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.