How to Ice Skate

Seven Parts:Dressing for Ice SkatingStarting OutPerfecting Your BalancePracticing Initial Essential Skating SkillsGlidingStoppingImproving Your Skating Skills

Have you always wanted to slide gracefully over the ice without falling on your bottom ? Do you find yourself doing a split every time you hit the ice? Every new ice skater is bound to fall quite a few times, but if you are committed to practicing and to doing your best, you can learn to ice skate like a professional. All you'll need is the proper equipment, an ice rink, someone to lean on to, and faith.

Part 1
Dressing for Ice Skating

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    Wearing appropriate clothes for movement in a cold environment is very important. When ice skating, wear clothes that are easy to move around in and will not get heavy when wet. Skating is exercise, so your body will get warmer once you move around. You want to be flexible and not too warm. Avoid wearing thick socks, as these can actually make your feet colder. You sweat, then they freeze to your legs.
    • Don't wear jeans. Jeans are mostly rigid and harder to move around in. When you fall they can get damp and will be harder to skate in; damp jeans can also ice up if you're skating outdoors.
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    • Try some warm, thick leggings, a t-shirt, jacket, gloves, and hat.
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    Find good skates. Skates should be fitted for comfort and are available in most shoe sizes. There are a number of good brands you can buy, but rentals are adequate for your first steps, until you're sure this is what you want to continue doing.
    • When trying on skates, always measure the width of your foot while sitting down. This will ensure a good fit.
    • Your skates may feel tight, but however they always will. They shouldn't be extremely tight though, so ask someone who skates or with some expertise to help you examine if the skates are too tight or not.

Part 2
Starting Out

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    Start off by walking off the ice. Most skate rinks have rubber matting you can walk on. Walk around to help maintain your center of gravity but remember to keep your skate guards on.
    • The trick here is to get comfortable on skates. The more you're in your skates, the better your body adjusts to balancing itself. This is a learning process, so don't expect to be an expert right away.
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    • If you are wobbly walking around in your skates, focus on one point with your eyes and trust your body to get the balance right. Balancing is all about keeping your head steady and your eyes fixed on a point.
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    Get on the ice. The keys to skating well are relaxation and technique, so relax and try to keep your legs as steady as possible. Learning to walk will help give you ankle support and help you get used to the friction of the ice.
    • Walk around the edge of the rink while holding onto the wall. This will help you get a feel for the ice.
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    • Start slow. It won't feel natural at first, but take things slow and move fluidly. You're not going to win any speed contests the first couple times on skates. Avoid jerky movements. If you'd like, pretend that you're a graceful animal moving through its natural habitat or a bird flying above the sky.
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Part 3
Perfecting Your Balance

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    Learn to maintain your balance. While you learn this step, remember to move slowly. Eventually, the faster you go, the easier it will be to balance. So if you can learn to balance yourself going slower, moving faster will seem easy.
    • Start by holding your arms out at just below shoulder level to learn to balance by yourself.
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    • Try not to stiffen your body. It actually makes skating harder. Keep your body loose and relaxed and you will find it much easier to glide along.
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    • Bend your knees slightly and lean forward, not back. Knees should be bent enough so that you can't see your toes and your shoulders should be forward and above your knees. Try not to hold onto anything. The wall can become a crutch.
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    • You will fall a couple of times. Get back up, brush it off, and go back at it. Rome wasn't conquered in a day. Practice makes perfect!
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Part 4
Practicing Initial Essential Skating Skills

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    Once you maintain good balance, try skating a little faster. If you feel like you're going to fall, bend your knees and put your arms out on the side of you to prevent yourself from tripping and possibly getting injured.
    • If you find yourself tripping as you skate, you are most likely "toe-picking." Make sure that when you put your blade down on the ice, it's level, and the toe pick isn't going down first.
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    Do squats. Squatting will help strengthen your thighs and let you practice your balancing technique.
    • Stand up straight, feet at hip distance, and arms in front of you. Now, squat slightly, just enough to find your center of balance, and repeat a few times until you feel comfortable.
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    • When you're ready, try squatting further down, just until you feel your knees bending. Keep your eyes looking forward at all times.
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    Practice falling. Falling is part of the sport so it's natural that this will happen. Falling with the right technique will keep you from getting injured and help you stay on the ice longer.
    • If you anticipate needing to fall, bend your knees and squat into a dip position.
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    • Put your hands out to break your fall, quickly clenching your fingers into a fist so that you don't run the risk of losing any fingers from a passing skater.
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    • Push your arms out so that they break the fall a little bit before your body hits the ice. You will have a safer fall.
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    Practice standing up. Get on your hands and knees and place one foot between your hands. Repeat with your other foot and lift up until you are standing again.
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    Move forward. Lean on your weak foot, then, with your strong foot, pushing outward in a diagonal direction.
    • Pretend as though you're shoveling snow behind and to the right of you. This will propel you forward. Then bring the right foot back in next to the left and repeat the process.
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Part 5
Gliding

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    Take longer strokes and try to glide. Bend your knees and move your body with the strokes.
    • For gliding, make sure both skates are parallel to one another. If your skates are pointing the same angle, you'll go farther and faster. Pretend you're on an imaginary scooter that is on the ice.
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    • If you try to give an extra flick of the toe/ankle at the end of each stroke, you will get more power and become a more efficient and faster skater.
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Part 6
Stopping

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    Learn to stop. To stop, bend your knees slightly inward and then push out with one or both of your feet.
    • You should put a tiny bit of pressure on the ice so as your feet will not slide out from under you.
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    • When you stop, you should have created a little bit of "snow" that was sheered off from the ice.
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Part 7
Improving Your Skating Skills

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    Practice frequently. The more you practice these techniques, the better you'll be. Don't expect to be a pro the first time you step onto the ice.
    • Try practising figure 8s as you skate along.
    • Take group or individual lessons if you can afford it. A teacher will be able to look at you on an individual basis and give you specialized tips.
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    • Try roller blading whenever you're not on the ice. The technique is similar, and you're giving your body muscle-memory to rely on, it is also a bit easier .
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Tips

  • Well fitting and properly sharpened skates are very important. Your toes should just touch the front cap of the skates and the skate should be snug enough so that your heel does not lift off of the boot's bottom.
  • Just hanging around on skates or skating loosely while talking to a friend is a good way to soothe your anxieties and make you more comfortable on skates.
  • Make sure that when you are learning to skate that you pick up your feet (as if you were just walking) and do not constantly just drag them along. This cannot be stressed enough, it is such a common mistake that leads to slower development of the skater and bad habits.
  • Don't be discouraged by or worry about falling. Everybody around you has fallen and will fall again. It is part of the learning process and worrying about it will hinder your progress.
  • Wipe the blades dry with a towel after skating and remove the skate guards to air the blades and prevent rusting.
  • Enjoy it! There is nothing better than gliding across the ice and feeling confident about it. You will soon adjust to the feel of skating.
  • Trust the ice. This may sound silly, but think in your mind, I trust the ice! You will find yourself more comfortable on the ice.
  • When learning to skate be sure not to stop with your toe picks. Stopping with your toe picks does not work as well, and makes it easier to fall forward.
  • When you're a beginner, don't skate too quickly or you may fall and injure yourself.
  • Don't give up!
  • Tighten your laces really well so you don't sprain or brake your ankle.
  • Some people learn faster than others, and some are born to be skaters. Don't worry if your friends look better than you.
  • Try wearing skate socks or tights. Thick socks simply make your skates feel tighter, resulting in blisters.
  • Try tighter clothes. These will help your balance because they do not flop around and throw you off balance.
  • On the first time around hold on to the edge then just glide smoothly. Talking to friends helps you not worry about falling. Have fun!
  • Roller skating helps you with your balance too. Maybe also have a friend to watch you and encourage you in order for you to do better.
  • Just slide through the rails for a moment. When you skate, you can't be perfect right away. When you start balancing yourself, try to go to the middle. When you can balance more, start doing tricks.
  • If you do wear jeans try wearing long Jon's ( a special type of leggings that you wear under your pants) so it keeps you from feeling wet if you fall and are much comfier than snow pants.
  • Longer blades will seem more stable for beginners. Nordic skates, combined with stiff high cuff boots and natural ice, are the best beginning skating combination.
  • Use standard inline/rollerblade protective gear to protect your knees, elbows and wrists. If you're older and worried about your hip joints and coccyx, then consider wearing a pair of crash pad pants like motocrossers, snowboarders or skateboarders use.
  • Trust your skates. Try to feel your edges. Since blades on rental skates are very dull, it's difficult to lean against your edges. On real skates though, this is a simpler task.
  • To glide or spin faster, keep your knees tight and/or cross your arms over your chest. Both of these will decrease your weight, making you move faster (and help with your balance). To slow down, let your arms out to the air at your sides. This will allow you to gracefully transition into a glide.
  • Think about being free and skating wherever you like.
  • Start by holding on to the side then gradually come away. Have someone hold you whilst skating so you can get your balance on the ice and then try it by your self.
  • Make sure to keep your head up so there's no way it can hit the ground. That way when you fall you won't get a bad head injury.
  • When you're on the ice and feel as if you're about to fall, do not try to land on flat hands. Put your hand into a fist with your thumb inside and fingers covering your thumb.
  • Always wear a helmet if you fall, it's okay. We all fall. Try skating with a friend who already knows how to skate so you can have feed back. Try finding a figure skating coach or a speed skating coach. They help a lot.
  • Shift your weight to the back of the skates by leaning slightly backwards. Beginners often lean forwards unintentionally, but this actually increases your chances of stumbling.
  • Stay calm if you think you'll fall - it's best to first practice with knee and elbow pads to up your confidence on your first lessons.
  • Have a spotter. It helps if you have a spotter for your first couple of times ice skating. This means if you slip they can make sure you are all right. Once you get more confident your spotter can stand away from you. Make sure your spotter is a confident skater!
  • Try to begin skating with figure skates as opposed to hockey skates. The difference is that figure skates have a toe-pick on the front of the blade. Hockey skates have a rounded blade at the front and back, which makes it easier to fall over if you do not have very good balance.
  • To make it a bit more easier glide your right foot to the right and your left foot to the left.
  • When you are skating do not think about it just skate.
  • Practice roller-blading it will help You get a head start on balance.
  • When you're a beginner, start with hockey skates. It's harder at first but you will learn the basics correctly.

Warnings

  • In the event you fall (which will most likely happen), don't stay on the ground for a long time. If you are just laying there for minutes after you fell down, a skater may run over your finger or trip over you.
  • Always wear gloves so your hands don't hurt when you fall on ice.
  • Be mindful of other skaters in the rink. You are sharing the rink with other skaters so be careful!
  • Be careful of ice picks (toe-pick) on figure skates. They will trip you up in the beginning and result in a face plant!
  • If you are going to fall, do not lean backwards in an attempt to regain your balance. Not only is it a nasty shock to suddenly land on your back, you could also risk seriously injuring yourself. Bend your knees slightly and hold your hands out in front of you.
  • Never walk on anything but ice with your blades. Rubber mats are tolerable, but it's better to use skate guards.
  • Never slam on the ice with your skates. You can make a small hole and fall down. Try to skate gently. Ask someone for help if you need it.
  • If you fall do not put your arms out or you could break or sprain your wrist
  • You are likely to fall, so please wear a helmet. You may be the only person with a helmet on the rink, but at least you'll know you're the one least likely to suffer head injuries in a fall. Watch out for other people skating backwards because they might not see you and crash into you.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice skates
  • A helmet
  • An extra pair of good socks in case the skates do not meet your comforts
  • Functional clothing that allows you freedom to move,
  • Crash pads You can buy crash pads that prevent injury to parts of the body such as elbows, knees, hips, tailbone.
  • Wrist protectors .

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