Roller skates are outdated. It is very rare that those skates with two wheels in the front and two wheels in the back are used. Roller blades, on row of four wheels, seem to have completely replaced the old version of skates. They require a bit more balance and make it easier to change direction for turns or avoiding obstacles. The design is very similar to the blades on ice skates. So does that mean you can ice skate if you know how to roller blade, or vice versa? Is it possible to learn to ice skate and rollerblade? If you learn one, will you automatically learn the other?
Not necessarily. Learning to balance on skates is the first lesson you must learn. The techniques for balancing are slightly different between ice blades and wheels. With rollerblades, balance can be easily achieved as long as the wheels are not moving. Once you are able to stand, you can begin to roll. The smoothness of the ground can range from heavy friction to an almost slippery rink. It takes a lot of strength to push the skates and hold up your body weight on a rough surface and it is the best way to begin. Once you have mastered to movement, you can go to a rink where the ride is smoother, and you will be able to skate faster, with practice. It is easier to rollerblade than it is on ice skates because there is more resistance, and less opportunity to slip and slide.
Ice skating is more challenging because of the slip factor. The ice is incredibly smooth, and you have to learn how to balance on the ice. There is less control of your movement, because the blade and slip at any angle on the ice. The control of your weight and speed would have to be adjusted if you know how to rollerblade. Another challenge is being able to stop. It is extremely difficult to stop on ice once you have gained the speed, and you can’t stop yourself short because you might topple over. You have to gradually slow down and angle your blade to create more friction between your foot and the ice. (the other option is to run into the wall) When you are on the ice it is nearly impossible to stay still. On rollerblades, you have breaks, and you can pretty much stop the wheels.
Based on the striking similarity of the design of inline skates and ice skates, I suppose if one learns to skate one, they can easily learn the other, but it won’t be exactly the same.
So it is definitely possible to learn either one, but it won’t come quickly. Both types of skating have their unique traits and it is important to practice when learning any activity like this. Don’t just assume that it will be easy. It will however, be easier than if you hadn’t learning how to skate at all prior to the experience. If that is the case, then stay close to the wall and hold on.