Can you use roller blades on the street? | ALL ABOUT STREET ROLLERBLADING (2023)

Rollerblading on the streets is an environment where you can sleekly glide along with ease towards far-flung horizons (this is the more poetic side). However, when it comes to more realistic things, rollerblading implies bypassing all those little barriers that come with other means of transportation such as driving or walking.

No more street dogs rushing up to you, no more public transport to catch and, no more hindrances to slow down your vehicle. Also, with rollerblading, all the concerns and anxiety of your commute can get waved away.

Are rollerblades good for the street?

Rollerblades, also known as inline skates, can be an ideal choice for streets, especially when you skate on rough terrains, pavement, or sidewalks.However, if you are not entirely confident, you must never take the risk of rollerblading on the road as it can be pretty dangerous.

  1. You need relevant skills: This is because the rollerblades wheels are smoother than the conventional skates and run faster given their inline wheel structure and reduced friction with the ground.This is why it is imperative to hold all the relevant skills and expertise before rollerblading on the street.
  2. Manage your speed:Apart from this, managing speed and braking timely are the two most vital aspects when rollerblading outdoors.Maintaining an even rollerblade speed is as essential as braking while skating on a busy street, as there can be several rocks and cracks on the road, and to cross them, you need to maintain a rational speed, or you might end up falling.

Is it OK to rollerblade on the road?

It depends.While it is entirely OK to rollerblade on the road, it can be unsafe if you do not possess the appropriate skills and expertise to skate on busy streets like we just mentioned. This is because if you are a beginner and if you rollerblade on the road, there are higher odds that you might either injure yourself or bump into someone.

Also, you must note that it is not advisable to rollerblade or skate on the road that is more crowded or has constantly moving traffic.

There are however certain things you need to consider in order to make your roller blading experience safer on the road.

  1. Be careful: You will need more speed than normal motorists or cyclists.
  2. Use appropriate signals: Whenever you are turning, use hand signalssimilar to the ones cyclists on the road use. Stand tall and extend your arm towards the direction you will be turning to. This would make it easier for motorists to understand your next move.
  3. Be visible: Avoid roller blading at night or wear lights on our helmets if you must. Avoid wearing clothes that are dull or may camouflage. Wear bright and neon shade.
  4. Be careful on turns: Always be vigilant when turning. Keep your speed slow as well. This will allow you better control, especially on blind turns.
  5. Always be in control: Always be in control so that you are always able to apply brakes almost instantly. This is imperative for everyone’s safety on the street.
  6. Stay in your lane: You must at no point change lanes unless necessary to turn or for crossing the road.
  7. Watch out for potholes: Potholes or other objects on the street can throw you off balance. Watch out for these when you are skating.
  8. Select route wisely: Only go on roads that have very less traffic.
  9. Avoid distractions: Avoid using your headphones or other devices when you are out their. This increases your risk of bumping into objects or even worse, other moving vehicles!

Can you use roller blades on the street? | ALL ABOUT STREET ROLLERBLADING (1)

Laws related to rollerblading differ from country to country. Also, you must know that there is no compulsion for every state or nation to possess rollerblading legislation.

United Kingdom

While the rules are not very clear, skateboardscannot be legally usedon the road, pavements, footpaths or even cycle tracks. This is because they do not have right of way.

The local bye-laws vary in UK. Manchester, roller skating, blading or boarding is notallowed on any footway or carriage way.

United States

The law in US normally bars skaters from skating on the roads. However, Different states have different laws for inline skating on the road.

Chicago: Skaters who are18 years and oldercan skate on the roads.

Washington: The law normallybars skatersfrom skating on the road. They are allowed on sidewalks and they also need to act like pedestrians when on the sidewalks.


San Francisco: It islegal to skate on the streets, bikeways and bicycle paths in San Francisco as per Vehicle code Section 21212. However, non-motorized skateboarders should avoid business districts. Riders under 18 must always wear federally approved helmets. You may get fined a $25 ticket for not wearing a helmet.

However, you may not ride any kind of skateboard in the business district. It is prohibited on streets, sidewalks as will as bike paths.

Also, You cannot ride 30 minutes after sunset and 3 minutes before sunrise. Basically, you should avoid riding at night as it is mostly not safe. Others on the street or pathway might not be able to see you.

Los Angeles: You can only ride skates or skateboards oncul-de-sacs less than 500 feet long. It is not allowed on county roads. However, you may ride on sidewalks unless you are riding irresponsibly.


You may roller blade on streets and sidewalks in Boston. While it is unlawful to roller skate, roller board or ride a skateboard in Public areas, streets and sidewalks are not included in these Public areas.

However, if you ride in Public areas like stairs, fountain area, plaza or other areas under control of the city.

If you violate the law, you may be fined $100 for the first time and $200 for subsequent violations.


In Florida, you maynot rollerbladeor skateboard on the street. You may however cross the street in a similar way to pedestrians. So while you may rollerblade on the sidewalks, it is unlawful to skate on the road.


In Texas,it is legalto skate or roller blade on the streets.



You may not skate on the street in France. This is because as per theFrench Traffic code, skaters are pedestrians. They must therefore:

  • follow signals just like pedestrians
  • walk on the pavement
  • Use pedestrian crossing


You mayskate on footpathsbut not on the streets. Even on footpaths, you need to maintain a speed between 4-7 kmph. Also, the skater may be liable to any damage caused due to skating fast or recklessly.


In Italy, you arenot allowedto roller skate or skateboard on roads, streets, not even on the sides of the roads. It is banned to skate on footpath.


In Switzerland,you may rollerbladeor skate on the street and cycling lane, but not on the footpath. However, always skate responsibly and make way for cycles when using the cycling lane. Switzerland also has many scenic trails for roller blading. You can check them outand plan your route accordingly.


In Malmo, you may skate on the street. However, you must maintain your lane as per the speed. If you are skating fast, use the right most lane. However, use the left lane if you are skating slow. You are also allowed to use the cycling lane or even footpath. On footpath, you must act like pedestrians and maintain very slow speed.


You may skate on the street if you are skating fast enough. You must however, wear a helmet at all times. When roller blading or skateboarding at night, you must also wear a light in order to be easily seen.


You can roller blade on roads where thespeed limit is less than 50 kmph. Also, on roads without a white line, you can only skate during the day.

On a footpath or shared path, you need to give way to pedestrians.

However, when speaking in general, it is usually legal to rollerblade or skate on the road unless it bothers other people or drivers or creates nuisance or annoyance. Moreover, the laws and rules for rollerblading in several nations are similar to cycling.

Rollerblading has become the most favored transport mode that almost every skating enthusiast prefers using in their everyday lives. However, when rollerblading on a busy road or side pavement, skaters might often bump into vehicles or pedestrians on the road leading to various legalities.

This is why before commencing rollerblading on the road, it is vital to understand whether it is legal to rollerblade on the road or not.

Can you use roller blades on the street? | ALL ABOUT STREET ROLLERBLADING (2)

How fast can you go on roller blades on the street?

If you are a beginner, you must initially commence your skating with a speed of around 2 to 5 miles per hour. When you gain satisfactory expertise in rollerblading, you can gradually increase your speed to about 6 miles per hour.

Moreover, people who become a pro in rollerblading reach a skating speed of around 9 miles per hour. Any rollerblading rate increased above 9 miles per hour is not safe for skaters as they might end up hurting themselves and the other people on the street.

Rollerblades are more balanced and comfortable to use when speaking of increasing speed with your skates. However, the speed depends entirely on:

  1. the terrain you are skating on
  2. your expertise level
  3. your braking efficiency.

Which side of the street should you rollerblade on?

A rule of thumb is to ride along with the traffic. i.e. Always in the same direction of the traffic, not against it. Hence, the side would depend on the country or location you are rollerblading in.

E.g. in US, it might be right toskate on the right sideof the road unless it is not safe.

This way, you can always remain vigilant of the vehicles on the road to reduce the odds of accidentally bumping into a person or any vehicle.

Do you rollerblade with or against traffic?

The most fundamental rule you must keep in mind while rollerblading on the road is to rollerblade or skate with the traffic, which means not rollerblading in the opposite direction of the traffic. Following are the reasons you should skate in the same direction:

  1. Cars and other vehicles can easily spot you
  2. When you are skating in the opposite direction, cars or cyclists are not expecting you to come right in front of them out of nowhere. This is especially dangerous on turns.
  3. You can readily reduce your chances of a road accident or colliding with a person or a vehicle.
  4. Also, rollerblading in the direction of the traffic can improve your coordination, and you will have a better grip on your rollerblades.
  5. Skaters are consideredsimilar to cyclistson the road. Behaving like cyclists and going in the same direction is a better idea to be safe!

Skating or rollerblading to work has become a new normal as it helps people become sustainable. However, when rollerblading on the main road or a street with constantly running traffic, you need to understand the basic rules of rollerblading on a busy street.

How do you rollerblade on the road?

Rollerblading on the road requires immense concentration and expertise as there are always higher chances of a collision or hurting yourself or the other person on the street. Hence it is better to remain safe and follow all the safety measures while rollerblading on the road. Also, you should always rollerblade on the right side of the road and in the same traffic direction to avoid collisions.

Mentioned hereunder are the top tips to follow while you are rollerblading on a busy road or a congested street to skate safely.

  • Wear all the safety equipment

You must have heard a million times that it is forever better to be safe than regret later. The same applies when rollerblading down the road. When planning to skate on the main street, you should always wear all thesafety equipment, such as

  1. helmet
  2. mouth guard
  3. elbow, and knee pads

This way, you will always remain safe while rollerblading and your odds of getting injured also decreases.

  • Never wear headphones

Using headphones while rollerblading on the road can be dangerous for you and the people around you. While there is no harm in using headphones when you rollerblade indoors, you must never wear them while skating outdoors as you might not hear the honks of the vehicle and end up getting hit by a car or even bump into a walking person.

As we all know the laws related to rollerblading on the road are similar to cycling laws, there is a possibility of being held legally liable for negligence if you accidentally bump into a vehicle or a person while rollerblading with headphones on.

  • Try to bend your knees while rollerblading

Another crucial tip to follow while rollerblading on the road is to bend your knees. As you know, there are various bumps, cracks, or rifts on the road; bending your knees while rollerblading on the street will ensure that you surpass them effortlessly.

Also, while crossing these bumps or cracks on the road, always moving fast as going slow can make the rollerblade wheel stuck on those rifts, and you might fall.

  • Never walk on the road with your rollerblade

Many people tend to have a habit of walking on the road with the rollerblades on. However, this is the biggest mistake that you must avoid while rollerblading on the road. This is because walking on the road while wearing rollerblades can make you trip and fall. Also, walking with rollerblades creates more friction between the rollerblade wheels and the ground, damaging the wheels.

  • Steer clear of moisture

When rollerblading on the road, steer clear of the wet patches on the pathways and streets. Not only does damp or moistened road make your rollerblade wheels skid when you accelerate, but moisture can further wreak havoc on the bearings of your rollerblades.

Moreover, the wet road surface can make the rollerblade bearings rust, and the wheels might stop gliding effectively. Apart from this, when rollerblading on the road, you must bypass water puddles on the road. However, if you accidentally hit a puddle, dry your rollerblades and their bearings as soon as possible.

  • Lower your weight

When you step out for rollerblading on the road, ensure that you lower your body weight. This is because when you lessen your body weight, you can get a better grip on your rollerblades, and your odds of injuries get reduced. Also, apart from lowering your body weight, ensure that you remain low while rollerblading and keep shifting your weight from left to right for a smooth glide.

  • Skate with your eyes open

Always watch out for hanging tree branches. At the same time, you need to spot any bumps, cracks or potholes on the street well in advance. This will help you slow down or stop on time whenever the need arises.


Learning and mastering the art of rollerblading requires some time and patience. Also, when rollerblading on the streets, it is imperative to follow all the proper safety measures and practice indoors before stepping out to ensure that you remain guarded against road accidents and injuries.

Also, it is best to know the rules and regulations regarding roller skating on the road or pedestrian paths in your area to avoid any tickets.

Happy skating!


Can you use roller blades on the street? | ALL ABOUT STREET ROLLERBLADING? ›

Technically you can roller skate on the road, but roller skating on the road can be unsafe sometimes because of high traffic and bumps on the road. A road with less traffic and a smoother surface is always safer and preferred for skating than other roads.

How do you rollerblade on the street? ›

5 Street Skating Tips for Rollerbladers | Roller-Skate - YouTube

Can you ride roller blades outside? ›

You can buy roller skates specifically for indoor or outdoor skating, but many skaters just switch the wheels out and use them for both.

Can you use roller skates on the sidewalk? ›

No doubt, you can rollerblade on sidewalks if your city or local town bylaws permit it. Some jurisdictions have lenient bylaws permitting rollerblading on sidewalks, while others are rigid and punish skaters breaking the no sidewalk skating rule.

Is it better to roller skate or roller blade? ›

Rollerblades are better for longer distances because you go faster. You can go long distances too on roller skates, of course, but you may struggle to keep up. Roller skates might be easier for very young children, and feel more stable initially, but counter-intuitively blades can be easier to learn how to skate well.

Can you use roller blades on the road? ›

Inline skates are great for outdoor use especially if you are skating on pavement, asphalt, sidewalks, rough roads, or even dirt/trails. Inline skates are almost always faster outdoors than quad skates due to the nature of the inline wheel setup and minimized friction with the ground.

What is skate slang for? ›

/ skeɪt / PHONETIC RESPELLING. noun Slang. a person; fellow: He's a good skate. a contemptible person. an inferior, decrepit horse; nag.

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