So, is ice skating like rollerblading?

The main difference between ice skating and rollerblading is the width of the blades on ice skates versus the wheels on rollerblades.

It is more difficult to balance on ice skates than with rollerblades.

It will also be apparent that the techniques for maneuvering, braking, and stopping are different.

This article will explain if ice skating is similar to rollerblading or if it is different.

How do they compare? Can one do both? These and other questions will be answered below.

A Quick Comparison of Rollerblading and Ice Skating

Here’s how rollerblading and ice skating compare.

This write-up will help you make informed decisions.

Let’s just get started.

Comparison Table: Rollerblading vs. Ice Skating

Rollerblading and ice skating are very different.

Rollerblading can be done on asphalt, while ice skating is on icy surfaces.

Elements of comparisonRollerbladingIce Skating
Relatively new: It started a few hundred years ago (1760).
Quite old: It started thousands of years ago (1000 BCE).
Wheelbase structure and designWide wheelbase fitted with 2-5 inline wheels.Short blade base fitted with metallic inline base.
Body muscle DevelopmentDevelops all muscles.Develops all muscles.
Aerobic BenefitsLow impact aerobic exercise; tons of aerobic benefits.Low impact aerobic exercise; tons of aerobic benefits.
Calories BurnedBurns more calories; approximately 573-1069 per hour.Relatively burns few calories; approximately 640-840 per hour.
Required GearRollerblades, protective gear, light clothing, skating suit.Ice skates, protective gear, light clothing; skating suit
SkillsetBeginner guidance is required to get started.Beginner guidance is essential to get started.
SpeedRelatively slow; 8 mph-16 mph.Relatively fast; 20 mph-30mph.
Cardiovascular BenefitsHigh impact cardio sport; improves heart health.High impact cardio sport; improves heart health.
Joints and Overall SafetyMinimal impact on joints. Primarily done in open venues; relatively safe.Minimal impact on joints. Primarily done in enclosed venues; safer.
Activity VenueBoth indoors and outdoors in skate parks, on urban roads and trails, and sports parks.Both indoors and outdoors in Ice skating rinks.
Skating SurfaceBest suited for dry asphalt and or concrete surfaces.Best suited for Icy, wet surfaces.
Source from

The definitive comparison between rollerblading and ice skating

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Both ice skating and rollerblading are exciting and fun recreational activities. There’s so much to learn if you haven’t started yet. Below is a detailed comparison between both to help you make informed decisionsSo, let’s get started!

1. History of Ice Skating vs. Rollerblading

Only a few hundred years ago, rollerblading has been a popular sport.

However, ice skating, which has been around for many thousand years, is the most popular of all the skating sports.

Britannica reports that ice skating was invented around 1000 BCE.

On the other hand, According to Wikipedia, inline skating (or rollerblading) has been around since 1760.

It was only in 1980 that the sport gained more popularity, thanks to Rollerblades Company.

2. Rollerblading and Ice Skating help to build muscle

Ice skating, like rollerblading, helps to develop full-body muscles.

Both sports are intense and work all body muscles, including core, arms, glute, hip, and leg muscles.

Muscles support the spine and skeleton system. For smooth movements, your body requires stronger muscles.

Either sport is a great way to achieve a stable body and increase productivity.

3. Wheelbase Structure and design of the Rollerblades and Ice skates

Rollerblades have a broad wheelbase with two to five inline wheels.

Ice skates, however, have a shorter base equipped with a metallic inline edge.

Inline skates have a structural alignment that gives them more stability than ice skating.

This also makes learning how to skate on the ice more difficult.

The wide wheelbase means you can expect a flat learning curve for your first rollerblading experience.

4. Rollerblading and ice skating aerobic benefits

Ice skating and rollerblading are low-impact aerobic activities that have minimal physical impact.

The two sports require a lot of energy because they are intense and engage all body muscles.

To produce enough energy for skating, the heart must pump enough oxygenated blood into every cell, tissue, and organ of the body.

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Research by Cleveland Clinic has revealed that rollerblading and ice skating can provide you with the following benefits:

  • Reduced risk of developing heart disease
  • Controlled blood cholesterol levels,
  • Improved lung function
  • Steady blood sugar levels.

5. Calories burnt during Ice Skating and Rollerblading

An average rollerblader burns between 573 to 1067 calories.

On the other hand, ice skating burns approximately 640 to 840 calories. These stats show that rollerblading wins when burning extra body calories.

You should also consider your weight and intensity of ice skating.

This calculator is an online tool that calculates the calories burnt by different people.

You may be asking yourself why rollerblading burns so many calories.

Well, Rollerblading is more intense and demanding than other forms of exercise.

One must push and glide a bit harder due to the surface to move efficiently.

6. Equipment required for Ice Skating and Rollerblading

Inline and ice skating require the same equipment, but with slight differences.

Protective gear such as wrist guards, elbow and knee pads, and a helmet ares required for both.

These are essential gear to protect yourself while you skate.

You can add hip pads or skating glasses. A skating suit is required depending on the type of ice skating or inline skating.

However, it is not required for urban, recreational, or hockey skating.

Inline skates cost pretty little. You can start with as low as $25. Ice skates can be expensive (at least $50) when you just get started.

Although the difference is small but still significant. Because of this, Rollerblading is a lower barrier to entry compared to ice skating.

7. Inline Skates vs. Ice Skates Skills

Is rollerblading more fun than ice skating, you might be asking. The answer is a yes.

You may be asking why this is so. Rollerblades have a wider wheelbase and 2-5 inline wheels.

This provides more stability. Therefore, Inline skates offer more balance than ice skates.

Skating requires the ability to balance and maintain a good body posture.

Rollerblading makes it an easy sport for beginners because of the greater stability and ease of use.

You should also learn how to stop on ice skates or rollerblades.

The good news?

Most inline skates include a pre-built heel brake system.

This makes it easier to control speed for beginners.

On the other hand, ice skates have no built-in stopping mechanism, so you will need to use other skating techniques to stop.

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8. Rollerblading Speed and Ice Skating Speed

The speed of rollerblading is slower than that of Ice skating. found that ice skaters average speeds of 20 mph to 30 mph. On the other hand, The average speed of a rollerblader is between 8 mph and 16 mph for the average person.

How is this possible?

Because the surfaces used are different.

The rinks used by ice skaters are smooth and free of obstructions.

Inline skaters, on the other hand, use asphalt or concrete surfaces that are extremely rough.

This causes inline skaters to slow down as safety is also a concern.

Ice skating would be the best choice if you are looking for speed and more adrenaline.

Rollerblading, however, is a great option if speed is not your concern.

9. Cardiovascular benefits of Ice Skating and Rollerblading

Both ice skating and rollerblading offer the same cardiovascular benefits.

You can choose to do either one of these sports.

It’s a cardio exercise with a high impact and the potential to improve your cardiovascular health.

10. Inline and Ice Skating Joints and Overall Safety

Both are low-impact aerobic activities, so they’re easy on the joints. Even if your knees are bad, you can still go rollerblading and ice skating. Ice skating is safer than rollerblading when you compare the venues.

Ice skating is done in a small area with little to no contact with vehicles. On the other end, one can rollerblade on roads, increasing their chances of getting into accidents.

If you want to ensure your safety, it is best to skate in a park, especially for beginners.

11. Rollerblading vs. Ice Skating Venue

You can choose to rollerblade indoors or outside, depending on your preference.

You can rollerblade in many places, including skate parks, urban roads, trails, and sports parks.

A good venue for ice skating would be an ice rink close to you.

12. Differences in Ice Skating Surfaces vs. Rollerblading Surfaces

Rollerblading has more options when it comes to skating surfaces.

You can skate on streets, sidewalks, and parking lots. Ice skating is only possible on the ice.

Rollerblading can be done on roads or parking lots.

However, uneven terrain can cause you to lose your balance and possibly injure yourself.

There might be an obstacle, crack, or other irregularity in the concrete.

The ice surface is regularly smoothed and cleared, making it safe from obstacles.

However, the places to practice are limited to ice rinks.

13. Balancing on Ice Skates vs. Rollerblades

Inline skates have a longer wheelbase, so you can learn to balance better and get more experience with rollerblading.

Rollerblades have multiple locking mechanisms that lock your feet and support your ankles. This will help you build confidence.

Ice skates have a thin blade under your boot, so balancing can be difficult.

It can take time to learn how to balance and even more difficult to stop.

Final Thoughts on Rollerblading vs. Ice Skating

Here’s the ultimate comparison between ice skating and rollerblading.

It can be difficult to decide between the two. Fortunately, you now know all the pros and cons.

What should you do? You’re probably still at a crossroads.

Ice skating is a better choice if you want more speed and safety when skating.

Rollerblading is a great option if you enjoy the flexibility and love to skate on streets, trails, or skate parks.

Rollerblading is easy to learn, even for beginners. It’s also cheaper to buy decent inline skates than ice skates.

Rollerblading and skating are excellent for building muscle and also aerobic exercise.

The two sports are safe for the joints and have amazing cardiovascular benefits.

You can participate in both sports even if your knee is damaged.


I will shared expert tips, tricks, and advice for those who love inline skate. I do sometime share unique selection of videos and photos that will inspire you to get out and skate!

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