When I sat to write How to Spot Fake Vans Shoes, I aimed to help my readers and fans to easily and quickly distinguish genuine Vans shoes from the boatloads of knockoffs masquerading as authentic Vans Old Skool or Hi-top SK8 or any other shoe from this uber popular skate shoe brand.
If you’ll invest just a few minutes and read through this post, you’ll walk away knowing how to tell if your Vans are fake or authentic.
Vans Shoes Aren’t Cheap
When James Van Doren (died in 2011) of the California-based Van Doren Rubber company gave the world the first ever Vans canvas shoe for leisure, he didn’t know the whole fashion-loving world would go crazy. Then Sean Penn, an actor in Fast Times at Ridge Mount High, happened. In the movie, Penn wore a black/white checked Vans shoe. And that birthed a nation-wide fad around the release.
A lot’s happened since then, but lots of skateboarders, longboarders, mountain bikers, runners, and snowboarders continue to worship at the altar of Van’s innovation that continually honors the ingenuity and practicality of the past.
But vans shoes are expensive. So, who wants to hand over their hard-earned money only to get crap? No one!
I’m a great Vans fan, and I’ll share every teeny weenie bit of information I know about distinguishing original Vans from the tons of counterfeit shoes out there.
Now, I own one fake and several original Vans skate shoes. Having compared all the original Vans I own with the fake pair of shoes, I’ve learned a couple aspects to look out for so you won’t get screwed while shopping.
18 Easy Tips to Help You Know If Your Vans Shoes are Legit
From toe and sole design to the general feel, construction quality, company logo, and packaging, there’s lots of nifty ways to sniff out counterfeit Vans.
1. Flexibility vs Stiffness
The toes of authentic Vans shoes are usually remarkably flexible compared to knockoffs. If you bend the toe upwards or downward, you won’t face much resistance.
With an original shoe, the toe bends enough to touch the heel. Fake vans, on the other hand, tend to be stiff. You’ll experience noticeable resistance if you try to bend the toe.
2.The stitching of Fake Vs Authentic Vans Shoes
Counterfeit Vans feature sloppy, uneven, and sometimes loose stitching compared to the straight, even/symmetrical, tight, neat stitching that holds authentic Vans shoes together.
The horrible hell holes that produce knockoff Vans Old Skool or any other style from this brand have neither the technical know-how nor the patience to do anything right. Not even simple stitching!
When you touch the upper of a real Vans shoe, it feels quite taut. In comparison, the upper of an imitation feels light-ish and supple. It seems like the producer used the worst possible material quality they could find!
4.How is the Upper Attached to the Sole?
Vans shoe design experts and workers use strong, high-quality glue to attach the upper to the rubber sole. When the real manufacturer does the job, the final product comes out flawless.
But when those rudderless thugs try to unite the upper with the midsole, they’re so bad at it that they leave ugly glue marks around the join.
Look at my fake vs original vans shoes. The outsole for the fake pair detached from the upper after a week or so of riding my skateboard. A shoe repair guy re-stitched it to salvage it.
5. Look at the Packaging/Box
Authentic Vans shoes arrive in a well-made, sturdy, nice-looking box with a properly working locking mechanism on top.Typically, fakes come in a poor-quality box, often without a properly working locking mechanism. Since nothing supports the top of the box, the top drapes over the bottom.
Also, there’s accurate labeling on the side along with a correct description of the product. You should see important information including style, size, color, and the barcode.
Confirm whether the barcode contains the right product details. How? Grab your smartphone and scan the barcode. Download and install a good barcode scanning app for your Android phone (from Google Play) or iPhone (from App Store). If it’s an original product, your phone should spit out details that match the description.
6.Glance at the wrapping inside the box
The wrapping protect the shoes from abrasion or other harm. Now, the cover should have the iconic Vans logo. And although this doesn’t apply to every Vans product, most boxes have the company’s trademark plastered on them.
7. Is That Vans Old Skool Too Cheap?
Authentic Vans shoes don’t come in dirt-cheap, whether that be Vans Old Skool, Vans Sk8 or any other option. But Vans typically aren’t budget shoes. Pairs of Vans shoes that cost under 40$ are likely imitations.
Think about it.
Why would any honest online or physical skate shop want to sell $100 Vans shoes for just $30? Altruism, huh? It’s almost always because they sourced their merchandise from some unscrupulous Chinese sweatshop that cranks out tons of crap and then passes it off as a dignified Vans Old Skool or some other equally cool shoe from this popular skate brand.
8.Inspect the Logo on the Insole
Many morally-bankrupt shoe makers based out in (usually) Asian countries keep copying other people’s ideas and pumping out useless knockoffs that may confuse even the most discerning of the victim’s fan base.
Since most Vans shoes are super cool and long-lasting, these crooked copycats can’t resist borrowing a design/style or two. Unfortunately for those scamming scoundrels, copying Van’s trademark proves to be a little tougher than they thought.
So, hold the shoe in your hand with its mouth facing upward. If it’s an original product, you should see a neatly shaped rectangle with the logo inscribed. Also, reading the trademarks shouldn’t be difficult.
9.Inspect the “Vans Off the Wall” Marking on the Heel
Every pair of Vans skateboarding shoes I’ve shredded came with the ultra-famous Vans Off the Wall logo on the heel. If the marking seems like poor quality or faded or smudges, the odds are those kicks are embarrassingly overpriced knockoffs. Also, if logo placement seems a little off center, that’s likely a counterfeit.
Vans Off the Wall Logo Color
What color should be the color of the”off the Wall” logo on the heel? While most of the Vans skating kicks I’ve seen and worn have a red logo, some are blue or other colors. Look at this original pair of Vans skate shoes. Would you believe I’ve skated them over the past 3 years and they still look as good as they do in the genuine Vans shoe picture below?
With fakes, you won’t normally get the trademark on the heel. And when you do, it doesn’t look anything like what you see on original Vans. In most cases, the trademark comes attached with weak glue and comes off after a while.
Look at this fake Vans shoe I got from some dubious online skate store. There’s no logo at the back, but that’s because it came off after 3 uses!
9. 3-Letter Country Code
Every authentic pair comes with a 3-character country code printed on the bottom of the sole. Fake vans have no such country code, and if they feature it, the code likely won’t correspond to the code found on the sticker inside the packaging. Here’s a picture of what the country code looks like.
10. Weight Matters, Too
Holding the shoes in my hands instantly reveals the huge weight difference. Real Vans are almost always heavier than imitations mainly because they’re made using better-quality materials. You want to compare a particular model with another product with the same style. My counterfeit Vans are extremely light in comparison. Also, fakes have thinner soles, another reason they’re lighter.
11. The Shapes on the Outsole
With real Vans, interlocking diamonds and rhomboids form a distinct pattern, the so-called waffle tread. But while my copied pair’s outsole features rhomboids and diamonds, it also includes herringbone patterns at the forefoot and heel.
12. Laces and Eyelets Design and Quality
The laces of real vans are typically firm to the touch while those of inauthentic vans shoes have remarkably soft shoelaces. Additionally, true Vans have neatly painted and aligned eyelets with the exception of the old Skool Vans that have raw eyelets.
13. Padding On the Shoe’s Collar
My real Vans pair features a padded collar while the counterfeit pair comes without padding. The padding adds comfort so the wearer can enjoy skating more.
14. Design of the Rubber Toe Cap
Vulcanized Vans shoes usually have a rubber cap at the toe with a noticeably rough texture. The rest of the rubber sole is smooth. But surprisingly, my inauthentic Vans look like the original in that respect!
Also, you should see a gap between the front of the toe box and the sole. With most fake Vans, the rubber and upper almost touch. Again, I can’t distinguish my true pair from the knockoff in this regard. They look more or less the same.
15. Who’s the Dealer?
Sometimes the product is as legit (or fake) as the dealer or retailer selling it. Credibility is critical especially when shopping online. So, read each store’s reviews and ratings before trusting anyone and handing over your credit card payment information.
For the most part, authorized dealers carry genuine Vans products. Amazon.com, Vans’ official website, and a few other online locations also offer authentic products at great prices.
16. Trying too Hard to Sound Genuine?
Everyone on social media is successful, right? It’s because many people present a fake lifestyle fabricated to make everyone else believe the person lives an amazing life.
But how often do wealthy folks display their wealth and flaunt their successes on Facebook or Instagram? Almost never. The same goes for fake Vans vs authentic Vans shoes.
Manufacturers and marketers of counterfeits have the notoriety for describing heir offerings as genuine, original, real, best in the world, and authentic. So, if the product description seems to overuse a set of glowing adjectives, the shoes likely come from a bogus footwear company.
17. Overall Construction Quality
Authentic Vans shoes represent excellent workmanship/craftsmanship. The stitching is super solid, the tread perfectly designed, trademarks neatly printed and attached, and you won’t find loose threads or loose anything else. In comparison, the overall construction in inauthentic Vans shoes screams is average at best and poor at worst.
18. Check Out the Paper Tags
Every genuine Vans shoe I’ve seen has a neatly printed paper tag with the company’s unmistakable logo. Counterfeit kicks may or may not have a paper tag, and when they do, it’s usually larger and the printing is crappy or fading or smudgy. See the comparison picture below:
Video Guide on How to Spot Fake Old Vans Old Skool
How to Spot Fake Vans Shoes: Final Word
When shopping at an authorized Vans dealer or a physical store, you can easily notice odd little things and decide if the product is genuine. But sniffing out counterfeits online may not be as easy. However, if you’re keen enough, you should still be able to spot knockoffs.
For example, Vans logos on the picture of an inauthentic shoe wouldn’t seem authentic. And examining 3D product images of Vans skate shoes easily reveals the trademark on the insole. You can also tell if the toe cap is smooth or textured. And of course, there’s the barcode which you can easily authenticate via phone.
I wish you luck on your shopping journey. With these tips, (hopefully) no one grabs your hard-earned money and sends you crap instead of authentic Vans Old Skool or whatever option you’re eyeing.
People often confuse figure skating with ice skating likely because both activities are done on ice. What’s the difference between these two sports? In this post, I explain the differences to clear up all the confusion.
Figure skating Vs Ice skating
In figure skating, ice skaters focus more on jumps, spirals, lifts, and spins. It is commonly done in pairs especially during music competitions. The sport first became popular in the 1930s, but it evolved into an Olympics sport in 1976. Ice dancing, freestyle, and synchronized team skating are all types of figure skating.
Ice skating is a sport that involves sliding over a smooth ice surface on steel blade skates. It is a very competitive sport that is mostly done for recreation or exercise.
In figure skating, wearing comfortable costumes is vital. The wrong outfit might slow you down or make you flounder while on the ice.
Over the years, figure skating outfits like everything else in the world have changed tremendously. These outfits have become more dramatic and decorated and dress a bit shorter.
Female Figure Skating Outfits
Figure skaters are required to have artistically designed clothing that influences the audience while allowing free circulation in the areas they cover.
During the selection of the best figure skating outfit, one should consider several factors, mainly the purpose and fit
Ice skating dresses are the ideal thing in this sport. When choosing the best dress, consider the brand and fabric used. You need a material that will suit all your needs when on ice. Manufacturers make these dresses with the purpose in mind. You should be crystal clear about what you need to avoid making a purchase you’ll regret later.
One should consider their budget when selecting the outfit.
Material/Fabric and Fit
Having a fitting costume is crucial as it determines your movements when performing by either enhancing or obstructing them. You ought to choose the best fabric that suits your needs preferably velvet or Lyrica. It is recommended that the fabric should be elastic and a four-way stretch.
Also, clothing should not be too tight or too baggy. The ice skating skirt should go around the waist and can also have slits depending on the skater. Some skaters wear the skirts with leotards or leggings that allow them to move freely underneath the skirt. The tights can be worn either over the boot or inside depends on skaters’ preference.
One can also dress in a bodysuit that reaches to the feet if the skirt is too revealing for them.
In the past, the bodysuit was not acceptable in female figure skating. This costume gained acceptance in the sport around 2006 when it was also stated as law. You may decorate your bodysuit the same way you would to your dress or skirt.
The Figure skating Costume should Fit the Music
Figure skating costumes are designed according to the skater’s specific music choice. If the music is cheerful, the outfit should be made of bright colors and decorations. However, if the music is slow or soulful, a jumpsuit with fewer embellishments would be possibly suitable.
Skaters need their costumes to look the best they can when competing since they are also a contributor to how the performance is received. In this sport, the dressing is the first thing noticed even before they perform. Baggy outfits would make a skillful skater sloppy and messy no matter how much they practiced.
A sweater or sweatshirt is okay to wear over your skating dress to keep you away from the cold. Gloves are also included if one feels the need for them. This is only allowed during practice and should never be done during the competition.
Ice skates for Female Figure skaters
Female ice skaters are required to have white or tan-colored skates.
The figure skater’s hair should stay pulled to the back of the head a bun or ponytail. That helps to avoid interference on the face when skating and decorations add a nice touch to it
Ice Skates for Men Figure Skaters
Looking neat is also a requirement for men figure skaters as it is for women. Male figure skaters shouldn’t wear tights on the ice. However, they are allowed to wear tapered pants if they prefer a snug fit.
In the past, men used to wear sweaters when ice skating but things are a little different today. These days, though, male skaters have a wide array of creative options like the use of different colors of fabric. Throw in suitable accompaniments, and the costume becomes a lot more attractive. The outfits are customized using rhinestones, sequins, and mesh and they look neat and more appealing.
The most common color theme for male figure skaters remains black.
The shirt could be either long-sleeved or short-sleeved depending on what the skater is comfortable in. And the material for the shirt should be pliant such as cotton or high performing Lyrica for easy movement.
The shirt should have a neckline and should never expose your chest to the viewers. Sleeveless shirts are a big no when on ice.
If it’s cold, the figure skater is allowed to wear a sweater. Remember, only one pair of socks is recommended during figure skating as it promotes free circulation to your feet.
Men’s Figure Skating Ice Skates
The male skates should be black. Though in the times that isn’t the case seeing as time has passed and also a few changes have been made. Different colors have been manufactured.
Jeans Are a No-no
Never wear jeans when figure skating. Jeans aren’t elastic and would inhibit you from performing at your best. Plus, if you slip and fall, they become wet and you’d have to excuse yourself to change into another pair.
Where to Purchase Skating Outfit
Figure skating outfits can be purchased at any dance store or skating rin. But some people design and sew their figure skating at home. As for ice skates, you can buy them online on Amazon or wherever else you might prefer.
I recommend that you take your time shopping. Don’t buy in a huff, and don’t order anything until you’ve found your desired outfit.
So you want to learn how to ice skate. You’re a complete beginner. Or maybe you used to skate, but you’ve not practiced for ages. Fortunately, you bumped into this post on how to ice skate for beginners. Lucky you! Here, you’ll learn the fundamentals or basics of ice skating and more. Of course, you won’t instantly become Nathan Chen. But at least, you’ll know where to start.
You’ll learn various beginning ice skating moves. In the end, though, ice skating is more about doing and less about reading or even thinking about it! So, read this. Watch a couple videos. Buy the gear you need, or rent it if possible. Most importantly, start practicing earliest you can.
Skating is a hobby or sport where people use skates or wheeled-shoes to glide on ice or other surfaces. It’s an all all-embracing term referring to a smorgasbord of different types of activities.
Someone may say “I’m going skating,” but they mean they’re actually going skateboarding rather than ice skating. Or maybe they’re going roller skating. In the end, it’s a question of context. Skating means whatever version of gliding around the speaker practices.
By the way ice skating isn’t the same as roller skating. Typical roller skates have wheels while regular ice skates feature a metallic blade on the underside. Take a look.
Science-backed Benefits of Ice Skating
You’ve probably wondered whether ice skating delivers any real benefits. Can skating really help me lose weight, you ask.
Now, here’s good news:
Skating can help a 125-pound person burn as much as 210 calories in just 30 minutes according to Harvard Medical School. By comparison, the same person would burn just 90 calories if they did general weightlifting for 30 minutes.
As you can see, ice skating actually burns 57 percent more calories thanweightlifting! Evidently, ice skating can help you lose weight. It’s a great way to regain one’s self-esteem and confidence.
Another great advantage of skating is that it can help you develop a leaner, well-toned body. As you stretch your muscles and various body parts such as hands and legs, your overall body shape will improve. Your ability to endure will soar, and you’ll become stronger.
Finally, skating can do wonders for your mental health according to Healthline. The activity is a great way to push one’s body and mind beyond their comfort zones, boosting clarity and mental control. Isn’t this something you’d want to learn with your significant other or friends?
Enough of that. Now, let’s start……
Prepping for Ice Skating
Let’s start at the beginning. You don’t need any kind of fancy equipment to get started. Pretty much anyone can afford this hobby.
First off, you need good skates — probably the best ice skates you can afford. But who says you can’t rent? Renting lets you learn the sport cheaply. It gives you sufficient time to decide whether you really love ice skating without spending a whole boatload of money. Get skates that’ll fit just right. Choose those that’ll offer you enough foot and ankle support.
Of course, you should wrap up warm for the activity. Also, have several pairs of socks whether you’re renting skates or using your own. It does get cold out there, and you want to stay warm. Plus, socks make your skates less roomy, and that helps you avoid nasty blisters.
And before you strap those skates on, wear something that covers your legs entirely. Wearing shorts is just a bad idea. There’s always a chance you might fall, leaving a layer of your skin on the ice! So, grab a pair of warm-up pants or sweatpants. They should be close-fitting rather than too tight. Also, have knee pads as well as shin pads.
In addition, wear a safety helmet. Figure skating pros say that all beginners regardless of age should have protective gear for the head. Your helmet should be snug and comfortable. It shouldn’t move or fall off at any time during practicing. So, buckle your helmet’s chin strap properly.
Don’t tilt the helmet too far back on the top of your head. Or pull it too low over your forehead. And before you get onto the ice, test the safety helmet to ensure it’s a good fit. Here’s one more thing. Make sure the helmet doesn’t have any cracks or other signs of damage.
Lest I forget, you should also wear cut-proof skating gloves. Gloves or mittens keep your hands warm. And in the event of a fall, you can avoid getting cut. It’s also nice to have elbow pads and wrist guards. Pads minimize impact in case you fall.
Let’s now put the skates on….
How to Lace Up Your Skates
Have your heels as far back into the boot as possible. At that point, hold the tongue and gently pull it up. Next, tuck the tongue on either side of the foot. Then, start pulling the laces, starting at the second set/pair of laces.
Ensure each boot closes well over the front of each foot. The first two sets of laces and those meant to support the ankles should be snug. The last two laces should be somewhat looser, allowing you adequate flexibility. Finally, cross the ends nicely over the last two hooks, tying them tightly.
Note: make sure you have no loose flying bows. Why? It’s because they can cause accidents.
How do you know you’ve done the job correctly? Put a finger between each leg and the back of the boot. If you tied the laces right, your finger should fit without too much work. But you shouldn’t be able to stick it in effortlessly. Also, your feet should feel comfortable. They shouldn’t hurt at all. If that’s not the kind of fit you have, make adjustments until you get it right.
Let’s Start Skating
Want to see a real pro doing it rather than read how to ice skate? Here’s a video for you so you can learn the basics quickly and hit the rink.
Ice Skating Video (You won’t find a better trainer!)
This video explains in clear detail various fundamental ice skating moves. Watch it, understand it, and most important, practice the moves. Happy gliding!
Gliding successfully on ice is a function of how well you can command balance and control. So, learn how to achieve and maintain your balance. How do you do this? Get into the correct ice skating posture from the get-go. And maintain that posture throughout each session.
Your knees should always stay slightly bent. That position lowers your center of gravity, stabilizing you. It also helps you to skate without falling. Also, you should always have your weight positioned over your skating leg.
One time you’re skating on the right leg, and the next moment on the left one. Every time you switch legs, you must shift your weight so that it’s over the skating leg. Here’s one more thing. Your hands should stay stretched out to the front. Picture someone riding a scooter, with their hands holding onto the bars.
But before you get onto the ice…..
Learn How to Fall
While falls rarely cause severe injuries or death, they happen. It’s critical to learn how to fall right.
As a kid, you fell many times before you learned to walk. A couple years later, you fell of the bike several times before you learned how to cycle without falling. The same goes for ice skating. No matter how well you know the art, you’ll fall.
Note: If it feels like you’re falling, do what you can to fall to the side rather than backward or forward. That’s why it’s advisable to practice for some time off the ice.
Here’s the secret of falling right. ALWAYS lower your center of gravity before a fall. Maybe your high school physics is a little rusty, huh? Don’t worry; it doesn’t matter.
So, bend your knees. That reduces the distance between you and the ice, minimizing the odds of getting hurt. And don’t use your hands to catch yourself, no matter how natural that feels. You don’t want to end up with broken arms, do you?
As stated elsewhere, most bad ice skating falls happen to folks who try to break the fall using their hands. Keep your hands out of the way so you don’t crush them. Then, fall on the side. As you fall, make sure to tuck your chin to your body. You never want to bash your head against the ground.
Do Ice Skating Falls Hurt?
Many beginners wonder what it’s like to fall while skating. They can’t stop imagining all the pain they’d feel if they took a bad fall. But here’s good news. Even though beginners and pros fall a lot, bad falls aren’t scarily common. Especially if you’ve learned how to fall properly. By default, your knees are bent, and you’re always comfortably close to the ground.
One studyshows that most ice skating falls happen when people fall the “wrong way.” The study focused on an ice rink in Cambridge, but it can be assumed the same goes for most rinks. The vast majority of falls occur because people tried to break the fall using their outstretched hands. That’s most likely why fully 98% of all accidents affect the upper limbs.
How to Get Up
If you fall, try to get back up as quickly as possible. Get out of the way, or you’ll stop a speeding skater!
To get back up, roll onto your hands and knees. Set one of your feet, preferably your dominant one, on the ice — between your hands. After that, quickly get the other foot on the ice, also between your hands. At that point, stand up, and keep your knees slightly bent. Once you’re back up, regain your balance and you’re good.
Ready? Let’s start gliding…
1. Skate Forward
It’s time to march forward. With your toes pointing in the direction you’re heading to, take one step forward. Then, repeat the action with the other foot. Afraid? Hold onto the wall first as you build up your confidence. Oh, and stop looking down to see whether you’re doing it right, or you’ll collide with someone and get injured. Next, try to push a little harder, doing two-foot glides. As your confidence grows, you’ll do longer glides faster.
2. Backward Skating
Keep your feet parallel to each other, knees bent, and chest up. Then, shift your weight to some position between your feet, and push outward, one foot at a time. To maintain your balance, work off the balls of your feet, pushing backward gently. Not going anywhere? No worries. Try this: with your toes turned in, try to walk backward slowly. As you do that, shift your weight until you find that sweet spot where balance happens almost effortlessly.
3. Forward Swizzles (Scissors)
This move starts with you standing in a V-shaped position, your heels touching and toes turned out. Of course, you should bend your knees a little. Now, use the inside edges of your skates to push outward and forward. Keep going until your blades are one foot apart.
At that point, with your knees straightened, form an inverted V by bringing your toes together. When you complete this move, you’ll have done a circular move, like the letter O.
4. Backward Swizzles
For many people, backward swizzles are more difficult than forward swizzles. You may have done the forward wiggles without much difficulty, but you may find you have trouble doing backward swizzles.
Fundamentally, backward swizzles are similar to their forward counterparts. Except that in this case, you’re moving backward.
Backward swizzles have you starting the glide in an inverted V position. So, bend your knees. And your toes should stay together. Next, use your inside edges to press your heels outward. At that point, your skates should start gliding apart. Continue moving until your feet are at roughly one foot apart.
Next, start straightening your knees as you rise up. Simultaneously, put your heels together as if you’re prepping for a two-foot backward glide. Do this again and again, about 6-8 times.
Backward swizzles (and wiggles) are very important. Without them, you won’t do backward crossovers successfully.
5. One-foot Glide (Forward)
To do this one, start with forward marching or swizzles as per your preference. Then, get into a two-foot glide. Next, pick one of your feet up, placing the foot close and parallel to the skating one.
Remember to keep the hip on the free foot a little raised. At the same time, have your arms extended forward, parallel to the ice in the direction you’re heading.
Also, position your shoulders parallel to the direction you’re gliding in. Want a really strong glide? Learn to balance on your foot for about 3 or more counts. Or, glide a over distance that equates to your height.
6. Learn the Dip
Let’s now do the dip. It’s a basic ice skating lesson taught in all beginning classes.
Here’s how to do the dip:
Start with your arms extended sideways, one to the right and the other to the left. Then, start marching slowly to build momentum. Finally, push off into a 2-foot glide. Next, bend both knees in a dip. Meanwhile, your arms should be extended forward, parallel to the ice and over your knees. Your upper body and chin should stay straight up.
We have forward crossovers and backward crossovers. These elements help skaters immensely when it comes to maneuvering corners. They require you to place your outside skate (assuming you’re practicing in a hockey circle) over the inside skate.
Crossovers are something you must practice frequently. They’re a fundamental move, and while they can be quite tough for a beginner, you won’t make much progress without learn them.
Here’s how to do the forward crossovers. First, stand with your feet parallel to each other, one arm in the front, and the other stretching backward. Then, try crossing the right foot over the left one, searching for your balance in the process.
Next, lift the left leg and put it next to the right, assuming your starting position once again. To make sure you’re moving straight, follow one of the hockey lines. And as you do all this, be sure not to turn your hip as this will have you walking in a new direction.
You can also try to do sidesteps, one arm in the back and the other extended to the front. As you do that, you’ll feel like there’s a bit of a twist between your hips and shoulders. That’s because your shoulders and hips won’t be square.
Next, learn the edges you’ll be using to do the forward crossovers. As you cross your right leg over the left, bend the left one a bit, dropping it over to the outside edge, toward the smallest toe. Doing that allows you to cross over the left leg without a problem. It also helps avoid toe pushing later in the process.
And as you put the right foot down, bend the ankle a little, stepping on the outside edge. Finally, pick the left foot and position it parallel to the other foot. Note: as you cross one foot over the other, shift your weight in alignment with that move.
At this point, you’re ready to start practicing in a circle. Now, start pushing with the right foot. Note that this foot is on the outside of the circle. At first, bring the right foot to the left one without crossing over. As your confidence grows, start doing the crossovers as detailed above.
Keep this in mind: The first push should be done on the inside edge, the second one on the outside edge. Always start a new push with an edge opposite to the previous one.
Here’s another important thing. As you do the crossovers, keep your knees somewhat bent. A common beginner mistake is to play as if they’re walking rather than skating. You won’t get skating flow unless your knees remain fluid.
Another reason to bend your knees a little is to avoid tripping yourself by your toe picks. Once you’re comfortable doing forward crossovers in one direction, start practicing in the opposite direction.
By now, you can skate backward or do backward swizzles and wiggles without issues (hopefully).
Now, start with backward wiggles or swizzles. Then, lift one foot up, find your balance, and glide in that position. Then, resume the backward wiggles or swizzles and lift the other foot up. Now, move over to a hockey circle (there are usually many such circles in an indoor ice rink).
Next, do one-foot backward glides around the circle until you can do it smoothly. Note: turn your head over your shoulder so you’re facing the direction of travel. A common mistake is to face the direction you’re gliding from, thinking it’s the best way to avoid collision! Sounds silly, doesn’t it? But beginners do that all the time.
Push with the foot outside the circle, using the inside backward edge. Next, lift the same foot (the one you pushed with) and cross it over the other foot. Then, pick the skating foot and place it next to the other foot, just like you did for forward crossovers.
Remember to bend your knees as you do a crossover so you can have smooth moves and avoid tripping. One arm should extend to the front while the other should stretch out to the back, helping you maintain balance. Once you’re comfortable moving in one direction, start practicing in the opposite direction.
This is another trick you should learn. The good thing with the shoot-the-duck move is that it’s quite hard to fall while practicing it. Normally, your backside stays pretty close to the ice. If you fall, it likely won’t be a thud! You most likely won’t get hurt.
Start by deeply bending one leg so that your knee stays close to your chest. At the same time, have the other leg out to the front. Pretend you’re prepping to aim and shoot at some unlucky duck. Now, in that position, push off and have fun.
Ice skating jumps involve actually jumping off the ice and rotating in the air. There are 6 different elements (rotational jumps) you’ll learn (eventually).
The salchow is the easiest jump, followed by the toe loop. Then there’s the loop jump, the flip jump, and the lutz jump. Finally, we have the axel jump, the toughest of them all.
Even though I said the salchow is the easiest, ALL these jumps are hard to learn for a beginner. And you can easily get hurt. So, I strongly suggest you get a professional trainer to guide you.
Some people land the salchow jump after a month or two of practice. Others take 2+ years to learn the same jump. Not everyone in school gets what the instructor is saying the first time around. Similarly, there’ll always be differences in learning speed when it comes to ice skating.
There’s academic intelligence, and then there’s kinesthetic intelligence. To become a professional skater, you must consistently and passionately increase your kinesthetic intelligence.
Before you start with these 6 jumps, learn to hop. A hop is a simple jump where you leap into the air without rotating. Once you learn that, you can try practicing these 6 ice skating jumps from the simplest to the hardest.
How to Stop
You can’t glide forever, certainly. Learning to stop is a vitally important skill. The T-stop and Snowplow stop are two essential stopping tricks you should grasp.
How to do a Snowplow Stop
To do a snowplow stop, start by reducing your speed by assuming a two-foot glide position. Next, bend your knees and ankles. Then, apply sufficient pressure (not too little or too much) to your stakes’ inside edges. When you do that, your heels will naturally begin to angle out. And that’ll have you skidding rather than gliding, bringing you to a successful, safe stop.
How to do a T-stop
You can do either the right foot T-stop or the left foot T-stop.
Let’s do the right foot T-stop. First, assume the T-position with your skates, the right one meeting the left one, forming the letter T. As you do that, stretch your right arm to the front while putting the left one to the back. Then, stand and achieve balance while in this position. Practice this until you can maintain that T-position without moving.
Now, you’re all set.
Next, use your left foot to push off and do a nice glide, holding the right foot (the stopping foot) up. The free foot should help you control the glide. At this juncture, you’re ready to start putting the foot down.
Avoid dragging the stopping foot on the inside edge. Instead, use the skate’s outer edge to push the foot toward the left foot’s heel. Take care not to step on the left blade. Then, angle your blade (of the right foot) to the outside edge while bending your knees all the way to a fine stop. And to do the left foot T stop, repeat this move, starting with the left foot.
How to Ice Skate for Beginners: The Dos and Don’ts
I’ll start with the Dos.
7 Ice Skating Dos to Keep in Mind:
Get a decent pair of blades if you intend to practice this fun sport for years. Wearing ill-fitting ones most often hurts your feet. But if you’re not planning on doing it frequently, you can use rented skates.
Lace up the skates correctly.
Warm up before you step onto the ice so your body won’t react adversely to cold water.
Always lean forward, knees bent and arms stretched forward for balance.
Pay someone to teach you the basics if you’re an absolute beginner. It helps.
Practice, practice, practice.
ALWAYS finish a move like you’re the best ice skater the world’s ever seen.
5 Ice Skating Don’ts
Don’t look at your toe picks. Avoid collisions with strangers!
Don’t lean backward while gliding. Avoid those not-always-funny falls on your backside.
Don’t try the 6 jumps mentioned above without professional guidance.
Don’t feel too bad if you’re not progressing as fast as you’d hoped. Learning something worth learning takes time.
Don’t practice excessively.
Pain After Ice Skating
Many beginners ask, “Is it normal to experience pain or have blisters after a skating session? As a skating beginner, you may feel a bit of discomfort as you learn the ropes. And yes, be ready for a blister or two before your feet get used to wearing ice skates.
But how do you deal with skating-related pain? A certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lance Silverman answers that question best. According to Dr. Silverman, it’s common for beginners in skating to hurt their ankles. It’s normal to wake up to aching, sore feet.
That’s because ice skating involves loads of footwork, and your foot and ankle muscles work hard.
One way to deal with the pain is to build ankle-strengthening exercises. A wobble board is another proven way to minimize ankle pain. Wobble boards help you balance your body better. And as you do that, your muscles become stronger and hurt much less.
Another common cause of ankle pain is wearing ill-fitting skates. It’s a common problem with people who rent skates. If your feet slide right in, you most likely have the wrong size. Skates with too much room — more than you need — end up hurting your ankles. They pile a ton of pressure on your ankle ligaments (outer), and you’ll experience pain upon waking up.
So, before picking that pair of rented skates at the rink, ask an experienced staffer to help you choose the right fit.
You can take the pain. It’s a small price to pay to learn a skill that’ll thrill you for a lifetime.
Lastly, DON’T overdo it. Don’t over-practice. In golfing, you don’t practice for a day and suddenly morph into legendary Tiger Woods. Similarly, you shouldn’t try to master ice skating in a day. Learning anything requires patience and persistence. And skating is no exception.
Final Thoughts on How to Ice Stake for Beginners
You’ve learned the basics of skating. Now, what remains is to overcome the fear of falling. Go out there and start skating. It’ll be hard and painfully slow at the start. And you may fall a few times, but be persistent. You’ll soon mesmerize everyone with the jumps, spins, glides, and glides you’ll effortlessly do. Here’s the thing: grab those skates and rush out. Happy skating!