Really newbie question

PRlady

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I’ve finally retired and will keep the promise to myself to learn to skate. I’m not athletic or in great shape following a long illness 3 years ago but I’m determined.

Two questions: is there a program/rink in the DC area that anyone would specifically recommend?
And should I invest in skates before starting? I have skated many times in rental skates and they’re not very good, but maybe I should wait til I’ve been through some lessons before investing?
 
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Definitely buy skates first. Rental skates are usually really... not good. To the point that it's often needlessly frustrating for new skaters. If you're going to commit to taking lessons for even a few months, it's worth it to buy skates that are fitted properly and sharpened properly. You also don't need super expensive skates.
 

Theoreticalgirl

your faves are problematic
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1,280
I’ve finally retired and will keep the promise to myself to learn to skate. I’m not athletic or in great shape following a long illness 3 years ago but I’m determined.

Two questions: is there a program/rink in the DC area that anyone would specifically recommend?
And should I invest in skates before starting? I have skated many times in rental skates and they’re not very good, but maybe I should wait til I’ve been through some lessons before investing?

1. I would get your own skates. Spare yourself the frustration of rentals. Also, when it's time to upgrade, you'll have a better idea of what you're looking for.

2. I think any of the rinks associated with the Washington FSC would be a good fit, especially when you progress out of LTS: https://www.washingtonfsc.org/links.html
 

GarrAargHrumph

I can kill you with my brain
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Jackson makes good beginner models of skates, as does Reidell. It'd be great (read that as, "highly recommended") if you can go to a good skating pro (you can ask the skating school director at the rink you end up deciding to take lessons from for a recommendation, if you aren't sure; you can also ask other adult skaters who are fairly advanced, in your area) and get properly fitted.

And good luck and have fun!
 

NinjaTurtles

No lamb chop, so don’t you fork my peas
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4,105
Kettler and Mount Vernon both have LTS programs that are just for adults. Kettler is Metro accessible (~8 minute walk from Ballston). Mount Vernon is <10 minute drive from the Huntington station. Kettler is bigger and you’ll have the chance to maybe see a few Capitals stars. Mount Vernon is more intimate and they have a variety of adult classes after LTS.

SkateQuest in Reston is really nice, but I think their LTS isn’t very adult friendly. If you progress up to freestyle sessions it might be worth it to skate there sometimes, you might even get to see Ilia do a 4A.
 

gkelly

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I've heard that Mount Vernon will be closed for a lengthy renovation in the not-too-distant future, so it's probably best not to get too attached to that rink right now unless it's the most convenient for you to start at before it closes.
 

NinjaTurtles

No lamb chop, so don’t you fork my peas
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I've heard that Mount Vernon will be closed for a lengthy renovation in the not-too-distant future, so it's probably best not to get too attached to that rink right now unless it's the most convenient for you to start at before it closes.
Yeah, at the last county meeting the plan was to close it in 2023 and then reopen in 2025. It’s a big expansion project
 

PRlady

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39,877
1. I would get your own skates. Spare yourself the frustration of rentals. Also, when it's time to upgrade, you'll have a better idea of what you're looking for.

2. I think any of the rinks associated with the Washington FSC would be a good fit, especially when you progress out of LTS: https://www.washingtonfsc.org/links.html
They’re all in the suburbs. :( And nearest one is the Caps’ practice facility which would be a little focused on other things?

But yes I will buy skates when I learn how to do that. :)

ETA: it makes sense to pick a Virginia rink to combine trips with granddaughter drop-ins. So probably Arlington (Caps) or Reston.

ETA2: @overedge you’re so Canadian. :D UDel is more than 2 hours away.
 

Debbie S

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@PRlady true, but one thing about adult skating is that sometimes you have to go wherever will take you 😄
I used to say that skating has taken me places I never thought I'd go. :lol:

@PRlady WashFSC has a presence at Kettler. Their DC Edge synchro teams use it for practice (usually at ungodly hours on weekend mornings, lol). If you want to take group lessons, it's worth a shot, esp if they have classes specifically for adults. For skates, the sharpening guy (Jimmy?) at Fairfax Ice Arena seems to be the go-to person now that Mike Cunningham retired....you may want to check out their shop if he also does skate fittings.
 

gkelly

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the sharpening guy (Jimmy?) at Fairfax Ice Arena seems to be the go-to person now that Mike Cunningham retired....you may want to check out their shop if he also does skate fittings.

Yes, that's where I bought my last pair of skates.

I know plenty of adult skaters with WFSC and a few from Fairfax (Skating Club of Northern Virginia). But beyond the learn-to-skate level -- I don't know which rinks would have the best adult community at that level.
 

Spun Silver

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12,126
@PRlady you're gonna need a ski helmet, knee pads, and I would strongly recommend a butt pad right over your tailbone. I made one out of a little piece of a yoga mat, following Mirai Nagasu. :)

I wish you well and kind of envy you. I decided to give skating a try a few years ago and took lessons for maybe 9 months until the pandemic caused the rink to close. While I certainly learned to be comfortable moving around the ice, I fell too often for comfort and hit my head at least three times (and my tailbone once or twice, but Mirai's pad took care of that nicely. Actually the helmet worked well too except when I fell on my chin, but still, the jolts... and I also have neck and shoulder issues that I really don't want to exacerbate). There is already one brain injury in my household of two. I really can't afford to be another one. My skates and bag are still out and I keep thinking I should go back and just skate in circles on my own. Haven't gotten around to it yet. I think perhaps I made a mistake taking individual lessons that were pretty much wasted on me, and possibly led to my trying things I wasn't ready for. I noticed that a group class on the ice at the same time had a lot of older people who seemed to advance faster than I did anyway. If I were to try it again I would go that route.

However you do it, you will find a little community of skaters of various ages and it will be a lot of fun, even if (ha! when) you fall. Good luck! I hope you'll report back on your experiences.
 

PRlady

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@PRlady you're gonna need a ski helmet, knee pads, and I would strongly recommend a butt pad right over your tailbone. I made one out of a little piece of a yoga mat, following Mirai Nagasu. :)

I wish you well and kind of envy you. I decided to give skating a try a few years ago and took lessons for maybe 9 months until the pandemic caused the rink to close. While I certainly learned to be comfortable moving around the ice, I fell too often for comfort and hit my head at least three times (and my tailbone once or twice, but Mirai's pad took care of that nicely. Actually the helmet worked well too except when I fell on my chin, but still, the jolts... and I also have neck and shoulder issues that I really don't want to exacerbate). There is already one brain injury in my household of two. I really can't afford to be another one. My skates and bag are still out and I keep thinking I should go back and just skate in circles on my own. Haven't gotten around to it yet. I think perhaps I made a mistake taking individual lessons that were pretty much wasted on me, and possibly led to my trying things I wasn't ready for. I noticed that a group class on the ice at the same time had a lot of older people who seemed to advance faster than I did anyway. If I were to try it again I would go that route.

However you do it, you will find a little community of skaters of various ages and it will be a lot of fun, even if (ha! when) you fall. Good luck! I hope you'll report back on your experiences.
Thanks so much for that report! I am definitely going for the reasonably priced LtS series and after that, will see. It will be on and off due to spending part of each year in Israel.

I’ve never (pu pu) broken a bone or had a concussion, I’ve lived cautiously. My continuing GI illnesses won’t be exacerbated by skating. So it seems a realistic risk.
 

Theoreticalgirl

your faves are problematic
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1,280
@PRlady If anything, a helmet, wrist guards, and a tailbone pad would be best. Even though one of the first things you'll learn is how to fall properly, I've seen too many people try to resist impact with their hands and mangle their wrists pretty badly.

While I understand the rationale for including knee pads, it is still incredibly rare to land directly on the knee in a fall, and so IMHO a wrist guard would be more useful than a knee pad. Unless you are working on your character slides, then by all means....
 

Debbie S

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While I understand the rationale for including knee pads, it is still incredibly rare to land directly on the knee in a fall
Hmmm, well, I've had some pretty spectacular falls on the knee. :slinkaway Although the elements I fell on - 8-step mohawk, LBI 3 - are likely more advanced than what PRlady will be doing. But I also had a few belly flops while skating forward and had a bad fall doing back crossovers while working on Pre-Bronze MIF (although at the time I had bad coaching and wasn't told that I was pushing/striking with my toe picks, but that's a whole other discussion).
 

PRlady

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Hmmm, well, I've had some pretty spectacular falls on the knee. :slinkaway Although the elements I fell on - 8-step mohawk, LBI 3 - are likely more advanced than what PRlady will be doing. But I also had a few belly flops while skating forward and had a bad fall doing back crossovers while working on Pre-Bronze MIF (although at the time I had bad coaching and wasn't told that I was pushing/striking with my toe picks, but that's a whole other discussion).
If I can even get to back crossovers I will feel like a success. Scotty Hamilton himself told me that was a reachable goal. :rofl:
 

Yazmeen

All we are saying, is give peace a chance
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My personal recommendations:

For head protection: https://www.icehalo.ca/products.php?id=1

For other body parts: https://www.skatingsafe.com/ I use Skating Safe hip, knee, tailbone, and wrist pads. Tights and skating pants will hold the lower body ones in place, and gloves will keep the small pads over your wrists.

I'm back on the ice after more than 2 years (too many rinks here were total sh**shows with COVID), and while I've lost a lot of skills, I'm just happy to be skating. If I can just glide and do some edgework a couple days of week, I'll be a happy camper considering I'm in my 60s now.
 

Theoreticalgirl

your faves are problematic
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@Debbie S Yeah, it's definitely dependent on the person. YMMV! I've been skating for 40 years. For me, I would not pad something that is critical to moving on the ice, but if y'all feel you need it, knock yourselves out. There's padding for that too.
 

sk8pics

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I wore the skatingsafe kneepads and they don't hinder your movement at all, since they don't go all the way around your leg. Once I got moving and started sweating a little, they also didn't move around when I was skating. Fortunately, I never fell on a knee or hit my head on the ice. Of course, I did break my ankle with a straight down fall.

Good luck @PRlady and keep us posted!
 

bladesofgorey

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I fall hard on my knees at least once every couple of months (ugh) so I always wear padded shorts and knee pads. My knee pads don't hinder my ability to bend and they stay in place well but maybe that's because I wear fleece -lined leggings so they grip well. Mine are just a pair of fabric mizuno pads that are made for volleyball (where knee bend is also pretty important). edited to add- I prefer spinning to jumping though I do both, and I find that the knee pads help also with falls that are close to the ground (as most in spinning falls are) since I wind up on the ice a lot in some contorted positions trying variations and I don't think I'd practice those without the padding.
 
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Japanfan

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Well I’m starting with Learn to Skate and we will see how far I get. My history of athletic achievement could be summarized in a sentence or two.

Mine can be summarized as followed: I hit the volleyball once. Everyone else on the court was extremely surprised.

Also, I was terrible at tether ball - the ball was always hitting me on the head.

I did take figure skating as a child, actually. I lived in a northern Canadian mining town, and parents put their kids into all sorts of activities. To this day I still remember figure skating in a costume. My mom was out of town, and my dad had sewn the strawberry on my costume upside down. Something like that. Still remember that - I would have been six or seven. :yikes:

Good luck and have fun, @PRlady.
 

PRlady

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@PRlady Fairfax Ice Arena is very very close to PRKid and granddaughter. I wholeheartedly recommend my old coach there, Nick Perna. I don’t think he teaches LTS these days but he is a great coach if you like analysis of what you’re doing and what you should be doing.
If they have LTS for adults that would be perfect!
 

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