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Brake Test Summaries

Most of the below tests were informal trials and I did not record stopping distances. Follow links in Comments column for more specific test results where available.

Tested technology

Test Period







1992 to now

behind frame

in production, most brands

Scissors braking skate forward and lift toe

Classic rubber stopper is simple and effective once the user learns stance and gains balance to maximize friction.

Effective braking requires enough balance to maintain stance while lifting one toe.



cuff and behind frame

in production Rollerblade

Scissors with toe down

Cuff-activated brake addresses the balance problem because toe-lift is not required. Very effective for stopping and slowing.

May drag when adjusted too low. May trip skaters doing crossovers. Sissy stigma: non-users see it as "training wheels."

Rear disc brake


1 rear wheel

out of production, Roces

Press down on rear wheel

Invisible system may have "coolness" appeal.

Not effective for stopping.

Heelbrake plus rear disc brake


1 rear wheel and behind frame

Not in production, no recent activity, Avangard Design Associates

Scissors braking skate forward and lift toe

Smoothed out and shortend stopping distances. I tried to help get the PowerStop to production.

Not in production due to manufacturer disinterest.

Brush Brake


Not installed on skates

out of production, KC Quality Products, Inc.

Lower a push broom to pavement

Raise handle end for less friction, lower it for more. Nice third point of contact to aid timid beginners.

Carrying a broom is not desireable for real-world skating (trails, sidewalks)

Hub/bearing system


All wheels

in production, SmartWheels

Tip skates onto their outside wheel edges

Outside edge tip is effective for slowing and stopping. "Wedge" activiation familiar to alpine skiers.

Creates unwanted drag when doing crossovers, power strides, parallel turns

Non Reversing



Seeking license,
Inline Skate Tech

Gravity behind skater

Prototype worked as claimed, without hindering forward skills. Currently promoting this.

Simple designe not removable in the prototype; needs to be removable in production.

DXS 4-wheel system


Cuff and inside frame

The DXS, formerly known as the 4Wheeler disc brake. Inventor Alex Bellehumeur is seeking license.

Scissors with toe down

Testing gave smooth, silent, secure stops in half the distance of standard brakes! Needs no replacement parts, causes no wear on skate components. Currently promoting this.

More complexity than standard brakes may hinder manufacturing interest; not able to test whether debris can get caught.

DXS 2-wheel system


Cuff and inside frame

A second patent for the DXS disc brake. Inventor Alex Bellehumeur is seeking license.

Scissors with toe down

After 90 minutes of instruction, a 9-year-old beginner controlled his speed on a slight slope and consistently stopped at a chalk line. I must assume distance comparisons similar to 4-wheeler tests.

Buyers may not be aware. To avoid liability, product packaging and marketing must be very clear about how to activate the "hidden" brake feature.

Gravity Master(TM)


Calf and strut activated brake behind frame

Sold by and available as a retrofit onto most existing skates from, and

Scissors with toe down

Fitness skate with long frame and new brake required 43 feet. Same frame length with Gravity Master made solid stops at 13 feet!

Skaters who have an issue with "brake stigma" (due to bulkiness, weight, or peer pressure) probably won't be interested.