0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Check Out Continue Shopping

    Info & Tips

    Ice Skating and Rollerblading: Which is Best or Hardest?

    Ice Skating and Rollerblading: Which is Best or Hardest?

    Is ice skating harder than rollerblading?

    If you're starting out, which is best or hardest?

    Should I try both?

    And if I learn one, will it make the other easier?

    These are all pressing questions for anyone jumping into roller or ice sports.

    Ice skating and rollerblading are fantastic options for either recreational or competitive purposes.

    They are also growing in popularity.

    Statistics show that more than 11.3 million Americans rollerblade.

    Ice skating has about 9.5 million participants, and this does not include sports like ice hockey or speed skating.

    Create Your Own Ice or Rollerblading Rink Right At Home With Polyglide Ice

    Whichever one you choose, you're in good hands.

    Both disciplines can look hard to start and appear even harder to master.

    This blog post will help compare and contrast them so you can decide which one is 'best' or 'hardest' and get started as soon as possible.

    what is ice skating

    What is ice skating anyway?

    Ice skating is a practice that uses boots with metal blades attached so you can slide and glide over smooth ice surfaces.

    You may notice it during the Olympics, as figure skaters pull off near-impossible moves on the ice.

    However, ice skating is a practice that dates back thousands of years.

    History suggests that the first ice skates were made from bone and leather shoes to travel over icy tundra.

    Over time, the bone turned to metal blades.

    What was a necessity turned into a recreation and then a competitive sport.
    The concept is simple.

    You wear ice skates and move swiftly and gracefully over smooth ice surfaces like rinks, ponds, and lakes using ice skates.

    Using a pushing motion, you can move across these smooth surfaces effortlessly.

    There's a science behind ice skating.

    The pressure and friction of the blades create a thin film of water, allowing the blades to move through a process called hydroplaning.

    This interaction between ice and the blade allows you to control your movement and direction.

    Ice skating also involves balance, control, and maneuverability, which only comes with practice.

    Over time, you develop speed and can perform various jumps, turns, and spins.

    These moves are part of the competitive skating we see today.

     skate shop

    What do you need to ice skate?

    A big relief for the question, "is ice skating harder than roller skating," is that you do not require lots of equipment to start.

    You need three things:

    1. A pair of ice skates: These are boots with sharp blades attached to the soles. The boot is made of leather, synthetic plastic, or some combination of these materials, which is essential for stability and ankle protection. These skates are generally lighter than inline skates.

    2. An ice surface: A large smooth surface made of ice is necessary for skating. Rinks can naturally form due to winter temperatures freezing large bodies of water. However, most rinks are indoors and created using a process of refrigeration. Some people make their own backyard rinks during the wintertime. Now, synthetic ice rinks do not depend on freezing temperatures. The right skating surface ensures you have a wonderful time on the ice.

    3. Protection: You'll also need to have warm clothing and some safety equipment like knee pads or helmets. As you master it, knee pads and helmets aren't necessary.

    learning ice skating skills

    Ice skating techniques and skills

    You'll need to develop a few skills to become a competent ice skater.

    ● Balance: You will be navigating the ice on blades 1 to 1.5mm (about 0.06 in) wide. Skates need to distribute their weight evenly to prevent falls and accomplish different moves on the ice.
    ● Edge control: Blades have two edges – an inside and an outside edge. Leaning the skates and body in specific movements allows skaters to utilize these edges for stopping, turns, spins, jumps, and much more.
    ● Forward and backward swizzles and slaloms: Ice skaters learn to skate both forward and backward, crossing over the legs to make swizzles or staying low to the ice for amazing slaloms.
    ● Turns and jumps: Skaters will learn the different turns and jumps that combine edges and the toe pick as they move up in competency.

    Ice skating is a technical skill that needs guidance and coaching. Beginners should learn from a coach for the best results.

    inline roller blading

    What about rollerblading?

    Rollerblading is an activity where you roll or glide along a surface using wheeled boots or shoes.

    Rollerblade wheels are in a single row, hence giving them the name inline skates.

    With rollerblading, you push off the skates one foot at a time, with the wheels propelling you forward.

    This action (and the wheels) also determines speed, maneuverability, and control.

    Compared to ice skating, rollerblading started around the 18th century, first introduced as roller skating on quad skates.

    Various inventors changed or improved the design until the first inline skates were born in the mid-1800s.

    The design has changed over the years to become the inline skates we call 'rollerblades' today.

    Some of the popular rollerblade brands include K2, Macroblade, Roller Derby, and FR skates.

    There are different types of inline skates with 3 to 5 wheels of varying sizes.

    Your inline skating essentials

    Rollerblading requires a few essentials based on your skill level. These include:

    1. Roller blades: These boots are often made of a hard plastic to protect the foot and ankle. Inline skates also come with different sizes of wheels and designs for recreational skating, city skating, and freestyle skating. Choosing a beginner skate before moving on to other styles.
    2. Safety equipment: Beginners are expected to wear helmets, and wrist, knee, and elbow pads. This safety equipment protects the body from falls. Wearing long-sleeved clothing is also recommended for beginners.
    3. Skating surface: Rollerblading can be done anywhere with a hard surface, like asphalt, pavement, or concrete. The surface can also be smooth, like polished concrete or hardwood, which is common in roller rinks.

    roller blading skills

    Rollerblading techniques and skills

    Balance: Rollerblading, like ice skating, requires balance on the inline wheels. The skater must position themselves to distribute the weight and align the body. Depending on the type of rollerblades, the width of the wheels provides more stability.
    Edges: Like ice skates, roller blades have an inside and outside edge. These can be used to help navigate turns or perform skill moves.
    Power: To perform certain jumps and tricks while rollerblading, you'll need more power. Since there is more friction on rough surfaces, roller bladers need to generate more force to perform the same move. Rollerblades are also slightly heavier, making advanced moves more taxing on the body than ice skating.

    Ice skating and rollerblading benefits

    Do you know that ice skating and rollerblading have similar benefits?

    Whichever one you choose, you'll enjoy many of these advantages:

    Improved cardiovascular health: Both increase your heart rate and are great aerobic exercises.
    ● Muscle strengthening: Rollerblading and ice skating require full body movement. Muscle activation is great for strengthening and toning. It's not uncommon to see professional skaters with strong legs, arms, and core.
    ● It's fun: Who wouldn't have a good time skating? Whether it's with friends, family, competing, or social activities, both ice skating and rollerblading take the stress away.
    ● Professional avenues available: Young people can move into competitive or professional spaces in both sports, making a career


    What are the differences and similarities between ice skating and rollerblading?

    Anyone curious to know if ice skating is harder than rollerblading is surprised to find there are many similarities between the two sports (besides the benefits we mentioned).


    Balance: You'll need to establish proper balance when ice skating or rollerblading. These require bending the knees and keeping a balanced head, arms, and shoulders. Beginner ice skating often requires a deeper bend of the knee.
    Swizzles and turns: Both sports have turns, and swizzles as an important part. Ice skaters tend to focus on mastering edges and jumps. Rollerbladers focus on turns, tricks, and style.
    Jumps: At advanced stages, both sports encourage jumps, with ice skating having advanced technical moves like a triple axel.
    Skill level: Both can be learned at almost any age, with most beginners being young children.


    Surfaces: The biggest difference comes in the surfaces you need to skate or rollerblade. Ice is wet and slippery with little to no friction. You can do both sports indoors and outdoors, but for ice skating, you'll require access to an indoor rink or synthetic ice rink.
    Utility: Since most surfaces in urban areas are asphalt or pavement, you can rollerblade almost everywhere. It's not uncommon to see people use rollerblades as a mode of transport or even to deliver items.
    Stopping: With little friction, ice skaters must use moves the snowplow stop or T stop. Some beginner and intermediate rollerblades come with a breaking mechanism at the end of the wheels.
    Toe picks: Figure skates and some recreational ice skates have a serrated point to help with specific turns.
    Speed: Because of the reduced friction, ice skaters go faster than rollerbladers. Ice skaters can go more than twice as fast as rollerbladers.

    is ice skating harder than rollerblading

    Is ice skating harder than rollerblading?

    Beginners find that ice skating is harder than rollerblading.

    New ice skaters benefit from an innate ability to balance as it requires more than rollerblading.

    It's slippery and faster than rollerblading, so that can be a challenge for newbies.

    Ice skating also requires more technical knowledge for turns, and other movements, which can take a longer time to master.

    Rollerblading requires a similar commitment to balance, control, and skill, but it may be easier to get the hang of the basics.

    Both carry their unique challenges, so it's down to what is your preference, environment, and other specific challenges that will prevent you from committing to one or both.

    Is ice skating better than rollerblading?

    Both sports have fantastic benefits, with one not better than the other.

    Again, it depends on your personal preference.

    Rollerblading is generally easier to learn.

    People are less intimidated by falling on asphalt and concrete.

    Rollerblading is also a lot more accessible.

    Finding an ice skating surface can be challenging, especially in warmer states (unless of course you own PolyGlide Synthetic Ice ;-)

    With rollerblading, all you need is a sidewalk, parking lot, playground, skate park, or roller rink.

    Public locations are also conducive to rollerblading, think the Venice boardwalk or Navy Pier in Chicago.

    On the other hand, ice skating requires more technical skills and training.

    While we mentioned you don't need much money to start, ice skating is also a well-organized sport with different skill levels.

    Going through the ranks can sometimes be costly.

    You must pay to use the rink, coaching, competition, costumes, and other equipment.

    If budget is a problem, you can move on to ice skating from rollerblading.

    At the same time, ice skating is a skill that's in high demand and can lead to many opportunities, so the investment is worth it.

    enjoying ice skating and rollerblading

    Enjoying ice skating AND rollerblading

    Ice skating and rollerblading each need specific surfaces to participate.

    Ice skating needs frozen ice rinks, and rollerblades need a hard surface like asphalt or concrete.

    Recently, skaters have discovered you can use synthetic ice rinks for both disciplines.

    Synthetic ice rinks were primarily created for ice skating with your actual blades on a surface that's not ice.

    This surface is made of polyethylene plastic, infused with a slip surface agent to help with skating.

    Not only is the surface durable, but it's versatile, meaning you can rollerskate and rollerblade!

    Learn more about rollerblading on synthetic ice in one of our popular blog posts.

    Is ice skating harder than roller skating? Let's reassess this question.

    The question should not be, "Is ice skating harder than roller skating?"

    Both disciplines have similarities and differences.

    Both have pros and cons.

    And frankly, anything you start will be challenging and have some degree of failure.

    The question should be, "Which is more appealing to me right now?"

    If you're more drawn to ice skating, start it first.

    If rollerblading is easier to get into, try that instead.

    There's no rule that says you can't do both!

    When you finally begin to get the hang of the one you choose, you'll realize the principles are about the same.

    Experts agree it is easier to transition to rollerblading from ice skating than vice versa.

    However, the mechanics are about the same as the position of inline skates mimics that of ice skate blades.

    The most important thing is to choose one that appeals to you.

    From there, have fun, commit to learning, don't be afraid to fall, and then move on to the other.

    If you're interested in learning how to ice skate in the comfort of your own home, any time of the year please pay us a visit!



    50 Interesting and Fun Ice Skating Facts (2023)

    50 Interesting and Fun Ice Skating Facts (2023)

    Ice skating is a fantastic sport that challenges the body and mind. Kids and adults of all ages skate, especially during the winter holidays.

    But have you ever wondered about the origins of ice skating?

    Are you intrigued by the sport and want to know more about its history?

    You’re in the right place.

    Create Your Own Skating Memories Right At Home With Polyglide Synthetic Ice

    These 50 ice skating facts will help answer your pressing questions, and some may even blow your mind.

    bone ice skates

    Ice Skating Origins

    1. The first ice skates were made of bone.

    Some historians trace the first ice skates in Finland, where people used sharpened bones attached to leather straps to transport themselves and materials over large areas of ice. (Source:Britannia)

    2. Ice skating is one of the oldest sports.

     Evidence of people skating on ice for competitive purposes dates the Middle Ages and then the early 1700s in the Netherlands, France, and Britain. (Source: Britannia)

    3. The first figure skating club started in the 1740s in Edinburgh, Scotland.

    Members had to pass an entrance exam, which included jumping over a stack of three hats. If only they could see the jumps performed now! (Source:

    4. The first organized international competition occurred in 1914.

    The competition was put on by the International Skating Union (ISU), which was founded in 1892. The event was open to all amateur skaters (Source: ISU)

    5. The first metal skates were Dutch-made.

    The Dutch played a significant role in advancing ice skate concepts. In the 13th century, they began using wooden platforms with iron blades to navigate frozen canals and waterways for transportation during winter months. (Source: Wonderopolis)

    duthc ice skates

    6. So were the first ice skating boots.

    The Dutch may have also been responsible for making ice skating boots. Jacob de Gheyn II created the clamp-style ice skate that attached to boots and was easily removable. (Source: Lihpao)

    7. John Wilson is one of the oldest ice skating blade brands.

    Blades and boots are often manufactured separately, though there are many brands today that make both. John Wilson is one of the first blade-making brands on record, established in 1696. (Source: John Wilson Skates)

    8. Ice skating was once only for the wealthy.

     Like renting of pineapples, Ice skating became fashionable and accessible only among European aristocrats and nobility in the 17th and 18th centuries. French and Russian royalty were particularly fond of ice skating. This status still permeates skating today, as there is an impression that the sport is expensive to start and only accessible to certain economic classes. (Source: Atlas Obscura)

    9. The first indoor Ice hockey game was in 1875,

    The origin of ice hockey is still murky. However, the first indoor ice hockey game was played in Montreal, Quebec, on March 3rd, 1875. (Source:

    10. In the Winter Olympics, all ice skating sports are held indoors.

    Figure skating, speed skating, hockey, and curling are all held indoors. All other ice sports are essentially outdoor events (Source: Top End Sports)

     some facts

    Ice Skating Facts

    11. Over 9.5 million Americans ice skate.

    Ice skating numbers declined over the last ten years, but its popularity is rising again, especially since the pandemic. (Source: Statista)

    12. You’re not melting the ice with your blades.

    Ice actually develops a microscopic film of water over its surface, allowing you to glide across it with your blades (Source: Vox)

    13. Don’t confuse hydroplaning with hydroblading.

    Hydroblading is an advanced figure skating move where the skater establishes a deep edge and stretches the body in a deep, low position, almost touching the ice (Source: Wikipedia)

    14. Figure skaters generate about 4Gs of force.

    Skaters fight about 4Gs of force when taking off for a quadruple jump and up to 14Gs when landing. (Source: BYU)

    15. Ice skate blades have two edges.

    Your skate blades may look like one piece of metal, but it’s actually formed to have two edges. (Source: Figure Skating Etc)


    16. Skaters exceed 300 revolutions per minute.

    Olivia Oliver holds the world record at 342 revolutions. (Source:

    17. Figure skating started by drawing figures on the ice.

     Figure skaters were once judged on the figures or patterns they had to make with their skates on the ice. (Source: Britannica)

    18. Rink sizes vary for different sports.

    Hockey rinks are 200 x 85 feet while figure skating rinks are 200 x 100 feet (Source: NHL)

    19. Kjeld Nuis set the world record for the fastest speed on ice skates.

    In 2022, Dutch skater Kjeld Nuis went 64 miles per hour while skating behind a device to reduce wind drag (Source: Red Bull)

    20. Skate Canada just removed gender barriers in figure skating.

    In an ‘ice breaking’ historic move, Skate Canada has removed gender barriers from pairs and dance teams. Now you don’t need male-female teams! (Source: Skate Canada)

     refrigerated ice rink

    Fascinating Facts About Ice Rinks

    21. Thomas Rankin built the US's first mechanically refrigerated ice rink.

    It was placed in Madison Square Garden, New York. (Source: Vintage Minnesota Hockey)

    22. The first synthetic ice rink - one that did not involve water or ice  - was built in 1841.

    The Glacarium used pig fat, lard, salts, and copper. (Source: Smithsonian)

    23. The world's largest outdoor ice rink is the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa, Canada.

    It stretches over 7.8 kilometers (4.8 miles). Some Ottawans even use the rink to ice skate to work or school! (Source: Ottawa Tourism)

    24. The largest indoor ice rink in the world is the Harbin Ice and Snow World in China.

    It covers an area of over 750,000 square feet. (Source: Ice Festival Harbin)

    25. The Boston Bruins was the first hockey team to use a Zamboni.

    The Zambonis were created by namesake Frank Zamboni. Now there are other manufacturers, but they are all called the brand name “Zambonis,” like Coca-Cola or Botox.


    26. Ice skating facts reveal that rinks require significant water to create and maintain the surface.

    Making a standard-size ice rink can take about 12,000 to 15,000 gallons of water.

    27. The first synthetic ice rink made of “plastic” came in the 1980s.

    The concept of skating on plastic has been around since the 1960s, but the first massive rink came some 20 years later. It was later showcased on ABC's Shark Tank by PolyGlide Ice in December of 2016. (Source: Wikipedia)

    28. The Calumet Colosseum is considered the oldest operating continuous-use ice rink in North America.

    The rink was built in 1913 in Calumet, Michigan (Source: NHL)

    29. There are over 7,000 rinks in Canada, the most in the world but just over 2,000 in the USA. 

    (Source: Statista)

    30. The most famous ice rink in the world is the Rockefeller Rink in Manhattan, NY.

    (Source: Rockefeller Center)

    olympic figure skating

    Fantastic Feats On The Ice

    31. Figure skating became an official Olympic sport in 1908.

    It’s also one of the oldest events in the Winter Olympic Games. (Source: USOPM)

    32. The first man to land a quadruple jump competition was Kurt Browning of Canada in 1988.

    He won the 1988 Worlds in Hungary and went on to three-peat. He sadly never won an Olympic medal. (Source: Skate Canada)

    33. The first woman to land a triple Axel in the competition was Midori Ito of Japan in 1988.

    Considered the most difficult jump, she tried it, missed, then landed it at the end of her performance. (Source: Olympics)

    34. The first triple jump in figure skating was performed by Axel Paulsen in 1882.

     It is now a common element in the sport. He also created a specific jump, the Axel, one of the only jumps to start from a forward outside edge. He also wore hockey skates when he created it. (Source: Britannia)

    35. France’s Surya Bonaly performed the backflip and was the first woman to attempt a quad.

    She’s a trailblazer in every sense of the word, rattling ice skating because of her unorthodox look, style, attempts, and, yes, even her skin color. She’s the first to land a backflip, landing on one ice skate, and the first woman to attempt a quadruple jump in competition. (Source: Time and Wikipedia)

    2857 points 

    36. Wayne Gretzky, considered the greatest hockey player of all time, has the most points in history.

    Records are meant to be broken, but his 2857 points still reigns supreme. (Source: NHL)

    37. The most continuous upright spins on ice skates on one foot is 115.

    Don’t get dizzy, but the record was set by Lucinda Ruh of Switzerland in 2003. (Source: SwissInfo)

    38. The Dutch Speed Skating Championship, the Alternative Elfstedentocht, is a grueling 200-kilometer (124-mile) course.

    It’s arguably the biggest sporting event in the country. (Source: CBS)

    39. Nathan Chen landed 6 quad jumps in a single routine.

    The Asian American did it at the 2018 Olympics and has the nickname ‘The Quad King.’ However, the quad axel still eludes him. (Source: People)

    40. In 2022, Ilia Malinin landed the first quad Axel in competition.

    Hold my beer, Nathan. Malinin did it at the ISU Grand Prix and was only 17. It took over 40 years to get from a 3A to a 4A. (Source: Eurosport)

    crashed ice

    More interesting ice skating facts

    41. Red Bull Crashed Ice is an extreme ice skating race.

    Crashed Ice features a thrilling combination of ice skating, downhill racing, and obstacle course elements. Skaters race down a steep track filled with jumps, tight turns, and challenging obstacles, reaching speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour (37 miles per hour). (Source: Red Bull)

    42. The first Disney on Ice was in East Rutherford, New Jersey in 1981.

    It was a sold-out show that recruited some of the best ice skaters worldwide. (Source: Disney)

    43. Have you heard of broomball or ringette?

    These sports use brooms or rings to get items into a goal. Think of it as hockey Lite. (Source: Broomball)

    44. Sweden won the 2023 Bandy World Championship.

    Bandy is a team sport that resembles a mix of ice hockey and soccer. It is played on ice using a ball rather than a puck. The Bandy World Championship is an annual international tournament that showcases this unique winter sport. The event features teams from various countries competing for the championship. (Source: FIB)

    45. Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan placed a worldwide spotlight on figure skating.

    In 1994, ice skating was thrust into the international limelight when Nancy Kerrigan was attacked in an attempt to break her knees by Shane Stant, contracted by Tonya’s ex-husband and her bodyguard. Harding and Kerrigan had a fierce rivalry, and Harding, to this day, denies being involved in the attack. The controversy has created several media pieces, including the movie I,Tonya. (Source: Biography)

    home rink

    46. You can make your own ice rink.

    With some ingenuity, water, and wood, you can make your own ice rink in the winter. (Source: Home Depot)

    47. Jumping over barrels is a thing.

    Barrel jumping was a popular sport where ice skaters build up speed to jump over a series of barrels lying side by side. The world record barrel jump is 18, set by Yvon Jolin Junior of Canada in 1980. (Source: Messy Nessy)

    48. Ice skating is a great full-body workout.

    It requires more than 200 muscles to be engaged. Pick up skating if you’re looking for a fun way to stay in shape! (Source: Sports Medicine Weekly

    49. You can sync up your skating.

    The concept of synchronized ice skating, where a team performs choreographed routines, was introduced in the 1950s. (Source: US Figure Skating)

    50. Yvonne Dowlen is a 90-year-old ice skater.

    Yvonne proved that age is just a number, skating professionally for several decades and teaching for several more. (Source: National Geographic)

    And That's a Fact!

    Did you enjoy these ice skating facts?

    They reveal that ice skating has a deep, decorated, and celebrated history.

    If you’re new to ice skating or a seasoned pro, we hope these ice skating facts help connect you to the sport more.

    From its ancient roots to modern innovations, and from its role in sports to leisure activities, these 50 ice skating facts have revealed a captivating universe on blades.

    May they inspire you to lace up, hit the ice, and embrace the exhilarating combination of grace, strength, and balance that defines this incredible activity.

    Whether you're a seasoned skater or a beginner, every glide across the rink is an addition to this vibrant story of ice skating.

    For those ambitious skaters that want some of their own personal ice that will never melt, we have just the thing for you!




    10 Ice Skating Tips for Beginners to Help Master the Rink

    10 Ice Skating Tips for Beginners to Help Master the Rink

    If you need ice skating tips for beginners, you’ve probably got your hands on a pair of ice skates, and you’re eager to learn.

    Or perhaps you bought your kids their first pair of skates. You want to be well-informed when it’s time for them to hit the ice rink.

    Whatever the reason, these tips can help you master the rink in a fraction of the time.

    Ice skating can feel exhilarating when flying across the ice or landing jumps.

    It’s also the foundation for hockey and other ice sports. But you must crawl before you walk (and walk before you fly).

     Lace-Up And Skate At Home With The Holiday Home Rink By PolyGlide Ice

    Repeated wipeouts can discourage you from excelling at this skill if you do not know what you're doing... you’ll give up before you start.

    Just remember, even professional skaters had to start somewhere so you're in good company.

    Ice skating has countless benefits.

    It’s a great workout for adults, helping you burn calories while strengthening and toning your body.

    You can also improve your well-being by picking up a new hobby and learning the basics of ice skating.

    For kids, it could start a fantastic journey or career in an ice-related sport.

    From the outside, ice skating can look scary, but with the right advice, you or your kids will be much more comfortable on the ice and be motivated to keep learning and improving.

    So let’s get skating!

    figure skating equipment

    1. The right equipment matters

    Of all the ice skating tips for beginners, this one should not be ignored. It starts with your ice skates of choice and finding some good pairs of socks that are comfortable

    Most beginners use rentals from rinks but first, make sure to choose the right size as Ice skates have different sizing charts than conventional shoes.

    You’ll need a pair that’s a size below your shoe size.

    Some also have different profiles and designs, so choose the one that feels comfortable. 

    Some rentals have rusted blades, increasing the risk of falls and creating a poor skating experience, so make sure the blade is well-maintained with no signs of damage and is well-sharpened.

    Make sure the blade is well maintained with no signs of damage and is well sharpened. 

    The skates should also have secure laces or buckles to secure your ankles. If your ankles feel unstable, you increase the chances of falls and injury. 

    If you’re going to ice skate long-term, invest in your own pair of ice skates. You can get great Ice Hockey or figure skates under 200.

    These skates will fit well, provide excellent ankle support and will have well-maintained blades. The right ice skates are half the battle. 

    2. The right mindset matters too

    It’s easy to overlook your thoughts and feelings towards ice skating, especially as a beginner. Ice skating can be intimidating, and almost everyone is afraid of falling.

    Therefore, adopting a positive mindset when hitting the ice is important. Remember, you will fall, but what’s important is to get back up and keep trying. 

    Your mindset should also be one of growth, knowing that it takes time to master any skill. 

    Always look at your progress versus how far you must go to master the skill.

    Focus on the positive things you did on the ice to help reinforce that you are indeed capable of skating. 

    A negative mindset can stop you from unlocking any ice skating tips for beginners and your capabilities on the ice. 

    falling safely

    3. Learn to fall safely

    Let’s talk about falling. Skaters fall... It’s a part of it all, so dress in light layers to soften the cushioning.

    We all think about the extreme parts of skating, like an Olympian trying to land a triple axel and wiping out.

    We also think a fall means we’ll hurt ourselves or end up with a bruised ego as everyone skating around us looks on. 

    I'm not here to tell you that you won’t have a sore butt after a few falls. You will. But in most cases, that’s as far as it will go.

    And everyone looking at you is trying their best not to fall too, so don’t be embarrassed and don’t take yourself too seriously!

    Yes, the ice feels hard but it’s unlikely you’ll get injured if you fall safely. 

    If you feel yourself losing your center of gravity and falling backwards, bend your knees to regain your balance.

    Falling backward and using your hands to brace yourself can lead to an injured head or wrist. So always, try to fall forward to protect yourself with your arm, hands, and knees.

    When falling forward, spread your arms wide in front of you and bend your knees deeply while relaxing. 

    An effective technique would be to bend your knees deeply and turn to any side to absorb the fall. 

    Sitting and standing

    So, you’re on the ground... What’s next?

    Establish a comfortable sitting position and take a breath and laugh at yourself. it’s part of the process! 

    Your next step is to turn over and get on your hands and knees. Now place one blade on the ice and establish balance with both hands on that knee.

    Then, you can lift yourself off the ice. 

    Once you fall, sit, and stand for enough time, it becomes easier to endure, and you won’t do it as much. 

    If all else fails and you’re still concerned about falling, get a helmet, knee pads,  elbow pads, wrist guards, and cushioned pants for added protection.

    ice skating balance

    4. Get Balanced, then Start with a Gentle March

    When you're first starting out, balance is key.

    You want to take small, measured steps instead of long strides as this will help you maintain your balance and build up your confidence.

    This is the equivalent of marching on the ice. 

    Lift each leg and keep your shoulders square as you strut along the ice in this marching sequence.

    Use your hands on your knees to regain your balance at any time. Keep your knees bent and your arms in front of you as needed.

    The legs should also be shoulder width, as legs that are too wide can lead to falls. 

    The marching technique is one of the first ice skating tips for beginners.

    Over time, you’ll build a mind-body connection to the ice, allowing you to move around without placing your hands in front of you every time. 

    5. Build Rhythm and Momentum

    Now it’s time to go faster, which is not a bad thing as this can actually reduce the risk of injury when skating.

    While marching, lift your marching leg up for longer, allowing the standing skate to build up speed. 

    Keep alternating between skates, and soon enough, you’ll build a rhythm. This rhythm, along with balance and timing, is what turns you into a competent skater. 

    dont look down

    6. Don't Look Down (much)

    It's natural to want to look down at your feet, but try to keep your eyes focused on the direction you're going. 

    This will help you maintain your balance and avoid running into other skaters.

    Looking down rotates your head downward, significantly increasing the chances of falling forward. 

    Remember, bend your knees, keep your shoulders back and your head up, and try to avoid hunching over.

    This will help you maintain your balance and look more confident on the ice.

    7. Learn How to Stop

    One of the most important skills for beginners to master is how to stop. It can also be done for the more challenging.

    Most ice skaters stop by holding on to the rink boards or waiting for momentum to run out.

    It’s an inefficient way to stop and is not recommended as you can stop on demand.


    Before we discuss stopping, we must look at the edges on an ice skate. Ice skates have 6 edges, since the skate is sharpened to have a hollow vertical middle. 

    The edges can be broken down into inside edges and outside edges of the front and back of each skate

    Edges determine factors like speed, stopping, turning, and as you become more skilled, figure skating edge jumps

    figure skate edges

    The Snowplow Stop

    Practice using the snowplow stop, which involves turning your toes inward and pressing the inside edges of your skates into the ice.

    You’ll adopt a V position with your feet while turning slightly, bending one or both knees and killing your momentum. 

    The T Stop

    While skating, with one foot wide, bring the other foot into the body and create a T with your boots. 

    One boot should be facing away from the body, while the other boot should be behind the heel at right angles. 

    Lean your body slightly to shift all the weight onto that back foot.

    The outside edge of the front heel should also help with stopping. 

    The Hockey Stop

    A more popular form of stopping as you get a huge spray of ice, the hockey stop involves both feet and a drifting motion, making it the more difficult stopping technique.

    You should be able to skate and generate speed before attempting it. 

    The hockey stop graduates from the snowplow stop, so start there and turn both feet away from the body instead of one, making sure both feet are parallel. Shift your weight onto the edges, and you’ll come to a stop. 

    Over time, with enough speed, this will be one of your go-to ways to stop.

    skate glide 

    8. Practice Gliding and Swizzles

     Once you're comfortable on your skates, practice gliding on one foot at a time. 

    This will help you build up your balance and control.

    After gliding, it’s time to move on to swizzles. You’ll be making large semi-circles with both feet as you move on the ice. 

    Start with the toes pointing away from the body then as you skate, move the feet away from each other. 

    Point the toes inward and bring the feet back together. Repeat the process and you’ll create this inward-outward motion, aka swizzles.  

    9. Learn to Turn

    As you skate, you’ll realize that you must turn. 

    You can’t skate from one wall to the other.

    Practice making small turns by shifting your weight from one foot to the other.

    Point your toes in the direction you’d like to go. Turn your hips, head, and lean your edges in that direction. 

    As you get more comfortable, you can try making bigger turns and even skating and turning backwards.

    Bend your knees for cleaner, sharper turns. 

    10. Look it Up

    Watching videos online is another underrated skating tip for beginners! Seeing how to do it before you hit the ice can take some of the fear and anxiety away.

    There are some excellent skating coaches creating YouTube and TikTok content. 

    Coach Michelle Hong, Aimee Rica, and Ice Coach Online are some excellent resources.


    Of course, nothing beats going out to the rink, trying, and failing. However, you can get some pointers and build confidence before your first time on the ice. 

    Extra Tip: Practice

    Finally, the most important tip is to practice as often as you can and enjoy your ice skating experience.

    The more time you spend on the ice, the more comfortable you'll become, and the faster you'll progress. 

    You can start by joining skating lessons or hiring a coach for you or your kids.

    A Coach can help cut your learning curve in half as they can correct any mistakes and teach you the fastest ways to master the ice.

    Try to skate at least once weekly. In between time on the ice, try using a slide board or Synthetic Ice Starter Kit at home to practice balance, turning, and stopping. 

    Get started today

    Lacing up your first pair of ice skates can be exciting, yet scary.

    When you go on the ice for the first time to learn the basics of ice skating, you’ll also realize it’s challenging.

    It’s not uncommon for people to write off ice skating for being too hard, especially after experiencing a few falls.

    With these ice skating tips for beginners, you'll soon be out of this category and on your way to becoming an accomplished skater!

    The goal is to build your confidence and mindset through simple moves like starting, gliding, and stopping.

    Remember to invest in quality ice skates to avoid falls and perhaps some synthetic ice for the home to get in some extra practice.

    Take your time, be patient, and don’t give up.

    Over time, you can take ice skating in whatever direction you’d like.

    The sky’s the limit!



    How to Build a Home Hockey Rink For Under $1000

    How to Build a Home Hockey Rink For Under $1000

    Going to the local hockey rink once a week may not be enough if you’re looking to take your game to the next level.

    You’ll need more training time on the ice, and what better place to do that than your own home?

    For years, skaters and skater parents have been making home hockey rinks in their backyards using simple hardware tools, water, and cold elements.

    Now, with synthetic ice, you can skip that process. 

     Practice At Home All Year Long With The Holiday Home Rink By PolyGlide Ice

    This change has brought about different businesses that provide large synthetic ice and natural rink options.

    However, for a big enough rink with all the bells and whistles, many backyard ice rink kits can be quite expensive and can cost thousands of dollars.

    Hockey equipment and training can also add up, so there may be little room in the budget for a home hockey rink.

    At a budget of around $1000, a new option launched over the holidays will make hockey more accessible for all.

    happy hockey player

    Introducing The Holiday Home Rink

    PolyGlide Synthetic Ice is the premier manufacturer and supplier of synthetic ice.

    For years, we’ve helped hundreds of hockey players, figure skaters, and commercial spaces create ice rinks.

    Synthetic ice consists of tiles and panels made of a special polyethylene material that connects like puzzle pieces to create a smooth, skateable surface.

    Our synthetic ice tiles are made from our unique, "hybrid" blend of Polyethylene plastic.

    This material exceeds industry standards for durability and skating performance.

    The Holiday Hockey Rink Package bundles our Starter Kits to create one of the best ice rink kits on the market.

    Our goal is to help hockey players hone their skills without limits like space or price.

    What are the benefits of a synthetic ice home hockey rink?

    There are over 550,000 hockey players in America.

    Yet, only a faction has on-demand access to rinks or can practice consistently.

    This makes it a difficult sport to break into.

    But with Polyglide Ice, there are several benefits to new and experienced hockey players.

    An Affordable Alternative:

    Hockey requires hours of training to hone stick handling, speed, balance, and power.

    Yet, the average portable refrigerated home rink costs at least $25,000.

    PolyGlide Ice is an affordable alternative for individual and commercial use.

    It’s often a one-time investment that can last for years.

    Natural rinks are at the mercy of the winter months, while refrigerated rinks require thousands of dollars of maintenance yearly.

    easy set up

    Easy Setup and Storage:

    Backyard rinks are known for their long setup times but this is NOT the case with PolyGlide Ice.

    Within an hour, you can have your rink set up and start ice skating with your family and/or friends.

    These tiles or panels have dovetail or puzzle-like edges that you simply connect together on a flat surface and start skating.

    And unlike other rinks, you can simply pick up the tiles and store them away if you want to use the space for something else.

    Skate Indoors or Outdoors:

    What if you want an indoor rink?

    PolyGlide Ice is your best option for any rink size, big or small.

    You can turn a spare room or garage into a rink by simply placing the tiles on a flat surface.

    You can even convert your living room into a mini-rink to get some stick-handling practice.

    Create an indoor arena or backyard hockey rink easily with Polyglide Ice.

    If you're tired of skating outdoors in cold climates, bring the rink indoors with PolyGlide Ice!

    12 Months of Hockey:

    Natural and refrigerated ice rinks have limitations.

    You can only create an ice rink during the cold winter months.

    Refrigerated rinks, on the other hand, last longer but are costly to run outdoors during the hotter months.

    With PolyGlide Synthetic Ice, you’re not restricted by the elements.

    You can use them throughout the year, giving you an advantage over your competition.

    low maintenance

    Easy maintenance:

    PolyGlide Ice rinks are easy to clean and manage compared to other rink types.

    You can simply clean synthetic ice with a dry mop, warm soapy water, and retreat it with a slip conditioner.

    Other types of backyard skating rinks sometimes require repair and resurfacing with hot water, especially if there’s rain or snow.

    With PolyGlide Ice, you'll spend more time skating than working on rink maintenance.

    No time is wasted playing with a hose or makeshift water truck, piling on inches of water to create a suitable ice surface.

    Now these are all benefits of most synthetic ice tiles, but what makes the Holiday Hockey Rink the best option?

    What Special Features does the Holiday Home Rink have?

    While we intended originally to promote it solely for the Holidays, high customer demand made it a viable year-round option.

    Here are just a few of special features that come with each rink package:

    1. Holiday Hockey Rink Gives More Bang For Your Buck

    Our Holiday Hockey rink combines 4 starter kits to give you 128 square feet of skating surface.

    That’s enough for your kids to have some fun working on basic drills, practice shooting, and edge work to become a stronger skater.

    At only $995 with free shipping, this price is much less than many other products you will find on the market.

    injection molded synthetic ice

    2. Solid Core Construction

    Our PolyGlide Ice panels are manufactured with a double-sided solid core that creates a durable tile that is built to last.

    That means no pins or pinning is required; a solid singular piece of super-dense synthetic surface per tile.

    Solid core also means it’s not an injection mold, where the tile is hollow and can only be skated on one side.

    This is a common distinction found in synthetic ice tiles on the market.

    The tiles may be advertised as ½” or 3/8"thick, but since they are injection-molded, if you cut them in half you'll see that the tile is actually only 1/8” thick on the surface (see photo).

    With our solid core Holiday Home Hockey Rink, you have an artificial ice rink that will last for years.

    Just flip them over and keep on skating!

    3. Reduced Coefficient of Friction:

    Synthetic ice gets a bad rep for not “feeling like the real thing.”

    On natural ice, there is much less friction, as the blades create a thin film of water, making skating possible.

    With synthetic ice tiles, the tiles must be lubricated to give a smooth feel.

    Even then, poor-quality synthetic ice will feel difficult to skate on and will quickly dull your blades.

    PolyGlide Ice offers the lowest coefficient of friction thanks to our proprietary slip surface agent infused in the tiles.

    That means a great skating experience right out the box.

    4. It’s Not Just For Hockey

    Hockey is not the only option for the Hockey Home Rink Package.

    Our Home Ice Tiles are also great for figure skating.

    Figure skaters need a high-performance rink to practice turns, spins, and other high-difficulty moves.

    The Home Hockey Rink can be used for all types of skaters in your family, coaching or recreational skating for exercise.

    5. Ships Quickly and For Free

    A hockey rink for under $1000 is truly under $1000 if shipping is free (lower USA 48 States)!

    Shipping a rink can be costly given the weight of these kits.

    We include fast, free shipping with this offer, meaning you can enjoy your new rink quickly without the extra freight costs.

    helpful tips

    3 Helpful Tips for Buying Home Hockey Rink Packages

    1. Size Matters

    One of the biggest problems you’ll encounter is choosing the right size rink for your needs.

    First, look at the space you intend to set up your rink.

    Is it indoor or outdoor?

    What’s the size of your space?

    When you decide on your rink, the size matters and you don’t want to be disappointed by choosing a rink that’s too small for your space.

    Use measuring tape to add up the total square footage to get an idea of the size rink you’ll need.

    In some cases, two Holiday Home Hockey Rinks may be exactly what you need to create a large space that everyone can enjoy.

    The ground should also be level to achieve a better skating experience.

    2. Think About Aesthetics and Maintenance

    Although the rinks are under $1000, it helps to keep your rink in top-notch shape.

    Our rinks are infused with our special slip surface agent, but you should invest in an additional Slip Surface Conditioner to enhance your rink, especially if you’re skating daily.

    This liquid ensures a smooth glide every time and helps prevent dirt buildup on your rink surface.

    A soft brush and cleaning supplies help to remove shavings and dirt.

    Once you take care of your rink, it will last for years.

     hockey gear

    3. Include Safety Measures

    Even for seasoned skaters, rink safety should come first.

    Younger skaters can also benefit from tools like ice skating trainers to help them learn to skate.

    You can even add overhead lighting for training and games in the evenings.

    The initial $1000 investment means you can skate immediately without the bells and whistles, but over time, you can make your rink a safe and fun space for all.

    4. Rink Trim and Equipment

    In time you may want to add some accessories like our BounceBar rebounding curb to keep the puck on the surface(and so your puck comes right back to you).

    This is a much less expensive solution than buying a dasher board system and will also save you money.

    Get the best Home Hockey Rink Package for under $1000

    PolyGlide Ice is one of the best investments you can make.

    You can set it up in minutes, install it indoors or outdoors, and create your own synthetic ice arena that will last for years.

    The PolyGlide Ice Holiday Home Rink uses a durable, hybrid polyethylene material that was built to last!.

    You also get more rink space for less, with 128 square feet available from combining 4 of our best-selling Starter Kits.

    It's the perfect rink solution for indoor rink projects or as a portable backyard rink kit that provides winter fun all year long even during the warmer months.

    With high satisfaction rates, we’re confident it can exceed your hockey training, figure skating, and recreational needs.

    So put away the garden hose and park the water truck this year and save on all the additional costs trying to create your own sheet of ice.

    Enjoy an awesome ice rink that provides unlimited ice time and allows you to train all year long.

    You can start small or go big with an Arena-Style backyard hockey rink, the choice is yours.

    Click here to order our hockey rink package for under $1,000, or contact us to get more details on why synthetic ice rinks are the future.



    Sharpen Your Ice Skates Like a Pro: Best Step-by-Step Guide

    Sharpen Your Ice Skates Like a Pro: Best Step-by-Step Guide

    So, It’s Time to Sharpen Your Skates...

    There are few things that are as exciting as ice skating for the first time.

    When you finally get the hang of it, and you glide along the ice, it feels like you’re flying.

    Over time, however, the skates don’t perform quite like they used to.

    Is it you, or is it your skates?

    As any skating coach will tell you, if you feel that way, then it’s time to sharpen your ice skates.

    This could be easier said than done, especially if you want to sharpen ice skates by yourself.

    Edge-Friendly Synthetic Ice Panels By PolyGlide Synthetic Ice 

    Sharpening ice skates is not as simple as passing it along a sharpener like a standard kitchen knife.

    There’s a science and an art to making sure you end up with fast, high-performing blades.

    learning fun

    What You’ll Learn Here...

    In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about those pieces of metal attached to your skates.

    Then, we’ll explore the two options available to you.

    First, you’ll learn how to sharpen ice skates at home.

    We’ll walk you through the different tools and techniques to safely and effectively sharpen your skates.

    Next, you’ll learn how to sharpen ice skates at a skate shop.

    You’ll learn what happens behind the scenes so you can ask the right questions and leave with awesome blades.

    We’ll round it out with some tips, tricks, and other important information you need to get the best out of your skating experience.

    Why Do You Need to Sharpen Your Ice Skates?

    A sharp blade ensures you have enough grip on the ice to perform many of the moves you see in figure skating, ice hockey, or for recreational skaters.

    Dull skates cannot create enough friction to melt the ice and generate that thin layer necessary for gliding.

    As a result, you’re likely to lose speed, which is necessary for hockey players sprinting on ice or figure skaters trying to land axels.

    More importantly, you can lose control over the skates, which can lead to injury or poor skating experience.

    rental ice skates

    A common example is rental skates that do not get the additional care necessary for skating.

    If you’re no longer feeling secure, sharpening may help.

    or for recreational skaters. also corrects nicks, scratches, and gouges in the blade.

    Skaters who walk with blades on different surfaces are likely to see these imperfections over time.

    Different surfaces also cause ‘burring,’ which are raised bumps on the vertical edges of the blade (also common after sharpening).

    Factors such as blade quality, how you use them (hockey stops!), and type of ice also contribute to sharpening your blades.

    The sharper your blades, the better they perform across the ice, creating that thin film of water necessary for movement and stopping.

    skate blades

    The Anatomy of Ice Skate Blades

    There are different types of boots at various price points, which we’ve covered in previous blogs.

    All boots have blades attached to them, made up of similar parts:

    • Toe and heel plates (Figure and dance skates): These are the two spade-shaped metal plates that attach to the boots with screws.
    • Stanchion: The metal part that attaches the blade to the plates.
    • Footplate and blade holder (hockey skates): Hockey skates also have two hard plastic plates. The plates are connected to a larger part that serves as the blade holder. When a skater wants to swap the blade, it can be ejected from this compartment.
    • Blade, aka Runner: This is the long piece of metal that touches the ice. Figure skating and dance skating runners are slightly longer than hockey skates. The thickness of these runners generally ranges from 3mm to 5mm.
    • Toe picks: Figure skates and dance skates have a serrated edge
    • Edges: Unlike a knife, ice blades have two sides. Each edge is used in performing stops, spins, turns, and jumps.
    • Radius: The curve of the entire blade, starting from the bottom of the pick to the heel. A larger radius means more of the blade will make contact with the ice, which can impact a skater’s performance.
    • Radius of Hollow: The concave depth between the two edges. This is one of the parts manipulated by the skate sharpener. Deeper hollows provide more grip at the expense of speed, and vice versa.
    level blade edges

      The Science Behind Sharpening

      The goal of sharpening the blade is not only to get it as sharp as possible.

      Yes, this plays a key role in performance.

      The sharper the blade, the easier it is to achieve grip on the ice.

      However, there are other important parts any new skate sharpener must address.

      Blades must have a smooth finish at an angle that’s ideal for you.

      A sharper angle allows for more agility, speed, and maneuverability.

      A flatter blade angle is ideal for control and stability, which appeals to beginners.

      Along with the blade sharpness and angle, the depth of hollow must be to the skater’s specifications.

      A deeper hollow provides more grip and control, while a shallow hollow allows for speed.

      Finding the right combination of sharpness, angle, and hollow, along with considering factors like the skater’s weight (light skater or heavy skater), skating abilities, and ice conditions, will determine the best result.

      home sharpening

      Sharpening Ice Skates at Home

      So you’re here to learn how to sharpen ice skates, so it’s likely you’ll be doing it at home.

      There are pros and cons to home skate sharpening.


      • You control when and how you sharpen your skates
      • If there’s no skate shop nearby, it’s the best option
      • You avoid poor service from a skate shop
      • You learn a new skill and will understand how each hollow performs


      • Sharpening machines/tools can be very expensive
      • It may not be a wise investment if you’re the only one who skates
      • You’ll make mistakes at first

      When sharpening your skates at home, you must prepare the skates, sharpen them with your desired technique, then reassemble and test the skate.

      Step 1: Preparing the Skates for Sharpening

      Ok, first, start off by gathering all your tools.

      Based on the technique, this includes a Torx wrench, flat stone, deburring stone, lubricant, cloth, and grit paper.

      You’ll also need to get the tools for your sharpening method of choice, which we will mention below.

      You should also invest in safety equipment, like goggles, to protect your eyes.

      Step 2: Removing the Blades and Cleaning

      Use your Torx wrench to remove the blades from the boot.

      This allows you to work with the blade without the boots getting in the way.

      Remember to keep the screws in the same order for each boot.

      It’s a great opportunity to clean the boots and blade with a microfiber cloth.

      For some options, like the Sparx portable machine, removing the blades is unnecessary.

      You’ll be mounting the entire boot and blade to the machine.

      inspecting the skate blade

      Step 3: Checking for Damage

      Blades are prone to damage, especially if we’re using them to compete in hockey or figure skating.

      Check for chips, cracks, rust, or any other issues that may impact the sharpening process.

      You can repair any chips or cracks during resharpening.

      However, if it fails, you may need a professional to repair the blade.

      Are you seeing rust and burring?

      Use grit paper to remove any rust, then the honing stone along the profiles to deburr the blade.

      Blades can also become misaligned, where one edge is shorter than the other.

      Hold the blade up to a light or use a magnifying mirror to look for uneven or misaligned edges.

      skate sharpener

      Step 4: Sharpening the Blade

      How To Sharpen Ice Skates With A Grinding Machine

      A professional grinding machine is the biggest investment a skater can make.

      In some cases, it’s the best.

      Wissota and Blademaster are two popular grinding machine brands available.

      To sharpen with a grinding machine:

      • Select your desired radius for the actual sharpening wheel and install it per the machine’s instructions.
      • Set the diamond dresser arm to prepare the grinding wheel.
      • Turn on the device and pass the arm over the wheel 4-5 times or as needed.
      • Adjust the arm to bring the diamond dresser closer to the grinding wheel if necessary.
      • Once the wheel is ready, attach one skate on the provided skate mount with the blade facing the grinding wheel.
      • Pass the skate against the spin of the wheel about 4-6 times to sharpen the skate.
      • Use light pressure, letting the wheel do its job. Make sure the entire length of the blade is sharpened by the wheel.

      Turn the machine off, wipe the blade, then inspect it for any imperfections or issues.

      You can pass the blades on the grinder 1-2 times or as needed.

      Sometimes, you can use a cross-grinding technique to remove imperfections.

      The grinding wheel is placed perpendicular to the blades to help finish the job.

      How To Sharpen Ice Skates With A Flat File

      Manual sharpening with a flat-file takes more skill and patience than other methods.

      However, it’s one of the best ways to truly understand and master the art of sharpening.

      For this method, you’ll need a jig to hold the skate in place, a flat sharpening stone, a needle file, and lubricant.

      • Load your blades or boots to the sharpening jig. The boot should be loaded upside down with the edges facing you, ready to be sharpened. Add the lubricant to the stone, then pass the stone in one direction - heel to toe – about 15 times. Then do the same in the opposite direction. Keep wiping off residue or bur periodically during the process. As you sharpen the blade, you’ll notice the loud grinding sound slows to a smooth hum, indicating that you’ve sharpened the blades.
      • Take a needle file to create your hollow. These files come pre-measured to your desired size. Like with the flat stone, pass the file from heel to toe to create the hollow. This process can take several minutes and often requires trial and error. When you’re done, remove the blades from the jig. Use the cloth and other tools to remove any nicks and blemishes. Using a file requires precision and an eye for detail.

      You’ll need several tries before you consistently sharpen your skates to the desired angle and hollow.

      sparx sharpener

      How Sharpen Ice Skates With Automatic Sharpening Machine

      Portable or home skate sharpening machines take all the guesswork out of sharpening your blades.

      These machines may cost several hundred dollars upfront but are an excellent investment if you have multiple skaters in the home or on your team.

      Examples of automatic

      Once the skate is prepared, install the desired grinding ring.

      These machines often have limited grinding rings, but you can still achieve hollows between 5/8” to 3/8."

      You can also set the height of the grinding ring to sharpen hockey skates, figure skates, and anything in between.

      With the ring in place, you can mount your skate in the appropriate jig mechanism.

      This holds the skate in place, making It a truly hands-off experience.

      From there, you simply turn on the machine, and it will begin to sharpen your skates.

      The grinding mechanism will pass over the blade several times, then alert you when it’s complete.

      When it’s done, inspect your blade for any issues, including damaged edges.

      It’s common to have burns, burrs, and other imperfections even after sharpening.

      Use a honing stone along each edge to remove these issues.

      Step 5: Reassembling and Testing Your Skates

      If you remove the blade using any of these methods, your job is to reattach the blade using the screws, ensuring the blade is properly aligned.

      In all techniques, make sure the sharp edges are even along the entire radius of the skate.

      Test your skates as soon as possible, looking for any performance issues.

      This will allow you to go back to your machine and fine-tune the blade.

      skate shop

      Sharpening Ice Skates at a Skate Shop

      You’d be surprised to find out that most skaters do not sharpen their skates.

      They go to sharpening shops or a professional skate sharpener.

      Even with automatic machines, sharpening is a skill that takes several years to master.

      As a result, there are pros and cons to sharpening with a skate shop:


      • You get years of experience on your side
      • No large upfront investment
      • Professionals can achieve a range of hollow portable machines, or beginner sharpeners cannot
      • Takes the hassle out of learning


      • You must wait your turn.
      • Price can add up over time.
      • You can encounter new or amateur sharpeners who do not deliver
      • Some skate shops may be several miles away

      If you’re still convinced, take your clean skates to the nearest skate shop for sharpening.

      Speaking With Your Skate Tech

      The biggest decision you’ll make with your skate sharpener is determining the radius of hollow.

      You may already know what hollow you’d like based on your current skill level, history, or preferences.

      However, as a new skater, you may need to discuss this with your tech.

      As mentioned previously, the depth of the hollow determines speed, control, and bite on the ice. Here’s a diagram to give you an idea of what’s possible.

       radius of hollow

      So your first order of business is to reach out to your rink manager to find a skilled technician and tell them exactly what radius of hollow you’d like on your blades.

      If you hand the skate shop your boots without any direction, they will likely stick with a 5/8” to ½" hollow, sometimes called a “House Cut.”

      These measurements generally provide equal amounts of glide and bite.

      However, for a beginner, these cuts may be too difficult to manage, and an even smaller radius of hollow (for instance, a ¾”) is best.

      However, as you improve as a skater, a vanilla sharpen will not cut it.

      For instance, you may need more agility or explosive acceleration if you’re changing positions in hockey or if you’re moving up levels in figure skating.

      Over time, you’ll know if you want more control or speed and test different hollows until you find what’s the best type of sharpening for you.

      You also need to think about body weight.

      For instance, heavier skaters need a smaller radius for turning and may struggle on a ½” hollow.

      Lighter skaters (think kids) can work with these deeper hollows as it helps them grip the ice more effectively.

      Tell the skate technician your skating style, preferred hollow, and radius.

      Once you receive the sharpened skate, check for any nicks, burrs, or misalignments.

      Test your skates on the ice as soon as possible and provide feedback to the technician on your next visit to avoid any mistakes.

      synthetic ice for skating

      Sharpening for natural vs. synthetic ice

      The temperature of the ice and ice quality you’re skating on also influences how you should sharpen your skates.

      Ice skating in cold temperatures (an outdoor rink during wintertime) requires deeper hollows and sharper edges to get more grip on the ice.

      An indoor refrigerated ice rink can work with a hollow that’s smack-dab in the middle, while warmer conditions and synthetic ice can work well with a smaller radius (figure skate ice and hockey ice).

      Synthetic ice is a series of High-Density Polyethylene tiles or panels linked to form a rink.

      These are often infused with a slip surface conditioner, reducing the need for you to hold an edge, so you can work with smaller hollows.

      FAQs About Skate Sharpening

      Now that you know how to sharpen ice skates for maximum performance, I’m sure you have lots more questions.

      Keep these questions and answers in mind as you continue to get better at skate sharpening or choose to help others with their skates:

      1. How often should you sharpen your ice skates?

      Your frequency of skate sharpening depends on how often you skate and the degree of intensity.

      Beginner skaters should sharpen ice skates every 15-20 hours of ice time.

      This number may drop to 8-10 hours of ice time or even less as you begin to get a feel for the ice and your hockey or figure skating boot.

      Additionally, the deeper the radius of hollow grind, the more fragile the blade becomes, requiring more sharpening sessions.

      1. Will continuous sharpening shorten the life of my blades?

      Not necessarily. Blades are meant to be sharpened, after all.

      However, over time, your blades begin to wear away, regardless of your radius of hollow.

      How quickly this occurs depends on factors such as weight, ice conditions, quality of the metal, and aftercare.

      In many cases, one edge of the skate can wear away before another, giving you an uneven skate.

      Sharpening them at home or taking them to the shop can correct this, but it will affect the blade’s performance over time.

      On average, your blade should last at least 5 years.

      handheld skate sharpener

      1. Do handheld skate sharpeners work?

      There are a few handheld skate-sharpening options.

      These include your conventional honing stones, the Y stick, and the Edge Again Skate Sharpener.

      These tools can help freshen up a skate’s edge before hitting the ice.

      However, they should not be replacements for professional or at-home skate sharpening.

      1. What happens if you don’t sharpen ice skates?

      Over time, you’ll lose speed and agility as the blade dulls.

      It’s more difficult to turn, and you’ll experience more falls and injuries.

      Ready to stay sharp?

      Sharpening your ice skates takes skill and experience. It can take hundreds of tries to finally master sharpening.

      You can also use many of the tried-and-true techniques with sharpening jigs and stones or invest in a larger sharpening machine.

      Try an automatic tool like the Sparx Skate Sharpener if you have multiple skaters at home and need quick, yet effective skate sharpening.

      You also have the option of working with professionals in a skate shop. Ask the right questions and provide your specifications for the best results.

      Also, consider factors like your skill level, skating/playing style, type of ice (natural vs synthetic), and desired performance.

      Whatever option you choose, sharpening your skates takes patience for you to get it exactly right.

      Follow the steps, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

      Eventually, as you do on the ice, you’ll move from beginner to pro.