Ice and roller skating offers a variety of physical and physiological health benefits. These include joint flexibility, weight management, improved body balance, and motor coordination, well-built leg muscles, good posture, cardiovascular health, and stress management. However, this activity can also lead to serious injuries if it is not done properly or without prior training and instruction. According to a report published by the National Center for Health Statistics, ice and roller skating are among the top five sporting activities that frequently result in injuries, accounting for over six percent of sport activities-related emergency room visits amongst Americans between the ages of 5 - 24. Taking a good ice or roller skating lesson near you is one way to reduce your chances of sustaining serious injuries when you are skating.
Before you sign up for ice or roller skating lessons near you, it is always a good idea to ensure that the facility you are going to utilize has experienced skating instructors that can teach both beginners and advanced learners. To be sure of this, you should also ask the following questions:
Ice and roller skating instructors do not need a professional license to provide their services. However, as is the case with most types of businesses, skating facilities are typically required to fulfill any applicable business licensing and registration requirements in states where they are located. Considering that these requirements vary by location, it is always a good idea to contact your state's consumer protection to find out if there are specific requirements for operating skating facilities before you sign up for any classes with anyone near you.
While obtaining a professional license is not a requirement for this profession, ice and roller skating instructors may voluntarily join professional associations like the Professional Skaters Association, and the Society of Roller Skating Teachers of America. Even though membership in these associations is not compulsory, it is best to take skating lessons from ice and roller skating instructors that belong to one. These associations have established codes of conduct that ensure that skating instructors do not engage in any unprofessional behavior while teaching skating. For instance, members of the Society of Roller Skating Teachers of America must always observe the association's code of conduct which requires members to treat all skaters with respect and prohibits them from engaging in any form of abuse or threat aimed at skaters, coaches, officials, and other attendees.
Ice or roller skating lessons typically cost an average of $10 - $100 per lesson. The cost of a skating lesson is determined by factors like the type of skating facility you choose, your location, the skating instructor's experience and reputation, and the type of skating lessons you want. While group lessons are generally cheaper, private lessons may cost $40 - $100 depending on the level of instruction you need. Depending on the arrangement between the instructor and the skating facility, these lesson fees may either be paid to the instructor directly or to the administrator of the facility you utilize for the skating lesson.
When you decide to sign up for ice or roller skating lessons near you, there are certain steps that you can take to ensure that you do not exceed your budget. These steps include:
- Research the prices of skating lessons in your locality: Before you sign up for a skating lesson near you, it is always a good idea to find out what most ice skating instructors charge for the skating lessons you need. You can visit two to three rinks in your locality to find out what different types of skating lessons cost.
- Consider taking group lessons: Before you sign up for a skating lesson near you, it is always a good idea to ask if they offer group lessons. These types of lessons are relatively cheaper than private lessons. Group lessons typically cost an average of $10 - $30 per lesson, unlike private lessons that may cost $30 - $100. Also, in group lessons, the price of renting skating equipment is often included in the total lesson fee.
- Consider hiring skating instructors from the facility you want to utilize: Some skating facilities or rinks employ instructors to teach in their facility and they get to regulate what the instructor charges for skating lessons. Hiring an instructor from the facility means that you will not pay too much compared to when you are hiring independent ice or roller skating instructors elsewhere.
Besides your regular lesson fee, you may also incur some additional expenses when you finally decide to sign up for ice or roller skating lessons. These expenses include:
- Ice time expenses: When you finally decide to take ice skating lessons, there is always the possibility that you have to pay for the amount of time spent on the ice rink. The cost of ice time varies depending on whether you are renting the entire rink or working with your instructor during public ice hours. The estimated cost of renting a rink for an hour is $100 or more for an entire rink and $5 - $15 to use the rink during public ice hours.
- Skating equipment expenses: When you finally decide to take skating lessons, you may have to buy or rent skating equipment like skating shoes, helmets, dressers, and knee and elbow pads. While some rinks and inline locations offer a variety of rental skate options, others require each individual to come with their skating equipment. The cost of renting a skating shoe ranges anywhere from $5 - $33 per lesson.
- Variable skating expenses: If you are taking ice skating lessons to compete in any figure skating competition, you are going to incur some additional expenses such as testing fees, entry fees, and travel costs to the location of these competitions.
It is always a good idea to discuss these expenses with your skating instructor or the administrator of the facility where you plan on taking the lesson. Talking to any of the aforementioned to see how these expenses are billed and which form of payment they accept helps you know if you are ready to take lessons from the skating facility or not.
Who Will Do the Work?
Ice or roller skating lessons are better, safer, and more fun when the instructor is an expert that is passionate about what they do. Most skating facilities employ independent instructors with different levels of expertise to teach in their facilities. Therefore, you should always find out who will be handling your skating lessons and make sure that the instructor has the experience and expertise required to do a good job. Ask the rink administrator about the experience of the instructor assigned to you. Also, find out if the rink administrator carries out thorough background checks before employing skating instructors and other workers in the facility that have close contact with clients and customers. Do not hesitate to request another skating instructor or use another facility if you are not comfortable with the skating instructor that was assigned to you.
In addition to this, you should speak to the ice or roller skating instructor who will be handling the lessons about your expectations for the lesson and what you hope to achieve at the end of each lesson. If you are hiring an instructor outside the rink you want to use, it is always a good idea to ask if they are members of professional associations. Because it is possible for skating instructors to misrepresent their level of experience and expertise, you should always ask for proof of membership and contact the association to verify the status of the skating instructor in question. Doing this protects you from hiring someone that is not fit to teach skating lessons.
Although ice and roller skating instructors are typically not required to have any formal education, many of these individuals have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. These instructors must also be excellent skaters with good communication skills to properly teach skating to their students. While formal education is not mandatory for this profession, ice and roller skating instructors may voluntarily obtain basic skills and instructions from professional bodies like the United States Figure Skating, Professional Skaters Association, and the Society of Roller Skating Teachers of America to improve their knowledge and employment prospects.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are currently more than 291,000 employed coaches and scouts in the United States. This number includes ice and roller skating instructors, some of whom also represent the country as coaches at the world figure skating championships.
Before you sign up for skating lessons, you should always ask the instructor or rink administrator for references. The skating instructor or rink administrator should be able to provide contact information of past clients who took the same classes you want to sign up for. You can call these references and ask questions like whether they were satisfied with the teaching methods, whether the skating instructors are experienced and if they handled their lessons as professionals, and whether the classes improved their skating skills significantly. Do not register for skating lessons until you are convinced that the instructor is fit to teach you.
In addition to asking for references, you can also get recommendations on ice and roller skating lessons from family and friends. You may also get independent reviews on ice and roller skating instructors through Better Business Bureau, Google Review, and other online platforms that allow individuals to post their experiences with ice and roller skating instructors they have hired in the past.
Quick Facts about Ice and Roller Skating Instructors
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Like learning any other sport, there is always the possibility that you may fall during a skating lesson. Therefore, it is always a good idea to dress appropriately to reduce your chances of sustaining serious injuries when you fall. Many skating instructors recommend that you wear proper skates, long pants, socks, layered clothing, gloves, helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, hip pads, and wrist guards to skating lessons.
Yes, helmets are required for skating. They are important skating equipment that protects you from head injuries resulting from a fall. The United States Figure Skating recommends the use of helmets for beginners irrespective of their age. You should always ensure that the helmet you choose is your size and that its chin strap is properly secured when you are skating. This prevents the helmet from falling off.
Many skating instructors recommend skating from age three upwards. Skating is not advised for anyone below the age of three. Note that many skating facilities form their skating groups using criteria like age and level of instruction received in the past.
Yes, most skating facilities and instructors offer group rates. The price of group lessons varies by location and the skating facility's reputation, and they generally cost an average of $10 - $30 per lesson.
Yes, many skating facilities sell skates and other equipment you will need for the skating lesson. These include helmets, knee and elbow pads, and dressers. Some skating facilities also offer these items at discounted prices when you sign up for skating lessons with them.
Yes, many skating facilities also provide rental services. These facilities allow you to borrow skates and other equipment for your lessons. In some cases, the rental cost will be added to your lesson fees. As a beginner, you do not have to purchase a skate immediately. It is always a good idea to try out a couple of skates to see which one is best for you.
It is not hard to learn to roller skate, especially when you have a good skating instructor. Roller skates have special features that make riding easy and comfortable and it generally takes anywhere between one hour to twenty hours for you to learn this activity. These features also make roller skating easier for children and young people when compared to rollerblading. For example, roller skates come with wheels on each side of the center of your foot which makes it easier for beginners to feel comfortable on them. This also makes it easier for beginners to stand upright with roller skates as opposed to rollerblades. Also, roller skates require fewer muscles to keep your balance compared to rollerblades or inline skating, making them very suitable for young people, especially children whose muscles may struggle to keep up with the upright posture that is required for rollerblades. Finally, compared to rollerblades, roller skates are easier to handle in terms of turning and application of brakes.
Yes, ice skating lessons are worth the time and money you spend on them. In addition to helping you acquire excellent skating skills and preparing you for competitions, exhibitions, and performances, ice skating lessons benefit you in several ways. These include:
- Improved body balance and coordination
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Burns down calories
- Increased endurance and confidence, especially in little children
- Stress relief and better relaxation
- Provides the opportunity to make new friends