Hot Wheels

How I found in-line-skating Nirvana amid all the high-tech design hype

Sometimes the best technology is hardly any technology at all. At least that's what I thought last week as I whizzed through Central Park for the 10th time in half as many days on a spiffy new pair of in-line skates. With surprisingly little sweet talking, I had convinced my editor that the latest models deserved a critical, hands-on--or rather, feet-on--look.

In-line skating is one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S., with some 32 million devotees. And along with its growing popularity has come an array of new designs and high-tech materials, from carbon-injected plastic to glass-reinforced nylon. But...

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