Skating tips for beginners

From helmet to skates, NAIT staff have you covered for your first time on the ice

If you haven’t done it before, skating is hard, says NAIT Ooks women’s hockey coach Deanna Martin. “Just standing on the ice is hard.”

Martin’s colleague, student engagement coordinator Michele Parker, would agree. She has 30 years of figure skating, judging and coaching behind her. It’s safe to say the two of them know what they’re doing when they lace up.

Learning to skate can be scary, Parker says. It can be especially intimidating for adults, since there’s farther to fall.

“Take it slow,” she says.

Here are more things to consider before stepping onto the ice for the first time.

3 veteran mistakes to avoid

Stopping and turning – Martin says many skaters do this with the inside edge of their front skate only. She recommends using the inside edge of the front skate and the outside edge of the back skate. Eventually, you can work up to using the outside edge only by leaning away from your stop.

Arm movement – Make sure you swing your arms forward and back, says Martin. Many veteran skaters lose momentum by swinging in other directions and as a result have to work harder.

Changing directions – Instead of turning your whole body in the direction you’d like to go, just lead with your head. Martin says your body will follow.


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