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The Different Types Of Ice Skates Explained

Most people know of the two main types of ice skates, hockey and figure. But did you know there are many different types of ice skates? In this article, we will explore the different types of ice skates and what they are used for. We will also discuss the differences between them.

If you’re new to the wonderful world of ice skating, you may be wondering what kind of skates you need. The type of skate you need depends on the type of skating you want to do. Here is a brief overview of the different types of ice skates:

Different types of ice skates are available for different activities. Of course it makes sense – hockey skates are designed for playing hockey. figure skates are used for figure skating and speed skates are used for speed skating. But which pair of ice skates should you choose?

In this post we will walk you through the different types of ice skate and how you can tell the difference.

the different types of ice skate explained


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The Different Ice Skating Rink Sizes Explained

How do you make an ice rink?

Recreational Skates

different types of ice skates

If you are just starting out or are planning on renting skates at your local rink, recreational skates are normally what you will wear.

Recreational skates are the most popular type of ice skate and for good reason. They are designed for comfort and ease of use, and are perfect for beginner to intermediate skaters.

Recreational skates typically have a soft boot made of synthetic leather, which is comfortable and supportive, and a blade that is slightly curved to allow for easy turning.

If you’re just starting out skating, or if you’re looking for a comfortable pair of skates to use recreationally, then recreational skates are the way to go. They are the ideal first ice skaters for young skates who are just learning the ropes.

They’re versatile and user-friendly, making them great for all kinds of skating.

Most of the time, you should pick a pair of recreational skates in the same size as your regular shoe size. This may sound strange but this rule does not apply to most other kinds of skate.

When you’re ready to take your skating to the next level, you can always upgrade to a more specialized pair of skates.

Figure Skates

different types of ice skates

Of all the different types of ice skates, white figure skate are the ones we all know from television. 

When most people think of ice skating, they picture figure skaters gliding across the rink in graceful spirals and spins. But what are figure skates? And how do they differ from other types of ice skates?

Figure skates are designed for the kind of intricate footwork and jumps that are the hallmark of competitive figure skating.

A figure skate blade is longer and thinner than those on ice hockey skates or recreational skates, which helps skaters achieve the fast speeds and quick turns required for difficult tricks.

The blades are also sharpened differently so it is important that you get your figure skates sharpened by a professional. A professional figure skater may get his or her skates sharpened every two weeks or less and the laces changed out each time too.

In addition to their longer, thinner blades, figure skates also have a distinctive boot design. The boots are higher than hockey boots or recreational skating boots, which gives skaters more ankle support for jumps and twists.

One thing that even recreational figure skates have is a toe pick. The toe pick on figure skates is necessary for stopping, jumping, and spinning. The picks is at the front of the blade. Skates use the toe pick to dig into the ice when taking off from a jump or performing a spin.

Figure skater also use the pick for making special turns while skating. To make a turn, the skater will use the outside edge of their blade and dig the toe pick into the ice to slow down and change direction. 

Toe picks are an essential part of figure skating and without them, many of the jumps and spins we love to watch are not possible.

The most popular brands of figure skates include Jackson Ultima, Edea and Riesport.

Speed Skates

speed skates

Speed skating is a popular sport in many parts of the world, especially in colder climates where there is more access to frozen bodies of water. Both short track speed skating and its sister, long track speed skating, use racing skates.

Speed skates are a type of ice skate that is designed for speed and racing for speed skating.

The length of the blade is much longer than for figure or hockey skates. This helps the speed skater glide quickly across the ice.

Speed skates have a short boot that just covers the ankles. These boots look almost like an athletic shoe when you put them side by side with hockey skates.

Speed skates ar emade with leather or synthetic materials and are snug-fitting to provide support and stability while skating. The other thing about speed skates is how they fasten. While most types of skates use regular laces, speed skates may use a wrap around velcro or clip fastening only or a combination of clip and laces.

Bont is the most popular brand of speed skate boots.

Hockey Skates

hockey skates picture

Hockey skates are a type of ice skate specifically designed for playing hockey.

They are typically made with a shorter, curved blade so that the hockey players can perform tight turns.

Unlike a figure skate’s blade, there is no toe pick on a hockey skate but the stainless steel blades have a rocker or curve that makes them feel very different from figure skates.

Hockey skates also have a stiffer boot to provide more support and stability when skating on the ice.

Many people use hockey skates for their first ice skates as they are available in many different price points and styles.

CCM and Bauer are the top brands of hockey skates.

Ice dance skates

Dance is one discipline in the sport of figure skating. Ice dancing is a sport that combines elements of both figure skating and ballroom dancing

Ice dance skates are a type of figure skate specifically for ice dancing.

They have a shorter blade than traditional figure skates, and they also have a special toe pick to enable dancers to be able to execute specific moves.

The boot is typically a little lower than a traditional figure skate to enable more flexibility in the ankles.

It is one of the most difficult disciplines in figure skating, as it requires athletes to have exceptional control over their movements.

How to find the right ice skate for you

There are different types of ice skates available on the market, and it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Here are a few things to consider when choosing an ice skate:

-The type of skating you will be doing (hockey, figure skating, etc.)

-Your skill level (beginner, intermediate, advanced)

-Your budget

Once you have considered these factors, you can narrow down your choices and find the perfect ice skate for you.

  • Fit
  • Blade type

Different Types Of Ice Skates FAQS

What Ice Skates are best for beginners?

One of the most important things to consider when you are choosing new skates is what you will be working on.

For example, while most beginner ice skates do not have a toe pick, a figure skate may be your best choice if you hope to go into figure skating when you become an advanced skater.

One the other hand, many recreational skaters decide to start with recreational hockey skates as they are good for new skaters. As there is no toe pick, it is one less thing to worry about when you are first starting out on the ice.

The truth is, it is all a matter of personal preference. Personally, I started out in hockey skates but I found recreational figure skates easier as the long blade provided more surface area on the ice. The curved blade of hockey skates makes it tricky for some skaters. 

How much do ice skates cost?

You can typically find good used recreational ice skates for young skaters for under $100. Beginner skates are often easy to find in second hand skate stores or on Facebook marketplace.

As your skater gets to higher levels in their sport, the price point for the best skates will increase dramatically. Good hockey skates for a goalie can reach close to $1000!

On the other hand, in both the sports of speed skating and figure skating, you may need to buy your blades and boots separately once you reach advanced levels. A good pair of figure skates will cost around $300 while skates for Olympic skaters may be in the thousands of dollars.

different types if ice skate explained