It can be hard to decide which activity is right for your kid or even for you – skateboarding or rollerblading. Both have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, and it can be tough to determine which one is the better choice.
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Rollerblades vs Skateboard
One of the most important things to consider when choosing an activity is price. A good skateboard can cost anywhere from $60 to $200, whereas a decent pair of rollerblades will set you back $100 to $300.
If money is no object, then this shouldn’t be a deciding factor for you. However, if you’re on a budget, skateboarding is definitely the more affordable option.
Age and Motor Skills
Age and skill level are also factors to consider. Skateboarding requires more balance and coordination than rollerblading, so it may not be suitable for very young children.
Rollerblading, on the other hand, is a bit easier to learn and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. On top of that, the younger kids can always start their rollerblade adventure on roller skates.
Their wheels are not in line but resemble more the skateboard setup. It helps the little ones by giving more balance support while standing.
Though they may seem similar, they actually offer different health benefits. Skateboarding is a great way to improve balance and coordination. It also strengthens leg muscles, as well as core muscles. Skateboarding is also a low-impact activity, which means it’s easy on joints.
Rollerblading is an excellent cardio workout. It gets the heart rate up and can help burn a lot of calories. Rollerblading is also a great way to strengthen leg muscles. In addition, rollerblading can help improve flexibility.
When it comes to materials, skateboards are made of wood, plastic, or metal, however, wood is the most common material used to make a skateboard.
Most skateboards are made of seven-ply maple wood. The top ply is usually a different color than the rest of the board. The bottom ply is always black.
The wheels are usually polyurethane or rubber, and trucks are made out of different metals, like aluminum, steel, or brass.
The materials used to produce rollerblades have changed over the years. The earliest models were made with metal frames and wooden wheels.
Today, most rollerblades are made with plastic or composite materials. The frames are typically made from polypropylene or nylon, while the wheels are usually made from polyurethane or even rubber.
Some higher-end rollerblades can also use carbon fiber or titanium.
There are some similarities between skateboarding and rollerblading. Both activities require protective gear, such as helmets and pads.
However, there are some differences in the type of protective gear that is needed. For example, rollerbladers wear knee and elbow pads, as well as wrist guards.
Skateboarders, on the other hand, prefer to wear only knee pads.
With that being said, it is always best to have all joints protected when you are only a beginner, and your balance is still slightly off. It is also wise, to put knee, elbow, and wrist pads on your kids.
Rollerblades Pros and Cons
- Great form of exercise. It’s low impact, so it’s easy on joints, and it’s also a great cardio workout.
- Good way to teach kids (and adults) balance and coordination. You’ll need to use both legs and arms to stay upright, and you’ll also need to pay attention to your surroundings in order to avoid obstacles.
- Enables socialization. Everyone can rollerblade with their friends, and there is often a chance to meet new people when out rollerblading.
- Great activity for kids and adults of all ages. Even young children can enjoy rollerblading, and it’s something that they can continue to enjoy as they get older.
- Somewhat natural movement. While having rollerblades strapped to your feet doesn’t seem like something natural, it’s actually not as bad as one may think. The body faces forward and the movement is similar to walking: one leg at a time.
- Can be dangerous. There are a lot of potential injuries that can occur when rollerblading, including scrapes, bruises, and even broken bones.
- Requires protective gear. In order to rollerblade safely, you’ll need to invest in some protective gear, including a helmet, elbow and knee pads, and wrist guards.
- Can be expensive. Rollerblades themselves can be pricey, and if you’re going to participate in rollerblading regularly, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of gas or public transportation to get to your destination.
- Weather dependent. You can’t rollerblade if it’s raining or snowing outside, so it’s not an activity that can be enjoyed year-round unless you know an indoor rollerblade place in your neighborhood.
Skateboard Pros and Cons
- Helps to stay active. Skateboarding requires good balance and coordination. It’s also a weight-bearing exercise, which means it helps keep bones healthy and strong.
- It can help to build confidence. Skateboarding can be challenging, but once kids learn how to do it, they often feel a sense of accomplishment.
- The new skills they learn can give them a boost of confidence that carries over into other areas of their lives. The sense of accomplishment is similar for adults that take up skateboarding.
- Gets people outside. In today’s world, kids (and adults) spend a lot of time indoors in front of screens. Skateboarding gets everybody out in the fresh air and sunshine, which is good for overall health and well-being.
- Can be dangerous. Skateboarding can lead to minor injuries, such as scrapes and bruises. But it can also lead to more serious injuries, including concussions, broken bones, and even spinal cord injuries.
- Requires protective gear. In order to skateboard safely, you’ll need to invest in some protective gear, including a helmet, elbow and knee pads, and wrist guards.
- Can be expensive. Skateboards themselves can be pricey, and if you’re going to participate in skateboarding regularly, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of gas or public transportation to get to your destination.
- Season dependent. Although many adults and kids try to skateboard in the rain, you can’t skateboard when it’s snowing outside. It’s not an activity that can be enjoyed in winter unless you know an indoor skatepark in your neighborhood.
- Not everyone is skateboard-friendly. Some people view skateboarding as a nuisance, and they may not be welcoming to skateboarders in their neighborhoods. This can make it difficult to find places to skateboard.
- Balancing sideways. The most comfortable position on a moving skateboard is facing sideways. While propelling, one needs to turn the body forward leaving one leg still facing sideways. It’s not so natural and needs a bit of getting used to.
So, which one is better? Is one actually better than the other? It really depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you’re looking for an activity that’s less expensive and easier to learn, skateboarding is a good option.
But if you don’t mind spending a bit more money and you want an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, rollerblading may be the better choice.
In any case, before making the ultimate choice, one should try both, and see which one feels better and more natural.