No matter what your age, skating is a great way to get exercise and have fun. But if you’re new to the sport, you may be wondering how much it will cost to get started and you probably want to know the answer to the question “Is ice skating expensive?”.
This is a question that many people ask. The answer depends on a few factors. The first factor is the level of skater we are talking about. As with most sports, skating gets progressively more expensive the more advanced you are. Elite figure skaters spend a lot more on their sport than a 5 year old in a learn to skate program.
Next is the cost of ice skating equipment – obviously ice skaters need skates but they also need other gear that can cost a lot of money too.
The next factor is the cost of ice time. One reason why ice skating is an expensive thought is because you need ice in order to participate. Depending on where you live, this can be extremely expensive.
The last factor to consider is the cost of lessons and coaching. While young skaters may have group lessons, elite skaters need private coaching sessions with the top coaches out there. This all adds up.
Let’s dive deep into this and see exactly how much money ice skaters spend on their sport.
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How Expensive Is Ice Skating?
Most of us have heard that skating is an expensive sport but you let’s take a look at how much it costs the average person to skate versus serious skaters with Olympic dreams.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest expenses associated with ice skating, as well as some tips for how to save money.
The most important thing that any skater needs is a good pair of skates.
A good pair of recreational skates can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 but many recreational skaters can get by with second-hand skates or even rentals from the ice rink.
At the highest levels, figure skaters may get their skates comped so that they can “promote” the skate brand. Which becomes a saving, but, that takes a certain level of attainment in the skating world.
The skates you see skaters wearing at the higher level are usually not “off the shelf”.
They are often customized to the skaters needs which includes stiffness, orthotics and fit. That adds money to the pricer you pay.
But, if your skates aren’t right, then nothing else matters: that’s one thing that you can’t “cheap out” on.
The other thing to consider is the blade. Most skaters from the intermediate level and up have to purchase the boot and the blade separately.
This means they have to pay for each part on its own plus a proper professional blade mount.
Advanced level figure skates can cost $2,000 + on boot, blades and mounting all in. Sharpening every two weeks will then cost $15-20 a time.
Hockey skates cost around the same with a recreational house league pair costing around $100-200 and the costs rising from there.
Competitive skaters at most clubs can expect to pay around $1000 for their skates. Younger skaters who are learning jumps can wear skates with less stiffness that cost around $300.
Depending on the skater, you might need more than one pair of boots a year. This is because boots can break down with time and a lot of jumping.
If you’re lucky, you can move up the blades to save some money.
It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about ice hockey or figure skating – the number one expense for these winter sports is without a doubt the ice. Very few, if any, people have year round access to a free outdoor rink or frozen pond so that means paying for refrigerated ice.
While you can skate on a public session for under $5, private ice typically costs around $300-500 an hour. Of course, in most cases this is shared by all the skaters on the ice during 45-minute practice sessions at a skating club.
For the most part, intermediate skaters pay on average $300-500 a month for ice time, that may or may not include coaches fees.
At the elite level most skaters only take private lessons with top tier coaches. This means that they might be paying $100+ per hour for private skating lessons. You also need to factor in the costs of supplemental coaches who support Olympic skaters with jump training, off ice training and choreography.
Even at the club level, private coaches can eat up a lot of the budget. Most private coaching fees range from around $50-85 per hour depending on the qualifications of the coach and the skill level of the skater.
To offset costs, group lessons are popular where the coaching fees are shared between a few skaters on the same session.
One of the most fun parts of figure skating is the option to take part in competitions. Of course, these can also be a significant investment for skaters’ families. Competition fees can often be around $100 and up per competition (a lot more for national level competitions).
You also need to factor in travel costs for the skater and their family. A lot of people also don’t realize that the coach’s travel expenses are covered by the skaters themselves. In most countries skating federations will assist with costs for competitions where the skater is representing their region of country, for example, at the Winter Olympics,
When you think about the costs involved in competitions, don’t forget about the dazzling competition dresses too!
Costumes and Dresses
Figure skating is one of the most glamorous sports thanks to the elaborate costumes that skaters wear. While recreational figure skaters can often buy a pretty costume second-hand or new for around $200, this all changes with top level skaters.
Most skaters who compete in the elite levels pay high-end designers to make handmade outfits that match their different programs. These can cost easily $1000 per outfit and two will be required per season.
Other Costs of Skating
Other expenses to factor in when you think about figure skating are extras such as ballet lessons, regular physical therapy sessions, gas money to get to and from the rink and even parking and food at competitions. It all adds up for sure!
So What Is The True Cost Of Figure Skating?
According to an article by the CBC, the average cost of figure skating in Canada is around $10,000 per year. This cost doesn’t taken into account the long hours spent travelling to and from the skating rink and of course, the amount of time spent on the ice!
Nevertheless, skating is still one of the most popular sports for children and many parents want their children to learn to skate too.
3 Ways To Save Money On Skating
For most people, the answer is yes, ice skating is expensive.
That doesn’t mean that it is unattainable for most people. With a few tricks, you can definitely save money on your skating dreams.
Here are some ways to save money on skating:
1. Look for free outdoor rinks. Many cities and towns have free outdoor skating rinks in the winter that are open to the public. This is a great option if you don’t want to spend money on admission or skate rental.
2. Buy used skates. If you’re planning on skating regularly, it may be worth investing in your own pair of skates. You can often find used skates at sporting goods stores or online for a fraction of the price of new skates.
3. Opt for group lessons. If you do want to learn to skate, group sessions will be much more affordable.