Ice Skating vs Rollerblading – Which one is harder?

Gregor Mersick
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Ice Skating vs Rollerblading

Which one is harder?

Although both rollerblading and ice skating are very similar in a lot of ways, they have differences that make them both a challenge in their own way.


  • Unlike rollerblading, ice skating is not really a competitive sport. In most winter outdoor skating rinks, you’re either skating for fun (figure skating) or for a workout (speed skating).
  • Skates and boots are different. In rollerblading, you wear a more flexible boot with wheels on the bottom that fits over your shoe (the skate essentially becomes your shoe). Ice skating, on the other hand, requires a rigid boot that is fitted to your foot.
  • Ice skates have toe picks. So while you’re pushing off with your skates to bring your leg forward, your toe pick is digging into the ice to help you with propulsion. Rollerblades don’t have this which makes it much harder to get that initial push-off from the ice.


When you’re skating on rollerblades, stopping is one of the biggest concerns that every skater has, and for good reason too … skating with your foot close to the ground means that your natural instincts want to slide your feet out from under you. To correct this, you need to keep your weight over your foot and resist the impulse to lift your foot. You can do this by slightly bending your knees and lifting your thighs to help keep your feet closer to the ground.

When the time comes, plant your back leg down first … this will help you shift your weight. Many experienced rollerbladers will also lock their back wheels before they stop. This helps keep the skater from accidentally slipping out.

Another great technique that will help you stop quickly is to locate the age-old hockey stop … also called a shuffle stop. Basically, this technique can get you from a full skate to a full stop in one step, and you can do it wearing either rollerblades or ice skates. The way you do it is to put your toe in the back, while skating forward, and firmly plant it down. Once that is done, you’ll pull your heel towards your toe.


Ice skating and rollerblading are both great ways to work out while having fun. They both require balance and coordination for a sport that can be quite difficult. Some people think rollerblading is harder than skating, but that’s definitely not the case.

There’s no doubt that rollerblading requires a few more muscles than ice skating, but skating is far harder. For starters, ice skating is less fast-paced. When you’re ice skating, you keep a constant speed and glide effortlessly on the ice. Rollerblading is more like cycling. Once you get going, it’s not easy to slow down. You have to balance your weight and work hard to stop. This can cause strains and soreness in the muscles you use to stop, particularly the quadriceps.


The surface of the rink determines a lot of what happens on it. Skating on harder surfaces means you have more friction to get you up to speed, but also more friction slowing you down. This is because an edge is a sharp, crystalline edge, and you’re basically rubbing it along the surface.

Rollerblades are for sidewalks and smooth roads, so they generally slide more than skate. Wheels have a lot of give, so there’s no friction.

Of the skates, the inlines have the most friction with the ice, and the figure skates have the least. The reason is because the blades on inlines are heavy, and they’re far apart, so they have more surface area touching the ice. Figure skates are light and close together, so you barely touch the ice.

What else?

Ice Skating vs Rollerblading – What happens inside your heart rate?

The skate sport is one of the most impressive and elegant sports that is enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. The versatility and brilliance of skating is not only limited to snow land but can be fun and enjoyed by people on the hard surface as well.

When it comes to skating, there are two most popular workouts that are enjoyed by many – rollerblading and ice skating. Rollerblading on the hard surface is a relative modern story. It was invented in the 80s and took the skating world by storm.

Rollerblading is an individualized workout method that was popularized all over the world. The only drawback for this sport was that it needed a bit of space to be enjoyed. In reality, rollerblading was restricted to specially made surfaces with a lot of room for movement.

One more caution when it comes to rollerblading is its restricted nature. Rollerblading as a form of exercise wasn’t something that was encouraged by health gurus. The reason for this is because it is an individualized form of workout and is very risky as well.

Ice skating, on the other hand, is a very classic type of workout that is one of the oldest forms of skating. Ice skating is also a form of skating that requires a lot of stamina and concentration.

Overall Comfort

Ice skating and rollerblading seem a lot alike – thin blades strapped to your feet and a pole in your hands. But there are some significant differences between the two sports. If you’re shopping for rollerblades, you might want to compare this to ice skates to see which you’d rather have.

Skates Have Two Brakes

Ice skates have two brakes: a toe brake that allows you to stop and go quickly, and a heel lever that you press down to slow yourself down. Rollerblades only have one brake, located at the heel.

This means that your skate rolls a lot faster than your rollerblade, and it also means that you can stop faster. The heel brake is more difficult to learn to use than the toe brake, but it comes in handy. Rollerblades are tricky in the turns, which is not the case for ice skates.

Ice skates are easier to learn on, and you learn a lot more about balance because your blade moves along a thin line on the ice.