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Author Topic: Fresh on the Ice!  (Read 262 times)

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Offline Angel52

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Fresh on the Ice!
« on: December 28, 2016, 04:57:06 PM »
Hello!!
My name is Angel and I literally just experience my first ever mini 20 minute introduction to ice skating by a coach in Pasadena Ice Skating Rink here in Cali! I immediately fell in love with the feeling of being on the ice and thinking of starting figure skating lessons beginning of next year. Sad part is, I'm turning 24yo and I am not completely sure if I should get my own skates before starting the lessons. I'm pretty much lost when it comes to what to expect and how I should go about finding the right coach. I want to someday go competitive but for now I just want to start!
Can anyone help me?

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Re: Fresh on the Ice!
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2016, 10:26:25 PM »
I would definitely recommend that you buy your own skates and break them in before starting private lessons.  Private lessons are pricey and you don't want to waste a lot of sessions stumbling around in rentals or fresh out-of-the-box skates.

At most major rinks, there is a director of figure skating.  Ask for a list of available coaches.  Find out who's experienced in teaching adult beginners.  Find out who's available when you're available.  Have trial lessons with, say, three, and see whom you like.  If you have a flexible schedule, public sessions during weekday morns at many rinks are fairly empty and a good time for adult privates (and cheaper and less intimidating than lessons during freestyle sessions).

Offline LunarSkater

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Re: Fresh on the Ice!
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2016, 10:59:34 PM »
Welcome!

I am by no means an expert - I've been skating a little less than three years. So take my advice as you will. But the important thing is to learn and talk to people about skating. These forums are an excellent place; everyone's friendly. Several people have their own skating blogs as well.

People generally start off taking group lessons and then eventually start private lessons when the skill sets demand one-on-one instruction. Group lessons are designed specifically to teach the basic skating skills that everyone needs to learn to progress in the sport. Your local rink will offer these classes. Learn to Skate USA has specifics on programs and what skills will be taught: https://www.learntoskateusa.com/

I'm not saying that it's not worth going straight to a private coach - I know people who did that for their kids. One-on-one instruction time is beneficial. But group lessons are a way of gaining the skills you need in a supportive environment at a fairly reasonable cost. Also, with group lessons you'll have the opportunity to work with  a range of coaches. Choosing a coach isn't easy - you want to work with one who supports you and your goals and whose personality works with your own.  Because a coach can be the most marvelous teacher ever, but if your personalities clash it will be of little help to you. Working with different ones will allow you to see what you need. Also, think about what you want to focus on - ice dance, singles, etc.? You won't want to choose a coach who knows little about your intended specialization. If you don't know right off, that's fine, too. It just might mean that you start lessons and decide from there.

Boots are important. You are a beginner - talk to a trusted skating technician at your rink, or a coach (whether you decide to go group or private immediately), or both. I bought boots when I started skating and ended up having to get new ones less than six months in because the beginner ones did not support me. Adults differ in boot requirements than children - we tend to be larger, for one. Something that will support a six year old will not necessarily support someone in her 20s. Size is also a consideration. Adult feet, on the upside, generally have stopped growing so you won't have to drop several hundred dollars every time your size changes. So poke around on these boards. Read blogs and reviews. Do your research. There are quite a few boot companies out there and the models do vary. You want to choose something that's best for your feet.

Something else to consider. Skating is a very expensive sport. Boots, blades (they come separate at higher levels), lesson fees, ice time, competition fees, testing fees, ... it goes on. You will want to develop a budget, especially if you intend on committing yourself to to the sport.

But above all - skating is a lot of fun. It takes hours and hours and hours of practice, but the hard work pays off every time you learn a new skill or have an amazing performance. Or just every time you step on the ice with a smile because you are doing what you love.

So a final summation - group lessons are an excellent place to start skating, hold off on buying boots until you've talked with someone trustworthy, and have fun.

(And don't feel bad about your age. Ever. I started skating at 28. A number of adult skaters start later than that. Age should never stop you from doing what you want.)

Offline Angel52

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Re: Fresh on the Ice!
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2016, 12:34:23 PM »
I would definitely recommend that you buy your own skates and break them in before starting private lessons.  Private lessons are pricey and you don't want to waste a lot of sessions stumbling around in rentals or fresh out-of-the-box skates.

At most major rinks, there is a director of figure skating.  Ask for a list of available coaches.  Find out who's experienced in teaching adult beginners.  Find out who's available when you're available.  Have trial lessons with, say, three, and see whom you like.  If you have a flexible schedule, public sessions during weekday morns at many rinks are fairly empty and a good time for adult privates (and cheaper and less intimidating than lessons during freestyle sessions).


Thanks! I'm actually pretty busy with my schedule during the week so weekends are the only time I actually have time to go. I think I will "test-run" a few coaches but honestly I really don't know what I am to expect lol

Offline Angel52

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Re: Fresh on the Ice!
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2016, 12:38:04 PM »
Welcome!

I am by no means an expert - I've been skating a little less than three years. So take my advice as you will. But the important thing is to learn and talk to people about skating. These forums are an excellent place; everyone's friendly. Several people have their own skating blogs as well.

People generally start off taking group lessons and then eventually start private lessons when the skill sets demand one-on-one instruction. Group lessons are designed specifically to teach the basic skating skills that everyone needs to learn to progress in the sport. Your local rink will offer these classes. Learn to Skate USA has specifics on programs and what skills will be taught: https://www.learntoskateusa.com/

I'm not saying that it's not worth going straight to a private coach - I know people who did that for their kids. One-on-one instruction time is beneficial. But group lessons are a way of gaining the skills you need in a supportive environment at a fairly reasonable cost. Also, with group lessons you'll have the opportunity to work with  a range of coaches. Choosing a coach isn't easy - you want to work with one who supports you and your goals and whose personality works with your own.  Because a coach can be the most marvelous teacher ever, but if your personalities clash it will be of little help to you. Working with different ones will allow you to see what you need. Also, think about what you want to focus on - ice dance, singles, etc.? You won't want to choose a coach who knows little about your intended specialization. If you don't know right off, that's fine, too. It just might mean that you start lessons and decide from there.

Boots are important. You are a beginner - talk to a trusted skating technician at your rink, or a coach (whether you decide to go group or private immediately), or both. I bought boots when I started skating and ended up having to get new ones less than six months in because the beginner ones did not support me. Adults differ in boot requirements than children - we tend to be larger, for one. Something that will support a six year old will not necessarily support someone in her 20s. Size is also a consideration. Adult feet, on the upside, generally have stopped growing so you won't have to drop several hundred dollars every time your size changes. So poke around on these boards. Read blogs and reviews. Do your research. There are quite a few boot companies out there and the models do vary. You want to choose something that's best for your feet.

Something else to consider. Skating is a very expensive sport. Boots, blades (they come separate at higher levels), lesson fees, ice time, competition fees, testing fees, ... it goes on. You will want to develop a budget, especially if you intend on committing yourself to to the sport.

But above all - skating is a lot of fun. It takes hours and hours and hours of practice, but the hard work pays off every time you learn a new skill or have an amazing performance. Or just every time you step on the ice with a smile because you are doing what you love.

So a final summation - group lessons are an excellent place to start skating, hold off on buying boots until you've talked with someone trustworthy, and have fun.

(And don't feel bad about your age. Ever. I started skating at 28. A number of adult skaters start later than that. Age should never stop you from doing what you want.)

Thank for the reply!
I did check out group lessons at the ice rink that I go to when I went in for the mini lesson and it was pretty weird to vision myself with little 6 year olds and trying not to run into them lol but for sure I won't let my age get in the way of trying this sport! I read a few posts here and I got a general idea of what to ask the coaches. I honestly did not realize blades came separately from the boots... I guess I would have to work out my budget! Thanks for the heads up!

Online tstop4me

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Re: Fresh on the Ice!
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2016, 04:48:31 PM »

Thanks! I'm actually pretty busy with my schedule during the week so weekends are the only time I actually have time to go. I think I will "test-run" a few coaches but honestly I really don't know what I am to expect lol

A word of caution then before you plunk down serious cash on privates.  It's very difficult to make progress if you skate only weekends.  You really need at least one, preferably two or more, practice sessions spaced out in between lessons.  Even if you take a lesson on Sat and practice on Sun, you're off the ice for a week until your next lesson.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Fresh on the Ice!
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2016, 05:28:52 PM »
A word of caution then before you plunk down serious cash on privates.  It's very difficult to make progress if you skate only weekends.  You really need at least one, preferably two or more, practice sessions spaced out in between lessons.  Even if you take a lesson on Sat and practice on Sun, you're off the ice for a week until your next lesson.

And this is why a mid-week Learn to Skate class with mid-week practice ice is useful. Around here, the midweek adult LTS always seems to have 30 minutes of practice ice attached.
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Offline Angel52

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Re: Fresh on the Ice!
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2016, 08:39:39 PM »
A word of caution then before you plunk down serious cash on privates.  It's very difficult to make progress if you skate only weekends.  You really need at least one, preferably two or more, practice sessions spaced out in between lessons.  Even if you take a lesson on Sat and practice on Sun, you're off the ice for a week until your next lesson.

Yea I thought so too so I found out that the ice rink has late hour days so I'll be going to those whenever I can .

Offline nicklaszlo

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Re: Fresh on the Ice!
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2016, 08:11:15 AM »
You really need at least one, preferably two or more, practice sessions spaced out in between lessons.

This is good advice, but I have noticed lots of people do not follow it.

Right now I practice about five hours for each hour of lesson and I think that works well.

Offline ChristyRN

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Re: Fresh on the Ice!
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2016, 07:13:10 PM »
This is good advice, but I have noticed lots of people do not follow it.

Right now I practice about five hours for each hour of lesson and I think that works well.

This would be ideal if A) I could find skating close enough/timed to skate more than my three off days--including Sat/Sun; and B) if my lungs would allow more than an hour at a time.

I have a 30 or 45 minute less on my week day off, 30 on Sundays, and a one hour bridge class on Saturdays. My other options include. . .well, not much. The nearest rink to work is 30+ minutes away. Morning freestyle starts at 6am, evening freestyle ends 5:30-6pm.  I work 7a-5:30p.   I would love to add a 4th day or skate every other day, but just not going to happen with my current schedule or crappy lungs. 

I seriously envy those of you that can skate that much.
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Offline mnrjpf99

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Re: Fresh on the Ice!
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2017, 08:38:36 PM »
If you are serious about skating, I would suggest buying your own skates. They don't have to be new, but have to be a decent skate with enough support, plus have decent blades. If your feet are an "average type" foot, buying used, can be an option, but if you have wide feet or other foot issues, it's better to be fitted properly at a good skate shop, that is not just out for your money.

I also agree, that the Learn to Skate program would be a good idea. I am going to be doing the same thing very soon. LTS group classes are a good place to start and a lot cheaper too. Also, you may be eligible for a scholarship through the rink you are going through. I have applied for it myself and am just waiting to hear back.

Also, the more time you put in, the better. I skate 3 days a week @ 2 hours a session.

Another thing to remember, it takes time to learn things in skating and not to get discouraged if you are having a hard time of some of it. We all have our own pace. For me, I am working on my forward one foot glides and my left foot is great, but my right is not so great. I just keep telling myself, "I am going to get this, if it kills me". Lol

I am deeply in love with skating. It's more than just a hobby for me, it's become a way of life. I hope you end up as passionate about it as I am.

Good luck :0)