Do you want your kids to learn to skate, but are too afraid of the ice yourself to teach them? Here are 6 key steps for you and your kids to conquer skating.
- Figure Skate Vs. Hockey Skate
There are two main types of skates: figure skates and hockey skates. Knowing which to choose can be difficult so here are the main differences: A figure skate has a flat blade and usually a pick at the front of the blade. This means you won’t rock like you do in hockey skates, but watch out for the toe pick! It may cause you to trip if you forget about it. A hockey skate is generally black or grey and has a curved blade. If you don’t plan on becoming a figure skater or hockey player, it doesn’t matter which skate you choose. It comes down to which one you are most comfortable in.
- The Right Size Skate
The wrong size runner can cause you to trip over your own feet. The same rule applies to skates. If the skate is too big, your weight will primarily be on the back of the blade, making it easier to fall backwards. Skates are sized differently so when you try on a pair, line up your foot next to the skate. If there is more than an inch of extra room, it is too big. Your toes should be snug, but not squished.
- Protect Your Head and Knees
Helmets are a must! Whether you’re someone who has skated their entire life or just starting out, helmets are your best friend. Everyone can and will fall and it is super important to protect yourself. I suggest beginners should wear knee pads and gloves as well. The ice is cold and hard, but when you have the right gear, it is much less likely you will get hurt when you fall.
- Get to Know the Ice – Stand, Fall, Walk
Everyone’s first instinct when they get on the ice is to go fast. The first step to skating is simple – Walk. Skates can wobble, so you have to take it slow at first. Arms out for balance, bend your knees and keep your head up. If you can remember these 3 rules, you are well on your way. Practice falling down with hands out in front (to prevent going backwards) and stand up using your knee to push yourself up.
- Penguin Pushes
Once walking has become a piece of cake, the next step is to turn your toes out and try to push back. This is called a push-glide, or otherwise known as the penguins pushes. You can make your push-glide stronger by pushing someone or something on the ice.
- Learn to Stop
Snow plows are the first step to learning to stop without using the boards or another person. Put your feet together and glide first, then push both your feet out at the same time. Keep your arms up for balance at all times. Progress to one foot stops when this gets easier.
Once these essential skills are mastered, everything else will come easily. Next steps include backwards skating, one foot glides, crossovers, turns and many more fun skills!
Written by: Kylie Shorter, BKin