Backyard Ice Rink(Countryman Press, 2015) by Joe Proulx guides you through every step of building your own backyard ice skating rink. From the simplest wooden frame to elaborate tall-board rinks, from measuring the slope in your yard to constructing your frame using parts found at your local hardware store, Proulx makes the project easy to tackle. This section explains how to teach your kids to ice skate.
For young kids, stepping onto the ice for the first time can be terrifying — especially in a group setting. When you take a child to a skating class, you’re asking them to strap on all sorts of unfamiliar gear, then to leave their parents and join an unfamiliar coach underneath the blazing halogen lights and surrounded by boards and glass. It’s overwhelming for sure, and not just for the young kids.
A backyard rink provides a retreat from all of that. With a rink in your backyard, learning to skate becomes a self-paced exercise, one that can take place whenever it suits you. You can turn the music up or down, you can skate under the sun or the stars, and you can see to it that your little Gretzky is as comfortable as possible while he or she tries to master a very difficult skill.
Of course, teaching them at home requires something the organized learn-to-skates have in droves: a little expertise. It’s OK, we’re here to help! How you teach your child to skate is a personal decision, but here are a few tips that will help you even if you can’t skate yourself:
- Dress them correctly. Whether you arm them in full gear or just put a helmet and elbow pads on them, make sure that they are warm and that their vitals are protected. I require hockey helmets with full cages on my rink for anyone under high-school age, and I put shin pads, elbow pads, and pants on my little ones, but it’s your rink and your kid. Also, every new skater wants to use a stick. By all means let them have fun, but I teach learn-to-skate without sticks at first.
- Teach them how to fall, and make sure they know it’s OK. Pull up some NHL bloopers on YouTube if you need to. But make sure they know that the correct way to fall is onto their knees. Of course, the next lesson is how to get up. To teach this, have them kneel on both knees, put one skate blade on the ice, put both hands atop their knee, and push off hard to get the other skate up. This step may take months, or they may get it the first time. Every kid is different. At our learn-to-skate sessions, I spend a good chunk of the first two weeks taking the newest skaters back and forth behind one of the nets, “getting our belly buttons cold” by laying flat on the ice, then getting up and waddling back to the other side to do it again.
- Build a skating aid. Not only will it save your back, but it also frees you up to man the camera! Your child will be comfortable knowing that they can hold onto something, as the “freedom” of being on the ice by themselves can be terrifying at first.
- One thing your child will learn when holding onto the skating aid is that moving their feet back and forth, as if they were walking, won’t work (unless you’re in figure skates — and you’ll need to consult someone else to teach skating in those). In hockey skates, the toes need to be pointed outwards so that the ice catches on the inside of the skate blade, thus propelling the skater forward. So when your son or daughter is holding onto the skating aid, teach them to bend their knees slightly, point their toes out, and push their toes out and back.
- Once they can scoot around with the skating aid, sometimes they’ll be happy to just do that. But if their goal is to play hockey or skate without the aid, you’ll need to enact some tough love. Take the skating aid out of their hands and move it two feet away. Ask them to walk or glide over to it. Once they can do that a few times, push it further away. Make it a game. Cheer loudly when they make it, then pick them up and hug them before putting them back down and doing it again.
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Congratulations! You just taught a kid how to skate.
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Excerpted from Backyard Ice Rinkby Joe Proulx. Reprinted with permission from Countryman Press.
Published on Jun 21, 2018
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When you ask anyone about their favorite Winter Olympics sport, most people will probably tell you all about figure skating. Speed skating might not be the most popular ice sport, but it certainly is an impressive one. However, questions remain, such as: how fast do short track speed skaters go? While 31 miles per hour is considered top speed, according to the Olympics’ official site, speed skaters on average skate at 30 miles per hour. (If you grew up in a small town like me, you know that speed limits tend to run lower than that.)
Seeing as the short track is a 111.2 meter-long oval, the skaters have to make sharp turns — quickly. Olympic teams are divided into men’s and women’s teams, and team members compete in 500m (4 1/2 laps) races, 1000m (9 laps) races, and 1500m (13 1/2 laps) races. According to Sports Illustrated, in the 500m race, skaters’ starting sprints become crucial to their overall race time.
U.S. skater and fan-favorite, Maame Biney, excels at starting the race with a bolt of speed. The 17-year-old has her eye on the gold medal, and she’s already setting records as the first Black woman to qualify for the U.S. Olympic short track speed skating team. During the 2018 Winter Olympics, you won’t want to miss Biney’s races.
The speed skating races go by fast, so make sure you’re paying attention.
If you blink, you might miss them. The women’s world record for the 500m race — which Biney will compete in — is 42.335 seconds. Elise Christie of the U.K. set that record in 2016.
On the other hand, long track speed skating — aka just “speed skating” — consists of a 400 meter-long race track. Rather than skate multiple laps, the long track speed skaters just race one time around.
Speed skating superstar Apolo Ohno races in the short track competition.
He raced in the 500m, 1000m, and 1500m races. And though he’s retired, he’ll be at the Pyeongchang races.
The first speed skating event takes place on Saturday, February 10th, with the women’s 3,000 meter race. Make sure to check it out. Later, on February 18th, Biney will compete in the women’s 500 meter race.
Winter is coming, and so is skating season. This means more time spent practicing pirouettes at arenas, playing shinny in flooded backyards and—our favourite—coasting across a frozen lake or pond.
However, while we all love going for a skate on a natural body of water, it’s important to make sure the ice is safe before you venture out on it. In Canada, roughly 15 people die every year from falling through the ice during non-motorized activities. The most common cause of these fatal accidents? Skating on thin ice.
Here are some tips on what to look for before you lace up:
The ice should be at least 20 centimetres thick
The Canadian Red Cross recommends that ice should be at least 15 centimetres thick to carry a single person—but skating is more fun with friends, so add an extra five centimetres for your buds. Thickness of the ice can be tested with an auger or ice chisel, but it’s also good to double-check with local authorities that monitor conditions, such as your municipality or lake association.
The ice should be a clear blue colour
It doesn’t just look prettier—colour is one of the key clues to determining whether the ice will hold your weight. If it’s clear and blue, it’s likely safe. Opaque white ice is isn’t quite as strong, while grey or black indicates that there’s water present; the ice may be melting or have air pockets. Keep in mind that even if it is the ideal crystal blue, you’ll still want to stay off the ice if it’s less than 15 centimetres thick.
The ice shouldn’t have flowing water nearby
Other things to avoid: cracks, breaks, abnormalities or holes, or ice that appears to have thawed and refrozen. Keep in mind that the location of the ice can also affect its strength; if it’s near a flowing stream where water is constantly flowing in and out, it may be best to stay off it.
Most importantly, remember that even under ideal conditions—thick, clear blue ice with no abnormalities—you’re still at risk. The thickness of ice may vary across a body of water or from day-to-day due to snow cover, water flow, currents and weather. If you’re heading out on the lake, always let someone know where you’re going, and be prepared for what to do in case of an emergency by reading these tips from the Red Cross.
Ever wished that you could be the person effortlessly gliding along the ice rather than the crumpled mess having to hold onto the sides of the ice rink? Writer and former pro ice-skater Cleo McGee shares her top tips for building confidence on the ice ahead of ice-skating season.
With Christmas season fast approaching, a lot of people will be gearing up for an ice-skating whizz around the rink. Yet the question remains: ‘How do I skate?’ As a former professional ice-skater, I know a thing or two about staying upright on ice, so I’ve pulled together my top tips for gliding rather than falling at speed.
It’s worth pointing out that ice-skating is a sport that uses a great deal of core strength, so for those of you big on pilates and yoga, you’ll already have an advantage. In terms of technique, minimal adjustments can have maximum effects, so be subtle – save those big, swooping movements for your next dance class (on dry land).
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The main thing with most sports is to believe you can do it; if you think you will fall then you will, as believing you can skate will help you to move with ease. And with learning to skate, it’s important to acknowledge that you will fall, and although it might hurt from time-to-time, falling isn’t something to be scared of.
Here’s how to get started with learning to ice-skate as an adult.
What to wear to skate
1. Go for clothes that have give in them
Avoid hard jeans, long skirts or floaty material. Instead, dress in layers that are tight to your body. As with most workouts, you need to use your leg muscles without feeling constricted.
2. Avoiding blisters is key
Make sure you have either two pairs of socks that go up past the top of the boot or wear socks over tights. Boots aren’t always comfortable and wearing socks that have indented patterns can rub you up the wrong way.
3. Wear gloves
You want to avoid leather ones and go for pairs that help you to grip the barrier and/or will protect your hands if you fall. But any gloves are better than none!
How to prepare at the ice rink
4. Go when the ice is fresh
Try to join a session straight after the Zamboni has cleaned the ice and it’s gleaming. The more the ice looks like snow, the less you will be able to glide on it.
5. Ask for the sharpest pair of blades
Blades are meant to be sharp to grip the ice and have two edges inside and outside. The sharper the blade, the easier skating will be. No one can skate with blunt blades.
6. Lace your boots tightly
You want them to be as tight as possible, with no loose laces hanging down. It should be difficult to bend while wearing your skates because they’re your support.
7. Do a quick warm up
Jump around a little and stretch out your hamstrings in your boots. Get a feeling of standing and being in the boots on safe ground. Try bending your knees in them and get to understand what that feels like off the ice; it’ll make actually being on the ice much less scary!
Starting to skate on the ice
8. Hold on to the barrier as you get onto the ice
Move along a little and practise the feeling of bending your knees and moving your feet back and forth. Don’t be scared by the glide feeling; it is different to walking.
9. Bend your knees but keep your head up tall
You want your knees to bend, and your ankle and hips to be in line with your head. Do not lean forwards; skating is all about bending without leaning. If you feel like you’re sticking your bum out, however, you’ve bent too far. Get this starting position right and trust me, everything else will fall into place.
10. Make small movements, not sudden ones
Most people fall because they lean forward too much, think they are going to fall and then immediately, in a big motion, pull themselves backwards and end up face-palming the ice.
11. Use your weight to help you get round the rink
Your weight should be just below the toe pick where the blade has a slight curve at the front end of the skate. The ideal is that you push off by bending your left leg, while your right leg pushes you forward at a diagonal angle from behind. The weight is shifted from the left to the right; it is not meant to be evenly distributed as one leg will always have more weight on it.
As you get to the curve of the rink more established skaters will do crossovers, but you should try to always lean into the circle and not against it. Go with the flow. A lot of skating happens on edges and curves, so always lean slightly more to the side you are skating around. If the left leg is the inside leg this will bear the most weight.
12. Don’t be afraid to stop
The most usual way of coming to a halt is by joining your toes together and push your heels out (usually this is done on the dominant side). Again, bend into it and push out on the chosen foot while keeping your weight on the opposite side.
13. Be aware of your surrounding
Stay mindful of who is in front of you, behind you, to the side etc. If you want to turn to go around someone, lean into the direction you want to go in, but again, bend into the knees and keep your head up. This is not about leaning forward but leaning almost to the side you want to move to; if it’s the left, the weight will be more on the left leg.
14. Learn to get back up
If you fall over, it’s important to learn how to get up on your own. Allowing someone to help you get back up often results in both of you falling, unless that person is a skater. Turn on to your front on your knees, place one foot up and use your hands for balance, then bring the other foot up – keeping your knees bent as you get up. Avoid standing up too quickly and being too straight as you won’t feel secure. Again, keep your arms out for balance.
If ice-skating is something you start to enjoy and want to continue, it’s exceptional for fitness and strengthening your body. You’ll soon find that your core strength is off the chart!
There are ice rinks open all year round across the UK, with great classes and teachers on site to help you progress. Second hand skates can be bought cheaply and once you get your own pair, you’ll notice how much easier skating is when you’ve got a sharp blade.
I love to skate – 20 years after I officially gave up. There’s nothing like the wonderful feeling of gliding along at speed with the wind in your hair.
Build up your leg and core strength before setting foot on the ice by having a go at some of our brilliant strength workouts over on the Strong Women Training Club.
Do you just feel lazy going to your local gym or doing your regular exercise during the winter months? It is truly a challenge to get up from your bed and do your daily routine of exercise when the weather is so cold and the frost is convincing you to stay on your cozy bed. There are also times when you suddenly feel that your regular exercise suddenly becomes boring. But there are other activities you may try during the winter months which will definitely boost your adrenalin and ice skating is definitely one of them. Ice skating not only is exciting but also improves your balance, coordination and physical fitness.
How to Ice Skate
Wear the right clothes for skating
It is important to wear the right clothes when learning ice skate. Do not wear clothes that are too thick because they will get heavy once you get wet. Once your body starts to sweat, they may freeze and will make you feel colder. Wear shirts, jacket, gloves and thick leggings as these will allow you to move freely.
Choose good skates
Choosing the right skates is like choosing the right shoes for you. Make sure that they fit right. If you are a beginner, rented skates will do for you and once you have decided that you want to pursue skating, that’s the time for you to buy your own pair.
When buying skates, in order to get a good fit, you should get the width of your foot while you are sitting. Your skates will feel tight and that's normal as long as they are not extremely tight. There are different brands and sizes of skates available and you may ask the advice of an experienced ice skater when choosing the perfect pair for you.
Go to the entrance carefully
Rink entrances are usually surrounded by carpets in order for customers to walk safely into it. It is advised that you walk with your rink guards on and remove them just before you step into the rink’s surface. If you are a beginner, you might need assistance while walking into the ice rink’s entrance. This is the first step in learning how to ice skate, so pluck up!
Warm up your knees
When you're learning ice skate, make sure to warm up your knees by practicing the dip. Bend your knees as far as you can. Your hands and rear must be leveled. This exercise will strengthen your thighs and help you gain balance. Once you have mastered this, practice gliding while bending your knees.
Hold and let go of the rail
The ice rink is slippery and it can be a challenge for beginners to stand and glide on the ice. Hold on to the rails while trying to acclimatize yourself with the ice and then slowly let go of the rail and bend your knees a bit. Balance yourself by focusing your eyes on one point and keeping your head steady.
Practice falling and getting up
As you start learning to ice skate, it is important for you to know how to fall and stand up from the ice. As you fall on your side, bend your knees, do the dip position and make sure to lean slightly forward. Besides, do clench your hands into fists to avoid breaking any fingers.
When you have fallen, rest your hands on your lap and then turn over with your hands and knees. Put your feet one by one between your hands and when you are in the standing position, gently and slowly push yourself up. It takes some courage to learn how to ice skate, how to fall and how to stand up, but it will be worth it in the end.
Practice moving around
Once you have got yourself well prepared, it is time for you to learn how to move around the skating rink. Balance yourself, march on your place and then gently do “scooter” moves.
Imagine that you are riding a scooter: place your hands in front as if you are holding on a scooter for balance, gently glide with one foot as if you are driving a scooter and then the other foot. Start with small glides until you become used to it and be able to do longer strokes. The next step is to try gliding with alternate foot.
Do longer strokes and glides
As you bend you knee, move your body with your strokes. When you're trying to glide, make sure that your skates are pointing at the same direction to go farther and faster. You may also try to add some flick in every end of your strokes because this will give your strokes more power and will make you go farther.
Practice how to stop
Once you have learned how to move around with your skates, another thing you should know is how to stop without falling. When trying to stop, bend your knees inward and push one or both of your feet out. Put some pressure on the ice to prevent you from sliding. You will notice some ice sheered on your skates when making a full or partial stop.
Practice makes perfect
Don’t expect yourself to be a pro when you are just starting learning how to ice skate. Practice frequently and try gliding in a number eight figure. If you have enough budgets, consider enrolling in a skating class to let a professional skater teach you exclusively and give you helpful tips. You may also practice with your roller skates since the technique is just the same. This will also make your muscles familiar with the routine.
Introduction: How to Ice Skate – Beginner/Advanced Beginner
This is an instructable all about how to ice skate for beginners and advanced beginners. I will be teaching you how to fall, get back up, march, two-foot glide, dip, left foot scooter pushes, right foot scooter pushes, forward swizzles, backward swizzles, and the rocking horse. The most important thing to know is that you are going to fall. You need to be okay with falling to be an ice skater/figure skater. If you are a beginner, it might be good for you to wear a helmet. Also, remember to keep your knees bent and your arms out when doing all of these skills. You could also do all of these steps while holding onto the wall if you need it. I recommend moving off the wall as soon as you start getting comfortable.
For this, you will need skates, warm clothes, ice to skate on, confidence, and bravery.
Step 1: Find a Place to Skate and Put on Your Skates!
This is a pretty simple step. What you want to do is look up skating rinks around your area and find one that works! Also, when you get there, you put on your skates! This might seem like a silly step, but it is very essential because if you didn’t have ice or you didn’t put on your skates, how would you be able to ice skate?
Step 2: How to Fall!
This a very important step to becoming an ice skater/figure skater. This is also one of the first things you should learn. You have to know how to fall to not injure yourself and the people around you. What you want to do is have your feet together, knees bent, and push outwards toward one side, and land on your side/hip. If you aren’t comfortable falling on the ice yet, you could practice this off the ice first. This will make it less likely for you to hit your head and get injured. See the video for an example.
Step 3: How to Get Back Up!
This is also a key step in ice skating. People will try to stand up and slip doing it in a dangerous way. To stand up without slipping you get on one knee, put both hands on the knee that is forward and push on your knee with your hands and stand up. You could also practice this off of the ice first. See the video for an example.
Step 4: How to March!
When first stepping on the ice, it can be tricky. Once you get your balance you are going to do marches. These are like walking on the ice. Pick one foot up, place it down in front of you, and repeat with the other foot until you are walking on the ice! See the video for an example.
Step 5: How to Do a Two Foot Glide!
Once you get marches down, you can practice a two-foot glide. This is doing a few marches and then put your feet together and glide on the ice without picking up your feet. See the video for an example.
Step 6: How to Dip!
Once you have the marches and the two-foot glide down, you can work on the dip. You are going to be doing the same thing you did for the two-foot glide, but when you glide you are going to bend your knees and stay in a low squat position gliding on the ice. See the video for an example.
Step 7: How to Do Left Foot Scooter Pushes!
After you are confident enough to do the dip, you can work on left foot pushes. They are a little more advanced than marches. You are going to start standing still on the ice and push off with your left foot’s inside edge behind you. It is very important to NOT PUSH WITH YOUR TOE PICK! Push with the inside edge! Remember to not pick up your right foot. Once you push, you are going to put your left foot right next to your right, glide for a little bit, and then repeat the same thing with pushing with your left foot inside edge behind you. Some people are more comfortable doing right foot scooter pushes, so you can go onto the next step and come back to this if doing scooter pushes with your left foot is too tricky right now.
Step 8: How to Do Right Foot Scooter Pushes!
For right foot scooter pushes, you do the same thing as the left, but with your right foot. So, you are going to start standing still on the ice and push with your right foot’s inside edge behind you. Make sure to have some bend in your knees and your arms out to keep your balance. You are then going to put your right foot next to your left and glide for two counts and repeat pushing with your right foot’s inside edge behind you. Once you get the hang of it, you can switch off with your right foot scooter pushes and your left foot scooter pushes.
Step 9: How to Do Forward Swizzles!
These are a little more advanced when it comes to skating. You are going to start with your feet in a “V” shape on the ice. Then, you are going to push out, with your knees bent, and bring your toes together into an “A” shape on the ice. Next, you are going to put your feet back into a “V” shape and push out and bring your toes and feet back into an “A” shape on the ice. The pattern to remember is “V” to “A”, “V” to “A”. Remember to keep your knees somewhat bent and to not go too far out or you will fall into the splits. Believe me, I talk from experience, it wasn’t fun. See the video for an example. In the video, I don’t really bring my feet into a full “A”. Make sure to not make the same mistake and bring your feet into a full “A”.
Step 10: How to Do Backward Swizzles!
Now, these are for people who are comfortable and confident skating on the ice. If you are still learning how to do marches and scooter pushes, I don’t recommend trying these. You are going to start with your feet in an “A” shape and push backward into a “V” shape. You can then repeat until you can do multiple in a row. Remember, “A” to “V”, “A” to “V”. It is the opposite pattern of forward swizzles. See the video for an example.
Step 11: How to Do the Rocking Horse!
This is the last thing I am going to be teaching is a little move called the rocking horse. It sounds challenging, but it is pretty simple. What you are going to do is put your feet into a “V” shape. Push forward until your feet are in an “A” shape. So you are doing one forward swizzle. From that “A” shape you are going to push backwards into a “V” shape. So you are doing one backward swizzle. The rocking horse is basically one forward swizzle into one backward swizzle. It may take some time to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, it could be a piece of cake! See the video for an example.
What to Do Before You Get On the Ice the First Time
No matter what your age is, if you are in fairly good health, you can ice skate and have fun doing it. I always recommend that adults try ice skating at least once or twice because so many just stand on the sidelines out of fear of falling or "looking silly" as one mom said.
You may be shocked by the workout that you get, particularly when you always thought that skating was for kids and figure skaters never seem to break a sweat. When you go ice skating, even if it's 80+ degrees outside, you should go prepared with gloves, a jacket or sweatshirt, and a couple of pairs of socks if you will be renting skates. Preferably, you should not wear shorts or anything that exposes the skin on your legs because if you fall, you may have to literally peel your skin off the ice.
Before you get to the ice, you've got to get skates. Make sure that you know what your street shoe size is and ask for that size but be aware of the fact that a number of rinks only offer whole sizes. Bring a couple of pairs of socks with you in case your feet get cold, or you need to make your rental skates less roomy so that you don't get blisters.
Also, the rental skates are in a word, cheap, so don't expect to receive the support from the boots that you may see figure skaters or hockey players enjoying from their skates. Make sure your boots are reasonably comfortable, and your laces are tied up and preferably tucked into your boot or under the other laces.
Rockerfeller Center Ice Rink
Andy C. via Wikimedia Commons
You are actually skating on a thin film of water atop the ice when ice skating.
William R. Wilson via Wikimedia Commons
Time to Skate
Try not to get on the ice when there is a group of people rushing or pushing to quickly get on. This usually happens when the ice was closed for resurfacing or for a practice or event that was closed to the public. Most often, it will be the little ones and early teens pushing and shoving to get on the ice, but not always. Hang back and be patient if you haven't skated before or you may take a spill before putting a blade onto the ice.
How to Enter the Rink
- When it's safe for you to get onto the ice, place one hand onto the hockey boards or railing if there is one so that you can balance yourself. You will likely have to step up, over, or down to actually put your skate onto the ice.
- Make sure that you keep your knees slightly bent at all times when skating — locking your knees when skating is equivalent to asking for a fall if you are a beginner.
- Push from one foot to the other to get moving and try to move slowly around the rink if you've never skated or have not skated in a long time. You will need to lift one foot off the ice for a short period of time before switching feet and pushing off from the other. Observe the skaters who skate with ease to get an idea of what to do.
How to Prevent Falls
If you feel that you are falling backwards, bend your knees and try to make your rear hit first. Don't tense up; try to sit down, using your hands to catch yourself. If falling forward or to the side, put your hands out to catch yourself. If you have gloves on, it might be easier to catch yourself because your hands won't slip as much as they would if they were bare. It is very important to try not to tense up so much that you become rigid because that is an excellent way to get hurt.
What to Do If You Fall
When on the ice, get up immediately if you are not hurt. I've seen many spectacular falls and injuries because someone lounged on the ice and another skater came along and ran over/into them or their fingers. To get up from a fall roll over onto your rear and then to one knee with both hands on the ice. Next, stand up and remember to keep your knees slightly bent. Now you can start skating again. If you are hurt, someone will come to help you.
What If You Need Help?
There are skate guards and figure skaters at some rinks who might be helpful if you ask, but understand that it is not their job to teach you to skate. If they give you a couple of minutes of their time helping you to skate, thank them and let them get back to what they were doing. If you fall in love with skating and are interested in lessons, most rinks have qualified instructors for group and private lessons. Just ask for information and the staff will be able to point you in the right direction.
Whether you’re the teacher or the student, lessons on how to ice skate don’t need to be difficult. Skating is an all-ages family activity, and even young children can begin to learn early. If you want to practice at home, install a Kwik Rink home ice rink in your basement, backyard, or garage.
Why Should Someone Learn How to Ice Skate?
Naturally, you may have concerns when it comes to ice skating. Indeed, no one wants to fall and hurt themselves (although even the pros do this from time to time)! However, a confident, knowledgeable skater reaps more benefits than harm through balance and poise.
The benefits include hearty aerobic exercise and practice with balance and coordination. Furthermore, ice skating can strengthen your leg muscles, cardiovascular endurance, and even joint flexibility.
Ice skating offers more than good exercise, however. The social benefits should not be overlooked. Skating is a great group activity that you can enjoy with your family and friends, or even on a date.
A person who knows how to ice skate increases their options for both physical and emotional fitness!
Learn How to Ice Skate, Step by Step
If you’ve decided that it’s time for you or someone you know to learn how to skate, let’s get started.
Here are ten easy steps to teach someone how to ice skate – even yourself, if you want to learn!
Before You Get On the Ice
As with most winter sports, there are some equipment requirements before you’re off and going. Know that one benefit of ice skating is that you don’t need to buy any gear to get started. Public rinks usually offer skate rentals!
Make sure you wear comfortable clothes that allow for a wide range of movement. Think joggers or leggings; avoid jeans if possible. As with any cold-weather exercise, it is a good idea to dress in lightweight, warm layers.
Check Your Skates for the Right Fit
As with any footwear, make sure your skates fit well, whether they are rentals or purchase. A good pair of skates fit snugly but are not too tight . Your skates should fit comfortably.
As a general rule, the wearer shouldn’t be able to move their feet around too much in their skates. A single layer of tall, lightweight socks can help with this.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help from an employee if you’re at a public rink. You must ask if you are purchasing skates! You don’t want to get stuck with a pair of skates that aren’t right for you.
Additionally, your skates should be laced correctly; this is something you can also request, help from a pro!
You can usually find skates beginning around age if you are teaching a child how to ice skate.
Getting on the Ice
March – Don’t Walk – to the Entry Door
Next, you will need to get out on the ice! The best way to walk in ice skates is to think of yourself marching in small steps instead of walking. It feels a little awkward, but don’t worry, it’s only a means to an end.
Make sure you stay on the foam or mat that the rink provides. This barrier protects the blades of your skates. Avoid walking on wood or concrete with your skates.
Find the entry door to the ice rink. It’s time to get started!
It’s Okay to Use the Rail at First
Once you’re on the ice, it’s okay to hang onto the rail while you get a feel for everything.
Know How to Fall
Of course, the biggest hurdle for many people who want to learn how to ice skate is fear of falling. Before you’re ready to build to a glide, you will provide reassurance to yourself or your student. Do this by discussing the best way to fall.
Try to do so slowly, and to avoid falling too far forward . Additionally, when you – or if you’re teaching someone – your student falls, don’t flail.
Practice falling by squatting a bit and then falling to the side while leaning slightly forward. Somewhat counterintuitively, keep your hands in your lap.
Practice Getting Up Again
Once you’ve fallen down, to get up again, you’ll need to roll over and get on your hands and knees. Bring one foot to the inside of one hand, and the other foot to the inside of the other hand. Push yourself up to standing from this squatting position.
Time to Skate!
You’re ready to learn how to ice skate in earnest. Remember that marching move we discussed earlier? We’re bringing it to the ice.
March on the ice to get a feel for moving yourself forward on the ice. Once you feel more confident, you can do small “scooter” steps, which are the beginning of gliding on the ice.
Push with one foot, like you’re riding on a scooter. Then switch to the other foot and push with that foot.
Learn How to Stop
Practice making a wedge with the toes of your blade to stop yourself. Form a snowplow movement, similar to skiing, to slow yourself.
Gliding On Both Feet
Now that you’ve practiced the scooter step and stopping, you can start gliding. Rest on both feet after you’ve pushed yourself forward with scooter steps. You’re beginning to glide!
Practice a Dip
Once you’ve become a little more comfortable, you can practice a dip, which can be an excellent knee warmup. Squat down on your skates so that your glutes are level with your arms- progress from doing this standing to doing it while you glide.
Kwik Rink Residential Rinks
Once you and your household learn how to ice skate, a home rink is a great way to practice. Home ice rinks can function much like a basketball hoop in the driveway. It can be a great way to get the whole family moving and having fun while practicing a skill!
Contact Kwik Rink to learn more about installing a residential rink by calling toll-free at (888) 275-2345.