Passion of Ice Skating

I will never forget that day because up until that point I had never witnessed a jump like that up close and in person. I had only seen ice skating on television, where professional figure skaters seemed to execute jumps effortlessly, almost as if they were just dancing, and not barreling down the ice rink at 20 miles per hour. And, I have to tell you that nothing prepares you to see that kind of power and speed up close. What I also remember is that I saw David’s skates at almost eye level as they reached the top of the boards that day- nearly 4 feet off the ground! That’s what I call flying!

At that rink, I got to see a lot of great skating like that all the time. It was my new home rink and I was still an amateur skater, just getting to know the sport. Seeing the raw power of that jump, and the perfect landing made me want learn how to jump and spin and do all those tricks that I saw the other skaters do, and I became determined to do what David did that day…

But my skating career began much earlier, when I was about 9 years old. It all started one summer when my mom asked me if I wanted to take up a hobby for the summer. She introduced to me the idea of either learning how to roller skate or ice skate because she thought a hobby with an exercise aspect would be good for my health. Initially, I thought about roller blading, but the streets around our house were uneven, and had plenty of cracks, which made it difficult to roller blade, so I chose ice skating because there was an ice rink close to our house. It was that simple!

I returned to the sport at age 21, and since then, I’ve learned many spins and many jumps and all the moves in between. And yes… I even the flip that I saw David perform that fateful day. Over the years I took on new elements, practiced them, took quite a few falls, got back up and finally mastered them.

I’ll tell you, there is no greater feeling in the world than learning how to spin so fast that it feels like you’re floating above the ice, or the brief weightlessness you feel when executing a jump – it’s almost like flying. And learning how to control your edges, how to stick the landing and move through footwork as though it were a melody played out before you. It took years to master some of these moves but they have been the best years of my life, because I didn’t just learn the physical moves, but gained the confidence that comes with mastering difficult physical routines!

In addition to learning elements, I learned some other things along the way too like discipline and perseverance, attention to detail and grace, strength, and confidence – all of which have served me well on and off the ice. I spent many hours at the rink drilling and working hard on my elements and I did this as often as possible not because someone told me to, but because I loved it! I even went so far as to take gymnastics and dance lessons in order to improve body awareness and grace, and I cross trained off the ice so that I could become strong and confident. All of this spilled over into other aspects of my life and created the person I am today.

I should mention that I did almost all of my skating as an adult. I realize ice skating as a sport can be intimidating, especially for adults, but regardless of your age, you can participate at any level you want to. And the best part of learning ice skating as an adult is that you get to choose how often you engage in this amazing sport. You can simply do it once a week, recreationally, and just have fun, or you could do it every day if you wanted to for an amazing exercise routine.

Another great aspect is that there isn’t a learning barrier. You could take lessons from a professional trainer, or simply get a learn-to-skate program and practice on your own, at your own pace and comfort level. The most important thing for adults to realize is that anyone can learn (women and men) and no one is too old! During my years, I’ve met all ages and people from all walks of life on the ice and have formed great friendships and come to realize that anyone can learn how to skate!

I have been teaching skating for over 15 years now and I love passing on the passion of this amazing sport! Come join me on the ice, and let me share the joys and personal development it can bring into your life!

Lacing Up

First of all, the boot of an ice skate must feel like a glove. It shouldn’t be loose or floppy in anyway. The boot after all, is an extension of your foot and being able to feel the ice is essential. So, to begin, first time skaters tend to wear thick heavy socks and this is okay for rental boots. Rental boots have little to no insulation at all so feet can get very cold in the rental boots. If a skater has ventured to buy their first pair of ice skates from the pro shop at their local rink, then it is better to wear thin socks because new skates do tend to have some insulation.

When putting on the skate, loosen all the laces so that the foot slides in easily. Then, once the foot is snuggly in the boot, tap the heel of the blade on the matt to push the heel back into the back of the boot. Adjust the tongue of the boot to fit squarely on top of the ankle. Then, put the foot with the boot flat on the floor and test the fit of the boot. Does boot pinch anywhere? Do the toes push up against the toe of the boot or do they rest flat and comfortable? Do the sides of the boot pinch at all or do the sides of your foot rest comfortably? Make sure the boot is comfortable on the foot before beginning to lace up the boot. This is important because if the boot is not comfortable in the boot unlaced, it won’t feel better when the boot is laced up.

Next, put the skate flat on the ground (or at least the heel of the boot) and begin lacing up the boot. Be sure to make the laces lie flat as you tie up the boot. Once you get close to the ankle part of the boot, lean the ankle forward so that there is bend in the ankle, see below:

Then, begin lacing up the ankle so that there is give in the boot. This is very important because you need flex in the ankle in order have movement and to facilitate various position and moves on the ice. As you get to the top of the boot there should be hooks to wrap the laces around. While the laces should be secure, do not lace it up to tight around the top of the boot. Again, the ankle will need to flex in the boot so allow for movement.

Lastly, make sure the laces are tied in a way that will not allow them to come untied. A lace dragging on the ice is a recipe for disaster and there is no worse a fall than when a lace gets under caught under the blade.

Okay, now that your boots are on and ready to go, it’s time to go have some fun!

Happy skating!

Buying Ice Skating Gear

The Best ice skates

It’s important to decide on the activity you are going to get engaged it before you go for a pair of ice skates. Actually, each gear has its own skate requirements, and you need to know these requirements before buying your first gear.

Figure skates

Let’s first talk about figure skating. This type of skating requires the performers to do spins, jumps and sharp turns or a combination of these while playing. Due to these reasons, figure skates should be flexible and sculpted from quality leather.

Ice hockey skates

Figure skates are designed for grace and speed. But ice hockey ones are designed in a way that they can withstand an intense sport as well. Unlike figure skates, ice hockey boots don’t fit the ankles of the player properly. Rather, they are more slender and flatter. Moreover, these skates are lightweight, but offer a lot more support to the player’s feet, as the blades are round at the back.

Speed skates

For speed skating, you need to make quick movements with your feet. For this reason, speed skates come with thin and long blades. Aside from this, they are designed in a way that they are not connected to the strong heel of the boots, which prevents the blades from going deep into the ice. As a result, the player slows down due to the friction. If you are a beginner, we won’t recommend these skates to you.

The Best-Fitting Ice Skates

If you are just taking a start and you are looking for a gear to learn some basics of the sport, we suggest that you go for figure skates. They will help you learn basic moves without any difficulty.

When trying on a gear, make sure they fit you. Don’t look for a pair that is too loose or tight. If these requirements are not followed, you may end up hurting your feet or ankles. The gear should provide support to your feet while you are playing.

Clothing for ice skating

While ice skating, you have to keep yourself warm and comfortable. For this, make sure you put on thick socks and tights while outside in the cold. Aside from this, your clothing has to be close-fitting, not baggy. The clothing should be durable and should restrict the pain you will suffer during the first few days of the sport.