Is Roller Skating Harder Than Skateboarding? - Inline Skate Stars (2023)

Roller skating and skateboarding are cardiovascular exercises that promote a healthy heart. They are fun and thrilling, and both require the engagement of your muscles for propulsion.

Do both sports help in building muscles? Yes, they do. Roller skating works out almost all of your body muscles while skateboarding targets mostly your legs and hip muscles.

Both sports can be done on off-road and on-road surfaces, including dry asphalt or concrete surfaces. You can also skate at skate parks, urban roads, and trails.

But choosing roller skating or skateboarding can be daunting when you aren’t sure which is quick to learn. Don’t sweat it!

Now, if you are wondering which of the activities is harder than the other, you need to come along for the tea. Let’s dive in!

Is roller skating harder than skateboarding? Roller skating isn’t as hard as skateboarding. You have complete control of your skates in roller skating since your feet go in them. It’s unlike skateboarding, where your feet rest on a board, which can be hard to control for many beginners.

But that’s only the scratch on the surface. Here are more reasons why roller skating is a lot easier than skateboarding!

1. Balance and Coordination

Skateboarding demands more balance while both feet are on the board. You have to find a good balance between the leg pushing through the ground and the one standing on the board.

When it comes to having both your feet on the board, it requires far more leg coordination to propel yourself forward. You will need to practice more to enhance your balance on the board.

On the other hand, balance and coordination are easy to learn and implement in roller skating since you wear them like ordinary shoes.

2. Propulsion and Skating Fast

Skateboarding demands more engagement of the leg muscles for propulsion. When skateboarding on flat ground, the speed is between 5 and 12 mph.

One leg pushing against the ground slows skateboarding, especially on uneven surfaces. Therefore, making it less fast than roller skating.


On the other hand, roller skating can reach speeds of 8mph-16mph on flat, smooth surfaces. This is because you’ll use less energy in roller skating than in skateboarding.

3. Skating Uphill or Downhill

Skating uphill or downhill is easier and safer on roller skates than on skateboards. Remember, in roller skating, you have complete control and coordination of your feet since they go inside the roller skate. This makes it easier to push and glide uphill and downhill.

While skateboarding downhill is easy because of the gravitational push, going uphill can be daunting. You have to use significant energy to push yourself, which can be exhausting.

4. Performing Tricks

You can perform different tricks in either of the sports. Learning the skills and tricks takes time and much practice for skateboarding.

But first, you have to master board control, and the fact that it’s not connected to your feet makes it even more challenging. Some skateboarding tricks include jumps and backflips.

On the other hand, it’s easy to perform roller skating tricks after a few hours of practice. Having your feet within your skates, you gain excellent control over your feet. Roller skating tricks include back skating, one foot, and spinning.

5. The Time Taken to Learn the Basics

Skateboarding takes a period of around 12 monthly to be completely comfortable on the board. Mastering skateboarding tricks can take up to 3 years of good practice, commitment, and consistency.

For beginners, you can find the idea of propelling yourself on the board easier until you have both your feet on the board.

Roller skating is easy for a beginner, and you can be up and rolling between 4 to 8 weeks. Mastering the sport’s tricks take practice, consistency, and commitment for around a year.

6. Braking Technique

It’s easier to brake on roller skates than on skateboards. Roller skates are fitted with a toe stop pad for slowing down or braking. You can also use tricks like t-stop and plow stops for emergency stops.

On the other hand, skateboards don’t have inbuilt braking systems. So, it can be a hassle for beginners to stop them. The easiest way to stop skateboards is by jumping off them.

Roller Skating VS. Skateboarding | Other Elements of Comparison

Below we dive into other elements of comparison between roller skating vs. skateboarding. Let’s jump into it!

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Skating Gear and Equipment

Skateboarding does not require special shoes to ride the board, but it does need a special board to navigate the surfaces.

For protective gear, skateboarding needs a well-fitting helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads.

For the shoes, closed-toe shoes are preferred with good traction. Avoid slippery soles! You can also have goggles or shatterproof glass.

Roller skating requires special shoes, known as roller skates, to navigate the surfaces. You need a well-fitting helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards for protective gear. You also need a mouthguard, padded shorts, and socks.

Skateboard and Roller Skate Design

Both skates and board wheels are made of the same long-lasting, durable polyurethane material. The material provides excellent traction on the skating surfaces.

The skateboarding wheels are linked by an axle and mounted from a solitary side. The wheels are supported by a truck which levels them on the ground. The wheels come in different shapes and are much thicker than the roller skating wheels.

Skating Surfaces

Both sports can be done on off-road and on-road surfaces, including dry asphalt or concrete surfaces.

Muscles Involved

Skateboarding primarily uses your leg and hip muscles. It engages your hamstrings, quads, and glutes. Roller skating employs nearly all your body muscles making it a full-body workout.

It works your shoulder, lower back, chest, core, hips, and leg muscles. Some muscles activated include your trapezius, upper chest, erector spinae, abs, hamstrings, glutes, and quads.

Calories Burned

In terms of burning fat, skateboarding helps burn around 400 calories an hour. Roller skating also helps burn fat by engaging your core and promoting a thin waistline. It helps in burning around 650 calories an hour.

Riding Direction

In skateboarding, you are sometimes forced to face sideways when both your feet are on the board.

This mostly feels unnatural as it provides a blind spot to be aware of your surroundings when turned 90 degrees in the direction of travel.

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While roller skating, you have a peripheral vision of where you are going since you move in a front-facing position.

Sports Safety

In skateboarding, you feel much restricted when both your feet are on the board, especially as a newbie.

In such a position, getting used to both your feet takes time, and you can easily fall off the board. You are at more risk of falling from your board.

Roller skating is much safe. You can easily maintain balance and stability by moving your feet independently. The risk of falling on skates is less than in skateboarding.

Health Benefits

Both roller skating comes with health benefits. They work your body muscles, such as hamstrings, quads, and glutes. They help build strength around your hips, core, leg, and lower back muscles.

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Both sports promote a healthy heart and mind. They help improve your leg coordination movements and encourage body balance and stability. Both sports help in fighting diabetes.

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Skating Venue

You can roller skate or skateboard at skate parks, urban roads, and trails. Roller skaters can easily access skating venues.

As much as riding on the road has risks, you can hang onto a car while roller skating than in skateboarding.

Skateboarding is seen as a noisy activity that can bring harm to riders or other pedestrians. It’s criticized for being destructive of people’s property. Hence many cities attempt to deter it.

Local/City Regulations

Roller skating and skateboarding are prohibited in Los Angles, California, and around or through the courthouse and library.

You should check with your local town regulations and bylaws if you don’t want to be found on the wrong side of the law.

Injury Severity

Skateboarding requires higher knee engagement since you must push over the board to make it roll through the surface. It has a massive impact on your knees, especially the legs pushing you through the ground.

Injuries can be caused by poor landings and overstretch of the muscles. Head, wrist, hand, shoulders, knees, and ankles are possible skateboarding injuries.

Roller skating is a low-impact workout and gentle on the knees. Therefore the chances of skating-related severe injuries are lower than in skateboarding.

Roller skating’s possible injuries are wrist, tailbone, elbow, shoulder, and knees.

Is Roller Skating Harder Than Skateboarding?| Final Thoughts
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Is roller skating more difficult than skateboarding? Roller skating is easier, especially for a newbie unsure which sport to go for first. Skateboarding might take between 12 months and three years to master.

On the other hand, roller skating can be learned in four to eight weeks and mastered in even less time. That’s it! I hope you found this guide helpful.


Is it harder to rollerblade or rollerskate? ›

Roller skating is more difficult than rollerblading because you must use your arms and legs to move around on the rink. It takes time and practice to learn how to skate properly, but the rewards are great when you do. Inlines can be a lot of fun for all ages- from beginners to experienced skaters.

Is learning how do you roller skate hard? ›

Roller skating can be intimidating for beginners, but it doesn't have to be! With the right gear and the right attitude, anyone can learn to roller skate and have fun doing it. Whether you opt for quads or blades, the key is to start slow and practice until you get comfortable with the basics.

Is it easy to rollerblade? ›

Many beginner skaters when first starting out will ask themselves, is inline skating hard? And the answer: well, it's not easy. But that can always change, with practice. Attaching wheels to your feet is an altogether different reality to walking or running.

How many calories can you burn roller skating? ›

Just one hour of moderate roller skating burns 330 calories for a 143-pound person. If that same person roller skates vigorously, he or she will burn up to 590 calories in an hour. The number of calories burned per hour while skating at 6 mph is 350 and 600 while skating at 10 mph.

What muscles do rollerblading work? ›

“The skating stride puts load on the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and inner thigh muscles that aren't stimulated during similar exercises like walking. As skating also relies on balance, there's also development of the abdominals and deep core muscles that are responsible for keeping someone upright and stable.”

How many days will it take to learn roller skating? ›

Some people learn faster than others due to factors like age, physical health, and experience with sports. It might take a little while to get good at roller skating, ranging from a few weeks or a few months. But if you want to reach an advanced level, it'll take a few years of practicing diligently.

What is the hardest thing about learning to skate? ›

Whether they spent more time upright and cruising around, holding onto a trainer for support, or falling down, our Kindergarten and Grade 1 students have had a great time challenging themselves to improve their ice skating over the past month.

How many days will it take to learn skating? ›

'So how long does it take to learn to ice skate? ' It should probably take you between 7 to 10 hours to get the basics. That's not all in one day, that's over two months. That's once a week for an hour or so.

What are the most common injuries in roller skating? ›

The most common injury in inline skating is fractures, followed by soft tissue injuries such as contusions, abrasions and lacerations. The most common area fractured is the forearm, followed by the wrist, hand, and elbow.

Will rollerblading tone my stomach? ›

Rollerblading is an effective way to burn belly fat, but it's also important to remember that your diet and lifestyle factors play a huge role in this process. Eating healthy food and getting sufficient sleep can help you maintain your metabolism and energy levels while still burning calories through exercise.

Is roller skating good for your knees? ›

This activity is gentler on the knee joints than running or jogging because it does not apply a downward force. In roller skating, the pressure is applied in a sideways position. It does not only reduce the impact on the joints but also helps strengthen them by stretching them.

How many times a week should you rollerblade? ›

If you're looking to make roller skating part of your regular workout routine, Strang also recommends doing a basic strength regime 2–3 times per week on top of 2–4 skating sessions per week.

Does roller skating burn belly fat? ›

Frequent bouts of cardio exercise, such as roller skating or roller blading, can help you burn that stubborn fat you're carrying on your belly. Roller skating is an efficient way to burn a large number of calories in a relatively short amount of time, which makes it a quality exercise if you're trying to lose fat.

Can you get fit from rollerblading? ›

The short answer is yes: rollerblading is a great workout. The benefits of rollerblading for exercise span the gamut from improving balance and coordination to strengthening the leg muscles and burning calories.

Why does my back hurt when rollerblading? ›

One common cause of lower back pain for inline and roller skaters is lower back muscle strains. Muscle strain, a slight or partial tear in muscle tissue, can occur from a constant dose of overuse, sudden overexertion or even trauma. Like all of the muscles in the body, sudden movements can injure your back muscles.

How long does it take to learn how to inline skate? ›

No matter what you do, these will last you, max, a couple of years. In General, It takes 2-3 hours to learn the simple basics of rollerblading, while it usually takes more than 30 days to actually get good at rollerblading skating.

Is skating one of the hardest sports? ›

Finally, according to Top End Sports, the top 10 hardest sports in the world in reverse order are freestyle wrestling, horseback riding, bull riding, water polo, figure skating, motocross, swimming, gymnastics, boxing, and rugby, landing at number one.

Why is an ollie so hard? ›

This means that gravity isn't the only force affecting the skateboard. Unlike a soccer ball in mid-flight, a skateboard mid-ollie is being actively steered. This is exactly what makes doing an ollie so hard. It's not enough to get the skateboard up into the air - you also have to steer it while it's in the air.

Why is my ollie so small? ›

Solution: Low Ollies are caused by not getting enough pop before your Ollie. It is easy to fix this problem- simple crouch lower and move your front foot back a little, so it has more room to drag. When you're in the air, remember to suck up your knees!

Is it too late to learn ice skating at 30? ›

Quite simply, the answer is NO! You are NEVER too old to learn to fall in love with the ice like we all have! Ice skating is a sport for everyone, regardless of your age! We offer many options for our adult skaters including group lessons and private lessons.

How many hours does it take to get good at skating? ›

Typically it takes at least 12 months to 3 years to become good at skateboarding. In 12 months you'll be able to learn a few basic tricks. Between 1 and 3 years you can learn advanced tricks. The progression timeline varies from person to person.

Is skating a risky sport? ›

The ice surface is very dangerous as there is no cushion against impact. These skating injuries may include concussions or other traumatic brain injuries. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) runs diagonally through the middle of the knee and provides rotational stability.

How many people get hurt roller skating a year? ›

Over 100,000 inline injuries are incurred each year. Inline skating injuries can be prevented in 90% of circumstances. The likelihood of visiting the hospital is 1 in 25 every year if you participate in inline skating. 2/3 of skaters do not wear any safety equipment.

How to look like a skater girl? ›

Skater girl aesthetic outfits

Graphic tees, sneakers, baggy pants, and hoodies are part of the surf and skate fashion style. Put together trendy outfits with functional, loose, and comfortable clothes for maximum freedom of movement. You can also wear jumpsuits, playsuits, rompers, and overalls.

How do you know if you're a poser skater? ›

Posers often have no (or obviously fake) scratch marks on their boards, while a real skater will have scratch marks on the middle, nose, and tail of the board, depending on their style and tricks. A real skater's board is going to show obvious wear and tear (unless it's genuinely a brand new board).

How do you spin on roller skates without getting dizzy? ›

Maintain a uniform speed. If you can control your spin and keep it at a constant speed then you only experience dizziness when you accelerate or slow down. Keep your feet in one spot. If you stay on a mark and not move across the ice when you spin then you can help control the dizziness.

Is rollerblading low impact? ›

Also, keep in mind that due to the minimal amount of pressure put on the joints, rollerblading is considered a low-impact exercise.


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