Have you ever been to the rink and just seen people skating comfortably and with ease? You have to admit that it’s a graceful sight. But what seems like an angel gliding on the water is difficult to do. So, how hard is it to ice skate?
Ice skating is hard due to the difficulty in maintaining balance. But it’s not impossible to learn. There are tips to get through for newbies. These include: get fitting skates, work with a trainer, don’t be afraid of falling, warm-up before skating, don’t look down, and practice walking in skates.
Once you learn the basic moves in skating, you’re good to go. But you can always improve throughout your lifetime and master new moves. Here, we discuss how hard ice skating is and ways to make it easier.
Is Ice Skating Hard to Learn
Ice skating can be hard to learn for a newbie and much harder if you have no prior sporting experience. But there’s nothing that a few weeks of practice won’t fix. The hardest thing would be maintaining balance. Once you know that, the other basic steps come more easily. However, you can still expect to put in lots of hard work to master any aspect of ice skating.
Is ice skating harder than roller skates?
One of the common arguments among skaters is which one is harder between ice and roller skating. The answer usually depends on personal opinion. Some people find it easier to be on ice skates than roller skates. But most think ice skating is harder to learn than roller skating. This is primarily because of the thin blades, making it difficult for newbies to achieve balance while wearing skates.
Tips For Learning Ice Skating Easily
While Ice skating might be hard, there are ways to make learning easier and faster for yourself. Here are tips for doing that.
1. Get The Best-Fitting Skates
Ice skating depends mainly on the skates you’re using, but many people ignore this. Make sure that any skate you get fits your feet snugly. Ill-fitting skates will make it difficult for you to learn how to skate and if the skates are too small, you may end up with blisters. Skates that are larger than your feet may lead to sprains and falls. So, you must get the right skates. The right skate isn’t just a matter of the size, even though the size is crucial. The quality also matters significantly. Make sure you get high-quality skates with great ankle support. Not only would such skates make your learning more comfortable, but they’ll also aid you in learning the proper techniques and will greatly reduce the risk of injuries.
2. Work With a Trainer or an Experienced Friend
You can learn ice skating by yourself, but that’s not exactly the best way to learn. You should learn from a trainer or someone who has experience skating. No amount of tutorials and tips will replace the experience of a physical trainer. If you have friends, you can always borrow them for some time. That’s in case you don’t want to use a trainer. You’ll need to learn many things, such as balancing, stopping, turning, etc. Learning by yourself will take more time, and you’ll probably experience more falls than necessary. But if you can’t find a friend and can’t get a trainer, you can watch video tutorials. There are lots of YouTube channels dedicated to skating, watching, and practicing. You should also read blogs to prepare you for the experience.
3. Understand That Falling Is Completely Normal
The fear of falling can affect your ability to skate well. Such fear usually limits your ability to learn. So, you have to get past your fear of falling. Knowing that falling is inevitable, practicing how to fall, and wearing protective gear can help you get past this fear. Once you can get past that fear, nothing can stop you from learning how to skate and have fun while doing it. Even though falling is normal, you don’t have to fall every time you step on the ice. You can also learn to regain your balance each time you notice you’re about to fall. Do this by placing your arms in front of you and grabbing your knees while squatting slightly. This will help you regain balance. Although the technique won’t work all the time, it’ll help you control your falls on most occasions.
4. Practice Walking in Your Ice Skates for Some Minutes
Skating is gliding on ice. But before you can glide, you should be able to walk. So, wear your skates and walk on ice for some moments. Walking while wearing skates help you to achieve balance and get a feel of you moving when skating. Balancing is the major problem for most newbie skaters, but fortunately, you’ll learn something about it by walking in your skates.
5. Stretch And Warm Up Before Starting
A common mistake people make when it comes to sports or exercises is just diving straight into it. Warming up is important for every physical activity, but it’s even more important when it comes to cold-weather sports. Your tendons and muscles would likely be stiff due to cold, making them more vulnerable to injury. So, you should warm up before skating. Do stretches, lunges, arm swings, ankle rotation, leg curls, etc. Make sure you include every part of your body in the warm-up, and that includes your back, leg, hamstrings, neck, calf, arms, etc.
6. Don’t Look Down
If it’s your first time skating or you’re just learning, you’ll likely want to look down at your feet to be sure you’re doing the right thing. However, doing that won’t help you and doesn’t even mean you’ll be able to do the right thing. Instead, it’ll likely hinder your learning experience and make skating more difficult for you. Also, looking down can cause you to lose your balance. This is because your point of reference for balance is the ice and what’s ahead of you, not your ice skates. Looking down also increases the risk of colliding with another skater or even an obstacle ahead of you. So, look straight ahead at where you’re going and focus on just that. Your skates will sort out themselves.
Ice skating can be quite hard, especially if you’ve not done it before. But it’s not impossible to learn or do. Anyone with the agility of an average person can learn to ice skate. By following the right tips, you can ease your learning experience and get better faster.