Roller skating and ice skating are both popular sports that people use to have fun and stay active. But which is easier, cheaper and better for you?
Roller skating is often thought of as being easier than ice skating, but this is not always the case.
Roller skating can be more challenging because you have to move your body in a specific way in order to stay balanced.
Meanwhile, ice skating requires control of your edges but for beginners, the boards can be a welcome relief when they need something to hold onto.
For many, ice skating is thought to be harder than roller skating.
It is often thought that ice skating takes more strength, stamina, and balance than roller skating.
In this post we will compare the two sports and see what one is right for you, plus, we will learn if roller blading can actually help improve your ice skating skills.
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Ice Skating v Roller Skating – The Ultimate Showdown
Ice skating is a much older sport than roller blading which was first seen around 300 years ago. On the other hand, skating on ice has been used for millennia as a way to get around in the winter.
Nowadays both sports enjoy a lot of popularity but it is easy to wonder if one is harder than the other or if roller blading can help improve your skills on ice.
Rollerblading vs. Ice Skating: What’s The Difference?
Rollerblading and ice skating are fun skating sports.
They’re also similar in that they require a lot of skill, strength and endurance to do well. But there are some important differences between them.
What is roller skating?
Roller skating is the act of moving on roller skates.
It’s a fun way to get around and stay active, and you don’t need any special equipment to do it – just some comfortable clothes and possibly some knee and ankle pads.
Roller skating can be done indoors or outdoors, and it’s a great way to explore your city or town.
The history of roller skating dates back to the 17th century, when John Joseph Merlin first invented the skate.
However, it wasn’t until the early 1800s that roller skating really took off, and over the years it has become increasingly popular.
Today, there are different types of roller skates for people of all ages and abilities, so whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skater, there’s something for everyone.
It’s worth mentioning that rollerblades took longer to become a mainstream sport than ice skates did.
It wasn’t until the 1980s that Rollerblade, Inc began marketing them as fitness equipment- thus sparking their popularity explosion.
Inline-skates had been used for many years by ice speed skaters before they became mainstream.
For the first few years, Rollerblade, Inc. were the only manufacturer of in-line skates.
It wasn’t until 1995 that rollerblading became a competitive sport and it was removed from the X-Games in 2005.
In recent years roller blading has struggling to regain the popularity it once had in the 1990s.
By 2010 the number of in-line skaters had plummeted by 64 percent.
Does Roller Skating Help With Ice Skating?
Yes, roller skating can help improve your skills when ice skating.
In fact, many people who start out in rollerblading make the transition to ice skating fairly quickly. Additionally, some even suggest that it helps them keep their skills intact and improves their leg strength by occasionally hitting rinks from time-to-time.
This is because roller skating and ice skating share a lot of the same basic principles–they are both based on balance and use of edges.
That said, roller skating is often easier to learn than ice skating, thanks to its slower learning curve and lack of blades. It’s also more stable for beginners due to the quad skate design.
New skaters may prefer rollerblades over quads because they come with an extra hard and firm boot for greater stability.
However, it’s important to note that rollerblades are not as stable as quads when compared to someone just starting out in ice skating.
So if you’re new to the sport, it might be best to stick with quads until you feel confident enough to try out rollerblades.
Roller skating is a good option if you have don’t have an ice rink in your backyard, but be sure to practice regularly if you want to improve your skills!
Do Roller Skating Skills Transfer To Ice Skating?
Some people think that roller skating skills automatically transfer to ice skating.
This is not always the case. Rollerblading and inline skating are easy to cross over because they both require balance and stability, but once you switch to ice skates, you are using a completely different type of skate.
The design of the roller skate is more like a hockey skate, with a curved blade at the front and back.
Switching from ice skates to quads may take a little more time to get used to, but should be easy once you acclimate yourself with the quad skate design.
The arches on rollerblades or inline skates are similar in design to the cross-slide of an ice skate blade, making it easier for new users who can ice skate well.
That being said, if you are looking for a way to practice your skating skills during the off-season, roller blading can be a good opportunity for practicing your dry-land skating.
Can I Use Roller Blading As A Form Of Off-Ice Training?
Off-ice training on roller blades is a great way to keep up your skills when you can’t skate outside.
Roller blades are typically cheaper than ice skates and they’re easier to find a training space for.
Lots of people took up roller blading when ice rinks were closed as a way to keep their skating skills up off-ice.
Ice Skating v Roller Blading
Here are the main differences between ice skating and roller skating or roller blading:
- You can do it anywhere
- Roller blades are cheap at the base level
- No need for skate upkeep such as sharpening
- No special clothing is needed
- Can be enjoyed in almost any climate
- Easy to learn yourself with some practice
- Seen as more of a hobby than a sport by many
- An Olympic sport with federations and televised events
- An established learn to skate program in many countries
- Can be a very expensive sport
- You need a cold climate with outdoor ice or an indoor arena
- Skate maintenance is necessary and equipment can get expensive
- Seen as an elite sport by some
Equipment Ice Skating v Roller Blading
Roller skaters need less equipment than ice skaters in general.
Roller skaters wear only a helmet and roller skate blades. Skate guards and pads are not necessary.
On the other hand, ice skaters need skates, special thin socks, skate guards, a cloth for drying off their skates, gloves and for beginners, a helmet.
Skills Comparison – Ice Skating and Roller Skating
For the most part, roller skating skills are easier to learn than ice skating skills.
Roller skating and ice skating may seem very similar, but roller skating skills are actually more basic than ice skating skills.
Roller skating does not require the same level of balance and coordination that ice skating does.
This is because roller skaters use their feet to stop, while ice skaters use their edges to stop.
In addition, roller skaters do not need to know how to skate backwards.
For this reason, it is often easier for beginners to learn to roller blade.
Is Roller Blading Safer Than Ice Skating?
In both sports, you can lose your balance and take a tumble. Obviously with ice skating you have the addition if sharp blades that could potentially cut you if they come into contact with your skin.
Roller blading in the streets poses its own dangers as you can get into traffic mishaps or run into a rough patch of asphalt and tumble over.
Is Roller Blading Cheaper Than Ice Skating?
Roller skating has many benefits that ice skating does not and one of those is the cost.
Roller skating is much cheaper than ice skating because you don’t need to pay for ice time.
Granted, if you live somewhere with year-round outdoor ice then you can skate for free but in most places, you need to pay to go to an ice rink.
Is Ice Skating Harder Than Roller Skating?
When it comes to rollerblading vs ice skating, which one is easier?
Well, that depends on who you ask!
Some people say that rollerblading is more difficult than ice skating, while others claim that rollerblading is the easier sport. In general, though, ice skating is considered to be a bit harder than rollerblading.
One reason why rollerblades may be seen as being more challenging than ice skates is because they are a softer option.
They are also more stable than ice skates, which can make them a better choice for beginners.
Roller skating is also easier for beginners than rollerblading; in fact, it’s often described as being “the gateway drug” to the world of extreme inline skating.
Which is the better aerobic sport? Ice skating or Roller skating?
There is a lot of debate over which activity–roller blading or ice skating–burns more calories. The answer, as with most things, is it depends on how hard you are skating.
How Many Calories Does Ice Skating Burn?
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, ice skating burns approximately 500 calories per hour while roller skating burns almost exactly the same amount.
Hockey, speed skating and athletic figure skating burn more calories depending on the exertion undertaken.
Rollerblades are also a lot wider than skates, which makes them less efficient to move on.
Additionally, rollerblades typically require more physical exertion to achieve the same speed as a skateboarder or inline skater would on similar terrain at the same speed.
The reason for this is friction caused by their wider contact surface area compared with an ice skate blade which has more of a flat contact surface area that does not need much energy exerted into them to move forward.
Is Roller Blading Like Ice Skating? – Conclusion
While the two sports seem similar, roller blading and ice skating are not entirely interchangeable.
In fact, many figure skating coaches actually discourage roller blading for fear of “bad habits” and lost edges.
That being said, if you are not able to get to the rink and need to practice your off-ice skills, you could do worse than learning to roller blade.
You will be able to exercise the same muscles as ice skating while enjoying a whole new summer sport.