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beginner guide ice skating

The Beginner’s Guide to Ice Skating: How Not to Fall and Look Silly

Have you ever experienced trying to skate on ice?

Skating is already hard, even when on a hard, stable surface like concrete. What more if you tried to skate on ice with ice skates? For one, you’ll have a hard time trying to skate on blades. You’ll also have to learn to balance yourself. If you’re not a natural, don’t even wonder if you find yourself on your back more often than not.

If you want to learn, take note of these beginner tips.

Tip 1: Get your bearings

Since you’re only beginning, you should learn the proper way to avoid falling. Too many people try to impress and only end up looking foolish. The trick is to keep your knees bent and transfer your weight to your feet’s balls—the part near the end. Keep your arms out to the side, just as if you’re balancing yourself. You should also keep your tummy in and your chest and shoulders forward.

Tip 2: Slow and steady does the trick

When learning to skate for the first time, take small strides on the ice using your toes to point the way. When you start to move, you should keep your feet centered, lest you slide too much and you lose balance and give up control. If you want to stop, you should get your feet parallel to each other and then use your heels to stop.

Tip 3: Let your shoulders do the steering

As when you’re learning to ride a bike, it’s better to take things slow and steady the first time. When you need to turn, it’s better to do it using your upper body to direct the way you’re skating. Use your shoulders to tilt yourself to the direction you want to go. By tilting it to the side or to the other, you’re going to create a round arc turning toward where you want to go.

Tip 4: Keep blades sharpened

The blades on your skates are what keep you gliding across the ice. If you feel that you’re giving up control as you move on the ice, there might be something wrong with the blades. You should have it re-sharpened and fit for skating again. There’s nothing you can do if you’re using rented skates; the amount of use must have driven it to wear and tear.

Tip 5: Protect your hands

You should protect your skin when you’re in contact with ice. When you fall—and you’re going to—you should get up using your hands balled into a fist. It’s in this form that you should push yourself to stand up and get skating again.

Remember, the harder you fall, the stronger you should rise up. Even if it’s only skating, you should all the more stand up and get gliding again. The nicks and bruises will be a story to tell when you become better.