Is roller skating harder than rollerblading? If you’re getting started in skating sports, it may be a bit intimidating settling on a particular category right off the bat. As a beginner, myriad questions run through your mind. Is it roller skating or rollerblading that’s easy to learn?
From experience and research, roller skating is a little harder than rollerblading. This makes rollerblading easy to learn for complete beginners because rollerblades have a longer wheelbase for stability, have inline wheels for maneuverability and feature a heel brake for safe stopping.
In the rest of this article, we’ll dive deeper into why roller skating may be harder while rollerblading may be easier for some people. But for that to happen, you’ll need to read on to the end. So, let’s get going!
Why is Roller Skating Harder than Rollerblading?
Roller skating may be harder for beginners because roller skates don’t offer maneuverability, don’t have a longer wheelbase for stability, and lack heel brakes for safe stopping, especially when skating downhill.
To start us off, let’s quickly look at the design features of a roller skate. Roller skates are also known as quad skates and run/roll on four wheels. The wheels are usually smaller in size and have a wide surface with a narrow diameter.
In a nutshell, roller skates have a shorter wheelbase since the wheels are most often restricted within the shoe base. Therefore, this means a couple of things: One, the wheels appear side by side, so there’s little to no maneuverability for avoiding obstacles with precision.
Also, a shorter wheelbase reduces stability. Therefore, a beginner may take longer to learn how to balance on roller skates. I know this sounds incredible since we’re looking at four wheels positioned like what you’d find in a truck, but it’s the truth.
Lastly, quad roller skates have brakes located around the toe area. This means braking while at high speed can be a real hassle because you’re likely to fall forward. On the other hand, this braking system would work so well if you’re back skating.
So, as a beginner, this would mean you have to learn other braking techniques or skate at a moderate pace or do more back skating, which can also be intimidating for new skaters.
Related Post: How to Stop Rollerblading | 9 Effective Techniques
What Makes Rollerblading Easier to Learn?
Rollerblading is easy to learn for complete beginners because rollerblades have a longer wheelbase for stability, have inline wheels for maneuverability and feature a heel brake for safe stopping.
Before going deeper, I want you to know the difference between rollerblading and inline skating. Probably you already know about this, but again, there’s no harm in a bit of reminder. While inline skating is the sport, rollerblading is a particular brand that deals in inline skates.
It (Rollerblade Inc.) is considered the pioneer of the modern inline skates that we have today. The company started in the early 1980s and popularized inline skating in the 1990s. That’s why it’s not uncommon to hear everyone referring to the sport as rollerblading.
Related Posts: When Did Rollerblading Start? 5 Amazing Questions Answered!
Now that the basics are out of the way let’s look at what makes rollerblading easy to learn. There are different inline skates such as aggressive inline skates, inline speed skates, inline recreation skates, inline hockey skates, inline ice skates, and inline fitness skates.
Therefore, depending on a particular skate, you’ll always have a varied degree of stability. For example, speed skates have the largest wheel size of up to 125 mm, making them quite a hassle for beginners because of stability issues.
On the other hand, aggressive inline skates have smaller wheels of around 50mm to 59 mm, making them relatively stable. So, what am I getting at? If you’re starting, it will serve you right to go for inline skates with smaller wheels because of stability.
Anything between 50 mm and 84 mm wheel size would be a perfect fit for a beginner skater. Therefore, the inline skates you buy should fall within this range.
And as time goes by, you can graduate to more advanced inline skates. However, the bottom line is: rollerblades have a wider wheelbase because of how the wheels are aligned in a straight line running from the heels to the toes.
Many times, the wheels protrude beyond the heels and toes, thereby providing more stability. Moreover, inline skates have a varying number of wheels.
While some have four, others have three, and even five. Four-wheeled and three-wheeled inline skates are more popular than five-wheeled.
In addition, because of how the wheels are aligned, inline skates, aka rollerblades, have high maneuverability. Therefore, it’s easier to evade obstacles with precision while skating at a skate park, Recreation Park, pavements, urban roads, or bike paths.
Beginners need high maneuverability for their safety while skating. Their bodies are not yet accustomed to skating, so picking injuries can be pretty easy. However, high maneuverability makes it easy to avoid obstacles, stay safe, and prevent some falls.
Lastly, there are numerous braking techniques for beginners of inline skating. The most convenient one is the heel brake. So, in most beginner skates, there’s a rubber brake at the back of the skates used for heel braking.
This kind of stopping technique is easy to learn once you have mastered stability on inline skates. The amazing thing is that it’s safe and comes in handy for emergency braking. Other beginner-friendly stopping techniques are snowplow and the T- Stop.
Here’s a detailed article on how to stop when rollerblading, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or experienced skater. I believe you’ll find it helpful.
Is Rollerblading or Roller Skating Better?
There’s no clear winner in this case since one shortcoming in roller skates balances with others in rollerblades. However, if you’re looking for something easy to learn for beginners, I’d say rollerblading is better.
Also, if you’re looking for speed, rollerblading is better than roller skating because of the nature of the wheels. It’s also safer on rollerblades because the brakes are located at the heels, and it’s easy to stop using the heel brake and other beginner-friendly techniques.
Both sports are versatile ad can be done indoors and outdoors. This gives you myriad options of where to go rollerblading, including rollerblading rinks, skate parks, recreation parks, urban roads, pavements, bike paths, and trails.
Moreover, roller skating and rollerblading are fun and offer tons of health benefits. Some of the health benefits from rollerblading and roller skating include;
- Good exercise for weight loss
- Muscle development around the core, glutes, hips, and legs
- Improve body balance
- Boosts cardiovascular system
- Help keep diabetes at bay
- Tones limbs (arms and legs)
- Boosts the production of the feel-good hormone
- Keep joints strong and healthy
- Helps with body coordination
- Boosts self-esteem and confidence
So, if you’re looking for a way to lose weight while having fun, I’d talk you into trying rollerblading or roller skating sports. The best part is that they’re considered low-impact aerobic exercises, meaning they’re safe on joints.
So, if you have bad knees, skating would be a great aerobic exercise to consider. This is because there’s minimal impact between your feet and the surface unless you’re jumping to avoid obstacles.
How Do I Choose Inline Skates?
Choosing a pair of inline skates, aka rollerblades, can be pretty frustrating for beginners. If you get this step wrong, it can cause you more pain and discomfort in the feet because of blisters. Therefore, the best way to avoid the inconvenience is by buying the best inline skating shoes right off the bat.
Below is a quick rundown of what to look out for when shopping for inline skates, whether online or offline from your local skates store.
- Type of Inline Skate
- Personal Safety
- Rollerblading Skills Level
- Material of Manufacture and Quality
- Inline Skating Shoes Design Features and
- Skating Location
To discover more about these pointers, I did a detailed article explaining how to choose inline skates. I know you’ll find it helpful.
In addition, you can’t talk about inline skates without mentioning various brands. There are several you can go for. However, the top ones are Rollerblades Inc. Power Slide, Seba, FR, K2, and the list goes on.
Here’s another article I did about inline skating brands. You can check it out because it’s jam-packed with helpful information you’ll need to make an informed buying decision.
Is Roller Skating Harder than Rollerblading: Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it hard to Rollerblade?
On the contrary, it’s not hard to rollerblade because rollerblades have a longer wheelbase for enhanced stability, inline wheels for more maneuverability, and heel brakes for safe stopping.
2. What Age Can You Start Roller Skating?
You can start roller skating at any age. However, the best age would be right when a child can stand on their own and walk without support. For adults, there’s no age limit. You can always start whenever you’re ready.
3. Which Skates are Better for Beginners?
Beginners will find recreational skates, fitness skates, hockey skates, and aggressive skates better because they have a relatively small-sized wheel that gives more stability. Also, skates with four or five wheels offer more stability thus would pass for better skates for beginners.
4. How long does it take to Get Good at Roller Skating?
Getting good at roller skating takes effort. However, when factors are constant, one should take between four to eight weeks to go from a beginner to an intermediate skater. To get good, it can take up to 12 months, depending on how frequently one practice.
Is Roller Skating Harder than Rollerblading | Wrapping Up
Is roller skating harder than rollerblading? The truth is, roller skating can be a little harder than rollerblading. This makes rollerblading easy to learn for complete beginners because rollerblades have a longer wheelbase for stability, have inline wheels for maneuverability and feature a heel brake for safe stopping.
Right off the bat, I’d recommend you get started on rollerblading. However, all the information I’ve provided on this blog is sufficient to help you make your own informed decision. So, what’s stopping you now?