old skates hanging on a ladder

So it’s time: Time to buy new ice skates! Whether it’s a new pair because you wore out your old pair or this is your first pair ever, buying your own ice skates requires you to consider some things before taking the plunge.

Keep reading for a list of questions you’ll want to ask yourself before buying new ice skates. Just like with any sporting good, you’ll want to think about how you’ll be using the skates.

Did you know whether you turn to the ice for slamming pucks or practicing your double axel, a personal ice rink from KwikRink Synthetic Ice can fulfill all your needs? It’s the perfect place to break in your new ice skates! 

What will your ice skates’ primary use be?

One of the most important things to consider before buying your own ice skates is their purpose.

What do you plan to do in the ice skates? 

Are you a hockey player or a figure skater? Maybe you’re a speed skater?

No matter what your favorite ice-based activity is, you’ll want to purchase a pair of skates that work best for your needs.

Now, let’s look at some of the differences between these different kinds of ice skates.

figure skates have toe pic

Figure Skates

Think about how a figure skater moves on the ice: jumping, gliding, spinning, stretching, turning. A figure skater needs a pair of skates that allow for a wide range of motion.

For this reason, figure skates need to be very flexible. Yet they also need to hug the foot and ankle snugly. 

They are often made of leather because it allows movement and a tight fit. However, some figure skates for beginners might be made out of vinyl or other materials.

It’s also essential for figure skate blades to be very sharp. Figure skaters need to make quick turns. Accuracy is crucial in figure skating, where tenths of a point may determine competition winners.

Ice skates designed for figure skating feature toe picks at the front. These toe picks (or small teeth) allow the skater to jump and spin with more control.

For example, toe picks are used to stop a spin, and as a take-off or landing point for jumps. However, for beginners, they can be easy to trip over.

new hockey skates

Ice Hockey Skates

Hockey players have different priorities from figure skaters — and they have the different ice skates to match.

Ice hockey skates usually fit slightly more loosely on the foot than figure skates do. They are often more streamlined — lighter, narrower, and flatter — so they don’t interfere with the gameplay.

Ice hockey skates don’t have a toe pick like figure skates, and their blades are narrower, too. However, they give the foot a little more support because their blades are rounded at the back and front of the foot.

This curved blade on ice hockey skates helps the skater increase speed, agility, and maneuverability whether the skater is moving backward or forward. 

new speed skates

Speed Skates

It’s no surprise that speed skates prioritize speed! Moving across the ice as quickly as possible is the primary goal, so of course, you need a pair of skates that provide little resistance and helps propel you forward.

And that’s precisely how speed skates are designed. They feature long, thin blades that extend beyond the boot of each skate.

In fact, on some speed skates, the blade only attaches to a hinge mechanism at the boot’s front! This detachment keeps the blade from digging down into the ice and creating friction (the enemy of speed).

Needless to say, speed skates aren’t for beginners! You should only buy speed skates if you know you specifically want to race on the ice.

7 Tips for Buying Your Own Ice Skates

Okay, so now that you know a little more about the different kinds of ice skates, here are seven tips for buying your own pair.

  1. Consider the skates’ primary use (ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating, recreational, etc.). This detail is the most important because it narrows down what type of ice skate you need to purchase.
  2. Consider your skill and experience level. Some ice skates are better-suited to advanced skaters, while others work best for beginners. As your skill level progresses, you can try different skates. 
  3. Consider how often you’ll use the skates. If you simply need a pair of skates to wear on the rink a few times a year for fun, you probably don’t need to invest a lot of money. On the other hand, if you’re a figure skater competing at the national level and skating hours every day, you won’t mind investing a little more.
  4. Think about your foot size. Is your foot finished growing? If not (or if you’re buying skates for a child who’s still growing like a weed!), it might be best to stick to inexpensive options for now. Once your foot is at its forever-size, you can invest in a better pair if you want.
  5. Do some research on different brands. If you’re going to invest hundreds of dollars, it’s worth researching the best pair for you and your circumstances. Read reviews. Ask coaches or other athletes in your sport. Remember that some dealers earn a commission from specific brands, so you might not be able to trust the salesperson’s recommendation.
  6. Go for the Goldilocks fit. The skates should fit snugly, but you don’t want them to be too tight or too loose. They really do need to fit “just right.” Your ankles should feel supported, but they need a little flexibility, also. 
  7. Rent till you’re ready to buy. If you’re new to skating or not prepared to inject your new hobby with a cash infusion yet, simply keep renting. Until you get to more advanced levels, rental skates won’t hinder your general progress.

Got your new skates and ready to take them for a spin on the ice? KwikRink Synthetic Ice can help you create the perfect synthetic ice rink you can use year-round. Whether you need a regulation-size hockey rink or just enough ice to enjoy skating with your family, we’ll work together to create a customized plan for your personal synthetic ice rink.

 

Can you skate on synthetic ice? Although synthetic ice has been around for decades, many people still do not know much about it. Below, we have posted answers to some of the most common synthetic ice questions that we frequently receive.

It can also be hard to find accurate information on the web, as most of it is posted by companies with an agenda. Since 1996, KwikRink Synthetic Ice has been selling premium skating surfaces and are considered the elite experts in the industry.

Can you skate on synthetic ice?

This is a question we get a lot…Can you skate on synthetic ice? Really, can you? Yes, you can, but not all synthetic ice tiles are created equally – Some will skate better than others. Many competing brands sell surfaces that we were selling in the 199o’s…That is old!

We currently manufacture our own synthetic ice formulas in the USA. KwikRink V panels are the best self-lubricating skating surface in the industry.

How long does synthetic ice last?

There are a lot of variables to consider when answering a question like this. Ultimately, the answer to this question will depend on factors like; frequency of use, the intensity of use, number of users, the weight of users.

We sold and installed a KwikRink to the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL. We expect up to 10 years of lifespan with a team of professional hockey players using the surface intensely every day.

Most commercial training facilities and especially residential rinks can get a lot more life out of their synthetic ice. We have been in business for over 20 years, and have not seen a residential rink wear out.

The only exception is when the synthetic ice is used for goalie training. Goalies do put more wear into the synthetic ice tiles, as they stay mostly in one spot while training.

KwikRink V (3/8″) – 10+ years on average

KwikRink V (1/2″) – 15+ years on average

Will Synthetic Ice Ruin my Skates?

No, synthetic ice will not “ruin” your skates. Most of our clients will use their primary pair of ice skates when skating. Again, all synthetic ice tiles are not created equally. Some will dull your blades faster than others.

Some of the hardest surfaces will dull the blades very fast, so it is important to find a synthetic ice surface that has the proper hardness balance. While skating on KwikRink, you can expect your blades to dull at about the same rate as if you were skating on an outdoor pond on a cold day – a huge improvement over competing brands.

Can I do a Hockey Stop on Synthetic Ice?

Yes, hockey stops are possible on synthetic ice. All skating maneuvers on KwikRink V synthetic ice tiles, such as; backward skating, transitioning, and hockey stops, are 100% natural movements when compared to real ice.

What type of maintenance is required for my synthetic ice rink?

The simple rule of thumb for any synthetic ice rink – The cleaner it is, the faster it will skate. Dirt and debris create extra friction between the skate blade and synthetic ice tiles. Make sure to sweep and mop your rink, as needed. If outside, using a pressure washer works very well to clean rinks that show signs of neglect.

Can I wear shoes on synthetic ice?

Yes, you can wear shoes on synthetic ice. We always recommend keeping a clean pair of gym shoes to use when not wearing skates.

This will help keep the surface clean and performing at its best. The synthetic ice tiles are designed to be slippery to the skate blade but are not as slick on the shoe. That being said, you are purchasing the rink for ice skating, which is what its intended use is. Synthetic ice will not be an ideal surface for intense running and jump-cuts.