Start ice skating

Don’t get discouraged

Beginners may find skating difficult, and they may get easily discouraged. Fear of falling or awkward skating disheartens some people, especially when there are many other skaters around -  experienced skaters who gracefully whizz around the rink.

Don’t worry about it. You too can learn to skate, enjoy it and benefit from it, not only physically but also mentally. Soon you’ll learn that you can start skating without stress. You can get used to skating and see that it’s not as difficult as it seems. And you’ll have fun!

Here is a list of first steps, which will help you start

Choose skates

Skates come in different sizes. If you can’t decide which skates to choose, rent a pair of ice skates. You can do it at an ice rink. There is always a rental office nearby. It’s also good to ask for advice. Ask someone who rents skates or a salesperson in a sports shop. You don’t have to buy the most expensive ice skates to enjoy skating, but remember that the cheapest ice skates are usually made of poor material, are uncomfortable, and can cause abrasions and even injuries.

Skates have to fit well, but they can’t be too tight. Remember to tie your laces precisely and check both skates before you enter the rink.

Try to walk a little

It’s good to walk a little in skates when you begin, before you enter the rink. Usually there’s a mat around the rink. Try walking on it. This way you’ll learn to keep balance and get used to your skates. Remember to keep your blade guards on while walking to avoid damaging your blades.

Enter the rink

Approach the gate and hold on to the side of the rink. At first you’ll have slight problems with keeping balance, contact with the ice may be something new for you. Remember to stay relaxed; there’s no reason to get anxious. You can always ask someone to assist you during your first steps on the ice. Try to make a few steps along the side of the rink. Don’t worry about skaters who pass you by. They will pass you at a safe distance. You’ll get used to the ice and feel comfortable.

Learn to keep balance

Bend your knees a little and lean forward, not backwards. Keep your arms away from your body. Don’t hold onto anything, try to move a little closer to the center of the rink.
You have to lean even more forward now. Keep your arms in front of you and squat. Repeat it couple of times. This will help you to learn to keep balance and prepare your legs to skate. Now start moving forward and do few squats while moving forward.

Learn to fall down and get up

In the beginning you’ll definitely have a few accidents. You will fall down. It’s better to prepare for it. If you feel that you’re about to fall down, lean forward and start squatting. Don’t lean backwards because you can fall and hit your head. While falling down try to roll on your side and put your arms forward to soften the fall (immediately after falling down hide your hands and fingers to avoid the risk of someone skating over them).
Try not to lie on the ice for too long to avoid accidents. On your knees, bring your torso to an upright position. Raise one knee up, place both hand palms down on the raised knee. Keep the head and upper body lifted up and push up on the raised knee with both hands. As you rise, bring the other skate into an upright position and stand up. Your feet may start to move away, that’s why it’s important to do it slowly and to lean forward a little.

Start skating

If you want to you can try walking on the ice at first. This will automatically make you move forward, and soon you’ll skate forward without even noticing it. Lean on your left foot, then push in a diagonal direction outwards with your other foot. This will move you forward. Then bring the right foot back in next to the left and repeat the process. If you take longer strokes you’ll start moving faster and glide. Bend your knees while skating.

Learn to stop

To stop, spread your legs and place one skate behind you with the toe facing away from you. Drag it gently to scratch the ice until you’ll stop. Remember that when holding your balance, your weight will be on one foot, so be careful.

Try to remember these tips and don’t be discouraged if you have difficulties in the beginning. After your first few attempts, you’ll begin to feel the “rhythm” of skating and it will get better.

Good luck!