How to stop when ice skating for beginners is crucial. Stopping is an important skill for all ice skaters, regardless of where they’re in their skating journey. However, beginners and intermediate ice skaters should learn and master the right stopping techniques, especially when they start to go fast.
Sadly, falling is inevitable when ice skating because of the slippery ice skating rinks and short-blade base. As a beginner ice skater, you want to learn how to break while ice skating to prevent potential fall injuries. So, if you’re wondering which stopping techniques to try, you’ll discover them all in this guide.
- The T Stop—best for beginners
- The Snowplow—best for beginners
- The hockey stop—best for intermediates and advanced ice skaters
So, without much ado, let’s get to it!
How to Stop when Ice Skating for Beginners
Learning how to stop is an important skill for beginners and intermediate ice skaters. When you master the right stopping techniques, you can quickly break or slow down when ice skating fast. You need this skill, especially when skating at a busy ice skating rink. Below are the main ice skating stopping technique for beginners and intermediate skaters.
1. Use the T-Stop Technique for beginners and Intermediates
The T stop is one of the popular stopping techniques for ice skaters. It’s used in ice skating and other skating disciplines like inline skating, aka rollerblading. The T Stop technique is easy to learn and is best for beginners and intermediate ice skaters.
Here’s how to do the T-Stop Technique
- First, bend your knees and keep your feet in the scissor position, then skate forward at a slow pace.
- Then, apply pressure on the leading foot as your turn the rear foot to be in 45 degrees angle with the leading foot.
- Gently lift it off the surface and drag it until you come to a partial stop. This helps to slow your down.
- Lastly, transfer some of your body weight to the rear foot by gently leaning back. It’s important to keep your shoulders pointing forward and straight while leaning back. Also, you want to ensure your arms are composed by letting them hang on the sides and not all over the place. Avoid throwing your hands in the air as it can make you lose balance and end up falling.
2. Learn the Snowplow Stopping Technique
The snowplow stopping technique is one of the easiest ways to stop for beginners and intermediate ice skaters. It’s easy to learn and pull during emergencies. If you’re looking for a way to stop fast, the snowplow ice skating technique can be pretty helpful.
Here’s how to do the Snowplow stopping technique.
- Skate forward at a slow pace while in the bent down ice skating position. Make sure you’re properly bending your knees to get a good outward push to the sides.
- Turn your ice skating shoes to form an inverted while your toes should be pointing each other. This should help you stop as your ice skating shoes cut through the ice.
- Practice the snowplow stop away from obstructions until you master it. It’s important to note that it may take you longer to pull it off, but you shouldn’t let that stop you.
3. Use the Hockey Stopping Style
The hockey stop is pretty advanced and can be pretty hard to pull as a beginner. However, some intermediate skaters can work it out. So, if you’re one, the hockey stop can help you come to a quick emergency stop when ice skating fast.
Here’s how to do the hockey stop.
- First, bend your knees and keep your feet in the scissor position.
- Then skate forward at a slow to moderate speed.
- Turn the leading foot and hips sideways at 90 degrees.
- Slightly lean backwards while still in the bent position.
- Then, shift some of your body weight to the rear foot.
- Slide your skates on the inside edges as you cut through ice to come to a stop.
- Repeat these steps many times until you can comfortably stop using the hockey stop. Most importantly, keep practicing more to get better. However, it’s more important to skate away from obstructions when starting.
Who Can Use Ice Skating Stopping Techniques?
There are several ice skating disciplines. However, the main ones are figure skating, recreational ice skating, hockey skating, and speed ice skating. If you’re starting to learn any of these ice skating sports, you also need to learn some basic and slightly advanced stopping techniques.
This is to say, all ice skating disciplines can use the T stop, snowplow, and hockey stop. Therefore, you only need to learn the stopping techniques and then apply them accordingly in your preferred ice skating sport. The goal is to learn how to control the speed and to keep safe from fall injuries.
Must-have Protective Gear when Practicing Ice Skating Breaking Techniques
Wearing protective gear when ice skating is crucial to protect yourself from fall or collision injuries. Unfortunately, falling is inevitable even for experienced ice skaters. That’s why you want to ensure you wear the right protective gear to protect your head, elbow, wrists, and knees.
This is important when practicing the different ways to stop when ice skating or going about your normal ice skating activities. That being said, below are the must-have protective gear when practicing ice skating breaking techniques.
- Helmet: You need an ASTM certified helmet to protect your head from fall injuries.
- Elbow pads: Elbow pads help protect your elbows if (when) you fall backward or on the sides.
- Wrist guards: Wrist guards help protect your palms and hands, especially when you try to avoid a fall by landing on your wrists.
- Knee pads: You need knee pads to protect your knees if (when) you fall when practicing how to stop when ice skating for beginners.
Lastly, also wear the right articles of clothing when practicing at an indoor or outdoor rink. They should be neither too heavy nor too light to keep you sufficiently warm throughout the practice session.
How to get Better at Breaking while Ice Skating
Learning, mastering, and using the right ice skating stopping techniques for beginners is a bold move. However, they require commitment and dedication to pull off. The good news is, you can speed up the process by doing the following things.
1. Practice more often
Nothing attracts success like hard work. That’s why you want to practice more often to sharpen the ice skating stopping skills you’ve learned. Try to practice at least once a week at an indoor ice skating rink as a rule of thumb. Then, overwinter, you can practice every day at your backyard ice skating rink or a frozen pond or lake.
2. Use the Correct Ice Skating Posture
Using the correct ice skating posture is a basic skill every ice skater should master. Why is this important, you ask? The correct ice skating posture helps with weight transfer from your body to your footballs. This also helps with mastering proper balance and goes a long way to influence how quickly you learn the different stops.
That said, the correct ice skating posture involves proper bending at 90 degrees. In addition, your knees should be above your toes and shoulders over your hips. If you’re yet to master the correct skating posture, it would be best to start here before trying out how to break when ice skating.
3. Learn and Master Proper Balance on Ice Skating Shoes
Proper balance is directly related to your skating posture. That’s why you want first to learn how to ice skate correctly by bending. Some awesome balance exercises to try out are standing on one foot, using the scooter technique, and standing on a Bosu ball.
4. Watch Free Video Tutorials on YouTube
You can watch plenty of free video tutorials on YouTube to learn how to stop when ice skating for beginners. All you need is to find ice skating channels and subscribe to them. It would help if you also had a smartphone, a laptop or a PC, and an internet connection.
The good news is, some YouTubers can assess your progress when you send them a record of your practice sessions. In my opinion, this is a great way to network with cool and more experienced ice skaters worldwide. Below is a resourceful YouTube Video Tutorial you can get started on.
5. Practice in the Company of more Experienced Ice Skaters
Learning fast can be a hurdle when you’re a lone ranger. So, it’s best to have at least one ice skating buddy at your favorite indoor ice skating rink. If you’re skating outdoors during winter, you can team up with other ice skaters in your neighborhood.
If you want a sure way to flatten your learning curve, practicing in the company of more experienced ice skaters is what you need to do. Then, you can go ahead to ask them to record you as you practice the different ice-breaking techniques.
6. Enroll in Ice Skating Lessons
You can also enroll in ice skating lessons online or offline at your nearest indoor ice skating rink. Online lessons are flexible and more convenient. You can, therefore, enroll and practice when it’s convenient for you.
Also, you’ll have an edge when you have a professional trainer teaching you how to stop when ice skating. The only downside to this is that the lessons may be costly, especially when you don’t have the money to spend. Thus, this option is viable for people with a budget to spend on ice skating lessons.
7. Maintain a Positive Attitude
Lastly, a positive attitude keeps you motivated and inspired to keep going regardless of the challenges you encounter. It may take longer than you’ve anticipated mastering these ice-breaking techniques for beginners. However, maintaining a positive attitude is what will move the needle for you.
How to Stop when Ice Skating for Beginners | Wrapping Up
Stopping when ice skating is an important skill every ice skater should have. When done right, breaking or slowing down when skating can help you avert potential ice skating injuries. If you’re wondering how to get started, you can learn the T Stop, snowplow, and hockey stops.
Lastly, nothing should stand in your way if you stick to the guidelines on this comprehensive guide for beginners. I hope you found this guide helpful.