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Renting Ice Skates

Introduction

A great place to go when you're interested in renting ice skates is the neighborhood ice skating rink. Ice skating rinks sometimes have shops right there on the premises and most will be chock-full of ice skates in both adult and children's sizes. If you're interested in taking ice skating lessons, the cost of renting ice skates might actually be included in the cost of the lessons.

If you are renting ice skates for the first time, you'll want to make sure the skates fit properly. That might require the assistance of an ice skating rental operator. Remember the size you get because there is little chance that the size will change the next time you're renting ice skates - unless you're still growing and it's been a long time since you last skated.

Ice Skating Tips

When renting ice skates, here's what you can expect from the ice skating rental operator.

  1. He or she will ask what size shoe you normally wear. Start with a pair of skates that are a half size smaller than your normal shoe size.
  2. He or she will suggest that you loosen the laces and pull the tongue forward before attempting to put your foot into the skates. You really won't know how the skates fit until they are properly laced, but you will at least be able to tell whether your toes are "scrunched up". If they are, try the next size up.
  3. If you don't know how to lace the skates, he or she will tell (or show) you so that they fit snugly, especially around the ankle and the top of the boot. Proper ankle support is the key to successful ice skating!
  4. He or she should double-check the ice skate blades to ensure they are not dull. If they are, the blades should be sharpened. This is easily accomplished as there typically will be a blade sharpener on-site.
  5. The ice skate rental operator may offer instructions on how to use the ice skates to stop and also on how to fall safely.

Safety Equipment

  1. Helmet. If you are a beginner, you should seriously consider wearing a helmet, at least until you have learned how to keep your balance. Children should always wear properly-fitting helmets as head injuries are common and can be serious.
  2. Wrist guards. When falling, it's natural to try to break a fall by outstretching arms and hands. Wrist guards will offer some protection.
  3. Elbow and knee pads made of hard plastic. The knees, elbows, wrists and head typically are the body parts that will hit the ice when you fall. And it's easy to fall hard. If elbow and/or knee pads are not an option, at least consider wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts for the first few times you are on the ice.
  4. Waterproof gloves or mittens (at least until you've mastered the basics of ice skating).

Safe Practices for Ice Skaters

  1. The safest place to ice skate will always be at the ice skating rink because the internal environment and the ice itself can both be monitored and controlled. The ice at ice skating rinks is smoothed periodically throughout the day to remove as many obstacles and hazards from the ice as possible.
  2. If you do skate outdoors, a good place to consider is a professionally approved and maintained outdoor ice skating rink.
  3. The temperature likely will be colder than you think so always dress warmly and in layers.
  4. Always ice skate in the same direction as others. In other words, go with the flow.
  5. When entering onto the ice surface, remember that oncoming skaters have the right-of-way. You should merge onto the ice when it is safe to do so.
  6. Never dart across the ice as doing so might cause an accident.
  7. Ice skate where there is a railing you can hold onto until you have learned how to keep your balance and you can control your feet.
  8. Ice skate with a friend in case an emergency arises.
  9. If you plan to skate on a lake or pond, be sure you or someone in your party knows how to tell if the ice is solid enough to support ice skaters. Look for cracks, holes and other debris that can indicate a hazardous situation. Take along a rope in case of an emergency. Never skate alone on a body of water that is not professionally approved.
  10. Wherever you choose to ice skate, remember to take a break when you become tired.
  11. Leave gum and candy at home. It can become a choking hazard and if it falls out of your mouth, it can create a hazardous ice condition.

Manufacturers of Ice Skates