Introduction: Learning to Ice Skate and Stop
Learning to ice skate is not an easy process. It takes time and patience. If you are able to stick with it you may find a new passion in life you never knew existed.
Hockey Skates: Buy your own or use rentals
Step 1: Skate Size Selection
Selecting the proper skate size is important. If it is too large or too small it will cause injury including ankle sprains, bruising, and blisters. If renting skates, start with a skate 1/2 to 1 size below current shoe size. When the skates are on, toes should not touch the end of the skate.
Step 2: Loosening Skates and Inserting Feet
In order to loosen the skates find a solid chair or bench to sit at. Loosen the skate laces by pulling the laces loose, working from the top of the skate to the toe. Be sure not to pull the laces from the eyelets. Once the laces are loose grab the top of the skate tongue and pull it towards the front of the skate. Insert feet into each skate. They should slide in easily with a small amount of pressure. Once both feet are in lightly tap the back of the skate blade on the floor and ensure your heels are at the back of the skate.
Step 3: Tying the Skates
When both feet are snug in the skate begin tightening the skate laces. One foot at a time, beginning at the toe end of each skate, pull the laces outwards and up. The skates should be tight but not painful. Once they are fully tightened tie the skate as you would tie a shoe. Do not wrap any excess lace around the outside of the boot. This could cause injury. Instead double knot the laces and tuck the excess inside the skate.
Step 4: Checking Skate Tightness
Once both skates are fully laced stand up. Keeping skates on the floor wiggle both ankles side to side to ensure there is not excess ankle movement. More than 2 inches of movement means the skates are too loose or may need a different size skate. Walk around and ensure both feet are secure. If there is any rubbing inside skate, adjust the skate tightness and try again.
Step 5: Stepping Onto the Ice
Using the boards and rails for balance step one foot onto the ice at a time. Ensure foot is planted and solid before the second foot steps out. After both feet are on the ice and balance is achieved release the boards.
Step 6: Proper Skating Stance
Proper skating stance will start the skating motion. Begin by facing in the direction of desired travel. Stand with skates shoulder width apart. Bend knees slightly until they are over the tips of the skates. Squat down 1-2 inches into a high squat position. Bend over slightly at the waist and keep the upper back straight. Arms should be out to sides, palms down for balance. This is the proper skating stance to begin skating.
Step 7: Begin Skating Stride With Right Foot
Begin by turning the toe of the right skate outwards at a 45 degree angle and use the toe end of the skate blade to push down and backwards. This will push the body into a forward glide. The right leg will extend behind about the distance of a running stride. The left foot will stay pointing in the direction of travel, with knee still over the toe and body remaining in high squat position. Right foot will lift off the ice and come back to parallel with the left foot.
Step 8: Continue Stride With Left Foot
Once right foot comes back to parallel start stride with left skate. Begin by turning the toe of the left skate outwards at a 45 degree angle and use the toe end of the skate blade to push down and backwards. This will push the body into a forward glide. The left leg will extend behind about the distance of a running stride. The right foot will stay pointing in the direction of travel, with knee still over the toe and body remaining in high squat position. Left foot will lift off the ice and come back to parallel with the left foot.
Step 9: Full Forward Stride
By repeating steps 7 and 8 this is the full forward stride motion. This is a video of the skating stride in motion.
Step 10: Turning Left and Right
To turn left or right simply turn the shoulders in the desired direction and continue with forward stride.
Step 11: Stopping
Stopping is a required skill in order to ice skate. To stop, bring both feet parallel. Using the dominant foot, turn toes inward slightly and allow foot to put very little pressure on the ice, keeping foot level. Begin pushing the foot outwards and gently glide to a stop. This stopping motion will lead into the full hockey stop.