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Skating is one activity that can be done anywhere there’s a hard surface and some wheels. It’s such a versatile activity that comes in many forms. You have roller skating, inline skating, skateboarding, and ice skating, but we are going to focus on the two forms that involve the wheels on yous feet. Roller skating is something I’m personally more used to, but inline skating is something I’m learning more about so my skating style is still quite undefined. However, this isn’t about me, its all about you and where you find yourself on the whole roller skating vs inline skating debate.

Skating Doesn’t Always Call For A Rink.

There are many wonderful things to look forward to when it comes to both forms of skating, but one main thing that inline skating and roller skating share is that you don’t need a rink. I do enjoy skating at a roller rink especially when they play good music from 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. It’s fun seeing everyone in the same environment skating around in their own way. On the other hand, its nice to step outside that circle and skate in other environments. Ice skating kind of requires ice to work, but with inline or roller skating, you can skate anywhere. It’s a great hobby to explore at home, at the park or wherever you find yourself. Both forms of skating allow you to challenge yourself while having fun.

There are also the benefits of exercise. Skating for one hour can burn up to 600 calories which isn’t hard to believe considering how much you’re moving. It’s also a great way to work specific muscle groups such as your calves, abs, arms, quads and glutes. If you are looking for some variety in your exercise routines or maybe you’re getting a little tired of jogging, just add a little bit of skating. It not only has the similar health benefits as jogging, but it also provides similar results in caloric consumption, reduction of body fat and leg strength development. Now that we’ve handled the similarities between the two, let’s tackle the differences in the roller skating vs inline skating argument.

Roller Skating

Roller skating uses quad skates. Quad skates have 4 wheels, two in the back and two in the front, one on each side. The positioning of the wheels along with their slight bulkiness allows for great stability which can be very helpful for beginner skaters. On the other hand, the size of the wheels doesn’t help when it comes to gaining a lot of speed. With whatever speed you do pick up, you can slow yourself back down by using this knob like object in the front that acts as a brake. To use it, you usually tip your foot forward a little so it makes contact with the ground. If the roller skates do have brakes, as not all pairs do, it can be found on both the left and right skate.

Roller skating to me is a lot more rhythmic and smooth. If you’ve been in skating rinks or around roller skating enthusiasts, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Quad skates allow for an increase in mobility and versatility which allows people to dance and glide the way they do. Watching skaters perform full choreography in roller skates is always an amazing sight to see.

Quad skates can also make a huge fashion statement. There are so many designs for roller skates out there, its hard to choose one to stick too. You can find skates in a variety of bold or iridescent colors and patterns. There are even options for different color wheels. If you want your skates to be in the same style as a pair of Converse, then there is an option for that too. The possibilities are limitless.

roller skates
Photo by S Weber on Unsplash

Inline Skating

Inline skating, or rollerblading, uses skates that have 3 or 4 wheels that are inline with one another. The structure and movement of inline skates is similar to ice skates. The thinner and taller wheels allow skaters to gain a lot more speed then the wheels of roller skates. Beginner skaters may find inline skating easier to start with due to the stability provided by the base of the skates. Instead of sitting directly underneath your foot, the base extends out in front of your toes and behind your heel. The braking system is also different then roller skates. If the inline skates come with a brake, it can be located on the right skate in the back. Inline skates only come with a brake on one skate and to use it, you tilt your foot backwards so the edge of the brake makes contact with the ground.

Inline skating is quite powerful and intense when comparing it to roller skating. These skates were built for speed and maneuvering around the obstacles that may get in your way when you’re trying to get from point a to b. The design of inline skates is a bit less complicated then their speedy capabilities. Inline skates usually have a base color of white or black with some solid colors like blue, red, green or pink mixed in for highlights. You don’t see as many patterns and design elements with inline skates unless they are for kids.

inline skates

So, What’s Your Skating Style?

Roller skating and inline skating both have their benefits and drawbacks. Inline skating is great for transportation and speed while roller skating is great for dancing and cruising. Your skating style really depends on what you are looking for in a pair of skates. It could even be a mix of the two styles. Share in the comments what your skating style is and why you chose it!


Image by Jill Fulton from Pixabay

2 thoughts on “Roller Skating Vs. Inline, What’s Your Skating Style?

  1. I used to inline skate a lot when I was younger, and I was thinking of picking back that hobby. But after reading this I think this time I’ll try roller skating, just seems to be more fun?

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