FIGURE SKATING 101
Here you will find all you need to know before starting figure skating.
WHAT SHOULD I BE WEARING ON THE ICE?
First thing you think when you open the doors of an ice rink is: “Baby it’s could in there!” Yes, it is but you will move so your body temperature will quickly raise. So dress warm, but no too much.
Being equipped to brave the cold is one thing but you also want to be able to move freely and look awesome. Jeans, leather jackets, ski outfit, baggy pants... are definitely not recommended. You want to opt for fitted and stretchy clothes. On the plus side, fitted clothes will keep the heat you produce when you exercise right against your body and they will allow your coach to see at one glance what you’re doing. Indeed, you cannot see if a leg is stretched through ski pants...
With that being said is what you should wear:
• A pair of warm leggings (or two if you are sensitive to cold).
• A long sleeves top (tucked in your leggings to keep your tummy warm and cozy).
• A fitted stretchy jacket that allows you to freely move (You can add a sleeveless jacket until you’re warm enough to take it off).
• A headband or beanie to protect your ears from the cold.
• A pair of knitted gloves (Forget about ski gloves, they are too bulky for figure skating).
• For the socks, make sure that they are not too thick and go higher than the top of the skate to avoid your ankles to get irritated.
• For girls, you should have a hair tie with you because you do not want to have your hair in your eyes when you skate.
There you go, you’re all dressed up and almost ready to go...
BUT WHAT IF I FALL?
I will not lie to you, you will fall down and figure skating can hurt sometimes but no need to freak out, we mostly get bruises.
Protection gear depends on you and how you handle falling down and they are not required to start skating. However, if you feel safer wearing them or if you don’t want your kid to get hurt keep in my mind that there is no need to overprotect. So here are optional protections for figure skating:
• Head protection
Helmets can be really bulky and annoying when skating. You should opt for a foam headband that is protecting the areas of the head that might hit the ice in case of a fall.
If you really want to go for the helmet then choose a hockey or skateboard helmet, do not use bicycle helmet, they turn out to be useless when falling backwards which is the most common fall on the ice.
• Padded pants (optional)
They will protect the tail bone, butt cheeks and hips from getting bruised when falling down.
For adults, it’s safer to add some extra protection as they don’t have the same balance and capacity to recover when falling than little ones. So in addition to the head protection and padded pants you should get:
• Wrists protections
• Knee pads (Use foam pads as they will not be slippery if you fall down and try to get up).
• Elbow pads
All right, now you’re all dressed up, all gear up it’s time to go get your skates...
GREAT LET’S GO GET A PAIR OF SKATES!
When you will rent your skates or go to the store to buy a pair, you will have to face a huge dilemma: figure skates or hockey skates?
Assuming that you landed on this website in order to prepare for a figure skating lesson, chose figure skates. Sure! But what is the difference?
Figure skates have a blade equipped with toe picks on the front and a long prominent heel on the back.
The boot is high on the ankle and equipped with hooks on the top. Also the boot has a high heel.
Hockey skates blades are more like a “banana” shape they have no toe picks and no prominent heel. The boot has no hooks but holes on the top and no high heel, they are flat.
HUM? HOW DO I TIE THESE THINGS
Congratulations! You are ready!
LET’S STEP ON THE GIANT ICE CUBE!
It’s slippery, very slippery... I guess you assumed that but that’s usually the first thing I hear as a coach when people enter the ice for the first time.
You will now have to be patient and slowly learn Do not try to jump the gun. Your first lesson will be all about finding your balance, feel the ice. Stay close to the wall and take little steps, one at a time.
If you booked a lesson well then lucky you, you will have me to hold your hand.
Remember that learning figure skating takes time and that we are all different on the ice. Some will learn faster than other, but no worries, no matter who you are, I’ll be with you to guide you in your figure skating journey...
See you on the ice!
Your Coach Amy C.