Quad Skate Tricks

Updated February 21, 2017

Considered an artistic roller figure skating sport, quad skaters make moves and tricks on a four-wheeled "classic" roller skate. According to, skaters break quad skates into two main categories–indoor rink skates or outdoor sidewalk skates. Recreational quad skates, also called artistic skates, are a traditional high boot roller skate that give the skater firmer control for her spins and jumps. An indoor quad skate, used for rink competitions, have a lower boot cut and harder wheels for faster turning and manoeuvring.

Toe Loop

A toe loop is a basic move and generally the first full turn move a skater learns. Starting in a backwards motion, a skater uses his right backside skate edge to move into the trick. An ice skater uses a "left toe pick" where he digs slightly into the ice before leaping to gain stability and torque–a quad skater gently taps her front left wheels on the ground before taking off.

For advanced skaters, the toe loop is often the second jump in a combination. Performed in figure ice skating and quad skating, according to official U.S. Artistic Roller Skating rules, the skater should not turn her body too much before launching into air.


Ulrich Salcho invented this challenging and rewarding jump. Starting on the LBI (left back inside) edge, a skater spins a full revolution in the air and lands on the RBO edge. The skater holds the free, right leg in the air, behind and to the right. Swinging the free leg and the arm forward, the skater starts a spinning action and leaps in the air. Quad skaters, unlike ice skaters, have to worry more about balance on the single blade than the quad skater with four wheels, but other complications make the quad move challenging.


Entered on the forward edge of the skate, the axel is a difficult but common competition trick for quad skaters and ice skaters. Starting on the LFO edge (forward on the left foot) the move curves toward the left. For a single axel trick, skaters perform one and half revolutions in the air and land going backward on the RBO edge (right outside backwards). Skaters generally follow the move with a backward crossover to glide into moving in a backward direction where they can gain momentum.


According to the Federation of Artistic Roller Skating (FARS), competition skaters must be able to make spin moves. Using the inside edge of the skate, skaters spin with inside wheels. Thrusting the arms outward to the sides helps a skater keep balance and a straight posture throughout the whole move.

Spinning once is considered a spin move, but for competitions a skater must spin at least three times in a fluid motion to qualify. Spins are considered a basic move by the skating federation but skilled skaters add to the move as they gain experience. In a "sitting spin" a skater uses the inside or outside edge of the skate to spin three consecutive times while crouching on the knees.

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About the Author

Noelle Carver has been a freelance writer since 2009, with work published in "SSYK" and "The Wolf," two U.K. literary journals. Carver holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from American University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The New School. She lives in New York City.