Inline Skate Stars

Rollerblading Vs. Roller skating | the Definitive Comparison

Rollerblading Vs. Roller skating! Which should you go for when starting in the skating world? As a beginner, one of the tough decisions you’ll have to make is choosing between rollerblading and roller skating.

Rollerblading Vs. Roller skating. Should you go with the former or the latter? Get this wrong, and your hobby in skating is ruined. From far, the two may look fun and easy to ride, but the truth is, you can only know when you try them out.

So, how do the two compare, you ask? Below is a quick rundown!

The main difference between Rollerblading vs. Roller skating is in wheels configuration. while Rollerblading has a longer wheelbase with wheels aligned in a straight line, Roller skating has a shorter wheelbase, and two axles with wheels attacked side by side like in a truck.

Elements of comparisonRollerbladingRoller skating
Ease of UseModerate to high stability. High maneuverability.Moderate to high stability. Low maneuverability.
Wheel and WheelbaseCan roll on three, four, or five wheels. Wheels are narrower, and the diameter varies from 59mm-125mm. Longer Wheelbase.Roll on four wheels. Wheels are smaller, wider, and with narrow diameters. Shorter wheelbase.
Skating Venue and VersatilityBoth indoors and outdoors.Mostly indoors and in skate parks.
SpeedHigh speed.Low speed.
Stability (Frame)One central frame running from the heel to the toe.Two horizontal hangars with a pair of wheels on the toe and the heel.
Braking SystemBrake pad located on the heels. Some skates don’t have them.Brake pad located on the toe area.

From experience as an inline skater, I know what works and what doesn’t. But again, this is different for everyone! Therefore, I’ve put together this definitive comparison of Rollerblading Vs. Roller skating to help you make an informed decision.

So, instead of wasting time trying everything, you can learn from the experts who’ve already been down the road. Hope you find this guide helpful!

Rollerblading Vs. Roller Skating: Ultimate Comparison

Roller skating Vs. Rollerblading

Let’s get to it. Shall we?

1. Ease of Use

There’s no clear winner on which is easier to use as it depends on what’s comfortable for different skaters. Some folks believe quad skates are easy to use for beginners because of the wheel structure.

Also, some folks believe, since rollerblades have a longer wheelbase, they’re more stable and thus easy to use by beginners. The truth is, they’re all right.

However, to draw the line, it’s easy to maneuver obstacles on rollerblades than on quad skates. And the reason for this is still on the frame alignment. So, if you’re looking for maneuverability and stability on your skates, rollerblades will be helpful.

2. Wheelbase

Rollerblades have a longer wheelbase, while roller skates have a shorter one. This is because inline skates have a central frame on the mounting board running from toe to heel. On the other hand, quad skates have two horizontal hangars installed within the mounting board.

So, skating on rollerblades would make sense if you prefer a longer wheelbase for one reason or another. However, if it’s all the same for you, quad skates can still work.

3. Speed

Rollerblades roll faster than roller skates. This is because rollerblades have wider diameter wheels (up to 125mm), while roller skates have smaller diameter wheels. Therefore, you should expect rollerblades to cover a wider distance in every complete revolution.

If you love speed, rollerblades would be a good fit for you. However, if you want to keep your speed low while still having fun, roller skates make a perfect fit.

4. Stability (Frame structure)

While rollerblades have a single central frame running from the heels to the toes, roller skates have two horizontal hangars with a pair of wheels on the toe and the heel. This structural arrangement makes rollerblading more stable because of the long wheelbase.

On rollerblades, the wheels are a few inches extending away from your heels and toes. This offers more stability and prevents forward or backward falling.

However, some skaters have a different school of thought, so they find roller skates more stable because of the orientation of the wheels—side by side in pairs. To solve this issue, it’s best to try the two skates and find for yourself what works best for you.

5. Versatility and skating Venue

Rollerblades are more versatile than quad skates, thanks to the wheelbase structure and types of wheel. Therefore, it’s possible to skate on rollerblades on several surfaces and obstacles. Because of this, you can use the skates both indoors and outdoors.

In particular, you can skate in skate parks, the streets, and other urban spaces. On the contrary, roller skates aren’t as versatile as inline skates, which limits their usage.

Most of the time, they’re best for indoor use (roller dance) and some little outdoor use in parks.

6. Braking System

Quad roller skates have the braking pads located in the front part of the skates around the toes. On the contrary, inline skates have braking pads located at the back of the skates. Moreover, some rollerblades for advanced and intermediate skaters don’t come with a braking system.

When you compare the two braking systems, braking on rollerblades is quite simple than on quad skates since you’re stopping on your heels.

Contrary to this, on roller skates, you have to brake on your toes which can be risky for beginners. Therefore, braking on inline skates is easier and safer than on quad skates.

Roller Skates Vs. Rollerblades for Exercise: (Health Benefits)
Inline skating V1

Quad roller skates

Using roller skates or rollerblades for exercising is a good idea. This is because rollerblading and roller skating are intensive and involves all your body muscles.

Therefore, there are tons of benefits you can reap from using roller skates or rollerblades to exercise. Let’s take a deep dive and look at how you can benefit when you exercise using either rollerblades or roller skates.

1. Cardiovascular Benefits

The cardiovascular system comprises the heart, blood vessel, and lungs. For your body to function well, your cardiovascular system needs to be healthy and in good shape.

In addition, studies show that your body uses a lot of energy to push you forward or backward while rollerblading.

For this to happen, there should be glucose and oxygen, which are converted to energy. The heart pumps the blood oxygenated blood from the lungs to all body parts to produce energy. While at this, the heart is actively engaged, and the blood vessels are kept open for blood to flow easily.

2. Weight Loss

Excess calories are stored in the body in fats, and it’s more common around the belly area. If you’ve ever wondered if skating can help reduce belly fat, yes, it is possible. The belly is located in your core which is the most engaged muscle group when skating.

While skating, the muscles burn the fats in anaerobic and aerobic respiration to produce enough energy for moving around.

Besides, research shows that skating can help tone down body muscles, making them lean. As you rollerblade or roller skate, you also lose fat deposits in your legs, hips, and arms. 

3. Aerobic Benefits

Rollerblading and roller skating are known for their aerobic benefits. Since the sports are intensive and rigorous, it’s considered low impact aerobic exercise compared to other forms of exercise. Nonetheless, this doesn’t keep the aerobic benefits at bay.

So, when skating, you should expect the following aerobic benefits; improved heart health decreased diseases of the heart, reduced cholesterol levels, improved lung condition, and maintaining blood sugar levels in check.

4. Muscle Development

Rollerblading and roller skating engages the entire body and most of the body muscles. The main muscles that develop from skating are; the arm muscles, the core muscles, the glutes muscles, the hip muscles, and the legs muscles.

These muscles play the important role of supporting body functions such as locomotion. Therefore, when they’re fully developed, your body benefits from them. Because of this, you can carry out your daily activities with high-level productivity.

5. Body Balance

If you want to master skating, you have to learn how to balance. Some of the basic beginner training involves balancing on one leg. Why is this important? You could be wondering.

You’ll often find yourself in a situation where you need to balance one leg while skating, especially when avoiding obstacles. This skill helps to keep you safe and out of trouble.

And is it beneficial in real life, away from skating? Absolutely yes! For efficiency and productivity throughout the day, you need top-notch body balance. Lacking this would mean you’re clumsy and feeble, and I bet you wouldn’t want this.

Fitness experts recommend light to moderate impact exercise for gaining body balance. The good news is, rollerblading and roller skating are part of the recommended mix of body exercises for achieving balance.

6. Safety on Joints

Rollerblading and roller skating have little to no impact on joints making the sport friendly for people with joint issues. Apart from when you have to jump to avoid obstacles or when you accidentally fall, most of the time, your joints will be safe from pain-causing impacts.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Is Roller Skating Harder than Rollerblading?

Some skaters find Roller skating hard to master due to its mounting board structure. Roller skates, also known as quad roller skates, have four wheels stuck side by side in twos and within the mounting board.

While some skaters find this comforting, many find it hard to balance on Quad skates. Besides, on quad skates, the braking system is installed around the toe area, meaning you have to brake using your toes rather than your heels like in rollerblading.

This can be quite hard for new skaters to master.

2. Are Roller Skates Better than Rollerblades?

Roller skates are better for children and beginner skaters because they’ve got a wide wheelbase for stability thanks to the four wheels stuck side by side in twos.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the same for rollerblades with wheels in a straight line and maybe tough to balance for beginners.

On the other hand, having wheels in a straight line makes rollerblades faster than roller skates. This makes them suitable for those who prefer speed.

3. Does Roller Skating Count as Exercise?

Roller skating counts as exercise because it works on all body muscles, including the biceps, triceps, core, glutes, hip muscles, and leg muscles.

In the process, it helps build and develop body muscles, keep blood sugar in check, maintain body balance, improve cardiovascular health, and loss of excess weight.

Rollerblading Vs. Roller Skating: Final Verdict

If you’ve been wondering how rollerblading vs. roller skating compare, now you have the answer. While there are similarities between the two, there are also differences. The main similarities lie in health benefits.

Therefore, you’re assured of not just fun but also an improvement of your health. On the differences, rollerblades are awesome for maneuverability and stability since they have a longer wheelbase and wider diameter wheels.

Also, they roll fast and make a good fit for skaters looking for speed. Besides, the braking system is easy to use and is located at the back, making it safe for beginners. Lastly, rollerblades are versatile and can be used both outdoors and indoors.

On the contrary, roller skates are best for indoors and limited outdoor use. They’re also stable, thanks to their wheelbase configuration. However, if you’re looking for speed, they may not be a good fit for you.

Overall, skating is fun and choosing rollerblading, or Roller skating can help you achieve your skating goals. So, what’ stopping you now?

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.

Articles: 172
Checklist: Discover the Must-Have Skating Gear, Equipment, & Accessories for Skaters... you don't want to miss this!

Enter your name and best email below and we'll send you the checklist of the must-have skating gear, equipment, and accessories.