Is Skiing Like Ice Skating? (7 Differences)

is skiing like ice skating

Every winter, as the snow falls and the temperatures drop, thousands of people flock to the slopes to enjoy the snowy wonderland. Skiing is a popular pastime for a lot of people, but is it really that different from ice skating?

Skiing is very different from ice skating, but there are a few similarities in technique. Plus, skiing sometimes even feels like ice skating.

In this post, I’ll break down the differences between the two sports and conclude which sport is easier. And I’ll also walk you through why skiing feels like skating and whether skating helps with skiing.

Skiing vs Ice Skating

Both skiing and ice skating are great ways to enjoy the winter, but is skiing like ice skating? No, here’s the difference:

The main difference between skiing and ice skating is that skiing is harder, requires more practice and is more risky. Plus, you need more equipment and you need specialised clothes for skiing. Ice skating is more relaxed, easier to learn and is way cheaper to try out. 

Let’s now take a look at these in more detail.


Skiing is a great workout and can be done in a variety of different settings, from the slopes to the backcountry. 


Ice skating, on the other hand, is a great activity for both kids and adults and is a lot of fun, and can be done on frozen lakes, ponds, or ice skating rings.


Skiing is a lot more expensive than ice skating. Skiing equipment often costs around $700 – $2000. And you also need to pay for ski resorts, ski lift tickets and even parking! 

If you want to know more about the costs, we wrote a super detailed guide on how much it cost to ski.   

Ice skating is way cheaper, the skating boots may cost around $50 – $400, but you can always rent a pair at the skating rink for under $30 an hour.

And the ice skating rig will cost anywhere around $10 -$30 per hour. But you can always skate for free on a frozen lake.


Ice skating can only be done using shoes called ice skates, designed especially for them. Apart from the shoes, you might need wrist and knee guards and a helmet if you are a beginner.

For skiing, you need a lot more stuff. You are gonna need skis, poles, goggles, ski boots and a helmet. Sometimes you may need to take a ski carrier and a walkie talk (just in case).



When you are skiing on the slopes the temperatures are going to be low and you need to wear proper winter clothes and you need to layer up. You will need more clothes for skiing than ice skating.

For ice skating you can wear pretty much anything you like, especially if it’s an indoor rink. You can ice skate wearing a pair of jeans and tshirt!

Learning Curve

You need a lot more time to learn skiing as it requires a great deal of practice. Plus, there are dozens of techniques one needs to learn before they can confidently ski on all types of runs. 

You can easily get the hang of ice skating in a few hours and even call yourself an intermediate with a week’s worth of practice.

Best For

If you are an adrenaline junkie, a risk taker, an adventurer or just looking for a great workout, skiing is for you!

Skiing is also a lot faster than ice skating – so if you’re looking for a thrill, skiing is the way to go.

But if you’re looking for something that’s more fun and relaxed, ice skating is the better choice.

Injuries And Risks

Skiing is a lot more forgiving than ice skating. When you make a mistake on the ice, it can be pretty painful. But when you make a mistake while skiing, you’re usually just taking a tumble in the snow. 

However skiing is more riskier than ice skating and could cause serious injuries. In fact, you can even die skiing.

Is Skiing Easier Than Ice Skating

Generally speaking, skiing is harder than ice skating but it really depends on a number of factors, including your experience level, your athletic ability, and even the type of skiing you’re doing.

If you’re a beginner, then skiing can definitely be more difficult than ice skating. There’s a lot to learn, from proper form to how to turn and stop. Plus, there are a lot more techniques and things to remember when skiing. 

But you will find skiing a lot easier and more fun once you start to get the hang of it. 

One theory about why skiing is harder than skating is because skiing is a new and challenging activity and when we try something new, our brains have to work harder to figure it out.

Skiing is a lot like surfing, except you’re on a slope and you have two long poles to help you balance.

Is Skiing Easier Than Ice Skating

Ice skating, on the other hand, is a lot like roller skating – except you’re on the ice, and you have a sharp blade on each foot and nothing to balance yourself but the blade.

So which is easier? Well, it depends. If you’re good at balancing and have strong leg muscles, skiing might be easier for you. 

But if you’re good at quickly moving your feet, ice skating might be the better choice. In the end, the choice is all yours.

Does Ice Skating Help With Skiing

You might now be wondering if ice skating can help with your skiing. After all, both activities involve gliding across a slippery surface.

Overall ice skating helps with skiing in a variety of ways, including balance, stability, and speed. 

If you’re already experienced in ice skating, skiing will come more naturally to you. And while it’s true that ice skating can help improve your balance and coordination, it’s not going to make you a better skier overnight.

However, if you are new to skiing, ice skating will help you adjust to the unfamiliar weather conditions.

Does Ice Skating Help With Skiing

Ice skating requires you to maintain your balance while you’re moving, and this can be helpful when you’re trying to learn to ski. Plus, if you’re ice skating regularly, you’ll be in good shape when it comes time to hit the slopes!

Additionally, skaters who often travel at high speeds will feel more at ease and balanced on skis at high speeds.

Does Skiing Feel Like Ice Skating

If you have ever felt like you were ice skating when skiing, you’re not alone. Many people feel like they are ice skating when they start skiing for the first time. 

This is because skiing and ice skating share some similarities.

Both these sports are done on cold, frozen surfaces, and require knowledge of proper balance and coordination. Plus, the edge will feel very similar to skiing.

One theory is that it’s because we’re used to ice skating. Many of us have gone ice skating before, so our brains are wired to think that skiing is similar to ice skating. 

So why does skiing feel like ice skating? When you’re skiing, you’re essentially gliding across the snow in form – just like you would glide across the ice. 

Bottom Line

After reading this article, it should be obvious that skiing and ice skating are two very different sports with a ton of differences. However, some people feel like skiing when they ice skate.

Overall, both sports require balance and coordination, but the techniques are very different. I would encourage anyone interested in either sport to give them both a try!

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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