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back to beginner: ice skating

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I finally learned to ice skate this year. It was interesting and humbling to go back to being a beginner, and to experience the fear that you might fall at any moment. It was also liberating not to feel responsible for teaching my family, who were also beginners.


I went twice to an outdoor rink that was recently installed in my town. The first time I rented figure skates, which were horribly uncomfortable for me with my flat feet. Yesterday I rented hockey skates which were much better, but I had to relearn somewhat. On both days I found after one session between Zambonis that I could skate around the rink, albeit inelegantly. After yesterday's second session I was doing pretty well. Still not quite skiing upright with my hands in my jacket pockets and an air of serene unconcern.


Something a friend once told me was helpful: she skis and skates at a high level, and pointed out that skates, just like skis, have two edges. I'm not sure how long it would have taken me to figure out how to turn without that tip.


Skating is not a sport that will provide me as much satisfaction as skiing, but it seems like something that might help balance and perhaps fitness in the off-season. Also, it's been pointed out that during the hot summers on the US East coast it's rather pleasant to be atop a sheet of ice!

post #2 of 5

Hi Jeff, 


Just noticed this thread. (I never come to the non-skiing area of the message board, but might start to do so.) Ice skating is great for cross-training for balance since you're working on a much smaller base of support. I'd also argue it helps people to develop their edging skills, and you can also use it to work on pivoting, timing&coordination and pressure control. 


I would agree that just riding around a rink can get boring. That's where you need to spice it up by learning new ways to challenge yourself. I like to adapt inline freestyle technique on ice. Here's a video of some guys doing freestyle on ice: 


Have fun!

post #3 of 5

Good for you to try skating!


I actually learned to skate LONG before skiing, but the principles of edge control, balance, and body centering are very similar.


Want a really awesome experience?  Get a pair of speed skates and get out on a frozen lake.  The solitude, speed, sound of the edges biting.......reminds me of skiing in many ways.

post #4 of 5

I'm about to start to learn to skate in 3 weeks.  Starting with a pair of high end figure skates a friend is giving me.  I'm hiring a figure skating coach to get me started.  Really hoping I do well as I'm sure it will help my skiing.

post #5 of 5

I switched from roller blades to figure skates, taking lessons at a US Olympic Training Facility. You won't believe how thin the crowds are, even through its so hot outside. What attracted me to ice skating was the emphasis on gracefulness, though my rink draws a lot of speed skaters, having hosted Dan Jansen.

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