Frequently Asked Questions
What's a good age to start skating?
We start lessons at age 3.5 - 4 and above. We teach young adults and older adults to ice skate as well.
I'm a beginner, what do I need?
-All beginners are required to wear a helmet, and gloves.
-We recommend very young skaters wear figure skates (with the toe-pick in front) this allows for something to push off with, to help them stand, and decreases their number of falls.
-Skaters need their own pair of skates, unless the rink offers rentals. Either way we recommend having your own skates to be sure they fit properly, are in good condition, are good quality for learning, and are sharpened. *Having good skates will enhance your learning experience, and allow for progress.
Where do I purchase skates?
The best option for success is to see an expert for a boot fitting. They will ensure a comfortable fit and a good quality blade. This will offer the skater the most progress while they take lessons. Be sure to have skates sharpened before arriving to lessons.
-Figure Skating store-
Igloo Skates 401.335.5045
For new skates visit RI Skate in Cumberland RI. The store owners will take time fitting the best skates for you based on your skill level. They are specialized only in figure skates. Please call ahead to make sure they are open, and to schedule a skate fitting.
Very young beginners can wear a ski boot style single blade skate. These provide comfort and ease to put on and tighten when kids are young and just starting out. Skates with a toe pick "figure skate" make it easiest to prevent extra falls like a hockey blade can cause since the blade is rounded in front. You may find brands like Jackson and Riedell.
-Used Sport Store: For both figure and hockey-
2nd Time Around or Play It Again Sports in RI and MA.
You can find a variety of figure skates and hockey skates at these locations. For figure skates look for brands like Riedell, Jackson, Harlick or Edea. Make sure they're in good shape, with a supportive ankle. Do NOT buy skates with flimsy ankles or creases. The blade should be clean with no rust, and make sure to have them sharpened before leaving the store.
Should I have pain when I wear my ice skates?
Skating with pain is no fun! If you have any pain, something isn't right with your skate fitting, or you need an adjustment to make it comfortable. There are many tricks such as sticking a make-up pad in your stocking/sock to prevent blisters, or to cover your ankle bone if it's rubbing against the boot. Brand new skates can be punched out in the problem areas by the skate technician so they don't create friction while you're skating. The best choice is to see a skate technician for help, call Igloo Skates in northern RI.
What should I wear on my feet in my skates?
For skates that are properly fitted, a very thin sock or nylon is best. This allows for your foot to use all its muscles while skating for balance and fine movements. It also prevents the circulation from being cut off like a thick sock may do. If you're wearing a rented skate, or recreational ski boot style just to get you started you may try a thin or regular thickness sock for more ankle protection because it won't be a perfect fit. Be sure the sock or stocking is tall enough to cover the top of the skate to provide more comfortt.
What should I wear?
-Young beginners: snow pants and layers are great to help them stay dry. They will most likely be on the ice learning to fall and crawling, so snow pants will keep them from getting cold.
-More advanced skaters, and adults:
Pants- that offer mobility are best for advancing skaters
(stretchy leggings, or sweat pants that don't have a wide leg)
Upper body- Layers on top allow for more mobility than a bulky jacket.
-Keep a pair of gloves or mittens, as well as a hat or headband, and scarf in your bag in case it's cold.
Can adults skate?
Yes, we have taught adults of all ages to skate.
We have a community of young adults as well as retirees that skates together several times each week. We make sure to take each new student one step at a time so you progress at your pace, and learn good technique to prevent falls. Ice skating is fun, and a good way to challenge the body and mind, while offering a nice way to meet friends. Some of our students have been very successful achieving levels in US Figure Skating, competing in adult nationals, or joining a hockey team.
Helmets are required for all beginners, and wrist guards and knee pads are recommended for older adults. Padded pants/shorts are also available online and help ease a fall if you'd like more protection.
How long is a lesson?
Group lessons are typically a 25 minutes, followed by a 25 minute practice time. An average session runs 50-60 minutes depending on the next ice resurfacing. Private lessons can be scheduled for a 1/2 hour or an hour.
Do I need a helmet?
-Beginners of all ages are required to wear a helmet. Parents skating with their kids should also wear a helmet. This is for your safety! We recommend an all sport/ski rounded style helmet. Bike helmets are ok, yet they can be cumbersome.
-Advanced skaters can try the Ice Halo for protection without the bulk.
How much are lessons?
-Group lessons average $35-45 per class (includes lesson, ice time, and insurance).
-Private lessons cost anywhere from $40-$90 per hr. depending on the instructors qualifications, years teaching, membership dues, and the distance traveled to the rink. (This does not include the cost of ice)
Choosing between group lessons and privates-
The more instruction and practice time on the ice you have the more you can learn and improve. Group lessons provide a less expensive way to learn skating skills while having fun working with others. Private lessons are a good compliment to group classes, and help to hone in on a skaters individual needs. Group and private lessons in addition to some kind of off-ice conditioning is highly recommended for those who wish to progress. Once a skater begins to advance roughly Basic 4- 5 (USFS), private lessons in addition to group classes are highly recommended for continued success due to intricate skills that will be taught. Private lessons offer more attention to an individual skaters needs allowing them to progress and achieve personal goals. i.e. make it on a hockey team or a higher level team, learn a figure skating program to perform in a show, or compete.
All ages of hockey players can greatly benefit from group and private lessons. Hockey players need instruction on technique in order to increase power and execution. Beginner players can join group classes, and advanced players can benefit from private lessons.
Can I be a competitive skater?
It takes time and dedication to be successful in anything you choose. If you want to be a competitive ice skater you must decide how much time you are willing to invest to achieve your goals. In order to advance in skating the more lessons and practice time you can invest the better you can be. Additional off-ice conditioning time is required to build strength and avoid injury. Good skaters are very strong!! Skaters need strength training, cardio for endurance, pilates/barre for core strength, yoga for balance and stretching and plyometrics for explosive power. Figure skaters take ballet and dance for better poster, body line, extension and grace. Hockey players and speed skaters do strength and conditioning and stretching for injury prevention.