While there are several pastimes you can enjoy, ice skating is definitely one of the best options. It’s easy to learn, and then once you do you can enjoy the thrills of ice skating for basically the rest of your life.
Here are some helpful tips to make the experience as enjoyable as possible:
1. Wear a quality pair of ice skates
This is an excellent idea if you’re planning to go ice skating more than once. If you consider the cost of renting ice skates each time you visit a rink, new skates will pay for themselves fairly soon. There are a few key issues to consider when choosing a pair of skates. Remember to focus on function rather than form. In particular, the skates should fit well and provide a sufficient amount of support for your feet. If a pair of ice skates meets these criteria then you should definitely consider purchasing them.
2. Know how to stop properly
The laws of physics dictate that there’s less friction when you ice skate, than when you walk. So it’s absolutely, positively critical that you learn how to stop properly. Here’s the 411. When you need to stop, bend both your knees, and turn both feet inwards. Point both of your heels outwards, then use your heels to push out. This will allow you to slow down gradually, and then stop.
3. Take some lessons
This is highly advisable, even if you’re a DIY (Do It Yourself) type of person. There’s no substitute for learning any skill, including ice skating, from an expert. You can usually find group lessons with people in your age group. However, remember that lessons alone aren’t enough—you’ll need to put in enough practice to master the skills you learn in your classes.
4. Skate in the right direction
Usually there’s an unwritten direction to skate on a rink, whether it’s clockwise or counter-clockwise. Make sure to learn which direction everyone is skating on the rink, and then head in that direction. While this might seem like a case of stating the obvious, when you’re focusing on simply moving forward, skating in the right direction can seem harder than nails.
5. Tie the skates properly
The best skates in the world won’t be very useful if you don’t tie them correctly. The skates shouldn’t be too tight—otherwise your toes will feel numb from their contact with the toe of the skate. On the other hand, if the skates are too loose then your ankles won’t have enough support. Make sure that the skates fit “just right.”
6. Remember that it’s about getting up—not falling down
If you’re a new ice skater and you don’t fall down, then something’s amiss. What’s more important than avoiding falling down, is having the courage to get up and then keep moving forward. Think about it this way. And if you do hit the ice, don’t consider it the end of the world. Try to laugh it off and keep on keeping on. When you start skating like a pro you’ll probably have a good laugh when you remember hitting the deck.
7. Don’t look down while you’re skating
This is a common mistake that many newbie ice skaters make. Perhaps it’s somewhat justified since you have two blades on the bottom of your footwear. However, it’s important to keep your eyes ahead of you when you’re learning how to ice skate. While this won’t improve your ice skating per se, it will help you to see any obstacles in front of you, which you might be on a collision course with.