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Rollerblading Vs. Ice Skating | the Ultimate Comparison

Rollerblading vs. Ice skating? If you're getting started in the recreational sport of skating, choosing a discipline can be daunting. So, how do the two compare? And can one undertake both sports? I've researched and put together answers for these and many more questions.

Rollerblading vs. Ice Skating at a glance!

Below is how ice skating and rollerblading compare. I believe you’ll find tons of value from this write-up to help you make an informed decision.

So, without much ado, let’s get to it. Shall we?

Rollerblading Vs. Ice Skating Comparison Table

The main difference between Rollerblading vs. ice skating is in the skating surfaces. While Rollerblading is done on dry asphalt surfaces, ice skating on the other hand is done on icy surfaces.

Elements of comparisonRollerbladingIce Skating
HistoryRelatively 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 in 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.

Rollerblading Vs. Ice Skating: the Definitive Comparison

Rollerblading and ice skating are interesting and exciting recreational sports. If you’re yet to get started, there’s so much you’re missing.

Therefore, to help you make an informed decision, I’ve put this detailed comparison with you in mind. So, let’s get started!

1. Rollerblading Vs. Ice Skating History

Ice skates vs rollerblades

Rollerblading as a sport has only been around for a few hundred years now.

On the other hand, ice skating is the pioneer of all skating sports, and it has been around for several thousand years.

According to a report by Britannica, ice skating has been around since 1000 BCE.

On the other hand, in a Wikipedia report, inline skating, aka rollerblading, has been around since 1760.

However, it was later in 1980, when the sport became more popular thanks to Rollerblades Company. This is according to an article by Thought. Co.

2. Ice Skating and Rollerblading help with Muscle Development

Like rollerblading, ice skating helps with full-body muscle development.

The two sports are vigorous ad works all body muscles, including; core muscles, arm muscles, glute muscles, hip muscles, and leg muscles.

Muscles support the skeleton system, including the spine. Therefore, your body needs stronger and healthier muscles for smooth body movements.

If you desire a steady body with proper balance and increased productivity, participating in either sport will be a great idea.

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3. Rollerblades and Ice Skates Wheelbase Structure and Design

While rollerblades have a wide wheelbase fitted with 2-5 inline wheels, inline skates have a shorter blade base equipped with a metallic inline blade.

Therefore, this structural alignment gives inline skates more stability than ice skates.

Besides, this also steepens the curve for learning how to skate on ice.

On the contrary, you should expect a flattened learning curve when getting started in rollerblading because of the wide wheelbase.

4. Rollerblading and Ice Skating Aerobic Benefits

Ice skating

Rollerblading and ice skating are low-impact aerobic sports, meaning they’re gentle on body joints while providing maximum aerobic benefits.

Since the two sports are intensive and involve all body muscles, a lot of energy is required to keep the body in motion.

Therefore, the heart has to pump enough oxygenated blood to every cell, tissue, and organ in the body to produce adequate energy for skating.

According to research, Cleveland clinic mentions the following as the potential aerobic benefits you can get from ice skating or rollerblading.

  • Reduced chances of developing heart diseases,
  • Controlled blood cholesterol levels,
  • Enhanced lung function, and
  • Steady blood sugar levels.

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5. Calories Burned During Rollerblading and Ice Skating

When rollerblading, an average person burns between 573 and 1067 calories.

On the other hand, when ice skating, the person will burn approximately 640 and 840 calories.

From these stats, it is clear rollerblading is the winner when burning excess body calories.

Besides, the calories burned per session for rollerblading or ice skating depend on your weight and skating intensity, according to a sturdy by captain calculator—online software for calculating the number of calories burned by different persons.

Probably, you’re asking why rollerblading helps burn more body calories. The simple logic behind this is: rollerblading is more intensive and rigorous.

Because of the surface type, one needs to push and glide a little harder if they’re to move efficiently.

6. Required Gear for Ice Skating and Rollerblading

Ice skating and inline skating require almost the same skating gear with a slight difference.

For both, you’ll need protective gear like wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads, and a helmet. These are the essential gear for protecting yourself while skating.

However, you can also include hip pads and skating glasses. Besides, depending on the type of ice skating or inline skating, a skating suit should apply accordingly.

Nonetheless, it’s not necessary for recreational, fitness, hockey, or urban skating.

For rollerblading, you’ll need a pair of inline skates, while for ice skating, you’ll need a pair of ice skates.

Moreover, inline skates cost pretty little. With as little as $25, you can get started. However, ice skates will cost you more (at least $50) when getting started.

The difference is quite negligible but still significant. Because of this, rollerblading offers a low barrier to entry than ice skating.

Related post: Inline Skating Gear: The Must-Have Complete Gear For Skaters

7. Inline Skates Vs. Ice Skates Skills

If you’ve been asking, is rollerblading easier than ice skating? The answer is a yes. Why is this so, you ask?

Rollerblades have a wide wheelbase with 2-5 inline wheels, which provide more stability.

Therefore, while in your inline skates, you’ll get more balance than while on ice skates.

Mastering the correct body posture and balance are essential skills in skating.

Therefore, since there is more stability on rollerblades, it passes for an easy skating sport for beginners.

The other skill you want to learn is how to stop on rollerblades or ice skates.

The good news is, some inline skates come with a pre-built heel brake system, so it’s easier for beginners to control speed.

On the contrary, ice skates have no in-built stopping system, so you have to apply other skating techniques.

Unfortunately, this may be a lot for a beginner to take in! So, is rollerblading harder than ice skating? Nothing can be further from the truth.

Related Post: How to Get Better at Rollerblading | 10 Sure-fire tips

8. Rollerblading and Ice Skating Speed

Rollerblading is comparatively slow than Ice skating. According to a study by, an ice skater skates at a speed of 20 mph – 30 mph on average.

On the other hand, the average speed for rollerblading is between 8 mph and 16 mph for an average person.

How’s this possible? The obvious reason is the type of surfaces involved. Ice skaters use smooth-surfaced rinks with no obstruction.

On the contrary, inline skaters use relatively rough concrete or asphalt surfaces with tons of destruction along the way.

This ends up slowing down inline skaters since safety is also a concern. Therefore, if you’re looking for speed with more adrenaline, ice skating would be a good fit.

However, if speed is the least of your concerns ad you want to have fun, rollerblading is the way to go.

9. Ice Skating and Rollerblading Cardiovascular Benefits


Ice skating and rollerblading have the same cardiovascular benefits. Therefore, should you choose either of the sports, know that it’s considered a high-impact cardio exercise with the potential to improve your heart health.

Related Post: 10 Health Benefits of Rollerblading | New Research

10. Inline and Ice Skating Joints and Overall Safety

Both sports are low-impact aerobic exercises, meaning they’re gentle on body joints.

Therefore, if you have bad knees, you can still take rollerblading or ice skating since there’s no harm.

Overall, when comparing skating venues, ice skating is safer than rollerblading.

This is because an ice skating venue is confined with limited or no contact with vehicles.

On the other end, one can rollerblade on roads, increasing their chances of getting into accidents.

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to skate in skate parks, especially for beginners, if you want to guarantee personal safety.

Related Post: Is Rollerblading Bad for Knees? Best Aerobic Exercise Revealed!

11. Rollerblading Vs. Ice Skating Venue

For both sports, you can rollerblade either indoors or outdoors according to your preference.

Therefore, skate parks, urban roads, trails, and sports parks are excellent places for rollerblading.

On the other hand, a suitable venue would be an ice skating rink near you for ice skating.

12. Skating Surfaces

While both rollerblading and ice skating can be done indoors and outdoors, the skating surface varies greatly.

In rollerblading, you can skate on concrete, asphalt, or off-road. On the other hand, the ice skating surface is strictly ice.

This can be limiting, unlike in rollerblading. So, if you don’t like being confined to one place while skating, you may need to consider rollerblading instead.

Final Thoughts: Rollerblading Vs. Ice Skating

There you have it: rollerblading vs. ice skating ultimate comparison. The truth is, deciding between the two can be a hassle.

However, with this detailed comparison, now you know the pros and cons of each. So, what should you move forward with? Probably you’re still at a crossroad.

Here’s the thing: if you’re looking for more speed and guaranteed safety while skating, ice skating would be a better option.

However, if you love the versatility and like going to skate on urban roads, trails, or skate parks, rollerblading would serve you well.

Besides, rollerblading is easier to learn, even for beginner skaters.

And most importantly, it’s cheaper to gear decent inline skates for beginners than to get a pair of ice skates for ice skating.

Overall, rollerblading and ice skating are great for muscle development, aerobic exercise, and burning excess body calories. Also, the two sports have remarkable cardiovascular benefits and are safe on joints.

Thus, if you have a bad knee, you can still participate in either or both sports.

So, what’s stopping you now? Choose rollerblading or ice skating today and get started!

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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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