Ice skating is a fun and beautiful sport, but it can also be intimidating. With some practice, the right skates, and a lot of patience and persistence, you can learn how to ice skate at any age. This is how you can get started.
Benefits Of Ice Skating
Ice skating has a lot of benefits to offer as a sport. It is a cardiovascular exercise, working your heart and lungs to help keep you healthy. It also burns a lot of calories and can help keep you fit. The biggest benefits of ice skating are that it improves your overall balance and coordination.
These are skills that will carry over into many other areas of your life, ensuring that you stay safe and balanced.
What You Need To Get Started
Before you begin learning how to ice skate, you need to make sure that you have the gear that you need. Because you are skating on ice and even possibly outdoors, you might think that you need to bulk up on your clothes in order to keep yourself warm.
In truth, you should wear lighter clothes and a lot of layers. Ice skating is a sport and you need to be able to move.
As you get moving around, your body will warm up and you will inevitably get too hot for all of your layers. You should start with a jacket over you and if you get hot while skating, you can easily remove it. Outside of appropriate clothing, you also need to make sure that you have the right ice skates and even a hockey helmet to prevent concussion.
The two types of ice skates to choose from are hockey skates and figure skates. Most rinks will have both available to rent.
Figure skates have a toe pick, a higher boot, and a taller blade. Hockey skates are the preferred type for beginners because they are easier to get the hang of if you are just getting started. Your skates need to be snug, but not uncomfortable. You need them snug to keep your ankles and feet safe and keep you in control of your movements. Also remember your skates have two edges, which is how you will be able to turn and control your movements. If you want to get into skating, check out the best ice skates for beginners guide.
Stepping onto the ice for the first time can be a little scary. You should make sure that you are on the side of the rink so you can hold on as you get the feel of the ice underneath your blades.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a skater is to lock your knees straight. Instead, start with your knees bent and shoulder-width apart. Keep the weight on the balls of your feet, tucking your tummy in and arms out for balance.
You can begin moving by taking little steps, pointing your toes outward until you feel the glide. Between your forward pushes, make sure that you bring your feet back to the middle every time. This allows you to reset, helping prevent you from losing your balance.
When you are getting started learning how to ice skate, you will need to begin with understanding how to fall correctly. You are skating on ice and eventually you are going to slip and fall. If you are feeling like you are starting to fall, you should bend your knees into a squat and tip yourself to the side. Then you can roll and get back on your hands and knees to get up.
If you are getting the hang of pushing yourself forward, you will also need to know how to stop yourself. The simplest way to learn how to hockey stop is to perform a “snow plough.” You do this by putting your feet parallel, pushing your heels outwards while keeping the knees bent and keeping yourself upright.
There are other methods of stopping, including turning, but you should not just simply slam yourself into the side of the rink. Your goal with skating should be control and running yourself off the rink is not a good way to learn it.
Once you have the hang of gliding and stopping, you will need to make sure that you know how to get yourself around the rink. You do not need to learn anything special in order to turn. You can steer yourself by turning your outside shoulder forward, as in the shoulder that is the opposite side of the way you are turning. Simply turning your shoulder should give you a nice, gradual turn.
If you are ready to gain some speed on the ice, and know the basics of stopping and going, you can begin to increase your power. You do this by pushing your legs harder and bending your knees deeper. This will give you more force, allowing you to move faster across the ice. Do not attempt to gain speed from the beginning, however. You need to make sure that you have mastered the movements before you try something harder.
Take A Look
It can be extremely beneficial to watch someone show you how to properly skate beyond just reading about it. We like this tutorial for beginners that you can watch here. You will be able to see how smoothly the teacher explains the process of getting started with ice skating and demonstrates what you need to learn.
Get Out There
The only thing that is left to do now is to get yourself out on the ice. You will only be able to master skating if you practice doing it. If you can go with a friend or take a private lesson, it could help build up your confidence when you go out there for the first time. Just remember that everyone falls at some point and to not feel embarrassed about it. It is part of the learning process.
There is no better time to get started ice skating than to do it right now.