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06-02-2007, 11:36 AM
LilWinger11's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Connecticut
Country: United States
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Originally Posted by donelikedinner View Post
your kid should be wearing hockey skates during figure skating lessons and only hockey skates at all times. the figure skating lessons set the skating foundation and the "feel" is memorized by the feet. figure skates feel and respond differently as a previous poster mentioned. changing back and forth between the different boots would end up throwing off their balance and stride, making skating an unpleasant experience.
That depends- do you mean a hockey player just taking power skating, or someone who wants to figure skate and play hockey? I've known plenty of athletes of have done both- I do it myself, although I've been figure skating for fifteen years and only playing hockey for one. At least a couple of times a week I do a figure-skating session and switch right into my hockey skates for a public session. Only had to do that a couple of times to get used to the switch. OTOH, hockey players who just take power skating from a figure skating instructor generally wear their hockey skates for the lessons. The only time I've known a hockey player to wear figure skates past the Learn-to-Skate level was when he/she wanted to do figure skating too, not just power skating. I agree that there's no reason for a hockey player who has NO interest in figure skating to wear figure skates.

I've been teaching Learn-to-Skate for eight years, and I encourage aspiring hockey players to start in hockey skates if they want, BUT it doesn't work out for every kid, especially if they're younger than five or so. Quite a few of them have trouble getting their feet underneath them and just fall repeatedly. If the kid doesn't seem to care (and the class is small enough that someone can work with him/her individually), that's fine, but if the kid is getting discouraged and upset, that's when I suggest trying the figure skates for a few lessons. We go back to hockey skates once he or she can march and glide. I've yet to have this not work, and I've yet to have a kid struggle for more than a few minutes with the switch back to hockey skates.

The one thing I would recommend to any parent is to sign up for skating in the summer, early fall, or late spring, when class sizes at most rinks are much smaller. The more one-on-one your child gets, the easier it will be if he or she is one of the youngsters who has trouble getting the hang of things on ANY kind of skate.

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