|: **If inlines are faster on flat ground, why would they be slower on vert?
You don't ride the same skates in a half pipe that you use in a race. I'm firmly convinced that I have no chance against an inline speed skater on my street roller skates but I would dare somebody on aggressive inlines. I wouldn't use those same roller skates in a half pipe and that is not only for their reduced ankle support. I can use bigger and harder wheels than an inline skater which is faster.
: As to barrel chest, I would say that it is more likely due to practice. Watch this video for some high airs :
I'd say: Comparable to Raphael Sandoz or Friedel in their time. Raphael switched to inlines during the hype, but also never seemed to reach the same height as on roller skates:
Maybe he could have pushed it higher on today's ramps and wheels, who knows?
Anyhow, as spectacular high airs are to anybody watching, they aren't most important to me.