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What is it?

  • Three different activities are included under the heading of skating.  These are ice skating, roller skating and skate boarding.  

  • Each involves a different kind of boot or board which is used by the person to move over the ground.  In the case of ice skating, a special ice surface is required.  Roller skating and skate boarding can be done on ordinary pavements and other smooth surfaces, though special rinks or facilities are also used.  

  • More detailed information on each of these activities can be obtained from the specialist organisations listed below.    

  • Some people skate for pleasure and exercise, but there are many special movements and routines that can be learnt for each type of skating, and these form the basis of competitive activities.  Team games have been developed based on skating, notably ice and roller hockey.

Find out more


National Ice Skating Association of UK

British Artistic Roller Skating Association 
Federation of Artistic Roller Skating 
Federation of In-line Speed Skating
Federation of Scottish Skateboarders  01506 415308


Total Skater 
SK/Eight UK 
The Sidewalk Surfer

Getting started

  • Find a local skating group or club (see organisations above).

  • See if there are introductory sessions at your local club, rink or centre.

  • Consult books or magazines on different types of skating.

  • Check in your local library/paper or sports centre for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • All forms of skating can be done by people of all ages and both sexes, but roller skating and skate boarding in particular are most popular among the younger age groups.  All these sports involve good balance and they are physically quite active.

  • You can skate on your own,  though many people prefer to go skating or skateboarding with their friends.  Preparation for competitive activities is often done with a teacher and/or a class.  

  • You can go skating with people of all ages, both sexes and any standard, but competitions require people  of roughly the same standard as yourself.

Equipment or clothing
  • Boots (skates) or a board appropriate for the form of skating are the key essential.  

  • Ordinary casual clothing is usually worn for the informal types of skating, but competition, particularly in ice skating, may require special clothing.  

  • There are various types of protective gear, for head, elbows and knees, used especially in skate boarding.

A place or facilities
  • Roller skating and skate boarding can be done in general spaces away from vehicle traffic.  There are often facilities for roller skating and skate boarding in local schools and sports centres.  

  • Ice skating rinks are mainly found in larger towns, though special surfaces may sometimes be laid on a temporary basis in local sports centres and halls. 

  • In the UK, outdoor ice skating is only possible very occasionally, mainly in the North  (see also winter sports).

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