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08-05-2006, 09:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Originally Posted by
A friend convinced me to start playing ice hockey a few years ago so I have an idea of what you're going through right now. I don't want to scare you but rink skating and hockey skating are totally different -- rink skating is very leisurely, linear and in the same counterclockwise direction. Hockey skating is a lot of stops and starts, changing speeds and changing direction. Don't try skimping (like I did) by wearing warmup pants instead of hockey pants -- hockey pants provide really good, necessary protection for your legs, hips, kidneys, etc. You'll appreciate them every time you fall or block a shot, plus you can probably find a used pair on the cheap -- up in Massachusetts there's a chain of stores called Play It Again Sports where you can get good deals on used equipment. I assume there's something similar where you are. You can also buy used knee/shin pads, elbow pads and chest protector but spend whatever you need to get a new, comfortable pair of skates, gloves that fit you like Isotoners, a helmet with a cage and a cup.
I'd definitely recommend wood sticks until you're sure what curve you like on your blade, the flex of the shaft, etc.
As far as practicing your skating at a public rink, most people skate around the perimeter. The inside of the circle is (often) much less crowded and available for "practice". Center ice is where the figure skaters do their thing but you should be able to stake out an area along either blueline. If your schedule allows it try to go some morning during the week.
All in all, I say go for it (at the beginner level). You'll never sweat as much or hurt in as many places, but I doubt you'll ever have as much fun either.
To go along with this sorta....put on all your pads when you go to an open skate. Though you look like a dork..or you get questions like, "Do you play for the Blue Jackets?" it's worth it. Cause open skating is a bit leisurely, and skating with pads on is different. Recommend that if the ice is empty...pick out a corner for you to go back and forth doing starts and stops. And if the rink is really empty pick out a circle and skate it doing crossovers, forwards and back.
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