Is Ice Skating Harder than Roller Skating | A Detail Guide

People often ask if ice skating is harder than roller skating?

Ice skating and Roller skating are two sports that share resemblances as both possess the same set of skills to learn tricks, trigger the same set of muscles, and so on. Does that indicate ice skating at the rink and rollerblading are the same? I don’t think so.

If you are new to skating, you can be sure what type of skating you should start. Or you may be wondering if you can do both. Which is easier and which is more fun.

This article highlights the similarities and differences between the two games through a thorough analysis of both.

Is Ice Skating Harder than Roller Skating

What is Roller Skating?

What is Roller Skating

Roller skating/rollerblading refers to travel on smooth or plain surfaces with wheels using a pair of roller skating boots. Roller skating is a fun activity that people of all ages can do. The beauty about roller skating, though, is what you get to wear! There are many different types of skates for your feet, and they come in lots of colors like pink and blue. You might even find some with sparkles on them! Roller skating has been around since the 1900s, when it became popular with those who live in colder climates because it was easier than ice-skating during winter months. It’s still trendy today, especially if you have a rink nearby where you can go skate anytime there’s daylight outside.

What is Ice Skating?

What is Ice Skating

Ice skating is skating on a plain snowy surface with the help of a pair of shoes with metal blades attached.

Ice skating is an activity that has been around for a long time. People have enjoyed ice skating for centuries in the winter months when there is iced over water to skate on, or even if they put down some ice in their backyard and enjoy themselves with friends or family. Ice skating is not just good exercise, but it can also be a great way to spend quality time with your loved ones. Ice skating is a sport when people use what are called “figure skates” or just “skates” to glide over ice.

Skating has been around for centuries, and it’s become an Olympic event since 1994. It can be done with two figure skaters performing together in what they call a pair of dances. The most popular kind of performance is head-to-head competition on solo programs.

There are many different styles of ice skating that people engage with, from simply sliding across the surface and doing simple jumps, spins, and turns, which we might think of as speed skate racing. Athletes race each other down an icy track at high speeds while taking tight curves because their blades have sharp edges to help them.

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Ice Skate vs. Rollerblade

Let us know what the difference between ice skate and rollerblading is:

                Ice skating             Rollerblading
OriginThousands of years oldA few hundred years old evolved from ice skating.
SurfaceIce surfaceHard Surfaces
SpeedComparatively highComparatively low
SkatesIce skates with blades fastened to the bottomRollerblading skates with wheels fastened to the bottom
Difficulty levelRelatively solid because of the bladesRelatively soft because of the wheels

Ice Skating or Rollerblading: Which Is Easier?

With all sincerity, ice skating is harder than rollerblading. The blades of ice skates are made in such a way that they avoid falling on the ice. So, they are really thin. That makes ice-skating difficult for starters. Maintaining balance is the hardest part here.

Nevertheless, when it comes to roller skating, you will be skating on the road. There is more friction than snow on the roads. Moreover, roller skates have four wheels that make balancing easier than ice skates.

Does roller skating help with ice skating

Stopping in Ice Skating vs. Stopping in Roller Blading

In any skating, stopping is very important. Let’s see how stopping in ice skating and roller skating is different. 

  • In rollerblading, there is a built-in brake on the wheel. But, ice skates don’t have built-in brakes.
  • It is also possible to prevent your body weight by pulling your hind legs in roller skating.
  • For ice skating, you need to maintain your body weight in the middle parts of your skate, increasing the friction with the ice nicely and finally closing.

Roller skating in the rinks also found similar findings regarding the location of the injury, with 23% of injuries being to the wrist, followed by the shoulder (20%), elbow (15%), and ankle (12%). 

Roller Skating Surface vs. Ice Skating Surface

You can do roller skate in many places. The sidewalk in front of your house or your parking lot may be your perfect place to skate. But to ice skate, you have to find an ice rink. In winter you can find many suitable places for ice skating.

If you think about danger, there can be many potential hazards on roads or sidewalks. There may be an accident with your vehicle, or some holes can be very dangerous. On the other hand, the ice surface is cleaned regularly to maintain good conditions for skating.

The Popularity of Ice Skating vs. the Popularity of Roller Skating

You can choose to start skating and choose the most popular type of skating. Indeed, popularity depends on places and times. Suppose, in countries where there is no snowfall during the year. Ice skating cannot be done. But roller skating is a type that can be done anywhere, anytime. Therefore roller skating is admired all over the globe. 

In 2000, about 22 million Americans reported skating at least once a year. On the other hand, 10 million Americans have reported ice skating.

Health Benefits of Ice Skating Health Benefits of Roller Skating

The health benefits of ice skating and roller skating are almost identical. Here are some benefits:

  • Both types of skating help improve balance. But ice skating helps more.
  • Skating on the ice helps a lot in warming up your body during winter.
  • Skating of any kind is a good cardio exercise.
  • Skating helps to grow all kinds of muscles, especially the arms and legs.
  • Ice skating and rollerblading are the most excellent exercises to burn up fat.

Lower arms (13.5%) and elbows (7.6%) came in the second and third, respectively. If you have wide feet, don’t worry about not being able to skate. Many brands provide skates specifically for wider feet and they are designed with comfort in mind. Here are some of the best figure skates for wide feet.

Roller Skating Vs. Ice Skating: Which Is More Dangerous?

It is hard to say which of the two is more dangerous. Ice skating is hard, and the hardest part is maintaining balance. If you can’t maintain balance, ice skating can be dangerous. But in the case of roller skating, the danger can come in different ways.

Any kind of obstruction or hole in the street can be fatal while skating on the street. People fall into accidents with vehicles on the road. Hence, both roller skating and ice skating accidents can be dangerous if you are not careful about your safety.

To stay on the safe side, you should cover some parts of your body in both types of skating. Also, choose the most flexible and cozy wear for your roller skating ride. Of all serious injuries, 24.2% are on the wrist, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). 

Ice Hockey and Roller Hockey

Ice hockey and roller hockey are very similar to each other. But there are also some differences.

  • Generally, ice hockey is played in three periods, where each period is 20 minutes long. Roller hockey, on the other hand, is played in two parts, each 20 minutes long.
  • The main difference is that ice hockey is played on ice surfaces, where roller hockey is played on a plastic floor.
  • Another difference is that ice hockey has five players with 1 goalkeeper, but roller hockey has 4 players with 1 goalkeeper.
  • Roller hockey keys have no rules for icing that throw the player from one side to the other.

Techniques Involved in Ice Skating and Roller Skating

Despite the numerous similarities, there is a significant difference between ice skating and roller skating. It is done on different skating surfaces. It would help if you balanced yourself differently, and the start-stop has different techniques.


Ice skating and roller skating involve a variety of stopping techniques. Roller skates or inline skates usually have a built-in mechanism for brakes on the wheels. You can use these brakes to pull on your hind legs quickly or off. Ice skates do not have built-in brakes or other stopping mechanisms. 

This makes it more difficult to stop on ice skates. It would help if you kept your weight towards the center to use the middle of your blade to stop the ice. You can see a nasty fall if you keep your weight either forward or far behind.


Roller skating tracks such as skate parks and pavements can have potential hazards such as holes, cracks, debris, uneven patches, vehicles, or passers-by. Any of these obstacles can get in your way, causing your skate wheels to spin and overturn.

In contrast, the surface of the ice strip is smooth and clean from debris. As a result, you will not hit hard when you slide and fall. However, if you skate on a natural surface outside like a frozen lake, you may find some rough ice surfaces or possibly fall from the ice.


The wheels of your roller or roller skate remain completely in contact with the ground in the default setting. This perfect contact helps you maintain even more balance on the ice. However, more friction between the wheels and the skating surface will cause the skate to push harder. 

On the contrary, only a few inches of ice from your ice skate blades remain exposed. Next, the point of contact rotates as you skate.

Is Ice Skating Harder than Roller Skating: FAQs

Is Ice skating easier than roller skating?

Gliding is much easier in skating, as well as making more turns. Ice skating is very simple in terms of technical maneuvering, i.e., turning and changing directions instantly. Ice skating requires more core strength and ankle strength as well as more bending of the knee.

Is ice skating the same as Roller skating?

No, they are not. Roller skating is an extremely admired sport where skaters walk on wheeled shoes attached to their feet. At the same time, ice skating is a sport where players go up on a snow-covered surface in pairs of ice skates.

Does roller skating help in ice skating?

Yes, it does. Roller skating can help ice skaters improve their balance and stance. This is one thing that skaters need to be stable on a pair of skates.


Therefore, now you have a general idea about ice skating vs. roller skating. This can help you choose which of the two is right for you. Remember that you have to choose the one that suits you best. Or you can choose both. 

Skating of any kind is an excellent source of recreation and a good way to exercise with recreation. So, don’t be late. Start with one type and then another. Happy skating!

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