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Is Roller Skating Harder Than Skateboarding?

Roller skating and skateboarding are cardiovascular exercises that promote a healthy heart. They are fun and thrilling, and both require the engagement of your muscles for propulsion.

Do both sports help in building muscles? Yes, they do. Roller skating works out almost all of your body muscles while skateboarding targets mostly your legs and hip muscles.

Both sports can be done on off-road and on-road surfaces, including dry asphalt or concrete surfaces. You can also skate at skate parks, urban roads, and trails.

But choosing roller skating or skateboarding can be daunting when you aren’t sure which is quick to learn. Don’t sweat it!

Now, if you are wondering which of the activities is harder than the other, you need to come along for the tea. Let’s dive in!

Is Roller Skating Harder Than Skateboarding?

Is roller skating harder than skateboarding? Roller skating isn’t as hard as skateboarding. You have complete control of your skates in roller skating since your feet go in them. It’s unlike skateboarding, where your feet rest on a board, which can be hard to control for many beginners.

But that’s only the scratch on the surface. Here are more reasons why roller skating is a lot easier than skateboarding!

1. Balance and Coordination

Skateboarding demands more balance while both feet are on the board. You have to find a good balance between the leg pushing through the ground and the one standing on the board. 

When it comes to having both your feet on the board, it requires far more leg coordination to propel yourself forward. You will need to practice more to enhance your balance on the board. 

On the other hand, balance and coordination are easy to learn and implement in roller skating since you wear them like ordinary shoes.

2. Propulsion and Skating Fast

Skateboarding demands more engagement of the leg muscles for propulsion. When skateboarding on flat ground, the speed is between 5 and 12 mph.

One leg pushing against the ground slows skateboarding, especially on uneven surfaces. Therefore, making it less fast than roller skating.

On the other hand, roller skating can reach speeds of 8mph-16mph on flat, smooth surfaces. This is because you’ll use less energy in roller skating than in skateboarding.

3. Skating Uphill or Downhill

Skating uphill or downhill is easier and safer on roller skates than on skateboards. Remember, in roller skating, you have complete control and coordination of your feet since they go inside the roller skate. This makes it easier to push and glide uphill and downhill.

While skateboarding downhill is easy because of the gravitational push, going uphill can be daunting. You have to use significant energy to push yourself, which can be exhausting.

4. Performing Tricks

You can perform different tricks in either of the sports. Learning the skills and tricks takes time and much practice for skateboarding.

But first, you have to master board control, and the fact that it’s not connected to your feet makes it even more challenging. Some skateboarding tricks include jumps and backflips.

On the other hand, it’s easy to perform roller skating tricks after a few hours of practice. Having your feet within your skates, you gain excellent control over your feet. Roller skating tricks include back skating, one foot, and spinning.

5. The Time Taken to Learn the Basics

Skateboarding takes a period of around 12 monthly to be completely comfortable on the board. Mastering skateboarding tricks can take up to 3 years of good practice, commitment, and consistency. 

For beginners, you can find the idea of propelling yourself on the board easier until you have both your feet on the board.

Roller skating is easy for a beginner, and you can be up and rolling between 4 to 8 weeks. Mastering the sport’s tricks take practice, consistency, and commitment for around a year.

6. Braking Technique

It’s easier to brake on roller skates than on skateboards. Roller skates are fitted with a toe stop pad for slowing down or braking. You can also use tricks like t-stop and plow stops for emergency stops. 

On the other hand, skateboards don’t have inbuilt braking systems. So, it can be a hassle for beginners to stop them. The easiest way to stop skateboards is by jumping off them.

Roller Skating VS. Skateboarding | Other Elements of Comparison

Below we dive into other elements of comparison between roller skating vs. skateboarding. Let’s jump into it!

Skating Gear and Equipment

Skateboarding does not require special shoes to ride the board, but it does need a special board to navigate the surfaces.

For protective gear, skateboarding needs a well-fitting helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads. 

For the shoes, closed-toe shoes are preferred with good traction. Avoid slippery soles! You can also have goggles or shatterproof glass.

Roller skating requires special shoes, known as roller skates, to navigate the surfaces. You need a well-fitting helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards for protective gear. You also need a mouthguard, padded shorts, and socks.

Skateboard and Roller Skate Design 

Both skates and board wheels are made of the same long-lasting, durable polyurethane material. The material provides excellent traction on the skating surfaces.

The skateboarding wheels are linked by an axle and mounted from a solitary side. The wheels are supported by a truck which levels them on the ground. The wheels come in different shapes and are much thicker than the roller skating wheels.

Skating Surfaces

Both sports can be done on off-road and on-road surfaces, including dry asphalt or concrete surfaces. 

Muscles Involved

Skateboarding primarily uses your leg and hip muscles. It engages your hamstrings, quads, and glutes. Roller skating employs nearly all your body muscles making it a full-body workout. 

It works your shoulder, lower back, chest, core, hips, and leg muscles. Some muscles activated include your trapezius, upper chest, erector spinae, abs, hamstrings, glutes, and quads.

Calories Burned 

In terms of burning fat, skateboarding helps burn around 400 calories an hour. Roller skating also helps burn fat by engaging your core and promoting a thin waistline. It helps in burning around 650 calories an hour.

Riding Direction

In skateboarding, you are sometimes forced to face sideways when both your feet are on the board.

This mostly feels unnatural as it provides a blind spot to be aware of your surroundings when turned 90 degrees in the direction of travel.

While roller skating, you have a peripheral vision of where you are going since you move in a front-facing position.

Sports Safety

In skateboarding, you feel much restricted when both your feet are on the board, especially as a newbie.

In such a position, getting used to both your feet takes time, and you can easily fall off the board. You are at more risk of falling from your board.

Roller skating is much safe. You can easily maintain balance and stability by moving your feet independently. The risk of falling on skates is less than in skateboarding.

Health Benefits

Both roller skating comes with health benefits. They work your body muscles, such as hamstrings, quads, and glutes. They help build strength around your hips, core, leg, and lower back muscles.

Both sports promote a healthy heart and mind. They help improve your leg coordination movements and encourage body balance and stability. Both sports help in fighting diabetes.

Skating Venue 

You can roller skate or skateboard at skate parks, urban roads, and trails. Roller skaters can easily access skating venues.

As much as riding on the road has risks, you can hang onto a car while roller skating than in skateboarding.

Skateboarding is seen as a noisy activity that can bring harm to riders or other pedestrians. It’s criticized for being destructive of people’s property. Hence many cities attempt to deter it.

Local/City Regulations 

Roller skating and skateboarding are prohibited in Los Angles, California, and around or through the courthouse and library.

You should check with your local town regulations and bylaws if you don’t want to be found on the wrong side of the law.

Injury Severity

Skateboarding requires higher knee engagement since you must push over the board to make it roll through the surface. It has a massive impact on your knees, especially the legs pushing you through the ground. 

Injuries can be caused by poor landings and overstretch of the muscles. Head, wrist, hand, shoulders, knees, and ankles are possible skateboarding injuries.

Roller skating is a low-impact workout and gentle on the knees. Therefore the chances of skating-related severe injuries are lower than in skateboarding.

Roller skating’s possible injuries are wrist, tailbone, elbow, shoulder, and knees.

Is Roller Skating Harder Than Skateboarding?| Final Thoughts

Is roller skating more difficult than skateboarding? Roller skating is easier, especially for a newbie unsure which sport to go for first. Skateboarding might take between 12 months and three years to master. 

On the other hand, roller skating can be learned in four to eight weeks and mastered in even less time. That’s it! I hope you found this guide helpful.

Navick Ogutu
Navick Ogutu

Navick is a full-time freelance writer, blogger, and internet marketer. By day, he creates content for multiple sites including Over the weekend, he goes out skating with friends.

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