Learning toskate and
Learning to skate and playing Hockey is a way of life for Canadians. As a Canadien, we start watching Hockey in diapers, learning to skate as a toddler, and we play hockey before we can even say “He shoots, He SCORES!!!!”.
As an outdoor activity, learning to skate is a great way to appreciate winter. We hold the hands of those we love, we skate as a family activity, and we encourage our children to push themselves to new talents. Learning to skate and play hockey is one of the ways Canadians promote living a healthy lifestyle.
According to the IIHF website, as of 2015 Canada has over 2630 indoor ice rinks, and more then 5000 outdoor rinks. That’s more then any other country in the world. With a large selection of community run rinks and privately owned arena, you can easily find locations to skate and play Hockey.
Canada boosts some of the best outdoor skating facilities in the world. Sylvan Lake, Alberta has one of the longest skating tracks in the world at 10km. Ottawa’s Rideau Canal grooms their 7.8km surface, and you can enjoy Queues de Castor (Beaver Tails pasty treats) in Joliette, Quebec along the L’Assomption River.
Families, partners and friends of all ages and with different levels of experience can share a wonderful time skating together.
Kids as young as three years old can learn to skate. Skating lessons for children are designed to make skating fun. To build confidence, youth programs for kids include “clowning” around on the ice and playing games. During these games, the instructor will show kids the right body positions, moves, and develop the children’s self confidence. Skating forward and even backwards, stopping and turning will quickly become natural. Its important for children to be great skaters before they can become the best Hockey players. Mastering the fundamentals of ice-skating is a required first step to becoming a great stick handler, passer and goal scorer.
Starting to skate and learning to playing hockey as an adult has its benefits and challenges. Once you get past the early learning stages, skating is a great exercise to keep fit. Playing in adult hockey league is a great way to meet new friends, furtherdevelop and improve techniques and having fun in a team sport.
What to wear
When skating outdoors, its important to protect your skin against the elements of winter. Besides wearing warm clothes, gloves, skates and a helmet, its very important to protect any exposed skin. Its also important to wear a CSA approved helmet. In fact, most facilities do not accept bicycle helmets. When learning to skate, wearing knee and elbow pads is a great idea to protect against injury. When playing Hockey outside, it’s necessary to not only wear full equipment, but also a helmet with a visor or a cage and a mouth guard.
The temperature at indoor rinks is usually much warmer compared to skating outside. Without the wind-chill, it's a lot more comfortable skating indoors. Even if you are just skating recreationally, its important to wear the proper safety equipment. When playing hockey indoors, its important to wear full hockey equipment, including helmet, visor or cage, and a mouth guar