- Find some good skates. Rentals are ok at a good rink for your first steps, or else go out and buy yourself a nice pair that will last you a while. If you already have a pair of skates, check that they fit and get the blades sharpened at a skate shop. Find a friend. Learning with someone will help in relaxing on the ice.
- When you get on the ice, gain your balance. This is crucial. Try to find your center of gravity. The keys to skating well are relaxation and technique. These feed and grow on each other.
- Try to walk. This may sound ridiculous, but learning to walk will help give you ankle support and help you get used to the friction of the ice. If necessary use the wall as support, but you’ll do better not to hold onto anything. The wall can become a crutch. Instead, hold your arms out at hip level to learn to balance yourself.
- If you are right-footed, then 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.
- Keep this up and begin to take longer strokes and try to glide. If you try to give an extra flick of the toe/ankle at the end of each stroke, it will give you more power and make you a more efficient and faster skater.
- Bend your knees and move your body with the strokes.
- To stop, place one skate behind you with the toe facing away from you and gently drag it behind until you come to a halt. When you do this, your balance will be put on one foot only, so practice skating on one foot to perfect this technique.
- Take group or private lessons for faster learning.
- Try to skate backwards. Turn around and move your feet in half circles; this is not the same technique as skating forward. If you are on a rink that has blue and red hockey lines painted on it, find a line. Place your feet equal to each other on the line, and then try to create a half-moon shape pushing backwards with your right foot. Then try to create one with your left. Repeat until you are gliding backwards. Warning: Make sure there is nobody behind you that you will crash into! Collisions are no fun!