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How to Avoid Falling when Ice Skating

How to avoid falling when ice skating is every newbie skater’s desire. However, it can be pretty daunting because of many reasons. In this guide, I show you ways to avoid falling when ice skating. So, read on!

How to avoid falling when ice skating is an important skill to acquire, whether you’re a newbie or intermediate ice skater. The best part is that falling is inevitable and expert skaters fall from time to time. So, if you find yourself falling more than you want, take it easy on yourself.

You can fall when ice skating for many reasons, like slippery and wet surfaces. In addition, ice skating blades are usually thin with a short blade base, increasing your chances of falling because of instability. The good news is that there are many things you can do to avoid falling when ice skating.

Below is the quick rundown:

  • Use the Correct Ice Skating Posture
  • Learn Balancing
  • Master Various Ice Skating Stopping Techniques
  • Use Proper Fitting Ice Skates
  • Always Skate on Glass Smooth Surfaces
  • Avoid Long Neck Scarfs
  • Lace Up Properly
  • Focus Ahead
  • Skate at Slow to Moderate Speed
  • Work on your Self-confidence

Falling on an ice-cold hard surface can be pretty painful. Many fall injuries lead to broken wrists, ankles, tail bone, and in some severe cases, concussions. That’s why you want to avoid falling when ice skating by all means. I walk you through how to avoid falling when ice skating in detail in the rest of this guide.

1. Use the Correct Ice Skating Posture

Many beginners and intermediate ice skaters struggle to use the correct ice skating posture. While some have no idea what the correct posture is, others do but seldom use it in their skating. Yet, using the correct skating posture is crucial for many reasons.

However, the most obvious of them is helping distribute your body weight away from your back to your footballs. This helps minimize the chances of falling backward when you lose your balance. But what is the correct ice skating posture, you ask?

The correct skating posture involves bending at 90 degrees angle. The knees should be above your toes, while your shoulders should be over your hips. You’ll often hear many professional skaters recommending staying low. This is what it means.

Mastering this posture can be a hurdle because it’s a little uncomfortable to stay in that bent position for a long time. Nonetheless, it’s important to keep practicing in this position to get the back muscles used to skating while bending. There’s no other shortcut!

Using the recommended skating position is one of the basic techniques you’ll learn when starting to skate. So, it’s important to stick to it even after you become a pro because it helps with proper weight transfer and stability while skating.

2. Learn Balancing

One of the reasons people fall when ice skating is because of a lack of balance. Beginners find it a hassle balancing on ice skating shoes with thin and short blade bases. In addition, the cold, wet, and slippery rink surfaces worsen the situation, increasing the probability of falling.

Without adequate body balance, maintaining stability on the ice can be challenging. So, how do you solve this problem? You could be wondering. The straightforward answer is mastering proper balance when skating on ice. You can do several exercises like the scooter exercise, standing on one, and using a Bosu ball.

Mastering your balance on ice skates doesn’t come immediately. So, you’ll need to keep practicing until you get it right. But, most importantly, never give up!

3. Master Various Ice Skating Stopping Techniques

Stopping when skating is an important skill to learn, especially when you start going fast. You, therefore, want to learn and master as many stopping techniques as you can. However, this is the long-term goal. So, you want to start small by learning basic stopping techniques like the snowplow.

It’s a simple stopping technique, accomplished by pushing out your legs while pressing into the ice with your ice skating shoes. The heel section of your feet should be pointing out while the toes section is pointing inside. So first, stretch out your feet, then pull them back in when the toes point at each other.

4. Use Proper Fitting Ice Skates

It’s possible to fall because of ill-fitting ice skates. What’s an ill-fitting ice skate, you ask? An ill-fitting ice skating shoe can be in bad condition (worn-out), too small, or too big. Too tight ice skating shoes can be uncomfortable to skate in, while too big skates can be loose, causing your feet to wobble.

Inline skating V1

By all means, you want to avoid too loose ice skating shoes because they cause wobbling, pronation and before you know it, you’re down. That being said, always wear the right fitting ice skating shoes. If you want, you can try out either hockey skates, figure skates, speed skates, or recreational skates.

For starters, the right ice skate should have a longer blade base and cuffs to help with stability and ankle support. So, always have this at the back of your mind, especially when shopping for ice skating shoes or renting one from the rink managers.

5. Always Skate on Glass Smooth Surfaces

This will mostly apply to outdoor skating on frozen ponds, lakes, and canals. You should ensure you glass the ice, making it as smooth as possible. However, this should start by clearing all debris, leaves, weeds, and twigs on the ice before running the pool with water.

If they’re left to freeze with the water, they cause bumps on the skating surface, increasing the probability of falling. And if you’re skating on a rink, you never prepared yourself; it’s crucial to check for obstacles, bumps on the skating surface. This will help avoid running into objects that can make you fall.

6. Avoid Long Neck Scarfs

Choosing the right articles when ice skating goes a long way to keep you warm and protected when ice skating. Nonetheless, you want to avoid some clothing like neck scarfs, especially longer ones, because they can come in the way when you’re skating.

Long scarves get into the hollow between the blades and ice skating boots and can hinder smooth skating. If this happens, you can find yourself falling flat on your face. So it’s important to avoid long scarves. But if that’s what you have, ensure you wrap it properly around your neck.

7. Lace Up Properly

Lacing up properly helps keep the ice skating shoes tight in your feet, helping prevent feet wobbling and pronation. So always ensure you lace up properly. If you have shorter laces, this would be the time to acquire longer ones from online stores like Amazon or your local skates shop.

8. Focus Ahead

Focus is crucial when skating. You should have absolute concentration when ice skating, especially when you’re still new or slightly experienced. Also, you want to focus ahead instead of what’s happening under your feet because it can get you confused.

9. Skate at Slow to Moderate Speed

Skating at high speed is fun. However, it would be best for newbies and intermediate skaters to stick to slow or moderate speed. This is a sure way of avoiding potential falling. Also, skating at high speed requires one to have mastered balance and body coordination. As a beginner, this is something you don’t have yet. So, it’s best to take it slow, one step at a time.

10. Work on your Self-confidence

Many ice skaters battle the fear of falling when starting to ice skate. One thing you should know is that falling is inevitable and experienced skaters also fall occasionally. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to change this. However, you can work on your self-confidence to deal with the fear of falling.

Ice Skating Recommended Protective Gear to Prevent Falling Injuries

As a rule of thumb, it’s advisable always to wear protective gear to protect yourself if (when) you fall while ice skating. You should wear the right gear to protect your head, wrists, elbows, and knees from fall injuries. That said, the following are essential protective wear when ice skating:

  • Helmet
  • Gloves
  • Wrist guards
  • Elbow pads
  • Knee pads

Lastly, it would help if you learned the correct falling techniques to minimize injuries. The best way to fall is forward. Allow your knees to touch the surface first, then your hands. Lastly, lay prostrate on the skating surface and slide until you come to a stop.

If you fall backward, remember to land on the sides with your hips instead of your butt. This helps to avoid hurting your tail bone when the fall is impactful.

How to avoid Falling when Ice Skating | Wrapping Up

It’s hard to avoid falling when ice skating. Nonetheless, there are several things you can do to avoid falling when ice skating.  Below is a quick summary:

  • Use the Correct Ice Skating Posture
  • Learn Balancing
  • Master Various Ice Skating Stopping Techniques
  • Use Proper Fitting Ice Skates
  • Always Skate on Glass Smooth Surfaces
  • Avoid Long Neck Scarfs
  • Lace Up Properly
  • Focus Ahead
  • Skate at Slow to Moderate Speed
  • Work on your Self-confidence

Lastly, keep practicing the recommended ice skating techniques and always wear protective gear like a helmet. Happy skating!

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Navick Ogutu
Navick Ogutu

Navick is a full-time freelance writer, blogger, and internet marketer. By day, he creates content for multiple sites including inlineskaterstars.com. Over the weekend, he goes out skating with friends.

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