Ice Skating Vs. Rollerblading – All you need to Know

Ice skating, rollerblading and the likes are fun, fill you with energy and look similar! If you’ve been ice skating, you know that it looks fairly similar to rollerblades. It looks like the only difference is that a rollerblade would have rubber wheels. But the thickness of the wheels is very similar to each other.

What is Ice Skating?

Ice Skating

The key difference is that ice skating is moving on a surface of the ice, using a pair of ice skates.

Where it is done?

Ice skating is performed on a variety of surfaces which includes naturally frozen rivers, lakes, and any other water bodies. It can also be done on both indoor and outdoor on artificially constructed ice tracks.

History of Ice Skating

It is said that ice skating was first recognized as a sport back in the year 1876. Since then it has widely evolved and has various spins offs like figure skating, ice hockey, bandy, etc. Ice skating plays a major part in the Winter Olympic Games and has many associated events as well.

How can you get started on Ice Skating?

Ice skating can be taken up as a hobby, sport or even a profession. There are figure skating and speed skating – sports which help you participate at the Winter Olympics. All you need to do is look out for the nearest ice-skating program near you and get started.



Rollerblading is the term for inline skating done using conventional roller skates.

Where is it done?

This can be practised on race tracks, skate parks, residential localities, roads etc.

History of Rollerblading

The first recorded pair of roller skates were used in London in 1743 These early skates were predecessors to the roller skates we use today. By the end of the 1800s, the roller skates were mass produced in the U.S. By the end of the ‘70s the potential for roller skating as a sport had been spotted and thus gave rise to competitive skating like speed skating.

Ice Skating Vs. Rollerblading

Ice Skating Vs Rollerblading

Here are some of the other basic differences between inline skating and ice skating

Roller Skates Construction

Rollerskate ConstructionRoller skates usually have two to five wheels, which are arranged in a single line. This is the reason these skates are also known as inline skates. The Rollerblade brand came up with this innovation and hence these skates were fondly known as rollerblades.

The wheels of rollerblades tend to further extend to the front and rear. This helps to balance forward and backwards at the same time. The long wheelbase also gives you better control.

Ice Skates Construction

Ice Skate Construction

There are three basic types of ice skates which are hockey skates, figure skates, and speed skates.

  • Speed skates are designed for optimum swiftness in one direction, and the boot is constructed of very light, thin leather.
  • The hockey skates boot is short and reinforced with plastic caps and comes with extra layers of leather at the toe.
  • For figure skating, the blade is hollow at the bottom so that only the outer edges touch the ice.


The main difference between ice skating and rollerblading is the way you stop. When it comes to rollerblading, a built-in brake on the wheel helps you stop.  However, you can drag your back foot or even turn sharply to the back for stopping.

In the case of ice skating, there is no built-in brake, and you need to balance your weight more towards the middle of the blades. Then you use that particular section of blades to help shave the ice nicely and stop.


The inline skates have wider wheelbase offering a good balance and this helps you to learn rollerblading easily. Rollerblades have multiple locking systems that help secure your feet in place and helps build the confidence to skate.

In ice skating, there is a thin blade underneath your boot and balancing is quite tough. It takes quite a while to master it and to stop is even harder.


Ice skating makes for a more balanced experience with smooth gliding over ice being the only criteria! Your legs do not take much shock and even at high rates of speed, it provides you comfort.

When it’s roller blades, you get to deal with concrete pavements. Any imperfections on the surface tend to affect your feet and the experience is definitely rougher compared to ice skates.

Ice Skating Vs. Rollerblading – Which is Easier?

Roller blades according to us, through personal opinion may vary. Anyone young or old can learn inline skating since they offer rigid support to both your feet and ankles. The skates are built in such a way that they are sturdy and the wheels extend front and rear. This ensures both forward and backward balance is maintained at the same time. In the case of ice-skating, the base is thin and learning to balance is a bit difficult.

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