Here’s the thing – I am not a big fan of skating in general. I can appreciate it, I like watching it, and I can even get behind going out and having a good time once in a while, but the fear I get from falling down and/or hurting my ankles usually prevents me from going to the rink. However, one of my friends decided to try out skating as a slightly more serious hobby. She asked me what I thought on the subject, so I have made a small guide, for her benefit and yours.
Those that really don’t mind the cold can try their luck with ice skating. If there is no skating rink near you, consider an ice hockey arena. They sometimes organize events or allow the space to be rented for the purpose of practicing. There are three types of competitive ice skating to choose from if we disregard things like ice hockey and curling, where knowing how to skate is more of a tool than a goal to achieve.
If you are athletic, and gymnastics and dance are what you’ve always been about, figure skating is perfect for you. The discipline requires excellent balance, grace, and awareness of your surroundings. If you prefer making a show of it, rather than just trying to land a difficult axel jump, take ice dancing into consideration.
Racers thrive in this sport. The sprinters try to make the perfect mix of thrust and momentum, a solid feeling for the centripetal force, with a pinch of aerodynamics. This is the sport for hyper-competitive individuals.
If hikers wore skates, this is the sport they would practice. People that believe that slow and steady wins the race are the ones most comfortable with this type of activity. It is not competitive, but recreational. The skates are slightly different than what you may be used to, as the idea is to make your feet comfortable for the long distances.
Hard Surface Skating
There is not always a good setting available for practicing ice skating. Maybe you live in a very warm area. Perhaps you are surrounded by a concrete jungle with nowhere to practice your moves. Not to worry, as you can still skate, using roller skates or inline skates.
This is a whole new world, with a large number of disciplines and subdisciplines too intricate and numerous to go into detail. We will, however, point out artistic roller skating, which is very similar to figure skating, vert skating, where you can join thrill-seekers on ramps and meet some skateboarding stars, and road skating in general, where you can race, show off your moves, or just relax with your friends and family.