5 tips that’ll help you learn to ice skate

November 3, 2015

Ice skating is a fun way to enjoy the winter weather and get some exercise. If you’re just starting out, these tips will help you get the hang of things. With a bit of practice, you’ll soon be gliding across the rink!

5 tips that’ll help you learn to ice skate

1. Get the right skates

One of the major problems beginners can face is ill-fitting skates.

  • Skates that are too tight will be very painful on your toes — you won't be able to practice for long
  • Skates that are too loose won’t provide the support you need—you’ll run the risk of spraining an ankle

If you rent skates at the rink, consult a staff member to ensure they’re the right fit

You'll also want to check to see if they are tied properly. That way the laces won't come loose while you’re skating.

2. Don't look down

You don't need to look down at your feet when you’re walking or running — the same goes for skating!

  • Though you may be tempted to look down at your skates, this won’t help you at all and can even interfere with your form
  • Keep your head up and look straight ahead so you can see where you are going

3. Don't lean

Many a timid skater has been tempted to lean back, thinking this will make them less likely to fall.

  • Leaning backwards actually throws off your balance and makes you more likely to take a spill
  • Keep your knees slightly bent and shift your weight forward — you’ll have better balance and it’ll be easier for you to move ahead

4. Don't be afraid to fall

It's inevitable that you’ll fall while you're learning to skate. All skaters do, even professionals!

  • If you fall, try to push yourself back up again by pulling your knees in toward your body and pushing yourself up sideways
  • You can also get on your hands and knees and push yourself up from there
  • Take your time getting your balance again and start by taking slow, steady strides

5. Learn to stop

Stopping is something you’ll get more comfortable with over time, which is why it's important to go slowly at first.

  • One way to stop is by gliding on both feet and letting your legs spread out a little while turning your toes inward
  • Try to remember not to lean back at all while you do, and this motion should help slow you down to a stop.

It takes time and practice to get used to the feeling of strapping on skates and taking to the rink. But once you get the hang of it, there’s nothing quite like gliding across the ice

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