Get the Family Outdoors During the Holidays – Take Up Ice Skating!
Winter is a beautiful season, especially around the holidays. But let’s face it, the short days and cold weather can be a bummer. In the seasons since COVID restrictions began to lift, families everywhere have been looking to get outside and enjoy the elements. For many of them, this will be the first winter in two years that will offer some semblance of normalcy despite the still-active virus.
So, what activities will get your family outside and having fun during the coming winter months? Call us biased, but we think you should take them ice skating! As a winter hobby, ice skating combines the best of holiday festivities with a physical activity that will get your body moving.
What Kind of Ice Skates Should I Buy for My Family?
Ice skate retailers like us have categories for beginners and a range of junior sizes ergonomically designed to fit the feet of young skaters. Our Soar series is a warm and comfortable skate great for beginner skaters of any age and comes in both adult and junior sizing.
Make sure you’re getting the boot they want to wear, and that you’re going with the right size. It can be a hassle knowing your kid will likely grow out of their boots as you browse and there’s a temptation to go a bit larger than their normal size.
We recommend you do not do this. Your child’s ice-skating boot should fit snug over the arch of their foot and around their ankle. Loose ice-skating boots can result in serious injuries – especially for little skaters who don’t know their way around a rink.
5 Skating Tips for Families & Beginners
Whether you’re a first-timer yourself or you’re taking your children out to learn, there are a few tips you’ll want to take with you before you head out to the ice.
#1 Use Figure Skates Over Hockey Skates
Figure skating skates are generally considered easier to use when learning the fundamentals of ice skating. They tend to provide more balance with a larger blade than hockey skates.
#2 Know the Right Size
If your skating boot is too large, you risk an ankle injury. If the boot is too tight, you compromise comfort. Trying skates on in person is the best way to achieve a perfect fit. If you are shopping for skates online be sure to measure your feet and find your correct size on the size chart that matches the model of skates you are buying.
#3 Ankle Support Is Everything
Speaking of the right size – a good gauge of boot fit is that right mix of snugness and comfortability around the ankle. Without proper ankle support, it’s difficult to maneuver and learn how to skate. You’ll want to properly lace your boots; not-too-tight lacing around the foot with increased tightness around the ankle.
#4 How to Take Those First Steps on the Ice
Beginners shouldn’t be afraid to take their time and really get a feel for the ice beneath their blades. Start by grabbing hold of a railing or locking arms with a more experienced skater. It’s best to take those first steps in short strides – picture the way a penguin walks and try to mimic that motion.
#5 Bend Your Knees & Don’t Fear the Occasional Fall
Keeping your knees slightly bent is an important part of the skating process beginners will often forget. The last thing you want is to have your legs lock up and you lose your balance. That said, don’t be afraid and encourage children not to be afraid of practicing controlled falls on the ice. Young children and inexperienced skaters should always wear a properly fitted helmet.
Like those first steps as a baby, you’re training your leg muscles and body coordination to move in a way they’re not used to. So, give yourself a break!
Ice Skating Boots & Blades for All Ages
At Riedell Ice, we’ve handcrafted quality skating boots for over 75 years. We have a catalog of ice skates fit for first-timers and for competitive skaters looking to up their game. So, whether you’re hitting the ice as a fun holiday activity or you’re training for a competition, our knowledgeable and friendly staff would be happy to point you in the right direction. Give us a call or connect with us online! You can also check out our skates right here on the website.