Preparing for a Day on the Ice
Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series. Part 1, which appeared last Monday, focused on getting started in skating.
Last week we covered the basics for comfortably wearing your skates and caring for them. Clothing selection is also very important for the comfort, mobility and warmth that are essential to a fun skating session. There are a few items to take with you. Rinks typically have lockers you can rent to store your stuff in.
What to wear
- Wear bright colors. A hat is a must! Skating is a great time to break out festive tasseled or pom-pom’ed hats and scarves.
- Don’t let scarves drag on the ice; you will endanger yourself and others. Fingerless glove/mitten combinations are nice because you can lace more securely than with awkward gloves.
- Wear wicking layers that allow freedom of movement. Wool, fleece, silk and high-tech sports fabrics are best. Silk long underwear is very warm, but not bulky. Cotton won’t wick moisture, and you will be colder.
- Indoor rinks are chilly, so there you will want to dress as though it were early spring or late fall.
- As you grow more proficient, you will be moving around the ice more quickly and generate more body heat, so keep that in mind.
- If you wear glasses, consider an elastic holder to keep them on when you fall.
- No handbags! Rent a locker, and keep what little you need on the ice in a zipped pocket or a fanny pack. Yes, I said fanny pack. Backpacks can slip off, and they impede your movement.
- Chew gum or eat. If you fall, you could choke to death.
- Yank on someone when you start to fall.
- Go into the middle ice until you are experienced. It is traditionally for jumping and spinning.
- Try to use figure skate toe picks for anything. Forget that they are there. Toe picks are not for starting and stopping. They are ONLY used for spinning and jumping.
- Let your laces drag on the ice. This is a huge safety hazard. Besides, when it is time to lace or unlace, they will be wet and gross.
- Skate across the middle. Avoid the middle until you’re more proficient. Middle ice is traditionally where more experienced skaters work out.
- Get too close to the boards; the ice is mushy there and harder to successfully skate on. Besides, you’ve got to let go some time!
- Use your cellphone. You need to be aware of your surroundings for maximum safety and enjoyment!
- Walk on the ground with skates unless there are blade guards on them.
What to bring
- Water and sunscreen.
- Your health insurance card and ID — on the ice with you.
- Lip balm.
- An old sock or something to wipe your skate blades with. Protect that (possibly huge) investment!
Stay warm and dry, and have fun! You will love it!
Originally from upstate New York, Jean Gossman earned a bachelor of arts degree in public affairs from Trinity College in 1992 and masters of arts degree in interactive journalism from American University in 2008. Her most recent work appeared in Education Daily and other LRP Publications products. Her earlier work appeared in The History Channel Magazine and The Hill. She lives on Capitol Hill.