Skateboarding vs Roller-Skating

There are a variety of ways to get around on wheels. Skateboarding and roller skating offer fun activities that get you moving and both activities require a fair amount of skill to get good at. They also both have their own set of possible injuries if not used properly. Skateboarding and roller skating each have their own subcultures that focus on the tricks that can be done using each piece of equipment. Skateboarding and roller skating have a few similarities but they are really quite different.

Skateboarding vs Roller-Skating – The Similarities Between Both

Both of these activities use a wheeled device for travelling around. They each require you to push off the ground to move forward. They also both come in contact with your feet when you use them. Both skateboards and roller skates require you to have good balance and leg strength to use them. Both skateboarding and roller skating became popular in the 50s. They both have only increased in popularity since then.

 

 

Balance

Skateboarding and roller skating both require incredible amounts of balance. However, each of these pieces of equipment requires you to balance differently. Roller skates are boots that are attached to a set of four wheels. These wheels are often made of rubber or polyurethane material[1] and are connected with ball bearings to a truck that is adhered to the bottom of the shoe.

Obviously, you wear two shoes, so when you’re roller skating, you’re really using eight wheels. Roller skating requires you to balance the majority of your weight over the middle of the skate so that the wheels do not roll and you do not fall over. You propel a roller skate by pushing off the ground with your opposite foot and allowing the wheels to roll forward.

This motion allows you to find a rhythm where you would be easily able to continuously kick with little effort. Balancing on a pair of roller skates is quite simple once you get the hang of it because it does not require you to balance side to side.

In skateboarding, you use a wooden board that uses four wheels attached by ball bearings to two trucks. The trucks are flexible and the board rolls forward and backwards. It can tilt from side to side. The skateboard is not strapped to your feet so you have to completely balance while resting on top of it. Balancing on a skateboard requires you to engage your core and make slight movements and a 360-degree rotation to stay on the board.

Difficulty

When riding, a skateboard requires you to push off from the ground. This motion uses an exertion of force through the foot into the ground. This is an explosive force that is quite difficult to do well if you want to move quickly. Riding a skateboard is quite difficult because you have to balance on the board while propelling yourself forward.

If you’re looking to do tricks on your skateboard, the difficulty is increased tenfold. Jumping on a skateboard requires you to jump up and kick the board in a way that brings it up with you and down in a balanced formation to the ground. Doing tricks on a skateboard can be incredibly difficult because it requires you to do a complicated set of jumping and kicking. You then have to land on top of your board while it’s moving through the air.

Generally, roller skating is not too difficult. Roller skates are designed to help you balance and roll around easily. Propelling yourself forward is done by pushing off of alternating feet. Picking up speed on roller skates is fairly easy because the motion is repetitive and can be done rhythmically to increase speed.

It is popular to do tricks while roller skating. Most popular tricks mimic dancing around the rink. If you’re looking for something more extreme, inline skating uses roller skates to perform tricks similar to skateboarding. Tricks like these can be extremely difficult because of the high speeds needed to make large jumps.

Safety

Roller skating is generally safe. You may fall when first learning and you could jam a wrist or develop a bruise. But usually, high-intensity impacts do not happen in roller skating. Roller skates are much easier to control in dangerous situations so you can avoid possible injury. However, roller skating does have a possibility of serious injury. Just like with any high-speed activity, you could fall, break a bone, or sustain serious head trauma. It is recommended that you wear the correct protective equipment like kneepads, wrist pads, and a helmet when you roller skate.

Skateboarding is much more dangerous than roller skating. No matter your skill level, falling is a part of skateboarding. When you skateboard, there’s a huge possibility for injury. Minor injuries like bumps and bruises are incredibly common for skateboarders. Broken bones, concussions, and large bruising are also fairly common. In skateboarding, the board can leave your feet at any time throwing you to the ground.

Skateboarding is most commonly done on asphalt which can both provide an impact on your body and small abrasions to your skin if fallen on. When doing high-level tricks, you are at a higher risk for worse injuries. To be safe, it is suggested that you wear a helmet, knee pads, and wrist guards when skateboarding. However, the majority of skateboarders do not follow these suggestions which results in some very serious injuries.

Conclusion

Both of these activities are a great way to get active. They both are incredibly fun ways to get your body moving with friends. You can do either of these activities anywhere, but skate parks and roller rinks are incredibly popular throughout the United Kingdom. You can always find somewhere to skate. Skateboarding and roller skating have extensive communities that are welcoming and friendly. They can teach you new things as you begin your journey as a skater.

 

Glossary

[1] Link