Sunday, May 4, 2008

Your First Figure Skating Boots

You are a beginner but a very fast learner. You are not sure if you should buy figure skates at this time. However you feel you are progressing fairly quickly. You have made it to freestyle levels. Now the big question is should you stop renting and buy your own pair of figure skates.

If you enjoy figure skating, then you should own your skates no matter what level you are. This is because you progress much faster with your own boots and you'll probably enjoy skating even more. Rinks usually don't sharpen their skates as often as they should. It might cost more to begin with to have your own skates, but you won't have to keep paying for rentals, you'll have your own skates that won't smell like other people's feet and if you get the right model, they should last you through all of group lessons. The questions below may be of concerned to you:

1. What's the best kind of ice skate to get?
2. What size do I get?
3. Do I need a figure skating bag to carry my skates in? Or Is it okay to fling my skates over my shoulders when I go to the rink?
4. Do I need to get soakers ?
5. How long will it take me to break into them?
6. When do I know to sharpen them?
7. How do I care for my ice skate?


Usually for beginning skaters, I recommend an introductory pair of boots for beginners. The boots should be comfortable, and have all of the requirements of a beginning skate. Any brand would do. It is a matter of preference. They should provide enough support and come with some decent blades for what you're trying to do. Go to your nearest skate shop and tell them at what level you are skating and what you want to do. They can fit you and set you up with a skate for your level.


For sizing purposes, you should go to your nearest skate shop and get professionally fitted. Skates do not run true to shoe sizes. Some run large, some small, some are wide, some are narrow. It all depends on the brand. A trained professional should be able to help you get the appropriate size. You'd hate to get your new skates and have them not fit! If your feet are still growing, you can usually go up a half-size, or maybe a full size. More than that might make the experience a difficult one. Also, some shops sell used skates as well, which can be a great idea for skaters with growing feet! However, it is usually best to break into your own skates.


Break-in time depends on how much you skate. At first you will have trouble skating and won't be able to do everything that you thought you could. You will probably get some blisters. Persevere. Those are the “breaks” of having your own figure skates. Usually to facilitate this process, it is a good idea for skaters to wear their skates at home while watching TV with their skate-guards on. This allows the boot to form to your feet. Walk in them a little at home, bend at the ankle. When they're new, don't lace them up all the way to the top. Leave the top hook unlaced until you have them broken in a little until you feel comfortable in your boots. On the ice, do a lot of back crossovers, swizzles, (waltz jumps if you can) and bend at your ankles. If you're finding you have specific areas that are hurting, you can have those areas "punched " at the skate shop they have a metal tool that pushes areas of the boot out to relieve pressure areas. Sometimes, round makeup sponges work well to protect sore ankles and other areas that hurt in skates.


Get your blades sharpened before you use your skates for the first time. New blades do not come with good edges. How often you sharpened your skates depends on how much you skate. The general rule is whenever you find yourself drifting off the ice. You will notice it on the ice when you need to sharpen your blades. When they start to get blunt, you will feel yourself drift side ways on your blades across the ice. When this starts to happen, it means your blades are getting blunt because the edges are getting rounder. However each skater has their own preference. To check if your blades are dull, drag a fingernail lightly over one of the edges. If it scrapes off some of your nail, they're probably okay if there is no scraping, they need to be sharpened. Your coach should also be able to let you know, or the shop where you sharpen your skates should be able to tell you as well. For every time you sharpen your blades, you are taking off a piece of your blades. Sometimes your skates may not need sharpening the person at your shop knows just what to do to hold you ‘till your next sharpening


I would recommend getting a pair of soakers to protect your blades. They're great for when you're not using your skates. They help keep your blades from getting rusty. Be sure that you do not store your skates with the hard skates-guards on. This can cause your blades to rust . . . quickly! Only use the skate-guards for walking off ice to protect your blades from getting ruined. When you're done skating, wipe your blades and boots down with a towel and put on your soakers. Once you get home, it is always a good idea to take your skates out of your skate bag, take your soakers off and let your skates dry out. This prevents rusting on your blades, and allows the moisture to evaporate. I'd suggest getting some sort of bag, backpack or a skate bag something to carry your skates in. Skaters seem to end up with a lot of junk to carry around: CD's, towels, gloves, leg-warmers, guards, extra tights, facial tissue, first aid kit and much more.


A. always wipe your blades thoroughly so they don’t rust.
B. if your doing a lot of drags and stuff, you should think about wearing over the boot stockings or skate covers so you don’t ruin the leather of your boot as it scrapes off.
C. wear guards when your not on the ice so your blades don’t get blunt.

There is a big difference between owning your own boots and renting. They will probably feel like night and day when compared to rental skates. You will have the ankle support and a better blade that you will need for beginning spins and jumps.

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