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Why Is Figure Skating So Expensive?

Why is figure skating so expensive? Read on to find out.

Glitz and glam characterize figure skating costumes and flawless ice moves. All signs of affluence and finesse.

But is figure skating an expensive sport, or is the pomp merely a mask?

Why Is Figure Skating So Expensive?

Why Is Figure Skating So Expensive?

Why is figure skating so expensive? Figure skating is expensive because you need between $1,000 and $1,500 for quality figure skates, $1,000 and $5,000 for costumes, $15 and $25 per hour of ice time, and $16 to $25 per hour coaching fee. In addition, there are travel costs, club membership fees, and blade-sharpening costs.

A figure skater can expect to spend $20,000 yearly on skating but may pay more, according to LiveAbout.

It’s also worth noting that these costs increase as you advance in figure skating. Below is an overview of the costs figure skaters pay.

Item Cost
Ice time$15–$25 per hour
Coaching$60–$120 per hour
Skates (boots and blades)$1,000–$1,500 per pair
Costumes$1,000–$5,000 per costume
Club Membership$100–$200 per year
Blade sharpening$15–$25 per session

Let us now break down each expense.

Buying Boots and Blades

To pursue figure skating, you require figure skates. For a beginner just getting their feet wet, basic recreational figure skates with the proper padding and ankle support range from $150 to $300.

However, as you progress, you will need higher-quality skates. Quality boots and blades can cost more than $1,000. Additionally, professional figure skaters must replace their skates once a year.

The blades will also require regular sharpening, costing between $15 and $25 per session. A reasonable estimate is to sharpen after every 20 hours of ice time.

1. Buying Costumes

Extravagant costumes are at the nerve of figure skating. High-end designers handcraft these figure skating costumes. Time, talent, and embellishments such as Swarovski crystals all add up to a high cost. 

A costume range in price from $1000 to $5,000. Skating federations can cover up to half the cost of top-tier skaters’ outfits, while the rest are on their own.

Unless you are super talented or your mother is and can make a great costume, you will have to pay these exorbitant sums of money for an outfit.

2. Ice Time Charges

Many people begin by attending public sessions, which cost between $7 and $15 per session, including skate rental.

However, public sessions are usually crowded, making it impossible to perform jumps and spins without upsetting other users.

As a result, it soon becomes necessary to transition to more spacious freestyle sessions. 

Freestyle sessions are more expensive than public sessions, costing between $15 and $25 per hour. 

Consider this a guide because these charges differ depending on where you are and which rinks you visit.

3. Coaching Fees

You can begin your skating journey with group lessons, typically costing $100 for ten weekly lessons.

As you progress, however, you will require private tutoring for a customized program and undivided attention. These private lessons cost you between $65 and $120 per hour.

Recreational figure skaters take one or two 30-minute private lessons per week.

On the other hand, competitive figure skating requires at least three 45-minute practice sessions per day, five to six days per week.

But skaters at these levels often train far more.

You can also work with a choreographer and an off-ice coach for an additional fee. Ballet will also make a fantastic off-ice figure skating supplement.

4. Medical Bills

Figure skaters work hard to make their moves appear effortless and graceful. They must generate enormous momentum to spin three to four times in mid-air.

Unfortunately, the effect of this momentum hurts skaters when they land from a jump. According to a Brigham Young University study, when skaters land a jump, they exert five to eight times their body weight on their feet.

This impact occurs in a split of 50-125 milliseconds, giving the body insufficient time to absorb the force.  

Multiply this impact force by 50 jumps per day, five days a week, and you can see how much strain the athletes experience.  

The tremendous pressure causes stress fractures, knee injuries, hip problems, and hamstring strain in the athlete.

This strain results in recurrent medical bills above the training fees. 

Even when an athlete is in good health, regular physical therapy or massages are part of the routine that allows them to compete at their best.

5. Travel and Miscellaneous

Figure skaters need to travel to competitions. Skaters are also required to pay for their coach’s airfare.

If you factor in the cost of lodging and catering when competing out of town, these costs quickly add up. A $10,000 annual bill is not uncommon.

Furthermore, club membership fees, which range between $100 and $200 per year, contribute to the rising cost of figure skating.

Competition entry fees, which range between $135 and $150 per event, also raise the costs. 

Navick Ogutu
Navick Ogutu

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

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