Top tips on the ice
- Don’t look down — It’s amazing how many people starting out in skating spend all their time looking at their feet rather than in the direction they are going. Instead, keep your head up and look in front of you so at least you can see who or what you are about to collide with!
- Tie skates the correct way — The right skates for you will not be the correct ones if they are tied incorrectly. Make sure your skates are not too tight or your feet will likely go numb, while having your skates too loose will not provide the proper support for your ankles.
- Warm up slowly — Given that skating takes place generally in a cold arena, then your muscles are initially going to be cold. Prior to skating, it’s not really wise to just throw your leg over a barrier and start stretching. Stretching in a cold environment can lead to muscle tears, so wrap up well (but not as to restrict your movement) and start with some bend and work up to stretching.
- Don’t lean backwards — Leaning back will likely send you flying on your backside or worse. The best advice is to keep your knees bent and your weight forward. Hold your arms out in front of you and open them wide to help you stay balanced.
- There’s no stopping you! — Naturally, one of the basics you’ll need to know is how to stop. To stop, bend your knees, turn the toes of each foot inwards, point your heels out, and push out on your heels. This will slow you down and bring you to a stop, rather than barreling into an unfortunate stranger.
- Skate in the correct direction — While initially the direction you are skating may not be of your choosing, there is usually a directional rule to follow on the ice, either clockwise or vice-versa. Don’t try skating the wrong way round the ice rink as you’ll end up hurting others and quite possibly yourself.
- Don’t take it too seriously — When you fall down (and be sure you will), have a laugh about it and get right back up on your skates again. Don’t take yourself or your skating too seriously, after all, even the best end up on their backs from time to time. It’s even funnier if you do it in style!