Ice skating

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Ice skating is a popular winter sport – or many, as you can play ice hockey, figure-skate, race or go for a long-distance journey.


There are special skates for the different kinds of skating. You can learn the basics with any skate, often hockey or figure-skating skates are used by beginners.

Skaters have use of safety equipment, such as helmets. For open-ice skating; ice prods and ice pikes are also essential.

There are skating facilities with equipment for rent, although at most facilities your own equipment is needed.


Skating in Québec.

Most places with long winters: Canada, Nordic countries and Russia. In the Netherlands skating is a national sport, even though most of the winter is too warm there.

There are often both ice hockey rinks and ice for free form skating, more suitable for learning the basics. At some facilities there is music and skating is used as a pastime, with most skaters talking with their company while gently skating around, some perhaps doing basic figure skating.



Ice skating can be combined with hiking or ice fishing, subject to local regulation. Long distance skates, safety equipment and an experienced guide are recommended.

Ice sailing with an ice sail or an ice boat can allow very fast travel.

A kicksled can also get very fast on ice.

Stay safe[edit]

See also: Ice safety

Beware of unsafe ice. Use the safety equipment. See also Cold weather.

The ice is hard, the skates are sharp and speeds often high. Also e.g. sticks and pucks can cause damage. Respect any local rules (formal or informal), e.g. about separating different kinds of skaters.

Open-ice skating should be done in groups with an experienced leader.


Stay clear of slower skaters and children.

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