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Skiing and Ice Skating for Kids

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
(prepare for parental (read:sickening hubris) 'my kid is amazing' tone)

Jane wanted to go ice skating yesterday. I haven't skated since Bobby Orr retired from the Bruins (dating myself).

Wow. Most ice skating first timers are a train wreck. Jane was rock solid on the skates - fell on her butt of course, but remarkably stable and you could tell she 'got it' regarding the glide and push aspect of working the blades.

My conclusion is that the pro instruction she received in her skiing lessons translated directly into ice skating confidence. And maybe confidence in general.

For parents going on multi-day ski trips looking to mix it up - if the first ski lesson is a hit - try ice skating if it is available at the mountain this year.
post #2 of 11
I think that all parents should teach their kids to ice skate when the kids are young. I learned to ice skate on a pond behind my house shortly after I could walk. My mother was big into ice skating as a child, so she made sure that I knew how to do it. Because of that, my balance while moving over a slippery surface is amazing. I suspect that is the same thing with your daughter. Make sure she enjoys doing it, and keep her going. Get her some of her own skates and go once a week or so (what I used to do as a kid).

Later in life after I stopped ice skating and picked up skiing as my primary winter activity, my ice skating actually improved as my skiing did. Most of the same movements translate from one activity to the other.


post #3 of 11
Yes, I've done a lot of skating too - not all the twirls and stuff, but quite a lot as a kid and then plenty of sessions every week for 4 years at college (including on frozen lakes during my year in Germany which was something else!) which always finished up with a game of tag for 20 minutes or so. I've found it to be enormously beneficial to my skiing, and would account for my above-average balance (providing I'm moving - I'm notorious for toppling over while stationary in a lift queue: ). It also means I was using the skating technique for moving on the flat even before I could actually negotiate an incline
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
HS - How would you equate the two positions - skiing v. skating? I was only comfortable skating in a very 'forward' position until I loosened up a bit. It left me wondering, are you supposed to be moving THAT far forward when you ski as well?
post #5 of 11
When I race/ski slalom - yeah I actually do tend to ski THAT far forward. Mind you - this does not mean bent over at the waist. The two stances are very close to each other. You use a quiet upper body, angulation, fore/aft balance, you're sliding over a smooth surface, and a narrow stance can be a detriment to your ability to move laterally. Staying forward allows you to make very quick movements and direct your skis/skates in any direction. In terms of the direction of movement, a lot of the same principles apply - and you can actually prefect carved turns on ice skates.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just to be sure - ignoring the obvious posture differences - the 'feel' is the same? I haven't skated in 30 years before the last 2 days and I quickly 'remembered' how to get around once I committed to a more aggressive forward action you describe.

Its really similar in feel? I ask because I want confirmation and I believe I am starting to feel on skis what everyone here talks about regarding engaging the tips at the start of the (ski) turn and I believe I am STILL working too hard steering the skis and wearing myself out too quickly with wasted motion.

If I can skate at a fairly aggressive pace for 90 minutes how much time would that translate in relative terms to skiing moderately on blue/green terrain?
post #7 of 11
imo, the skills you learn in skiing and skating are fairly similar, and being good at one can help the other. The "balancing on a slippery surface" maybe being the most important. I have had a back yard ice rink for several years. It helps both my and my kids' skiing abilities. I teach my kids to skate first, then I teach them to ski. It is not only easier to learn/teach to skate (I don't have a whole lot of patience), but a heck of a lot cheaper.

I learned to ski at 16, but had been skating (pond hockey mostly) since 8. I took a free group skiing lesson at Wah-Wachusett. With 10 minutes to go, the instructor pulled me aside and told me I was ready to hit the chair lift if I didn't want to stick around anymore, as I had picked up the basic skills very quickly. He said: "you're a skater, aren't you?", then explained that in his experience skaters pick up skiing much quicker than non-skaters.
post #8 of 11
Feel in terms of edging, is VERY similar... as far as initiating turns - that remains slightly different, mostly because your skates dont have a tip and a tail that is significantly distanced from your foot. Regarding time skiing vs. time skating - I don't know if there is any direct comparison other than the cardio endurance that would come from being able to skate non-stop for 90 minutes. What will help your skiing directly is the ability to "carve" on ice skates - which may eventually teach you to be less agressive in your turn initiation and wait for the ski to develop the turn.
post #9 of 11

I actually went the other route. I taught my daughter to rollerblade as preparation for skiing. It taught her how to point her feet straight and to balance on such a small platform. She started at age 3

I would suggest lots of skating (ice or with wheels) to help Jane be better balanced on skis. Especially if she's at all in the back seat. I never caught Jane's age, but for the really young ones, it's very hard to get them out of the back seat until around age 8. I'm hoping that by getting Anna skating, it'll get her more forwrd on her skis sooner. I have notced, so far, that she's not nearly as far back as most kids her age, and she bends her ankles and knees, and isn't afraid to go downhill.

-Annasdad (A.K.A. John)
post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by janesdad
If I can skate at a fairly aggressive pace for 90 minutes how much time would that translate in relative terms to skiing moderately on blue/green terrain?
A week

Try to skate with a slightly lower stance (more bend in the ankles/knees). It'll work the quads more and me closer to the position you are on skis.
post #11 of 11

Yur Right On

I coach Jr Alpine racers and we do 1/2 of our "dry-land" training on in-line skates. So much crosses over--balance, edging, stance, muscle groups, etc. We even set up slalom cones on a minimal slope and do parallel turns ski-style. We get creative--one skate through the cones, backwards skating, sharp turns, races, etc...The kids love it, and I believe it gives them a head start. I agree, that anyone who can skate is VERY easy to teach to ski.
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