Author Topic: New to skating, new to skates and don't know where to turn  (Read 394 times)

Adam77

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New to skating, new to skates and don't know where to turn
« on: December 22, 2019, 10:35:16 AM »
Hi I'm new here this is my first post and I'm. Not even sure it's in the right place if it isn't admin please feel free to love it. I put it here because at a glance the other areas seem more geared towards figure skating.

So can I start by saying I can't skate and I can't play hockey ( although I enjoy watching it) I've no desire at this point either to learn to play it, I mean I can't even skate yet right and I'm 42 years old now. But anyway for a long time now I've actually wanted to go on a skate tour on a frozen lake after seeing it on TV  once. Its kind of on my bucket list to do before I die. But because I can't skate I've never done it.

So some time ago I was on holiday in the far east and talking to a friend and she said she had never seen snow. And the conversation let to how I've always wanted to do a skate tour on a frozen lake etc etc. She mentioned they had an ice rink at the shopping centre and we decided to go for a bit of fun. So whilst there  she bought tickets to a raffle to try and win a car. I came back to the UK and that was that. Until one day she sends me a mesaage asking my shoe size. Then the next thing I get a pair of skates though the post. She didn't win the car but she did win some skates which she gifted to me saying you can use them on the lake.

Now they are hockey skates so I know I can't use them to do a tour on a frozen lake but it's the thought that counts right and I figure I can learn on them. Now it turns out these skates are meant to be a very good high end skate. Ccm as1 tacks is the  model.

So my dilemma are these skates to good for a first skate. Am I going to look a bit of a wally wearing them whilst clinging to the wall? If I want to learn to skate would in be better buying a cheaper skate and selling these. Are they  too good for recreational skating or should I juat say to hell with it and use them? What would people suggest?

In terms of how they fit they are a little difficult to get on but once on actually feel fine my foots not crunched up but it's not got loads of space either they feel OK. Obviously I was no longer there to try them on, I didnt know anything about them. She got the size they recommended for me. I'm a uk9 they said get a us 8.5. Like I say once I get them on they feel OK but it's a bit difficult to get my foot in especially if I've a thick sock on. Is this normal and if I bake them will they be better? And Should I bake them in a shop or do it at home if I kept them?

And lastly if I'm going to learn how hard is it to learn yourself or do you think I should have lessons? Only when I search for lessons i get the feel it's all geared toward figure skating. I don't want to be a figure skater, I've no desire to take that road. I just want to be a reasonable recreational skater. Good enough to be able to take a holiday in sweden and go out on a frozen lake tour.

Is there anyone out there that will teach me and get me to that sort of stage  preferably near my local rink ( streatham South London)? Even if its not a proper instructor who doesn't mind helping a man out or can put me in touch with one.


I know this is a long post but hopefully somone will take the time to read it and I'd be thankful for any help you can give a complete newb.

Thank you

Adam

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: New to skating, new to skates and don't know where to turn
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2019, 12:31:44 PM »
A frozen lake tour sounds amazing.  I've seen footage and would like to do it one day.  I don't see any reason you can't do one on hockey skates though speed skates if you are going a long distance are probably less hard work.


If they seem to fit OK I would keep the skates you have and at least try them for a few weeks and see how it goes.  They may feel very stiff and hamper you a bit, afraid I don't know much about breaking in hockeys.  To get your foot in, unlace them really loose all the way to the end and really open them up, then put your foot in then lace up.  I don't understand the mania for thick socks and most/all good figure skaters wear thin socks/tights for more feel and control.  Again not sure about hockey but IMO similar considerations apply.  So try with thin socks.  Baking at home should be OK as long as you follow instructions - I think you usually need a fan oven.  But if you're worried about the process you could always try without and if your feet don't get problems it means you're OK without.


Learning without lessons will take most normal people much longer and you will probably start with bad habits you will never lose.  For every self taught ace you see on the ice there are lots who never progress much or give up.  Skate UK lower levels should be OK to do on hockeys, and possibly even the later levels though the content is a bit figure biased still in my view.  But the basics are the same and the group lessons are cheap and worth a try.  If you are good at imitating people correctly then maybe you can befriend people who are obviously good and get them to show you stuff but you need to be careful because a lot of self taught people don't really know how they got where they are so find it hard to communicate it to others - the most talented skater I have ever skated with had no idea how he did what he did - it just came naturally.


Be patient - skating is tricky.  If you do weekly lessons and practice once or twice a week then I would say after a few months you will probably be going round with reasonable confidence and not be too bothered if it's busy.  After 6 months to a year I think you would probably expect to be able to stop reliably, skate forwards fairly fast, do semi decent crossovers, and do a bit of backwards.  But you may do much better than that, or be slower - it will depend on your aptitude and attitude and how much you put in.


Enjoy!

(I started when I was about your age, still skating and learning and enjoying it immensely 12 years later.  It's like flying.  People who don't know much think I am good, which I'm not compared to my daughters who started with me, but I can do some tricks moderately well and can do things well enough to satisfy myself).
« Last Edit: December 22, 2019, 12:45:24 PM by transmissionoftheflame »

WednesdayMarch

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Re: New to skating, new to skates and don't know where to turn
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2019, 11:07:48 PM »
In terms of how they fit they are a little difficult to get on but once on actually feel fine my foot's not crunched up but it's not got loads of space either they feel OK. Obviously I was no longer there to try them on, I didn't know anything about them. She got the size they recommended for me. I'm a uk9 they said get a us 8.5. Like I say once I get them on they feel OK but it's a bit difficult to get my foot in especially if I've a thick sock on. Is this normal and if I bake them will they be better? And Should I bake them in a shop or do it at home if I kept them?

A US8.5 roughly equates to a UK8, but skates are usually fitted a size or so down from regular shoe size.  One thing you can do to roughly check the fit is to take out the inner sole/footbed from the skate and put your foot on it to check for length.  If there's a lot of space at the toe end, then the boots are too long.  The width is less easy to gauge by this method, although if your foot spreads a long way over the width of the inner sole then you may find you need a wider fitting.

And lastly if I'm going to learn how hard is it to learn yourself or do you think I should have lessons? Only when I search for lessons i get the feel it's all geared toward figure skating. I don't want to be a figure skater, I've no desire to take that road. I just want to be a reasonable recreational skater. Good enough to be able to take a holiday in sweden and go out on a frozen lake tour.

Speaking as someone who used to coach, I'd say yes, ideally you should have lessons.  Adults gain a lot from group lessons (provided they are oriented towards adults and not a mixed group with children) and the social and supportive side shouldn't be underestimated.  Learning to skate properly will also help you get a lot more out of a frozen lake tour as you'll be able to relax and enjoy it more and also use less energy. 

There are always people around rinks who are more than happy to stick their oar in with advice but most of them have never had any coaching training or experience and, whilst well-meaning, some of them can give downright dangerous advice!  (I've just caught one chap counselling a beginner to lean forward and stick her bottom out in order to skate backwards.  Nearly had a coronary when I heard that one!)

So my advice would be to book yourself on a course of group lessons and explain to the coach when you start exactly why you want to learn so that they can gear their advice to you accordingly.

Good luck and enjoy the journey.  You might get hooked and decide you want to continue further than just basics for your lake tour.  Stranger things have happened.  ;D
Returned to the ice in Sept 2017 after a major leg injury in 1999. Skating in Graf Dance boots and MK Phantom Para blades. It's still a bit slippery.

Adam77

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Re: New to skating, new to skates and don't know where to turn
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2019, 10:34:26 PM »
A US8.5 roughly equates to a UK8, but skates are usually fitted a size or so down from regular shoe size.  One thing you can do to roughly check the fit is to take out the inner sole/footbed from the skate and put your foot on it to check for length.  If there's a lot of space at the toe end, then the boots are too long.  The width is less easy to gauge by this method, although if your foot spreads a long way over the width of the inner sole then you may find you need a wider fitting.

Speaking as someone who used to coach, I'd say yes, ideally you should have lessons.  Adults gain a lot from group lessons (provided they are oriented towards adults and not a mixed group with children) and the social and supportive side shouldn't be underestimated.  Learning to skate properly will also help you get a lot more out of a frozen lake tour as you'll be able to relax and enjoy it more and also use less energy. 

There are always people around rinks who are more than happy to stick their oar in with advice but most of them have never had any coaching training or experience and, whilst well-meaning, some of them can give downright dangerous advice!  (I've just caught one chap counselling a beginner to lean forward and stick her bottom out in order to skate backwards.  Nearly had a coronary when I heard that one!)

So my advice would be to book yourself on a course of group lessons and explain to the coach when you start exactly why you want to learn so that they can gear their advice to you accordingly.

Good luck and enjoy the journey.  You might get hooked and decide you want to continue further than just basics for your lake tour.  Stranger things have happened.  ;D

Well I've done what you said and fit wise I think they are fine , you say a us 8.5 is roughly a uk 8 but i'm a uk 9 and the tongue say us 8.5, eu 44 and uk 9 so not sure whats going on there, but if I wear a thin sock and loosen the laces with the tongue right forward as suggested my foot slips in ok now and my foot is pretty snug in there without a great deal of space but not uncomfortable either.

so in regards to lessons if I choose that road are there teachers out there that are not geared towards figure skating? Because when I search and then read the teachers profile they all seem to be figure skaters and their gallery with pictures of their students are all mostly kids all wearing figure skates. Is that the only road there is regarding lessons to learn figure skating? If I really want to do this am I going to have to go out and buy figure skates and just go through the motions?

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: New to skating, new to skates and don't know where to turn
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2019, 12:55:15 AM »
You say you're a UK 9 - if you wouldn't mind can you tell us how long your feet are in mm please?  Boot sizing has become something of an obsession of mine.  I take UK 9 in everything - sports shoes, street shoes, skates - and my feet are 281mm long.


I have seen figure skating coaches teaching people on hockey skates on several occasions in the flesh and on Youtube.  The basics are the same I think - possible slight differences in posture due to the different shape of the skates, more so probably if you want to actually play hockey as you need to be holding a stick.  Hockey skaters on the forum may disagree.

Adam77

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Re: New to skating, new to skates and don't know where to turn
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2019, 07:49:03 AM »
I just measured them at and I make them 280mm . Every pair of shoes I own is a UK9 .

The skates I have here say UK 9 on them and as I say they are a bit tight to put on although a lot easier now i've tried with thin socks and done wat you suggested. Once on my foot feels ok in them. It's not rattling around in there and its not scrunched up and uncomfortable. If I went down a size which from reading about skates many people say you should do I feel my toe would definitely be wedged against the front of the boot. The skate does also say it's an EU44 which is confusing because i'm pretty sure a UK9 is normally an EU43 . But either they feel fine. regardless of all that as these skates were won in a raffle on the other side of the world months ago Its not like I can exchange them anyway. It's really a case of should I keep them or sell them and buy a something a little less high end for my needs. As i'm not a professional hockey player one would assume I don't really need something this high end. Or do I just say sod it keep them . Being what they are one would presume they will at least last me a long time.

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: New to skating, new to skates and don't know where to turn
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2019, 08:18:32 AM »
Thanks for the information
I am not an expert on hockey skates but I would keep them as much out of laziness as anything else
I doubt you’d be able to sell them for anything like their cost new and unless you buy another pair in advance you’ll be without skates for a while
I personally think the advice to go down a size only applies if your street shoes are too big for you which I know mine always used to be
I prefer them snug now
It’s true your feet move around more in street shoes but I don’t think a whole size different
U.K. 9 is indeed usually a 43
At 280mm you may be able to squeeze into a half size down but you’d need to try on as every model is different

WednesdayMarch

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Re: New to skating, new to skates and don't know where to turn
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2019, 09:40:07 AM »
so in regards to lessons if I choose that road are there teachers out there that are not geared towards figure skating? Because when I search and then read the teachers profile they all seem to be figure skaters and their gallery with pictures of their students are all mostly kids all wearing figure skates. Is that the only road there is regarding lessons to learn figure skating? If I really want to do this am I going to have to go out and buy figure skates and just go through the motions?

You don't have to buy figure skates, no.  If you're comfortable in the ones you have and - crucially - you don't find them too difficult to skate in, then keep them.  I doubt very much anybody's going to comment on you being "overbooted" because most of the people you'll encounter will be wearing figure skates and won't have a clue about hockey skates anyway!

If you can find a Learn to Skate class, then that's probably your best bet to start off.  If you'd rather have one to one tuition, most coaches will be happy to teach you the basics.  They may roll their eyes at the hockey skates but explain exactly what you want to do with your skating and they can gear your teaching towards that.

The basic technique of skating is the same, whatever skates you're wearing and regardless of whether you want to be a "figure skater", play hockey or skate purely for recreation.  A good grounding in how to skate properly is invaluable, whatever you choose to do with your skating.  Leif is finding that taking lessons from a figure skating coach is doing wonders for his basic technique and hockey playing.  The better your basic technique, the easier you'll find that lake tour.  I did some work with a hockey team when they spotted that my dance partner and I took two pushes to go from end to end of the Olympic sized ice pad, when other skaters took a lot more.  They wanted some of that seemingly effortless power and glide.  They were also shocked to realise that all the little scrappy "steps" that they took didn't make them anywhere near as fast or as controlled as us...

Good luck - and enjoy the journey!
Returned to the ice in Sept 2017 after a major leg injury in 1999. Skating in Graf Dance boots and MK Phantom Para blades. It's still a bit slippery.