slow you down quite a bit.

So before hitting the road, park, or trail, check the weather forecast. If it’s pretty windy and chilly, dress for it. Also, mentally prepare for a slower pace, even when exerting the same level of effort.

7. Gradient: The Way the Land Lies

When skating downhill, you’ll pick up speed quicker than on flat ground. The steeper the slope, the faster you’ll be cruising. safety tip: gear up before flying down any steep slope.

Search the web, and you’ll find many broken-bone tales. Mishaps that probably wouldn’t have happened hadn’t the narrator gone out downhill rollerblading.

So, stay alert on those descents. Prioritize safety. Gear up with a solid rollerblade helmet, well-sized knee pads, wrist guards, and elbow pads—especially if you’re a beginner.

8. Boot Type

If you’re curious to know, here’s a video highlighting the differences between soft boot and hard boot rollerblades.

Skaters with similar skills can experience varied performance due to boot design. Soft boots provide more comfort (usually) while hard boots shine in speed and trick performance.

Hard boots offer stellar ankle and cuff support thanks to their robust outer shell. Combining a supportive boot design with sturdy aluminum frames results in amazing power transfer. And great power transfer translates into ultimately higher skating speeds.

However, if your skating skills are great, you can skate soft boots and still leave hard-boot wearers in the dust! I have quite a few victory stories to tell; ask my beer buddies.

How Fast Do Inline Skates Go? Wrap-up

Your speed is capped by your skill, skate specs, wheel size, and terrain quality. So put on proper protective gear—rollerblading crashes happen.

High-speed blading isn’t for starters. Take it slow and stay away from steep hills, extremely big wheels, and breakneck velocities. Safe skating!