Never set foot on the ice before? Don’t worry – everyone’s a beginner once! Whether you’re an adult learning to skate for the first time, or taking your little ones on a trip to The Westfield Ice Rink at Westfield London for the first time, we’ve got you covered with all the first time ice skating tips you need to get started.
It can be hard to know what to wear when ice skating – it’s on the ice so it’s cold, but as it’s great exercise, it can get your heart rate going, so you could heat up really quickly! So, it’s best to wear layers that you can easily take off if you get a little too hot. Casual, comfortable clothes that you can easily move around in are perfect. You might want to wear a pair of leggings or sports trousers. If you go for jeans, they shouldn’t be so tight that they restrict your movement – opt for something with a looser fit, rather than skinny jeans.
It’s a good idea to wear gloves and a hat, but if you wear a scarf, be sure that it doesn’t dangle down too far, or could fall off – you don’t want wear anything that could impede your safety or the safety of others on the ice rink.
Most ice rinks, including The Westfield Ice Rink at Westfield London, rent out ice skates, so you don’t need to bring your own – although we do lend out skates on a first come, first serve basis, so do be quick if you don’t have your own pair! It’s crucial that you borrow a pair that fit you well and feel comfortable. Usually, your normal shoe size will be the right fit, but you might want to try on a couple of sizes to ensure you get the perfect ones for you.
They should feel snug but not too tight. You don’t want your toes to be sore when you’re wearing the skates. Similarly, they shouldn’t be so big that they’re loose at the ankle, as this could increase the risk of injury.
Getting the right size of skates is important – and it’s just as important to make sure they’re securely fastened. Some ice skates have laces and others – like those at The Westfield Ice Rink at Westfield London – have clips.
To get the perfect fit, sit on a bench and fasten the buckles tightly so that your foot feels nice and snug inside the boot. That’s it – it couldn’t be easier to fasten our ice skates, so you can spend less time on the side-lines, and more time making the most of your time on the ice.
Every ice rink has its own set of rules, but one of the most important ones is make sure you skate in the right direction. This is to avoid any collisions and keep everyone safe! Remember, you can always stay close to the handrail as you’re building up your confidence – there’s no need to make your way into the middle of the ice rink if you’re not comfortable.
It’s tempting to look at what your feet are doing when you’re learning how to skate, but it’s important to keep your gaze focused and looking forward. This will help you to maintain your balance, even when you feel wobbly.
Try not to lean too far backwards when you skate as this will shift your centre of gravity and make it more likely that you’ll fall over. Instead, keep your torso upright and bend your knees. You can put your arms out to the side or in front of you to steady your balance. You’ll be flying around the rink in no time!
This is the most important tip of all. Try not to take ice skating too seriously – after all, it’s supposed to be fun, especially when you’re in a magical winter wonderland like The Westfield Ice Rink at Westfield London!
If you fall over, try to laugh it off and give it another go. We’ve all been there, and practice makes perfect! So, if at first you don’t succeed… Have a giggle and try again!
We hope these tips to ice skating perfection have been helpful. If you want to give it a go for yourself, why not book a session at our London ice rink? It’s the perfect holiday activity for a group, and ideal for Christmas parties. And you can show off all your newly acquired ice skating tips to your friends and family!