Getting Started / 101

Get Ready For Your First Time

First time skaters should practice standing and balancing on one foot before they actually put on a pair of skates.

Most find it somewhat unusual and it takes the normal person a few tries before they start to feel comfortable standing first on one foot and then changing over to the other. Try standing on one foot for a medium count of 10 and then switch feet. Skating requires one to engage their brain and body at one time. This is another great benefit to skating and that is a blending of mind and body.

Try standing on one foot and extending your other leg sideways while holding the foot off the ground, see how far you can hold your foot away from your body and notice how your body leans away from the extended foot to counter-balance. Also notice that this lean is easiest when it is allowed to happen at the ankle and not by tipping the foot up on its side.This type of lean is used in skating to turn, try to get use to this counter-balance lean and your skating skills will improve quickly.

Another fun exercise to do is try walking backwards, most have not done this since they were kids and most kids haven't done this either! Skating can be done backwards so by walking backwards one can get use to some new sensations before applying it to skating.

Preparation

It is best to be loose and limber for your first skating experience. This is a broad and vague topic but I will try to hit some spots where I think injury is most likely to occur. Being limber and loose will help offset any potential injuries.

Wrists are a common injury area as most people will put their hands down when they fall.

Wrist Rolls

Roll your hands around in a tight circle a few times and then place them palm to palm and press the palms flat try to flex the wrists by moving your hand toward and then away from your body.

Ankle Rolls

While sitting cross one leg, take your foot in your hand and roll your ankle around a few times, then reverse the direction of the roll.

Toe Tucks

While sitting, put your feet tucked up under your chair so you can roll your toes forward unde the feet. Stretch the top of the foot by bringing the ankle forward with toes.

Toe Touches

Bend over and touch your toes, or at least as far as you can. Repeat several times.

Tips

Most people misunderstand the idea of skating and have a difficult time because of this misconception; Basically one must stand normally with your weight balanced between both feet and centered on the arches, not toes or heals. Bend the knees some and the ankles even more. Don't be afraid to push on the tonque of your boot!

Trying to skate with stiff knees and ankles will cause you to fall over backwards. Try not to bend forward at the waist and remember that the heaviest part of your body is actually your head. Where it goes the rest of the body will follow so if you are looking at your feet with your head down you will most likely end up where your feet are.

The easiest way to get moving is to gently march in place picking up one foot and then the other. Do not step ahead as you do in walking as this will result in the back foot rolling out from under you. Once you have perfected marching in place then you can actually try to roll forward some.

While standing on one foot, gently slide or push with the side of you free foot. Do not roll the pushing foot but gently push outward and away from your body atabout 45 degrees. This will require you to stand on one foot so don't try to do gigantic pushes, just little pushes. Lots of little pushes build up speed pretty quickly so be gentle and keep your focus on balance as the foot you are standing on starts to roll.

Bring your pushing foot back underneath you and let both skates roll some. Get use to this rolling feel and try another push with the opposite foot, alternating back and forth with gentle pushes to the side will result in forward motion and some exciting moments.

Try to keep your hands in front of you and still. Swinging arms make it very difficult to keep your balance. This should help you get moving safely for your first try at skating. Good luck and remember to have fun.

Beginner Check List

  • Wrist Guards
  • Mid-Calf length socks
  • Hair pulled back
  • Water Bottle
  • Small sweat towel
  • Band Aids
  • Remove phone from back pocket