THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW…
LACING UP YOUR SKATES
One of the most important things you can do to make your skating experience more successful and fun, is to lace up your skates correctly. So here are some tips:
- Begin the lacing process at the bottom, close to your toes, and pull the laces tight. As you progress up, you shouldn’t be in pain, but you shouldn’t be able to pick up the laces and slip your fingers in.
- Continue to keep it snug and tight as you crisscross the laces around the hooks.
- When you tie the bow, make it a double bow to make sure it lasts.
- The bow of your laces should not be dragging low as they’ll trip you or catch in the hooks of the other skate. If they are, tuck them into the top of your skate or secure them under your pantleg.
WALKING TO THE ICE IN YOUR SKATES
Never step on metal or cement! This ruins the edges of your blades and causes you to slip on the ice. If you see a lot of dirt in your path, tiptoe over or go around it. If you own your own skates, use skate guards when walking to and from the ice. This is all part of protecting the edges on your blades which give you control on the ice.
BUYING YOUR OWN SKATES
A decent pair of skates will greatly enhance your skating experience! You can get a good pair of skates with good support, including steel blades, which only run around $350 and will last you a lifetime.
Here’s what you should look for:
- Skates must have good support around the ankle. They don’t need to be like an iron cast, but should have strong support when laced up. Some old skates my students bring to class (or rentals in many rinks) have no support and even an Olympic skater would have a hard time in them!
- Good quality steel blades will keep the edge, giving you more control and security on the ice. They will also be able to be sharpened time and time again.
HAVING YOUR BLADES SHARPENED
If you’re an adult recreational skater and you seem to be skidding and sliding sideways a lot, you probably need your blades sharpened. Find a reputable skate sharpener, one who sharpens blades for competitive skaters. Ask for medium sharp edges with a shallow hollow grind. This will give you easy maneuverability, and yet still have the ability to hold a deep curve. (Advanced competitive skaters, who skate for hours each day, ask for sharper edges).
For a great NJ skate shop, try Polar Skate Shop. Ask for Greg!
478 Ridgedale Ave
East Hanover, NJ 07936
Greg Gilman is an expert at finding and fitting the right skate for you, as well as sharpening blades for all levels. When I go I ask for a 5/8 inch sharpening!
WHAT TO WEAR
- Comfortable warm layers you can peel off
- Thin socks or tights, gloves, and wrist guards
- Padded hat or helmet (some like the “ice halo” which you can find here.)
- Pants that allow stretch and movement
- Comfortable, supportive skates
- A big smile!!!