Monday, December 18, 2017

Jumping and Spinning on Inline skates?

April 17, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured Articles

By Jo Ann Schneider Farris

I’ve always been fascinated with anything that moves or glides.  Figure skating has given me the confidence to  try other sports such as downhill and cross-country skiing, inline skating,  and roller skating.  My garage is filled with all sorts of things that move:  Downhill, cross-country, and skating skis, bikes, scooters, roller skates,  and various types of of inline skates including inline hockey skates and off-  road Rollerblades.

The transition to traditional quad wheeled roller skates is very difficult for  ice skaters.  Even though the transition is hard, I wanted to enjoy skating  outside, so I began trying to skate on regular roller skates for fun when I was  quite young.  It was not easy to skate on quads, but I was determined.

I was delighted when I heard about the Rollerblade Company in the mid-  1980s, and I purchased a pair of the original Rollerblades directly from the  Rollerblade company when one of their representatives came to an ice arena  I was coaching at.

My husband and I would attract a following when we skated on what was then considered “crazy looking and weird roller skates” in those days; however, it didn’t take long before everyone who skated outside seemed to be skating on inlines instead of quads.   By the late 1980s and early 1990s, inline skating became very, very popular, so my husband and I no longer stood out when we skated outside on our Rollerblades.

Inline skates felt like ice skates, but it was not possible for me to do everything that I could do on the ice in them since there were no toe stops or picks, and the boots were bulky.  I was delighted, in the early 1990s, when Roller Stop, a company started by John Petell, first invented “The Pic,” which I attached to my original Rollerblades.  I then enjoyed inline skating more with “toe picks” attached to my Rollerblades.  I also took off the heel brake and rockered my wheels slightly by putting smaller wheels at the front and back of my flat Rollerblade frames.

Mr. Petell told me he was working on developing an inline figure skating frame, and I let him know I would be one of his first buyers.

Around the same time, an ice skating coach and inventor named Nick Perna was determined to invent an inline figure skate that would work like an ice figure skate.  There had been some other inline figure skates invented, but nothing had worked quite right.  Petell and Perna came together in the mid-1990s and introduced and invented the PIC® Frame skate.

The PIC® Skate frame and wheels could be used indoors or outside.   Perna’s and Petell’s original vision was to not only give figure skaters a way to train off the ice, but to allow figure skaters a chance to perform in front of audiences when ice was not available.

The PIC® Skate’s frame could be attached to leather figure skating boots.  A urethane or high tech rubber “Pic” that does not move is at the top of the frame.  That “Pic” functions like a toe pick on a figure skating blade, so jumping and spinning on inline skates is possible.  Also, the frame is rockered which makes the wheels feel like they are moving on ice rather than on concrete or a wood floor.

As soon as the PIC® Frame Skate was invented, I bought a pair and attached the frames to an old pair of Harlick skating boots.  I was immediately fascinated in what the skates could do.  Everything I could do on the ice seemed to be possible on PIC® Skates!  Doing jumps felt just like jumping on the ice, but spins took a bit longer to figure out.  I was determined; in time, I was doing sit spins, Axels, split jumps, and flying camel spins on my PIC® Skates.

As often as possible, I’d take the time to experiment and figure out how to do more and more figure skating moves in PIC® Skates.  I wrote down all that I learned.  My discoveries became a book.  How to Jump and Spin on Inline Skates was published in 2000.

Some very famous and accomplished figure skaters skate on PIC® Skates including world figure skating champion and Olympic medalist, Elvis Stojko, and three time US mens champion and two time Olympian, Michael Weiss.  They can do double and triple jumps on inline skates thanks to PIC® skating .  Nick Perna’s dream was to see skaters performing on PIC® Skates in parades and in outdoor festivals, and that dream has also become a reality.  Over ten thousand people in over fifty countries have purchased the product.

I believe that all figure skaters should give inline skating a try since inline skating is a great way to stay in shape and is a wonderful off-ice conditioning method.  Also, being able to do what you can do on the ice on inline figure skates can add an entire new dimension to your skating training.

PIC® Skates are a bit heavier than ice skates since they include a frame, a pic, wheels, and bearings, so you’ll find that they may cause your jumps to improve.  You’ll feel so light on the ice after skating on PIC® Skates that you may feel like you are flying when you jump on the ice.  It has been said that spinning on PIC® Skates is like spinning on top of the world!

Happy Ice Skating and Inline Skating!

Jo Ann Schneider Farris has written hundreds of articles about skating. Her articles have been published in SKATING Magazine, The Professional Skater, Recreational Ice Skating, and have been included in US Figure Skating Online,,, and She has been’s Guide to Figure Skatingsince 2006. In 2010, Jo Ann represented at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. She has been a competitive skater and skating coach, and has directed both Ice Skating Institute and U.S. Figure Skating programs. In addition, her own three children are competitive figure skaters who have competed multiple times in both pair skating and ice dancing at the regional, sectional, and junior national levels. In addition, Jo Ann is the author of How to Jump and Spin on Inline Skates. She is a member of U.S. Figure Skating, Ice Skating Institute, the Professional Skaters Association, and the Broadmoor Skating Club.

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