Plastic vs Metal Frames by Stephen Whataspoon

Hello, Hello! Inline skate frames are available in many shapes and sizes for different wheel sizes and setups with each configuration helping you conquer certain disciplines of skating. But, what material of frame is best for what and should I skate a metal frame or plastic frame?

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. We all know that plastic is much lighter than metal and might be a good option if you are leaving the ground often and need your skates to be as light as possible, so you can control your feet in the air. This is especially popular with aggressive skaters.

With metal being heavier and stronger, metal frames will last much longer than plastic frames, which can be very useful when it comes to saving money and a metal frame might last several years more than a plastic frame. For example, my old aggressive plastic frames used to last about two years max, whereas every metal frame I have had would still be completely usable today. That being said, the metal frames I am referring too were for bigger wheel setups and could not do H-Block tricks. After years of sliding on the side of these metal frames, apart from being covered in scratches, these frames still have many grinds left to give.

Another difference between plastic and metal would be shock absorption. Plastic frames will absorb some of the vibrations created whilst you are skating along or grinding. Metal frames don’t absorb as much vibration but offer better power transfer for faster skating. This means if you are going for a leisurely skate then a plastic frame would be a more comfortable and more affordable option, then the metal option would be better for someone who needed their skate to pick up speed more efficiently.

When speed skating, having a light setup is important but so is power transfer. Maybe the best option here is to select a light carbon skate and then have a lighter metal frame on there.

When aggressive skating it might be best to get a plastic frame to absorb the shock when landing tricks street skating but a metal frame might be a better option for less impact skatepark skating so you can have that power transfer and speed on the grinds.

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