Are you thinking about learning how to ice skate this winter? If so, you'll undoubtedly need to invest in a pair of ice skates. Based on my experience, there are certain features that you should look for when making your selection. Here's a quick rundown on each one:
First, you'll want to examine the skates' leather boots. I'd recommend that you consider purchasing boots that are made with moderately flexible leather. My first pair of ice skates had a very stiff boot. The eyelets dug into my skin and I ended up with blisters. As such, I eventually broke down and bought another pair of ice skates with moderately flexible boots. They seemed to work much better for me.
Second, you'll want to find out what material was used in the construction of the skates' blades. I would recommend that you consider selecting a pair of blades that are made from carbon steel. In my opinion, they tend to be the most durable. The only downside is that you'll need to wipe the blades down after each skating session. Otherwise, they may rust.
Third, you'll want to examine the blades' design. The front of the blade should have a well-constructed toe pick. You'll also want to examine the blades' spin rocker and rocker. The spin rocker is located behind the toe pick. It should be curved. The rocker generally starts at the maker's mark and runs down the length of the skate towards the heel plate. It should also be curved and free of blemishes. I'd recommend that beginners consider selecting a pair of skate blades that have a slight curve because they tend to be more stable. I have found that highly curved blades are more suited for experienced skaters.
Radius of Hollow
Fourth, you'll want to determine the skate blades' radius of hollow. The blades' radius of hollow helps to determine how well the blades will perform under certain conditions. I learned to skate on a frozen pond with blades that had a short radius of hollow. They worked well for me. If you plan on skating indoors, you may need to select blades with a different radius of hollow.
Fifth, you'll also want to make sure that the ice skates fit properly. In my experience, the best way to do that is to make sure that you're wearing your skating socks when you try on different pairs of ice skates.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys winter sports and recreation with her family. She has also traveled extensively.
More from this contributor:
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Skating