Ice skating can be fun whether you are looking for a leisure activity or if you are interested in playing hockey or figure skating. When you need a break from playing video games or enjoying the online casino, skating is a great way to get the body moving. Learning how to ice skate looks difficult but is easier than you think. Whether you are at an indoor rink or live in a cold area where lakes/ponds freeze, ice skating can be done anywhere. You just need a pair of skates, good balance, and determination as falling will likely happen on the first few attempts.
Depending on the type of skating you plan on doing, whether it be hockey or figure skating, there are different skates you will need. If you are attempting to play organized hockey or just pick up hockey on the outdoor rink, a new skater will want to pick up a pair of hockey skates as that will be worn by other hockey players. If you are just trying to leisurely skate or want to learn how to figure skate, a new skater will want figure skates. Below are some differences between figure skates and hockey skates.
Hockey Skates: bigger boot, more protection (due to blocking pucks), rounded skate blade, lightweight, often synthetic material (i.e. plastic)
Figure Skates: thin boot, longer blade, toe pick (for spinning and tricks), leather material
Figure skates are often recommended for beginners due to the longer skate blade which is also flat compared to the rounded hockey skates. If you are looking to learn how to skate and have no interest in playing hockey, pick up some figure skates to get the basics down. It is also recommended to wear some lighter clothing and thicker socks but also some protective gear such as a helmet, knee/shin pads, and even elbow pads.
First Time on the Ice
When skating for the first time, it is recommended you skate with a chair or hold onto the board/railing on the perimeter of the ice to get your balance down. This will also help you understand the lay of the land or in this case the ice as it is very slippery.
Once you get an idea of how the ice works and gain a little confidence, slowly move away from the edge or from the chair and start bending your knees as this will help you keep balance and center your gravity. You will want to keep your legs at shoulder width and begin to push one leg forward and one at a time where you will be balancing on your right leg and then your left leg, shifting your weight each time. From there, you can decide to stay on two feet and glide or you can keep pushing one leg at a time to gain more speed.
Like riding a bike or anything else that requires balance, beginners will fall and that is one thing you will also want to practice (which will sound funny). Since ice is a hard surface, you will want to take the right measures to fall properly. What you will want to do is bend your knees and be in a squat position and do not use your hands/arms to catch your fall. Next, you will want to fall to the side and keep your head and hands tucked in as much as you can to avoid injuries.
Stopping on Skates
When you have your balance down and feel confident pushing your legs for a nice glide on the ice, you are now ready to learn how to stop as you will eventually get tired of skating circles around the rink. You will want to first start by slowing your speed and bending your knees and ankles. Next, you will want to apply some pressure to your inside edge to create a plow-like position for your skate that will glide you to a stop. If you have skied before, this is very similar to how you would stop there.
Once you have these steps down, you will be ready to take on the ice confidently and eventually get out more and more to build more speed and take on more challenges.