You’ve finally decided to take the leap.
It’s time for ice skating.
Maybe it’s a New Year’s Resolution or a goal when you turn a certain age.
Or perhaps your kids have been begging you to get into skating since they saw Disney on Ice last fall.
Whatever the reason, ice skating is a fantastic skill to learn.
Once you can skate, you can branch into hockey, figure skating, dance, and many other avenues that don’t get the attention they deserve.
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Your next step is to find a coach or teacher so you or your kids can learn the basics.
If you’ve been Googling ‘skating classes near me,’ we’re here to help you with some tips on ice skating.
You can even start right now at home with a few simple tools.
Ice skating can be challenging at first, but once you get the right help and focus on the best activities, you’ll be a competent skater in no time.
How do I find suitable skating classes near me?
So it’s time to get a coach, which can be a significant investment. Before you pull the trigger, it’s vital to find out your skating goals.
Is it just for recreational purposes?
Is it for more competitive skating?
Do your kids want to join other sports like hockey or speed skating?
Investing in the right coach and equipment becomes easier when you have a clear goal.
Narrow your search down to 2-3 choices and visit their classes if possible. Get a feel for their teaching styles and student progress.
Go with your gut, as you don’t want to invest in skating classes only to drop out or cancel later.
Here are 3 possible options for skating classes:
Search for group skating classes near me
Start by looking for a coach that has group beginner classes at a local rink. Check for a social media page or website with student feedback.
You’d want a teacher that’s patient and understanding with the skills to get students skating as quickly as possible.
These coaches often lead a small group of students through a beginner class at different ages.
Group skating classes are cheaper, so if you have kids, it’s easier to enroll everyone.
You also connect with a community of new skaters; everyone can learn together.
On the other hand, if you need personalized coaching or are interested in a particular type of skating, group classes can only work for a short time.
A personal skating coach
Another option is a coach that specializes in 1 on 1 skating classes. This coach can fast-track you or your kids as they have personalized care.
The training is more intense, but you have a coach willing to work with you until you get it right.
Personal coaches can be more expensive than group classes, and there can be logistic concerns and rescheduling.
However, personal coaches are one of the best ways to learn skating.
Individual/Group online coaching
Want to merge the best of both worlds?
Online coaching can provide individual or group coaching in your own space and sometimes on your own time.
You’ll simply log on to a Zoom or web service and take instructions from your online coach.
You won’t have to search for ‘online skating classes near me’ as you can connect with teachers worldwide.
Online coaching is also cheaper than in-person coaching.
A disadvantage is finding a space where you can skate and take your online class simultaneously.
You may only focus on off-ice training first, but over time, you’ll need to invest in a space where you can use your metal skates and communicate virtually.
Can you learn how to skate by yourself?
Is it possible to skip the classes and becomes a self-taught skater?
You can start training right now at home with minimal equipment.
It’s possible to do off-ice and on-ice training in your backyard, deck, or spare room.
Let’s break down both training methods that can quickly make you a competent skater.
Ice skating requires several ‘hard’ skills:
- Balance – Moving confidently on metal blades requires excellent balance. You’ll need to center yourself while engaging your core and lower body.
- Endurance – Skating is tiring! You’ll need to build up your stamina and cardiovascular strength for almost any skating discipline.
- Strength – Strong legs mean you can perform powerful moves, skate faster, and land safely should you move on to jumps.
- Flexibility – The twists, turns, and bends you see in figure skating aren’t by accident. Skaters spend time building their flexibility, and you should too.
Consider off-ice training tools
For off-ice training, you can learn to skate with some helpful tools.
- Ice skates with rubber blade cover: Yes. Visit a skate shop and get fitted for your ice skates. Once you get your skates, pick up rubber covers for the blades.
- Slide board and socks – These long, rectangular boards are great for skate-specific training. You’ll simply use a pair of socks to emulate the ‘sliding’ feeling of ice skating.
- Ice skating spinner/turning board – A small, slightly curved plastic part that you can use for spin training. You simply step on it and use your momentum to practice twists and spins.
- Bosu ball – A half-ball used by gymgoers to help with strength and balance in the lower legs.
- Inline skates – Inline skating may not be the same as ice skating, but many concepts are the same (balance, flexibility, endurance, etc.). If you have a skate park, roller rink, or open space nearby, practice inline skating to help you with your ice skating.
Try these off-ice exercises
Here are some off-ice exercises that can help you become a skater quickly.
Get comfy in your skates:
Start wearing your skates with the rubber guard to practice balance and get accustomed to moving in ice skates.
A few minutes of standing and walking every day can go a long way.
Balance on your Bosu ball
Balance on one leg using your ball to strengthen your lower legs.
Start with 10 seconds on each leg, then increase the timeframe as you get stronger.
Practice moves on your slide board
Try different moves on your slide board.
Side-to-side skating and forward strokes are great examples of exercises to build skating moves and endurance.
Learn turns on your spinner
If figure skating or dance is in your future, you’d want to practice spins.
It’s time to pull out your skate spinner.
Along with balance training, you can start learning basic turns and twists.
Here’s a great video that shows some beginner drills.
Stretches and exercises
Strength and flexibility are essential parts of your off-ice training.
Simple stretches before practice (warm-up) and after practice (cool down) make sure your muscles are ready to go.
Stretching also helps with performing complex moves while reducing injury. To build more strength, try exercises like:
- Single Leg Deadlifts
- Pistol Squats
Based on age and fitness levels, do modified versions of these exercises.
Skating classes at home with synthetic ice
Can you do on-ice skating at home?
Yes, you can, with synthetic ice.
Synthetic ice is tiles or panels that bring skating to your backyard, deck, or spare room.
These panels are made of unique material and infused with a slipping agent to help provide an experience like your local ice rink.
Some synthetic ice comes non-infused, requiring a slip conditioner to be added before use.
Once you connect the panels on a flat, level surface, you can begin skating almost immediately.
It’s one of the best long-term investments in ice skating and can be scaled up or down to your liking.
In less than an hour, you can have your skating rink ready.
Off-ice training will give you the strength and balance to transition easily to on-ice training.
YouTube is an excellent resource for learning the basics of skating.
For instance, Coach Michelle Hong has an excellent video to get you started. Spend at least one month on these exercises, and you’ll become a competent skater quickly.
Remember, being self-taught can only take you so far.
A synthetic ice setup is perfect for skating classes at home.
You can have a laptop nearby for virtual classes or have a personal trainer come to your home for extra attention.
Ice skating is a fantastic pastime for adults or a way for kids to get into a challenging, competitive sport.
In both cases, learning the basics is key to enjoying yourself or taking things to the next level.
Finding a teacher, either in a group setting or privately, is the best way to get started.
But what if there aren’t any skating classes near me when you search online?
Then you can get started at home with some simple training aids.
From there, invest in synthetic ice, which takes the hassle out of finding someone nearby, locating ice rinks, or spending money on travel and coaching.