Ice skating is a great way to have fun while doing something that is good for you! Age is not a factor — skating is a great sport for everyone, and it is never too late to learn. Skating is good exercise; it helps build muscles, stimulates your heart, and improves coordination and balance. Combined with a healthy diet, skating can be an important part of your fitness plan. In addition to the sport being healthy, skating is plain fun.
WHAT WILL I NEED?
Whether skating indoors or outdoors, dress for warmth by layering your clothing. As you get warm, you may wish to discard a layer. Remember to bring your gloves and hat. Comfort and ability to move freely are also very important. Jeans can be restrictive. We suggest close-fitting but not tight pants. Sweatpants or warm up pants are ideal. Your feet will feel best if you wear one pair of lightweight socks or tights. Bulky or thick socks may limit the support provided by the boot and may also create “lumps and bumps” inside your boot. Make sure you have enough room to move your toes once your foot is properly laced in the boot. Safety helmets are becoming more popular for beginning skaters. If you are interested in obtaining information about safety helmets, contact a local sporting goods store.
We have gloves, hats, socks, gators (neck warmers), and handwarmers for sale at the ticket window!
WHAT ABOUT SKATES?
The boot should provide a snug fit. It should be made of firm material, preferably top grain leather, to help support the ankle. Make sure the hooks and eyelets are firmly anchored and that the boot is fully lined. If the boot is too big, it will not provide the necessary support. If the boot is too small, OUCH! You will experience great discomfort. Proper fit is essential to success in skating! The blades should be stainless steel so that they will hold an edge. They should be mounted on the boot with screws.
NEW, USED, OR RENTALS?
It is not always necessary to buy new skates. Used skates can be a great bargain if you know what to look for. Some rinks and/or skating clubs hold periodic skate re-sales. If you are unsure as to the condition of a pair of skates, ask your skating instructor for tips. When purchasing used equipment, look for clean, firm leather boots, fully lined. Look at the soles to see that they are not rotted. Check the blades for deep nicks and scratches and make sure they still have enough room for future sharpening. If you decide to buy brand new skates, ask your instructor for the names of skate manufacturers and for locations on where they can be purchased. Some skate shops carry beginning skates or they can order them directly from the manufacturer. Most manufacturers produce a beginning boot that comes with a beginning blade. As you become more advanced, you may wish to check out specialty blades that can be mounted on specialty boots. But when you’re just starting out, that is not necessary. If you choose not to invest in your own skates, rental skates will do just fine too! When renting skates, ask for a pair with firm boots and sharp blades.
Loosen the lace, pull the tongue forward, and insert your foot into the boot. Center the boot tongue and pull it up. Then tighten the laces through the eyelets so that they are snug (no slack) but not too tight. To insure proper support for the ankles, the tightest point of lacing should be at the instep. Follow by crisscrossing the laces snugly around each hook. When you reach the top hook, tie a secure bow. If the ends of the lace are too long, wrap the laces through the hooks again and then tie a bow in front. Do not let the ends drag on the ice. A good fit will allow you to insert a finger in the back of your boot.
* from U.S Figure Skating Skate With U.S. Record Book