Is ice skating dangerous? It is a common question, especially for beginners who have just started to ice skate. No matter how glamorous it looks, ice skating is a complex sport and requires a certain amount of skill. The idea of balancing on a slippery ice surface with just blades may seem daunting for many people.
Is it dangerous to go ice skating?
Ice skating is all about balance and movement on ice with speed on the narrow ice skate blades. But, since the ice is very slippery and hard, you fall and sustain injuries.
It is very accurate for beginners to find their way on ice skates. Initially, when learning how to ice skate, you start by having a slow speed. Your focus now is just to stay balanced instead of performing crazy skating moves.
Well, don’t get scared yet! Because I am here to tell you that, yes, ice skating is somewhat dangerous. But, it is as dangerous as rollerblading on a busy street. The chances are that you sustain some injuries when you fall on ice.
It is very likely that even skilled ice figure skaters also sustain injuries because of falling on ice. It can happen due to falling after a missed jump after landing.
Or, a push by some other hockey player also causes a loss of balance. Sometimes, missed steps at high speeds can cause a fall, leading to severe injuries.
The risk of falling and sustaining injuries heightens when the skaters perform advanced tricks and movements.
How sharp are ice skating blades?
The blades on ice skates are sharp enough. But, they are not as sharp as a knife, so you don’t have to worry about getting deep cuts. It is because they are way thicker than a knife. Besides, the blades on an ice skate are like a curve with two edges. In case the “blade gets sharpened”recently, then there are chances that you can get a cut.
Is ice skating dangerous for beginners?
Since most ice skating rinks have a concrete surface, layers of ice on them. It is likely that the force of impact due to falling can even affect the most experienced skaters. It can even cause serious ankle injuries and even permanent damage to the feet in the worst cases. So, Ice skating may seem particularly complicated and tricky, especially if you are a beginner. But, if you want to gain the confidence to move on the ice, follow some tips and tricks for safe skating. So, it is not true to say that ice skating is dangerous for beginners.
Avoid Injury by Ice Skating Tips for Beginners
Is ice skating hard? It is a question that comes to the mind of ice skating beginners. Yes, ice skating is a little tricky at first. But once you know your way around the ice, then you don’t have to worry about anything. In order to avoid injury by ice skating, especially if you are a beginner, follow the tips mentioned.
Wear protective skating gear
Wearing prospective gear while skating is an essential thing to ensure your safety. Especially if you are a beginner, wearing protective gear helps minimize accidents due to falling.
Protective gear includes gloves, wrist protective gear, elbow pads, and knee pads.
Dress up properly
Your first skating experience depends on how you dress up. For ice skating, dress up in warm, comfortable clothes. Also, avoid wearing socks that are too thick. Since thick socks are not breathable and they also limit movements.
Avoid wearing socks that come way above your boot. This helps to avoid any blisters that may form because of friction. Just dress up in warm clothes that do not feel bulky to limit your movement on the ice.
Check the condition of skates.
You may rent or even purchase new skates. Before getting on a skating rink, always check the condition of your skates. Remember, your skates must be in excellent condition to help you safely skate on ice. Check if the blades are too sharp. Also, check to see if the blades get correctly fixed.
Choose the right skate fit
Finding the correct skate size to fit is essential. Don’t go for skates that are either too small or too big. It is because the skates are too small for your feet. It will make you feel uncomfortable, and you may face difficulty while skating. On the other hand, skates that are too big on feet don’t have the proper ankle support. Hence, increasing the chances of falling over.
Lace Skates Properly
Proper fit of skates and proper lace-up are the two things that go hand in hand. Once when you are wearing the right size of skates. The next thing to do is to lace them properly. Why proper lacing of skates is so essential. Because you don’t want the skates to compress your toes. Also, proper lacing gives excellent ankle support. It in turn, helps in moving and balancing on ice.
Start slowly and gradually
Skating on the ice always starts slowly and gradually. Try to get warmed up before. It is imperative because it helps to loosen up muscles and make movements easy. Also, before entering the rink, look around and see where the other skaters are to skate in the same direction. Relax first, then enter the rink. Also, try staying close to the barrier of the rink. It is essential as a beginner. You can easily reach for the barrier in case you lose balance.
Keep knees bended
Keeping your knees bent when skating is very necessary. It is because it helps to lower the center of gravity and gives you more stability. If you keep your feet apart and knees slightly bent will help you balance on the ice.
Learn how to stop
Now that you know how to keep yourself upright on ice skates. You likely skate with speed. But first, you need to learn how to stop yourself first. All you need to do is to keep your feet straight in line with your shoulders. Keep knees slightly bent, then start to turn toes of feet inwards. Start applying pressure in the middle of the feet. Gradually, you will feel your speed lessening, making it easy for you to stop altogether. It does take a little practice, but with time you can become an expert.
As a beginner, it is for sure that you fall many times till you learn how to balance correctly. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to fall gracefully during ice skating. When you fall, try not to roll yourself in a ball. Don’t ever use your hands to stop the fall. Instead, try tucking your head and chin on your chest. Remember to keep your knees and elbows bent at all times. Also, try to fall sideways.
Learn how to get up after falling
Once you are down, the next thing you have to master is how to get up after falling. Start by rolling your fingers inside your palm. Then, turn around and try to get on your knees. Start getting up by placing one hand on ice while lifting one leg and placing it on ice. Push yourself up, then place your other leg in the same way. Remember to keep your knees bent instead of standing up.
Don’t look down
Everyone makes the mistake of looking down towards your feet once you start to skate. It is not the right way to start to skate. Instead, look in the direction of where you are going. It helps to keep your head high to look out and avoid bumping in other skaters.
ALSO READ: Figure Skates For Wide Feet
Five Common Ice skating injuries
As a beginner, you likely injure yourself in many ways. I have mentioned below the five ice skating injuries.
Fractures & Ankle sprains
The extreme pressure and weight of the skating movement make it very prone to sprains and fractures. It would help if you got an early diagnosis to avoid infection and permanent foot damage.
Loss of balance or control over skating movement can cause serious falls. It is because the ice surface doesn’t have any kind of cushion against the impact of fall. Sometimes, it can even cause severe head and brain injuries or a concussion.
Knee injuries and ACL tears
ACL or anterior cruciate ligament is a ligament that runs on the middle of your knee. It helps in the movement and also to bear the weight of the body. Getting Knee injuries and ACL tears during ice skating is very common.
The use of sharp blades on hard ice surfaces for moving with speed on ice can be risky. It makes a skater very prone to having deep cuts or lacerations in the skin.
Wrist and Hand Injuries
Trying to cushion yourself with the use of hands is the most automatic response everyone has when falling. It is because we try to catch ourselves and try to save our faces. It is an excellent way to lessen the impact of the fall. But, at the same time, it is dangerous too. Since all the weight of the body comes to the wrist and hands. It may cause severe injuries to the wrists or hands.
Why is ice skating so hard?
Ice skating seems complicated only at the beginning. But, once you learn your way around the ice, it just feels as if you are gliding. Ice skating is not about walking on ice. It is a skill that requires some skill balance and coordination using front and back leg muscles. With proper training and practice, you can quickly learn how to master ice skating movements. These movements include moving forward, moving backward, making turns, and stopping.
Is figure skating dangerous?
Figure skating is a sport that is only for people who are not afraid of pain. It is because there are some routines in figure skating that are very dangerous. Figure skating moves are so scary that it is difficult to understand why some people think of it as entertainment. There is even some figure skating moves like backflips that got banned due to their dangerous nature. It doesn’t mean that the standard figure skating moves do not provide any physical threat to the skaters.
What are the dangerous ice skating moves?
Among all of the figure skating moves, five moves that skaters risk their life to perform. Or that they have practiced falling over many times till they have mastered the moves. Let’s explore the five most dangerous ice skating moves that you can see.
- Triple Axel
Triple axel gets performed by making three complete, and one half turns suspended in the air. It is a terrifying skating move that Tonya Harding first performed in 1991. Recently America’s Mirai Nagasu performed the Triple Axel to win a bronze medal in the Olympics.
- Quadruple Jump
Quadruple Jump gets done by making four full turns and one-half turn while being suspended in the air. It is a skating move that is common in male figure skaters. Nathan Chen, a U.S. skater at PyeongChang, has a skating routine performing Quadruple Jump in five different ways.
- Quintuple Jump
The Quintuple Jump has so far not performed in any skating championship. It requires an enormous increase in speed and a lift. Yuzuru Hanyu, a skating world champion, believes that it is possible to perform the Quintuple Jump.
But, the question remains what time will the skater spend in the air and how much impact force will they experience. Performing a Quintuple Jump requires extreme strength and resilience. It simply is a move that is just beyond the human effort range.
- Triple Lutz
In Triple Lutz, the skater launches himself in the air with the help of their toe pick. Along with the help from a bit of edge of their skates used for gripping. An ice skate has two edges with a hollow in between. The thing that makes this move so complicated is taking off weight from the toe edge. Suspending yourself while twirling in the air. It is a challenging and dangerous move that South Korea’s Yuna Kim only performs.
- Throw Quad Salchow
The Throw Quad Salchow is the most dangerous ice skating move ever. The Throw Quad Salchow gets performed in pairs. It is where the male partner throws the female partner in the air. The female partner has to make four turns while being suspended in the air before making a landing. It is a dangerous move to perform on your own. Even more difficult when someone else throws you instead.
Common Figure Skating Injuries
Now that you know how dangerous figure skating can be. Most figure skaters suffer from multiple injuries due to trauma or overuse. The injuries caused by overuse are easily preventable. It is possible only when you know about them beforehand. Mostly individual skaters face overuse injuries. At the same time, pair skaters are more prone to traumatic injuries.
What are Overuse Injuries?
- Fractures of foot and spine – caused mainly by too much stress.
- Physical reactions to stress – like shin splints and medial tibial stress syndrome.
- Hip muscle strains.
- Jumper knee syndrome.
- Osgood-Schlatter (knee) or iliac crest (hip)
- Lace bites and blisters.
What are Traumatic Injuries?
- Fractures and ankle sprains.
- Shoulder bone dislocation.
- Concussion and head injuries.
- Hip tears.
- Knee injuries and ACL tears
What causes figure skating injuries?
Many things can cause figure skating injuries. But, two factors can have a direct impact on your performance. These include the following:
Poor technique and training too much
Poor technique and tiring yourself training too much can have a direct impact on your skating performance. It can even lead to severe accidents or injuries. Most of the skaters make mistakes in calculating the landing force. The miscalculation and poor landing technique result in injuries.
Problems in equipment
Equipment problems mentioned down below are the root cause of many skating injuries.
- Stiffness of boots
A stiff boot feels as if you are wearing a cast. It limits movement, causing stress to form in the legs, knees, and back muscles.
- Placement of boots
The wrong placement of boots can cause you to move in the wrong direction. Instead of moving forward, you lend to move sideways or outwards.
- Sharpness of blades
Blades that are too sharp don’t have a good grip on ice. Hence, it can cause inexperienced skaters to lose balance and fall.
How to prevent figure skating injuries?
Many standard figure skating injuries are easily preventable. It’s just that you need to follow some tips and tricks when figure skating. These tips and tricks include:
- Reduce G-force landing impact
The impact of G-force landing increases when performing multiple jumps in figure skating. Try to limit the number of jumps with a G-force landing during training or until you master your technique.
- Off-ice training
Off-ice training is as necessary as training on ice in figure skating. It helps to learn new skills that you can further apply on ice. Also, performing in off-ice conditions helps to build core muscles and help maintain fitness.
- Avoid training in growth spurts periods
It is essential to avoid training new skills at all costs during the growth spurt period. This is especially true for figure skaters who start training at a very early age. It is the reason why this is important because training during growth spurts causes undue stress on muscles.
Always warm up for about 10 minutes before getting on to ice or putting on skates.
- Get the right boot
Get the right fit of the boot. Also, try to break your boot a little before starting a proper skating routine. Also, adjust the blades of the skates and see if they got appropriately sharpened.
- Examine the ice surface
Ensure that the ice surface where you skate on doesn’t have any cracks or chips. It is essential because any breaks or chips on ice can cause you to lose balance and fall.
- Eat proper
Maintaining a proper nutritious diet is crucial, especially if you are a figure skater. Eating disorders are relatively common in female figure skaters.
- Talk with your trainer or coach
Have a conversation with your trainer or coach about the dangers and risks involved in injuries in figure skating. Being aware is the first step to avoid and try to prevent injuries and avoid overtraining.
- Avoid skating in pain
Suppose you have pain in your legs or any parts of the body due to constant training. Try to avoid ice skating altogether.
Is ice skating dangerous for seniors?
Ice skating is not at all dangerous for seniors. In Fact, it helps to keep old and older people in shape. For senior citizens, ice skating has many advantages. Some of which I have mentioned down below:
- Physical Health
Skating is the best option to keep yourself in shape as you grow old. It provides you with the best entertainment while keeping you fit at the same time. As you skate and move across the rink, you burn multiple calories, fat and develop a healthy heart. It also helps to build up your stamina. Skating and balancing help to increase your coordination, and it, in turn, help you in your everyday activities. Studies have found that senior people who skate have fewer chances of developing heart-related diseases.
- Psychological Wellness
Older people who love to skate have better psychological wellness compared to those who don’t. Keeping yourself in high spirits is a relatively difficult task to achieve, especially in old age. It is the reason why many people suffer from mood swings and depression in old age. Skating with friends helps boost mood but spending time on the rink gives a feeling of exhilaration.
Suppose you are a senior person with a newfound interest in figure skating or ice skating. It’s better to consult and take advice from your general physician to see if you are physically fit for skating. In case you suffer from any pre-existing medical conditions. Your doctor will help you guide you in what precautions you need to take. Also, make sure to wear extra warm clothing when spending time on the ice rink. Taking skating lessons also helps to build up confidence for ice skating.
Is Ice Skating dangerous for kids?
Ice skating is a sport that is for everyone. Besides, It is true to say that ice skating is not at all dangerous for kids. You can start giving ice skating lessons to your kid once she gets 3years old. But, remember a three-year-old has an attention span of not more than 20 to 30 minutes. Once your kid turns 5 or 6 years of age, they get better at developing balance and coordination skills. These are just the prerequisites for figure skating.
You can introduce your kid to ice skating by taking her to the rink as part of your family outing time. Getting them warmed up to the concept of ice skating before can be very helpful. You can also lead a hand to your kid to help them learn their way around the ice. Let them know that falling is a part of ice skating. And that there is nothing wrong with it.
Ice Skating Tips For Family
If you plan to do ice skating as a family activity, you need to keep the following tips in mind.
- Avoid holding hands
Ice skating is all about finding the right balance and coordination. Every kid and every adult has to find the right balance on their own. If you have small kids, it’s better to make them wear protective equipment and take help from skating aids. But, if they are old enough, let them find balance on their own.
- Don’t get scared if your kid falls
Falling is a significant part of ice skating. Be it a beginner or an expert. Every skater has gone through a fair amount of falls. So, even if your kid falls during ice skating, don’t get scared. As it is very normal to do so. Just keep a big smile on your face and keep encouraging your child.
Is skating outdoors dangerous?
It may seem very tempting to put your skates on and start skating on frozen waterways. But, the thing to note here is that natural ice has a very unpredictable nature. There is a huge risk of falling in the water due to ice breaks. Also, there is no specific control over the ice. So, there is no possible way to find out if ice is safe for skating. It can get tough to swim towards safety in freezing waters. There are many chances of skaters getting drowned by just shock and hypothermia. Instead, go to a controlled ice rink either indoors or outdoors. It is a much safer option to consider for ice skating.
Some people tend to think that ice skating is harder than rollerblading. But, it’s not so in truth. It is because both sports require pretty much the same skill. In ice skating, finding the right balance and coordination is a little more difficult than in rollerblading.
Some beginners prefer rollerblading as it doesn’t take much to learn balance. In the end, it all comes down to your personal preference. One of the two you end up choosing has nothing to do with whether one sport is harder.
In my article you can find everything about your question – is ice skating dangerous? To skate safely on ice, you have to take care of all the safety precautions. Try to keep all the risks related to skating next time you go on the rink. Being aware of the risk of the injuries helps you to take timely precautions. Despite taking all the safety precautions and following all the tips, you end up getting injured. It would be best if you seek advice from a doctor or a trained medical professional.