Introduction: Beginners Ice Skating Support

When they opened up the public ice rink in my city I decided to get some skates for my 2-year-old daughter to see if she'd like to spend some time sliding around on the metal blades ...

The first time out my back lasted one circuit holding her up and while she wanted to keep going my body wasn't up to the job of staying half bent and steadying her for more without a break. I realized at this point that she needed a skating support frame that would allow her to work at her own pace and gain her own balance. There were some good examples being used by small kids that I paid close attention to and came up with this instructable.

Step 1: Hit the Hardware Store ...

The parts that are needed for this:

6 x 1" PVC 90-degree elbows
4 x 1" PVC tees
2 x 1" 45-degree elbows
15' of 1" PVC pipe

Tools:

Tape measure
Hacksaw

** If you want to make it permanent you can use PVC glue, I found that the joints were tight enough to forgo the glue and just jammed it together. Hoping to make it grow with my daughter as she needs.

Step 2: Fitting the Youngster ...

To figure out how big I needed it all to be I started by measuring my toddler.

Height from the floor to her armpit: 26"
Width at the shoulders: 15"

I used this to make the width of the frame 24" overall, should give her room to move her skates side to side and with the extra height given to her by the skates will have her hands rest comfortably about 6" lower than her shoulders.

Step 3: Cutting Out the Pieces ...

Once I knew what my overall dimensions were going to be then I had the starting point for making the appropriate lengths of pipe for fitting it all together.

First, make the top bar and the front bar, it required 4 x 2 3/4" side pieces and a centre piece of 7 1/4". With the 1 1/8" insertion length into the fittings that made the overall length 24". Each bar was made with a 90-degree on each end, shorter pipes from the 90-degree pieces to the tees and then the longer piece in the middle.

After pushing it together I cut two lengths of 26" and then connected both the already assembled bars together via the right-angle outlets on the tees. Then I cut the lengths that will form the bottom of the frame to 14 1/4" and then went to see how it fit my daughter.

At this point I knew what my front angle would be so I cut two (2) pieces there were each 8" long that would go from the top bar down to intersect the 45-degree elbow before meeting the bottom joint. The lower piece needed to be 7 1/4" long to push the angle out correctly.

Step 4: Finished Assembly ...

Pressing everything together felt pretty tight. I wouldn't use glue on this and if it does start to unseat any joints I might try drilling a small hole where two pieces fit together and using a small screw to fix it into place.

One nice thing is that when you remove the lower pieces of PVC from the 45-degree joints the frame will fold flat for storage.

Happy skating!

Step 5: Works ...

My daughter had a pretty good time using it on the ice. As you can see she stayed upright and actually lasted longer on the ice than her dear old dad did. Typically her falls were her feet slipping out forward and landing on her butt so she didn't have a chance to knock a tooth out (but yes, I am embarrassed that I forgot her helmet)

Comments

author
DuxHuntin (author)2015-02-23

I just wanted to post my 4 yo using your design! Works great! it rained last night so we put it together to use in the driveway not the best place for skating, but it will be accompanying us to the rink next time!

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author
captain_geek (author)DuxHuntin2015-02-23

That is great to see ... looks like she's enjoying it as much as my daughter ...

author
kelseymh (author)2014-12-24

That's awesome! Has your daughter gotten to use it on the ice yet? If so, it'd be really cool to add a post-script about whether it was successful or not.

author
captain_geek (author)kelseymh2014-12-29

We got out this weekend and I added an extra step to show the video ...

author
kelseymh (author)captain_geek2014-12-29

Great! Right near the end there's a bit where your niece picks up one hand to rub her head. The whole thing is completely stable, even one handed. Congratulations on your success!

author
captain_geek (author)2014-12-26

One thing that this design has going for it over some of the commercial versions is that by using the 45-degree angle in the back it projects behind the point of support which means as she pushes down on the handle it won't have a tendency to flip backwards ... but yes, some padding to get her started is probably a good idea too :)

author
Battlespeed (author)2014-12-26

Still gonna fall - and that frame has a chipped tooth in it somewhere. I'd get some of those pool tubie things and wrap the top crossbar.

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mole1 (author)Battlespeed2014-12-26

or pipe insulation

author
captain_geek (author)2014-12-25

We're going to try it out this weekend ... will see if I can get some good video footage and post that along with this ... action shots are always good ...

Thanks for the great response, this being my first instructable to post it makes me wish I had documented some other projects for my daughter over the last year ...

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千鲤 (author)2014-12-25

So cute⊙▽⊙

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TinKicker (author)2014-12-25

Great job on this! Makes me wish my kids were little again lol. That's sure a cutie you've got there...enjoy every moment.

Merry Christmas!

author
Wired_Mist (author)2014-12-25

That looks Soooo much better then what I had to learn on. Love the fold flat Design; Good Job !

author
LolAshley (author)2014-12-24

I really like this Instructable! If I ever find myself living near an ice-skating rink, I will do this! I love iceskating, but ever since I moved I haven't been able to practice, so this might help both my niece(Soon to be born an iceskater!) and I skate again! I honestly really hope this will get featured, you deserve it!

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