Ice skating is definitely a fun sport to try and go for with your friends. While the sport seems easy for people who have been doing it for long, it is not the same for beginners. Many beginners are petrified of the thought of maintaining their balance and falling on the ice. I know how it feels when it’s your first time on the ice. So after doing it for the first time, researching a bit and analysing everything I have come up with some beneficial tips for the beginners.
Get your skates, read this article and then try it. I am sure you will have a fantastic time.
Right Skates that fit perfectly!
The first and foremost thing to consider is the skates. Be sure that you buy good quality skates. If you can’t invest in good skates, then opt for renting it. While making the purchase or renting it always see to it that the skates fit perfectly. It shouldn’t be too tight for your feet as this will constrain your smooth movement. It shouldn’t be loose either as it increases the chances of falling. Find your perfect fit and try it on before buying it.
Always dress appropriately for skating.
Many people wear heavy clothing which is not suited for such sport. Always choose light-material clothing that you can layer with jackets and coats if it’s too cold. While we skate, there is heat generated in our body which keeps our body warm. For such sports light-material, clothing is ideal. You can wear a tight fitted top with leggings. If there is an outdoor rink for skating, then you can add layers of clothes accordingly.
Tie the skates properly
Another crucial factor that you should consider is to tie the skates properly. Tying skates is different than tying your regular shoes. You can ask someone to help you with it or else search for the tutorials online. Make sure that you don’t tie it very tight as it is not comfortable while skating. And also if you are going for the first time, I would suggest you wear a helmet also for safety purposes.
Master the basics
It is quite essential to know some basics before you go to the ice rink. There are basically three techniques to know: Gliding, stroking and swizzles. Start with gliding first which is like marching on the ice. Take two steps on the ice and let your body glide on the ice. Once you are comfortable in gliding, practice stroking.
Stroking is the extended version of gliding where you lift one foot, sat that foot down and then lift the other. Stroking is the basic of skating on ice. Practice it on the ground to have some general idea.
Swizzles is what keeps you going on the ice rink. After you are thorough with gliding and stroking, start practising swizzles. While you are gliding put your heels together. Slide your feet apart and then point your toes together. It generally makes the shape of an hourglass on the reef. Keep practising this technique and then proceed to lift your skates in an alternate pattern while skating.
Warm yourself before starting to skate
Warming up before any sport or physical activity helps the muscles to stretch. For ice skating, you don’t need to go overboard on stretching or warming. It is suggested to warm up your body lightly to avoid body cramps. Simply stretch your legs on any given barriers before entering the rink to skate.
Practice the fall
Most of the beginners are afraid of falling. It is vital to practice falling as it’s quite common when you are learning how to skate. So for knowing what to do when you fall or how to manage the fall, practice falling too. Whenever you anticipate that you are going to fall follow these steps.
- Bent your knees and squat in a dip position. This position gives some control over the body.
- Now lean forward and fall sideways. Place your hands on your lap while falling.
- Roll over your knees and hands after falling.
- Place your feet one-by-one between the hands. Push gently to get up and skate.
Do not lean backwards
Many people tend to lean backwards while skating due to the fear of falling. Well, this is the reason why a lot of people fall. Leaning back too much can lead you to fly on your backside. This can also result in some severe injuries. For avoiding such accidents, bent your knees and always lean forward. Keep your hands wide open, or fold your hands in front of you to maintain the balance.
Keep a watch on the direction you are skating towards
Initially, when you start skating on the ice rink, you are confused about which direction to go. Well, it’s definitely challenging to maintain in the same direction. You can take the support of the rails in the beginning. After you feel confident enough in skating, start skating far from the rails either in a clockwise direction or the anti-clockwise one. Try to follow one path that helps you to skate without falling down. Going in a random direction on the ground can lead to hurting others and also yourself.
Do not look down
One of the frequent mistakes beginners make is to look down always. While you might think that looking down helps you, but in fact, it’s the other way round. It is suggested to look up so that you can see in which direction are you skating. Looking up also helps in knowing what and who is coming ahead thus avoiding collisions with others. Looking down is one primary reason that can cause accidents, so it’s better to avoid looking down continuously.
Know how to stop
Once you are good with the basics of skating on the ice rink, it’s vital to know how to stop. For stopping bring both your feet together and then push your feet apart while sliding on the sideways. This will create force, and some frost will come off the ice which helps to stop your body.
So these are all the tips and tricks that can help you to skate without any problems. If you find it difficult to skate, you can always ask for help from professionals or even watch some online videos. Secondly, you can also go ice skating with your friends for getting some confidence. And remember that even if you fall, don’t take it too seriously. Have a good laugh about it, stand up and start skating.