Is ice skating like roller skating? Ultimate Guide

Many people think that ice skating and roller skating are the same. And so the question – Is ice skating like roller skating? Both sports have many similarities, but they also differ from one another. Both sports require almost the same skill set. But the application of each skill-set is very different. 

Read on further to find out about the similarities and differences between roller skating and ice skating. 

Roller Skating vs Ice Skating Explained!

If you are still wondering – is roller skating similar to ice skating? Read on below to find out more information about each. 

What is roller skating?

Roller skating or rollerblading is all about gliding on a smooth surface with the help of wheels. The roller skating boots come with wheels attached to them. Typically, roller skates run on smooth and hard surfaces like skating rinks, pathways, and parking lots. 

Roller skating is a super fun sport. It also helps to keep you in shape. Many people now perform their exercise routine wearing roller skates. 

What is ice skating?

Ice skates have metal blades attached to the boots. In ice skating, these metal blades ensure smooth traction on ice. Ice skating is a historical sport that got introduced back in 1876. Ever since then, it has gained immense popularity and is a much-loved sport for many. It gets performed on frozen lakes, rivers, or waterways. But you can also find many indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks with artificial ice tracks.

It helps to answer your question – is ice skating like roller skating? Because ice skates, as the name suggests, only work on ice. The metal blades give a better grip on ice. In comparison, the wheels in roller skates are more suitable for smooth surfaces. 

Ice Skating VS Rollerblading

Be it rollerblading or ice skating, both require a certain amount of skating skill. Both sports have many similarities. But, at the same time, each differs significantly from the other. Let’s take a quick look at the differences between Ice Skating VS Rollerblading.

A quick glimpse – Ice Skating VS Rollerblading

Ice Skating Rollerblading
Origins It dates back hundreds of years before Relatively new in comparison. It evolved from ice skating.
Surface Ice Hard and smooth surface 
Speed High speed for performing tricks Lower in comparison
Skates Boots come with metallic blades attached at the bottom. Set of wheels attached at the bottom of the shoes.
Skill level  Relatively difficult to master  Wheels make it easy to master the skill.

The major difference between Ice Skating and Rollerblading

Many people tend to wonder – is ice skating just like roller skating? The answer is both yes and no. Be it ice skating or rollerblading, both include some level of skating. The significant difference between the two is the construction of the boots. 

The boots of each may look very similar to each other. But, one has a set of wheels on the bottom while the other has metallic blades. Also, the kind of surface on which each of the skates works. Rollerblading is more suitable for smooth surfaces. At the same time, ice skating performs best on a surface made of ice.

Hence, the significant difference between the two is in their techniques. Read on further to find out more about the differences in the methods between the two.


Both the sports, be it ice skating or rollerblading, have very different kinds of stopping techniques. The skates for inline skating come with a built-in mechanism for stopping with a brake on the heels. However, you can use the brake when making sharp turns or stopping altogether. You can do this by dragging your foot back and throwing your body weight to the back. 

In comparison, ice skates don’t come with any stopping mechanism like built-in brakes. It is the reason why stopping ice skating is complicated and requires some practice to master. Instead, you have to keep your weight maintained by shifting your weight to the middle. It helps to shave off the ice when you have to stop. You are likely to fall flat on the ground if you propel your weight forwards or backward. 


The beauty of skating is all about how you balance yourself on your skates. The wheels on the inline skates have a very wide base. It stays fully in contact with the ground to help in how you balance yourself and move. But, you may have to put in a little effort and push harder during skating due to the increased amount of friction. Also, the inline skates have different locking systems to keep your feet in place. It is essential to give you the confidence you need for skating.

Whereas if you are a beginner, the blade in ice skates may make it very difficult to achieve balance. It is going to take some time before you learn how to balance. Also, unlike inline skates, ice skates have only about a few inches of contact with the ice. The contact point in the ice helps in your movement on the ice. 


Both roller skating and inline skating move best on smooth surfaces. These include parking lots, streets, pathways, and sidewalks. But, ice skates only work on a surface made of ice. Though, ice skating is relatively more complex than inline skating.

But, it is a much safer sport in comparison to rollerblading. It is because there is a dedicated space that is reserved only for skating on the ice. Also, the ice surface is cleared and smoothed regularly, and this makes it safer in comparison.

You never know what kind of obstacle you come across. Especially when skating on different surface areas during rollerblading. It is very likely that you come across any small hole, crack, or bumpy surface when skating. Hence, it is very likely that you can lose balance and fall.

Level of comfort

When talking about the comfort level of both skates, ice skating feels more comfortable in comparison. Since you don’t have to worry about any holes, cracks, or bumps on the smooth ice surface. All your brain gets focused on perfecting your movement. 

On the other hand, rollerblading may be easy to balance. But, it is not as comfortable as ice skating. It is because you never know when you come across sudden shocks while rollerblading.

On a smooth surface, you don’t have to worry. But, a bumpy and uneven terrain can put a strain on your leg muscles. Also, ice skating is a sport that is throughout the year. While inline skating only works in areas that have hotter weather conditions.

Health Benefits of Ice Skating and Roller Skating

When talking about health benefits, both sports have very similar health benefits. Since both ice skating and roller skating require the same amount of leg work for the movement. 

Therefore, both have pretty much the same muscular activity, heart activity, and respiration. Skating as a sport itself has countless health benefits, some of which I have listed down below.

Calorie burnout 

If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume daily. Skating is a fun and enjoyable part of your journey towards weight loss. No matter if you skate indoors or outdoors. Both give you the best way to lose weight and burn calories. Also, skating encourages cardiovascular health. 

You get to lose weight once you follow a healthy diet and skate regularly. Be it ice skating or roller skating. Both give you an effective way to lose weight and burn calories. A 30 minutes skating session helps you lose about 250 calories. But, how much you lose depends on your body type and weight.

Muscle and joint health 

Skating is a sport that requires the movement of almost every muscle in your body. More importantly, leg movement helps in healthy muscles and joints. If you skate daily, it enables you to tone your muscles and add more definition. Skating is so much more than just a cardio exercise. It is so much more than that. 

During skating, you get to work on your glutes. Even your quads, hamstrings, and thighs also start working during the to and fro movement of legs in skating. As you twist and turn, the muscles in your back get toned and defined. If you are a bit overweight, it may take you some time to lose weight and build muscle definition.

Improve weight management, balance, and coordination 

Skating helps to improve muscle and joint health, leading to a much-improved balance and coordination. Balance comes naturally to some people, while others have to work their way towards maintaining the right balance.

 The steady movement of legs, abdominal muscles, and the lower back help strengthen the core. It, in turn, helps to maintain your balance and keep your posture upright.

Healthy Heart

Ice skating and roller skating help strengthen cardiovascular muscles for a healthy heart. Skating in any form is the best way to perform aerobic exercise. Even a moderate skating amount helps increase the heartbeat rate to 140-160 beats per minute. 

Overcome Diabetes 

Skating is the best way to perform aerobic exercise. It makes use of your body muscles and helps keep insulin levels in check. Skating regularly helps reduce your chances of getting Type-2 Diabetes. Diabetes is another disease that is getting very common amongst many people. Many people have diabetes due to their lifestyle and weight increase. 

Skating is an excellent exercise for muscles, but it also strengthens the heart and helps burn glucose levels. For diabetes patients, skating is recommended for 30 minutes 5 times a week. Remember to skate regularly and try not to skip two days in a row. 

Overall body strength 

Another significant benefit of skating is that it helps build overall body strength. Most importantly, it helps in making the lower body and overall muscle strength. Remember, a strong body helps to keep many diseases at bay. 

Also, it helps to build a robust immune system. Besides, it also helps reduce your chances of diseases like osteoporosis in your later years. 

Muscular Endurance 

Skating helps to build muscle endurance. By muscular endurance, it means that your capacity for doing regular tasks doubles. Besides, as mentioned before, it helps to strengthen all muscles in the body. 

When you compare your endurance levels from before you started skating and to afterward. You can spot a huge difference, and you may notice that your endurance has increased altogether.

Relieves Stress 

Taking up new sports or any recreational activity helps to relieve stress. Skating gives you just that. It provides you an enjoyable way to keep yourself fit while releasing tension at the same time. Especially for roller skating, you can choose a quiet and scenic spot for a much relaxing experience. 

Source of Happiness 

The sport skating has countless physical and mental health benefits. It helps to clear the clutter of thoughts in your mind. As you learn to balance yourself for movement. It also is a highly beneficial sport to take up, especially if you are undergoing depression. 

The reason is, it helps boost levels of endorphins and reduces harmful hormones. Endorphins are also known as happy hormones. 

Is ice skating better than roller skating?

Whether ice skating is better than roller skating depends totally upon your personal preference. Every person has a very different perspective from the other. Some people think roller skating is easy. At the same time, some enjoy performing tricks on ice skates. So let’s see in detail the answer to this question.

Different perspective 

Every person has a very different perspective of viewing things from each other. What seems easy for someone may be difficult for someone else. The same goes for roller skating and ice skating. Some people find balancing on ice skates much easier. At the same time, others find roller skates much easier to maneuver. 

Personal preference 

Personal preference is yet another factor that defines how every individual views different types of skating. Some people may find roller skating much better, while others prefer ice skating. It isn’t easy to pinpoint one sport and label it as much better than the other.

Skating Style

Different skaters have different skating styles from each other depending upon the design and the mechanisms. Some people may prefer smooth dance moves like ice skating. 

Is ice skating like roller skating? – FAQ’s 

Is roller skating or ice skating harder? 

Compared with each other in terms of balancing, Ice skating is relatively more complex than roller skating. It is because it takes a fair amount of skill to balance ice skates compared to roller skates. In comparison, the wheels at the base of the roller skates are much easier to balance.

Is Roller Skating and Ice Skating the Same?

It is a common misconception that many people come across. Both roller skating and ice skating are very different from each other. Roller skates feature wheels on the bottom of the boot. Moving wearing roller skates is just like walking with wheels on and isn’t much difficult. At the same time, ice skates have a metallic blade on the bottom to help balance and movement on ice. 

Is roller skating or ice skating easier?

In terms of movement and maneuvering, ice skates have flawless and effortless movement. It is effortless to make sharp turns and glide across on ice compared to roller skating. Though, balancing is far easier in roller skating. But, movement may take quite an effort on the leg muscles. 

You can easily understand that you have read the article – is ice skating like roller skating? The answer is both yes and no at the same time. However, both sports may look very similar to each other at first glance. But, in truth, they both are worlds apart from each other.

The overall mechanisms of both ice skating and roller skating are very similar to each other. Now that you know how roller skating and ice skating are different from each other. It won’t be difficult for you to choose the one sport that you prefer between the two.

Just remember skating itself is an enjoyable recreational sport that has countless benefits. So start your skating journey. Happy Rolling!