Ice Skating vs. Roller Skating

A comparison of two favorite sports.

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Imagine it is Saturday afternoon. It’s too hot to play outside, and you’re tired of sitting around in the house. Let’s say that you have an itch to go skating. The problem is, you can’t decide whether to go roller skating or ice skating! Both unique sports are great for a hot Saturday. To help with your decision, let’s review the pluses and minuses for both types of entertainment…..

There are many ways to skate, and this goes for both sports. In roller skating, you could do speed skating, inline skating, or obstacle course skating. Or you could, of course, just skate for fun. In ice skating, you have many options including hockey, ice dancing, figure skating, and speed skating, as well as just skating to have a good time.

Roller skating and ice skating are also similar in styles of boots. The ice skating boot is made from leather and has a metal blade. Figure skating boots are usually white or black. Figure skates also have a toe pick on the end- this is a pointed pick that allows skaters to get a good grip on the ice. This is helpful in jumping. Hockey skates don’t have a toe pick and are usually black and red. Roller skating boots are also leather, but instead of a blade they have four to six wheels. Roller skates come in a wide variety of colors. Most people find walking in roller skates harder then walking in ice skates.

Another thing to consider is the rink. (“Rink” is a common term for the building in which skating takes place.) Ice skating rinks are very cold, so you’d have to wear winter clothes. Many people find this bothersome. On the other hand, roller skating rinks are warm because they don’t have any ice to keep frozen. This could be a good reason to go roller skating instead of ice skating.

Also to roller skating’s advantage, it can be difficult to stop while ice skating. In roller skating, however, stopping is not too hard. Furthermore, roller skating requires little skill, unlike ice skating, which calls for much practice and good ankles.

All in all, both variations of skating have their advantages. Your decision for Saturday’s entertainment really comes down to preference. Both ice skating and roller skating are enjoyable sports that, when compared, are similar and different in many ways.

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14 Comments
  1. Posted July 8, 2009 at 5:32 am

    I’m a roller-blader. You don’t have to go to any kind of rink, you can just go up to the shops on your blades. It is a fast way to travel too!

  2. Mike
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Inline Speed Skating is my choice. There’s nothing like the feel of whizzing past a biker and turing back quickly to see the expression of surprise on their face. But nothing beats the feel of going to a roller skating rink and having the inhabitants watch in envy as some kid on “weird skates” sprints effortlessly past them. I would never trade my inlines in for ice! Too cold. Not my style. Not my passion.

  3. Jared Sobol
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 5:28 am

    I ice skate. you’ve portrayed ice skating there as figure skating. Personally,, i free skate, which is a from of break dancing on ice (the best way to describe it.) That is way cooler and better then the way you describe it.

    Ice skating is better, except for the fact that you need ice and you can’t do it anywhere :)

    Well thats my opinion

  4. harry potter
    Posted May 3, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Actually, not sure if you’re aware of this or not, but rollerskating also requires a great deal of skill too. Of course if you’re just session skating, neither sport requires any skill at all. But there is, just like ice skating, a competitive form of rollerskating called Artistic Rollerskating. And that requires a great deal of skill and practice just like ice :P
    I am an artistic roller skater actually! But still, I love ice skating too! :) But, roller is my thing!

  5. Gabriel
    Posted June 11, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Very biased article towards rollerblading indeed.
    I have done both, rollers first because of the convenience of it….but after doing ice skating, there is no comparison…the smoothness of ice skating is without comparison…
    Of course, it is easier to get the basics of rollers vs skating as when you start the ice is like soap but stick with it and it is SO rewarding!

  6. Hayley
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 3:22 am

    I’m an artistic rollerskater. I cant go iceskating because the nearest ice rink is about 2hours away compared to a 2min trip to the Roller rink. I didnt like iceskating much when I did tried it as it was very cold and seemed slippery and more uncontrollable, mainly as I am used to skating on wheels which I have learnt to control myself so they dont slide away on me :)

  7. sam
    Posted December 9, 2010 at 10:36 am

    you suck.

  8. Mom of a USA NATIONAL ROLLER SKATER
    Posted February 26, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    The next time you write an article, do your homework. Roller skating has more to offer than you are saying. There are artistic competitive clubs all over the USA. They do figures, dance, free style etc.. Not only to they compete at a local level, they too have Regonals, and Nationals and World Events every year. These athletes train hard and also need to pass tests for levels. But, what ever sport your choose, put your heart and soul into it. And have the time of your life.

  9. Karen
    Posted May 8, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    actually, with rollerskating there are many different types of it. There’s art skating (JUST like ice figure skating), inline skating, speed skating, derby, and jam skating.

  10. Npc
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Artistic rollerskating is not near as pretty, graceful, or near as beautiful as ice-skating with those LOUD big clunky ugly roller-skates. I don’t care how many jumps and spins you have either. And btw, we can and do do inverted camels too, I see them all the time during practice and ours are way more graceful. How come you all don’t do laybacks? There is a reason you guys will NEVER be an Olympic sport. Ice skating is way prettier and way more lucrative.

  11. Npc
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Artistic rollerskating is not near as pretty, graceful, or near as beautiful as ice-skating with those LOUD big clunky ugly roller-skates. I don’t care how many jumps and spins you have either. And btw, we can and do do inverted camels too, I see them all the time during practice and ours are way more graceful. How come you all don’t do laybacks? There is a reason you guys will NEVER be an Olympic sport. Ice skating is way prettier and way more lucrative.

  12. Npc
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Artistic rollerskating is not near as pretty, graceful, or near as beautiful as ice-skating with those LOUD big clunky ugly roller-skates. I don’t care how many jumps and spins you have either. And btw, we can and do do inverted camels too, I see them all the time during practice and ours are way more graceful. How come you all don’t do laybacks? There is a reason you guys will NEVER be an Olympic sport. Ice skating is way prettier and way more lucrative.

  13. blade
    Posted December 10, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Please—Roller-skating is nothing but poor mans ice-skating.

  14. geraldine
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    ice skating is only fun for an hour to max 2 to the fact that you can only skates inside the rink, you get bored easyl, while the roller disco skating rink, not only you can navigate around the rink area, like bathroom and concission or around the facilty such as outdoor and resting area.. its more fun and you can inter act with peopole outside the rink, also you are more free on what you wear not to expose of course, while ice skating you have to wear globes and other winter clothes just to skate, very awkward, i cant even skates with my grand parents as its cold and they get bored very easyly so i suggest to do roller skating if you wish to have fun with friend and enjoy with family members as well

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