How to learn the basics on Ice skating


Have you been wondering how to learn the basics on Ice skating? Don’t get intimidated by the feel of the ice, or the look of the skates, or even the prowess of other skaters that seem to move effortlessly. The basics of ice skating are quite easy to grasp.

To understand how to learn the basics on Ice skating, you need to get your practice outfit right, familiarize yourself with the basic movements, and practice a lot. Let’s show you how.

Getting Ready

Start by getting a properly fitting pair of skates. Such skates are crucial in keeping you stable as you skate. Wear protective gear such as knee pads, wrist pads, and a helmet. Put on warm yet comfortable clothes that allow you natural movement as you glide. These clothes should not get heavy when damp.

Understand Your Skates –Edges, Blades

Every pair of skates has blades with two edges, that is, the inside edges and the outside edges. The skate blades are in an upside-down U-shape, which enables the skater to sense both sides when moving on the ice.

A beginner skater always uses the inside edges to master the fundamental moves. Try not to bend the skates either inwards or outwards when moving on ice.

Beginner Steps

Ensure you have a skating partner with you when making your first steps. However, if you are alone, it is advisable to do all your practice next to the board. Having a partner or skating near the board ensures you have a safe place to fall back, should you miss a step and fall during practice.


Gliding involves moving on the ice without lifting the skates. The skater should always have his two skates in a parallel position, facing the direction of movement.

Make your first steps on the ice with your hands on the board. Take time letting your feet get used to the feeling of wearing skates on ice. Once comfortable, release one arm from the board and stretch it out towards your front for balance.

Keep your legs slightly bent on the knees. Stay low. Alternatively, as you lift one leg, let the other leg (the leading leg) always lean on the knee. You’ll only stretch it when in an open position.

Incline the upper body slightly to the front. This posture keeps you from dangerously falling backward. If you happen to fall, you are more likely to fall on your shoulder, which is much safer. Continue gliding for one lap.

The Basic Ice Skating Moves for a Beginner


Walking gives you a feel of your blades. Slowly switch from gliding to walking short steps. Try pushing your skates with your toes as you move. Do this until you feel comfortable enough to lift the remaining arm from the board.

Now lift your arm from the board and have both hands stretched forward as you continue walking.

Ensure you keep your movements along the board. This position is safe because in case you lose your balance, you can always return the hand to the board. Also, by keeping off the middle of the ice, you avoid bumping into other skaters who may be moving very fast. Try as much as possible to have fun.

Maintain Your Balance

Keep the skates about shoulder width apart with one foot slightly ahead of the other. Maintain the athletic- knee bent posture. This position concentrates your upper body weight to the center of your body right over your skates.

Ensure you keep your back strong at all times. Avoid gazing either at the ice under your feet or way up the sky/roof. If you do so, you tend to bend your back too much and easily fall forward or backward. The best position for your eyes is at the level of the board.

Moving Away From the Board

After your initial practice on gliding with the aid of the board, you can practice gliding and walk away from the board, this time move around with your hand stretched out on the sides for balance.

Try walking both forward and backward until you are comfortable doing it.

The Basic Ice Skating Moves for a Beginner


Start with your feet together, and hands stretched out sideways for balance. Gently glide on the inside edges and move your feet outwards and then back together forming a circular movement. Repeat the circular motion around the track as many times as possible. Try the swizzles motion backward.

Ski Glides

Have the feet together, and hands stretched to the sides. Glide from side to side forming spiral movement. Use the outside edges for the ski glide movement. Repeat this move, but now doing it backward.

Gliding on One Foot

Wobble like a penguin to gain speed on the ice. Otherwise, alternate pushing your skates to the sides to gain momentum. Avoid running.

how to stop on ice skating

How to Stop

Drag one foot behind to come to a stop. Alternatively, plow onto the ice with one skate.

Standing Still

Lock your skates on the knuckles to form a V-shape angle. In this position, you ensure you neither move forward nor backward.

Ice Skating FAQs

  1. What do you wear to a professional ice skating lesson?