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How to Ice Skate in Minnesota

Every time a winter Olympics is televised there is a new interest created in learning how to ice skate.

How to Ice Skate

We begin to imagine ourselves gliding, spinning and jumping across the ice. Many of us grew up in small towns where the community provided outdoor ice skating rinks with a small warming house. Ours had a wood-burning stove and a mom who made hot chocolate for chilly skaters.

Most of the cities in Minnesota offer ice arenas where those who want to learn to ice skate can get lessons and have ice time. Both figure skating and ice hockey programs can be found across the state.

If you or your kids want to learn how to ice skate, the first thing you should do is visit your local ice skating rink. Rent some skates, step (carefully!) out onto the ice and try it out.

Basic ice skating how to:

  • On an indoor rink, you can begin by staying close to a wall or holding onto a railing. Children often learn to ice skate by holding on to a chair and pushing it ahead of them as they progress across the ice. This is something anyone can do to give yourself a bit of security at first.
  • It may seem obvious, but the first thing you will learn is how to fall. Seriously. In any case, at some point your feet will go in oppposite directions and your bottom will be on the ice. Controlling your fall is the key to avoiding pain and bruises. Kids often are adept at falling rarely get hurt.
  • You then need to get moving on the ice. Start with baby steps---small, walking movements. Next try lifting your feet a bit more as if you are marching. This is easier than it sounds. Learning to walk will give you ankle support and help you get used to the friction of the ice. Progress to a slow shuffle and begin gliding on the ice. If you are "right-footed", lean on your left foot then push in a diagonal direction outwards with your right foot as if you were shoveling snow behind and to the right of you. This will then propel you forward. Then bring the right foot back in next to the left and repeat the process. Now you're skating!
  • Now that you know how to move, you'll want to learn to stop. To do this, practice the "snowplow". This is a fairly simple maneuver: angle your skate outward until it gently plows the ice and brings you to a stop. You can also stop by placing one skate behind you with the toe facing away from you and gently dragging it until you come to a halt.
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How to Ice Skate

How to Ice Skate Backwards

This is the most basic form of skating backwards for the beginner in ice skating.


  1. Stand on the ice with your feet forming a kind of ^-shape, that is, with your toes touching and the heels apart with your knees almost touching each other.
  2. Put your weight on the front part of your feet, then use your knees to help push yourself backward on your inner blades. Your legs will be pushed apart.
  3. When your feet are about half a meter apart, bring your heels closer together to form a "V" shape.
  4. Repeat this alternating pattern of "^" and "v" to form the "hourglass" shape.
  5. When you can do this, you can practice and eventually learn to do it with more flow.


  • Practice walking backwards.
  • Occasionally look behind you to check that the space is clear for you to move in, without any obstacles or people in your way.
  • The more you push with your front of your feet, the more speed you will pick up.
  • The feet are brought closer together to allow you to push with your knees.


  • Watch out for anyone behind you.
  • If you see someone practicing skating backwards, give him/her space. If you can't and he/she is closing in on you, call to him/her, then tap his/her shoulder if you can safely do so.

Once you, or your children, have mastered the basics you can find ice skating lessons in almost every town or area of Minnesota. Learning to ice skate will give you a skill you can enjoy for many years.

More Winter Sports to Enjoy in Minnesota:

Minnesota Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing Basics

Minnesota Ski Resorts

More About Learning to Ice Skate

Ice Fishing in Minnesota

Minnesota Snowmobiling

Skijoring in Minnesota

Dogsledding Tours in Minnesota

Minnesota Winter Activities

List of Winter Sports

Minnesota Ice Skating

Back to Minnesota Winter

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