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06-15-2009, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New York
Well, I guess I should ask you some questions first.
Can you ice skate? How well?
Have you ever played with hitting?
Have you ever shot a puck on the ice?
Depending on your answers to those, the answer varies.
If you can't really ice skate it's time so start going a few times a week to get good at it. You want to be able to stop on both edges, crossover and do all the things you do in inline, somewhat fluently. Don't worry about perfecting it; you don't need to be perfect just to start playing ice and it will come with time, but you should be COMFORTABLE.
If you can ice skate than go play open hockey a few times. Open hockey is a great way to see if you can keep up, see how good your skating is with the gear on and get a feel for handling a puck on the ice. If you feel you're not too good when you go play open hockey, but you CAN ice skate, than keep going to open hockey for a few weeks and you will improve.
If you can skate and you can keep up or at least enjoy yourself at open hockey than HELL YEA. Go join. Playing ice hockey is the greatest thing in the world. Nothing is better; nothing comes close. If you can ice skate decently and you go to an open hockey and feel like you're having fun than you can't sign up soon enough. Once you do, I would recommend dropping inline like a bad habit (because, to me, it is a bad habit once you're on the ice - I think inline skating HURTS your ice skating; I played roller until I was 12 and than started playing ice exclusively - I've played ice for 18 years and think that inline fundamentals contradict your ice fundamentals, so I would suggest you just play ice once you get used to it), because you're going to like ice 10x better.
If you're not ready to jump into a league though, the answer is 100% to either start going to public skating sessions until you're comfortable enough on ice skates to feel you move well and can stop, crossover, backskate, etc. If you already have a moderate amount of skill on ice skates, go play open hockey to get a feel for it. You won't be the laughing stock anywhere you go though; I've known plenty of kids who switched from roller to ice and generally, most of the skills transfer nicely. What it all comes down to is the skating (and you might have to get used to physical hockey). Determine where you're at with your skating and take it from there. There are beginner and lower division leagues for guys who are just learning the game on ice (some who haven't even played roller hockey before) and others who, like you, are making a transition. One way or the other, it's a transition you want to make. Don't wait any longer; you'll regret it! Every year not spent on the ice is a year in which you could have been getting better and better.
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