14 Jan Top 10 Ice Skating Tips by Lee Valley Ice Centre
We’ve already waved goodbye to 2019 and said hello to 2020, so there are lots of New Year’s resolutions on the horizon, and with Dancing on Ice 2020 in full swing, what better time to take up a new hobby; ice skating. Lee Valley Ice Centre is calling all aspiring ice skaters to head down to the centre and give it a go.
We’ve put together our Top 10 ice skating tips for amateur skaters:
1. Dress appropriately – Ice rinks are cold but once you begin to move around you’ll heat up. Wear clothes that are warm but easy to move in, think winter morning jogging attire.
2. Make sure your skates fit – Having skates that fit correctly will help you have a more enjoyable time. It not only avoids twisting your ankle if you fall but also helps to prevent blisters. Remember to bring extra socks in case they are uncomfortable. If you are unsure, take advice from the skate hire staff.
3. Don’t let the first fall shatter your confidence – Let’s face it, you are probably going to fall; it’s part of ice skating no matter what level you are. Falling can sometimes hurt but don’t be nervous. Stay confident on your skates and move at your own pace.
4. Take little steps – We’ve all heard the saying ‘don’t run before you can walk’, and it’s exactly the same with ice skating. The professionals make gliding across the ice in one step look effortless. However, when you’re first finding your feet on the ice it’s advised that you keep your heels together and your toes turned out, making small penguin like steps. This helps you find your balance and get your feet in the correct position before you attempt longer glides.
5. Keep your head up – If you are looking down at your feet, you are more likely to lose your balance. Instead keep your eyes up, shoulders back and knees slightly bent. If you need the barrier to support you, only hold on with the hand closest to it and try not to lean on it too much.
6. Learn to stop – Once you’ve got yourself moving, it’s a good time to figure out how to bring yourself to a controlled stop. Keeping your arms out in front, your knees bent and feet parallel, slowly push your heels out and toes together, this is called a Snowplough Stop and will allow you to come to a controlled stop without crashing into the barrier in an undignified way.
7. Skating isn’t just for Christmas – Our ice rink is open all year round so there is plenty of time to practice your skills in time to impress your friends at Christmas.
8. Take a lesson – If you really want to impress your friends or want a good activity to do with your family, then getting some lessons is a great way to improve. Lee Valley Ice Centre have numerous skating programmes for all to enjoy. We also have a selection of highly qualified private coaches who teach one to one lessons to really give you the edge and boost your confidence on the ice.
9. It’s multifunctional – Ice skating provides something for everyone, whether you dream of becoming a champion figure skater, star hockey player, part of a synchronized skating team, simply want to make friends or just have fun at our disco sessions, there is something for everyone.
10. Enjoy yourself and your time on the ice