When you think of hobbies that require a great deal of physical activity and exercise, skating probably doesn’t come up immediately.
However, there are many benefits that can be gained from learning how to ice skate for beginners.
If you live in a warm climate or have access to an outdoor rink, then learning how to ice skate is an excellent option for keeping active throughout the year.
Ice skating is an excellent form of exercise because it requires balance, coordination, and agility.
It can also help strengthen your legs, ankles, and feet as well as improve your balance and coordination.
These are just some of the benefits that you can get from learning how to ice skate as a beginner.
In this article, we will cover everything from what types of skates are available if you are interested in ice skating as a beginner to how much ice skating costs if you decide to take up this sport as a hobby.
Table of Contents
What is Ice Skating?
Ice skating is when two people or a single person using a skate, glide across the surface of ice, using either one or both of their feet.
Generally, they will hold onto a pair of “runners” that are attached to the bottom of the skates.
When skating, the skater will generally keep their arms either in front of their body, with their palms facing out, or out to the side.
It’s a fun and popular winter sport, enjoyed by people of all ages.
The sport was first documented in the early 15th century, although there are archaeological finds in China that date back to the 8th century BC.
Like most sports, the exact origin of ice skating is unknown, but there are many theories about its development.
The most popular one states that Emperor Shen-Hu of the Han Dynasty in China developed ice skating as a means of keeping warm during the winter months.
Benefits of Ice Skating
– Improves Endurance – As with any sport, regular practice will result in increased stamina and endurance.
– Strengthens Legs and Abs – Skating is a great way to strengthen your legs and abs.
This will help you to burn more calories while you are active than if you were simply walking or sitting down.
– Cardio Conditioning – As with any sport, skating will increase your heart rate and help you to develop cardio conditioning.
– Improves Flexibility – Skating is a great activity for improving flexibility.
– Socially Interactive – Like other team sports, ice skating can be a great way to interact with others and make new friends.
– Mental Afterburn – Of course, the most important benefit of skating is that it is fun and will help you to relax and de-stress.
Types of Ice Skates
– Recreational – Recreational skates are generally what most people think of when they think of ice skating.
These are the most inexpensive types of skates and are generally great for recreational use.
They are meant for skating on regular residential-style ice, rather than commercial-style ice that is specially treated for hockey and other sports.
– Recreational Figure Skates – Recreational skates are generally made of a hard plastic, making them lightweight and easy to skate on flat surfaces.
Figure skates are designed to mimic the look and feel of ice skates while providing the same benefits as a recreational skate.
This combination means that you can use figure skates outside on residential-style ice, but they are also durable enough to use on a rink.
– Recreational Roller Skates – Recreational roller skates are the most popular type of skate used for ice skating.
These are generally made of a hard plastic, are lightweight, and are durable enough for regular residential-style ice use.
– Recreational Inline Skates – Recreational inline skates, also referred to as roller hockey skates, are a hybrid of a recreational skate and an inline hockey skate.
They are generally lightweight, inexpensive, and great for recreational skating on residential-style ice.
Some people prefer recreational inline skates to recreational skates because they are quieter and less likely to track debris across a rink when skating.
How Much Does it Cost to Learn to Ice Skate?
The best way to find out how much it costs to learn to ice skate is to simply visit your local rink and see how much it costs to skate.
Most rinks will have a sign indicating exactly how much it costs to skate, and you can also ask the rink manager for more information.
Generally, to skate at a local rink will cost $5-$10 per session, and this can be either a drop-in session, where you skate for as long as you want for an hour or so, or a membership where you pay an annual fee to skate for a set number of times each year.
For example, if the nearest rink is an hour away from you, and it costs $10 per session, then that would make a month-long membership cost $60-$90.
If you prefer to skate year-round, then you might want to consider a membership that allows you to skate as many times as you want.
Whether you are interested in learning how to ice skate as a hobby or simply want to keep active during the winter, it is important to find a rink that suits your needs and that you enjoy skating at.
Equipment You’ll Need For Beginners
– Protective Gear – Protective gear is always a great idea when participating in any type of physical activity.
You want to make sure that you protect yourself against injuries and other dangers while skating.
The most important piece of protective gear that you will need is a helmet.
You should also wear a pair of decent-quality ice hockey skates (no matter what type of skates you currently have) and a pair of gloves.
You should make sure that your gloves are both thick enough to protect your hands and flexible enough to allow you to move your fingers.
– Rink Pass – Most rinks will require a pass before allowing anybody to skate on their ice.
Rink passes can be purchased from the rink manager and generally cost $5-$10 per session.
– Warm-Up Clothing – While you could probably skate in any old pair of pants and a sweater, you should always wear something warm when you skate.
This could be as simple as wearing a pair of thermal socks and a winter coat, or it could be as involved as buying a pair of quality ice skates.
Tips for Learning How To Ice skate
– Keep an Exercise Journal – One of the most important things you can do when you are learning how to ice skate is to keep track of how often you skate and how often you practice the various skating moves.
By recording these details in a journal, you can see how much progress you are making and make adjustments to ensure that you are always improving.
– Build Your Own Rink – One of the best ways to get to know your local ice rink (especially if you don’t live near a large city) is to build your own rink.
You could purchase a wood-chipping machine, a piece of wood for free, or even just a cleared patch of ground, and build a rink.
This will give you a chance to skate on your own rink and see how it measures up to the real thing.
– Maintain Proper Ice Skate Maintenance – Maintaining the proper ice skate maintenance is vital for keeping your skates in good working order and for extending the life of your skates by keeping the edges sharp and the plastic parts free of cracks.
Ice skating is a fun and exciting sport that anyone can participate in, regardless of their skating ability.
Beginners who are new to the ice can learn how to ice skate at any local rink and will generally only need some protective gear and a pair of good skates to get started.
Once you are on the ice, you can choose from a variety of skating moves to keep things interesting.
One of the best things about ice skating as a hobby is that there are so many ways to experience the activity.