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, also ice prods and ice pikes are essential.
There are skating facilities with equipment for rent, although at most facilities own equipment is needed.
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 sailing with an ice sail or an ice boat can allow very fast travel.
A kicksled can also get very fast on ice.
- 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.