Skike vs Rollerskis

Rollerskis and Skikes simulate the actions of cross country or Nordic skiing but instead of snow you use them on the road or footpaths. That makes them ideal for training during the Summer months. There is no reason not to  enjoy them in its own right as it is quite fun. There are a lot of similarities between the Rollerskis and Skikes and it really depends on why you want them, your experience and how much you want to spend.

Roller skis are planks of either aluminium, fibreglass, wood or a carbon composite material with a wheel at either end. They use the same binding as cross country skis. This means that you have to use cross country ski boots, which you need to factor into the cost. With both Skikes and rollerskis you use cross country ski poles. The technique is the same as cross country skiing.


Roller skis


As in Nordic skis there are classic and skate style roller skis. There are also combi roller skis that can do both. I only skate ski so my comments are only about skating. I have tried to skate with a combi ski that had wide tyres and I hated them. They were sluggish and I had to work hard to get any momentum out of them. The rollerskis I now own have hard rubber thin wheels which are ideal for skate skiing.

Most rollerskis do not have brakes but I wasn’t prepared to use them without fitting a brake. I bought a Jenex V2 Universal brake and even though it is not as good as the brakes on Skikes it does the job. With rollerskis you only have a brake on one ski. Don’t mix them up though. One day I put my rollerskis on and I didn’t realise that I had  swapped sides. So I push my right foot out to brake, the one that normally has the brake, and nothing happened. I then fell onto my butt in my confusion.

Because rollerskis are so similar to cross country skis if you are training for cross country ski racing then roller skis are the better option. The thin wheels mean you have to have your balance just right particularly with one-skate (V2).

Skikes are like roller skis but they have larger pneumatic tyres, brakes and they work with normal shoes. Most of them are not hinged at the foot like rollerskis are although there is a model that offers that feature. The large tyres mean that you can skate over rougher roads and even go off-road. This opens up a whole world of possibilities such as going through the bush. What I do like about Skikes is that I can use them on paths that have lots of twigs and wooden plank bridges  without getting the wheels jammed and doing a face plant.




Skikes come with brakes standard and operate on both feet which make it a lot safer and give you more confidence, especially in hilly terrain. You activate the brakes by leaning slightly back or straightening your knees.

The larger rubber wheels on Skikes make them easier to balance on than roller skis. The easier balance, brakes and the lower entry price make Skikes my recommendation for beginners.

My personal experience 

I started on Skikes and I still use them for rough roads. After 12 months of Skiking I’m now using roller skis on the recommendation of a coach to improve my balance and therefore my cross country skiing. The Skikes were ideal for learning. They took me from a low level to where I am today.  I still used Skikes for certain tracks that have lots of debris on them. I found the roller skis much harder to balance on and although it had been months since I fell on Skikes I have had about 6 accidents since I took up roller skiing (mainly grazes to my knees, hands and a sore butt). It is definitely helping my balance which will help my skiing but the learning curve is hurting a bit.

If you are in Sydney and you want to try either Roller skis or Skikes then contact me through the comments.

Skikes can be purchased from


Skikes RollerSkis
Pros All terrain


Easier to balance on


Better for ski racers practising for competition.


Cons Doesn’t replicate skiing as accurately Usually don’t have brakes

More expensive with boots and bindings

Requires more technique

This entry was posted in Roller Skiing / Skike, Summer Training (off snow), Updates. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Skike vs Rollerskis

  1. Derrick says:

    Would you recommend the Skike model with the foot that stays locked down or the one that is hinged/moves? I’m a runner looking for some cross-training, not looking to simulate xc skiing necessarily. Thank you.

  2. Vlad says:

    What do you think about Skike vs 3-wheel rollers skis (likeV2 Nordixc NXL150RC ) ?
    I am experienced cross-country skier although unlike you I prefer classic style.
    I am a little bit concerned about keeping balance on 2 wheels (Skike-8) and may be use 3-wheels instead?
    Thank you

    • elliyeti says:

      Hi Vlad, it’s an interesting question because on the one No one wants to fall over but on the other hand it is good for your skiing to learn balance. Skikes are relatively speaking ok to balance on but falls are inevitable. If you have ever been on ice skates or roller blades it is a similar level of ability required. I rarely see complete beginners fall over it is usually when they push a bit harder that they fall over. For me, after 12 months on Skikes I changed to rollerskis to improve my balance but I did fall over a lot before my balance improved. Whichever ever you choose make sure you wear protective gear so minimise any injury like knee pads, gloves, helmet, bike pants etc.
      I hope this helps you decide.
      Cheers Mark.

      • Vlad says:

        Thank you Mark,
        What is interesting from your writing its easier to balance on Skikes than on roller skis.
        I thought it should be different since roller skis have more flat shaped but hard wheels whereas Skikes are on round but inflatable wheels.
        I actually got some experience with roller skis but not on Skikes yet:)

      • elliyeti says:

        Hi Vlad, just to clarify. When I talk about Rollerskis I’m normally referring to the skate style roller skis. Skikes are definitely easier to balance on than those. Compared to classic style roller skis I’m not so sure. It has a been a while since I was on classic rollerskis. The three wheel rollerskis would definitely be the most stable.

      • Vlad says:

        Thank you Mark,
        I’ve ordered Skikes.
        Should arrive in a week.
        Then will assess:)

  3. Vlad says:

    I got Skikes about week ago. Since that time me and my wife using them almost every day, 1.5-2 hrs a day.
    It’s Skike 8 lift cross. You can do both classic and skating style.
    Love them:)))

  4. Stephane says:

    What are your thought on the skike R8 CROSS and the Wahia Brake?
    I already own classic and skate rollerskis but I would like something to go on bad road (150 air tyres) while still using my rollerski boots and bindings. I like the Skike as it has a shorter wheelbase (than powerslide for example) and the fact I could just change the wheels to make it a Skike R8 speed.
    I also would like to know about how well the Wahia brake works? So I could use this set up for when I do a bit more touring (down steep hills) and less speed training on flat course.
    I have not seen any video or feedback on the R8 at it seem skike it promoting more the model with normal shoes. If you know of any video out there let me know
    Your advise will be appreciated

    • elliyeti says:

      One of my friends has the Skike R8 with the brake and he loves it. He find it very quick and it rolls over everything. He says it feels like a normal rollerski except it is a bit higher of the ground. The brake also works well. On criticism he had is the instructions for the Skike and the brake are really poor and he had to email Skike to ask them for more information. Be aware that the brake requires you to drill holes in your boot. Cheers Mark.

      • Stephane says:

        Thanks for your quick reply and info. it sounds like they could be a good all around ski (touring and training).
        Has your friend made any video to see the ski and brake in action and what level skier is he?
        Do you have to order them overseas or does anyone in OZ (I am in QLD) got them as it seem they only stock the normal Skike?
        Thanks Stephane

      • elliyeti says:

        Hi Stephane, I don’t think we have a video. Basically you just straighten your leg and the brake activates. Give Len Budge of Skike Australia a call. His phone number is 0417352846. Although it’s not on their website I do believe they sell that model.

      • Stephane says:

        Thanks you very much for your time and maybe see you out here on the ski one day 🙂

  5. Gene Balfour says:

    I started Nordic Cross Skating 6 years ago on Skike v07. Since then, I have covered 10,000 KMs on 5 different Nordic Skate models. I am now on the SRB XRS06 skated which are my favourite. I ordered them from Germany and they are very well built and ride better than the Skike and Nordic Scout models that I own,

    Last year, I drove ~ 1000 KMs to Duluth, Minnesota, USA from my home in Fenelon Falls, Ontario, CANADA in order to participate in the North Shore In-line Skating Marathon ( that had 1800 racers. A small group of 60 roller ski racers also competed – I was in this group. It was raining in the beginning of the race and the 8 inch pneumatic wheels of my SRB xrs06 skates were the envy of everyone. I completed the race in 2:45:17 which beats my best running time of 2:54 in the Detroit Marsthon which I ran in 1980 at the age of 29.

    I ran 18 marathons in my 20s and numerous shorter road races. Today, at age 67, I can enjoy 2000 KMs per year on SRB xrs06 skates riding along back country roads with little to no traffic and great scenery. My wife keeps me company on her bicycle which is an easy pace for her since I average about 13-14 KM/hr pace.

    Life is good as a Nordic Cross Skating athlete even at my age. 😁

  6. Martin Chudomel says:

    Hi Vlad,
    here is a link to what its looks like proper training gear for classic style, although it is more for just flat terrain:
    It looks really interesting despite the videos from previous century 🙂
    I really believe it can improve the classic style technique and perhaps the balance too.

    On the other note, what poles do you use? Do you have any experience with the adjustable poles?

    Thanks and happy skiking

    • elliyeti says:

      Hi Martin, I don’t like the Skike adjustable poles. I find they bend too much. They can of course shorten to fit in the car and we use them for beginners as we can adjust them to the height needed.
      I like the Swix aluminium rollerski poles as they come with rollerski tips fitted, they have the nice Swix handles and straps, they are well priced and they are stronger than composite poles. In rollerskiing it is easy to snap a composite pole if the tip gets stuck in a crack in the pavement.

    • Vlad says:

      Hi Martin,
      The thing is while on the snow I almost exclusively use classic style whereas while on Skikes its always skating:) As for the poles I tried few and now stuck with YOKO. Those are made of carbon and polymer and are flexible enough. What I found myself and also read about the same experience from other people if you skike a lot then stiff poles start to injure your shoulder joints. I know there are poles with a spring inside the handle but those are more expensive. What is more difficult to find ferrules that could stay long enough until weared off. Still working on it:)


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