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7 top skating tips for visitors to Norwich Ice Rink

PUBLISHED: 09:01 15 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:01 15 December 2017

Norwich ice rink at Norwich Castle Gardens.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich ice rink at Norwich Castle Gardens. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

The Norwich Ice Rink officially opens today, but before you grab your skates, here are a few helpful tidbits that might make your first experience on the ice a little easier.

Norwich ice rink at Norwich Castle Gardens.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYNorwich ice rink at Norwich Castle Gardens. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

• Safety over style

While you may want to look glamorous while gliding over the ice, you need to remember that as with any other activity, you should try and dress appropriately. Casual clothing that lets you move freely is what you need here. Jeans are ok but be warned, they can become pretty uncomfortable if they get wet following a fall on the slippery surface. You should also make sure to bring thick, high socks to wear inside of your skates to prevent them from rubbing against your skin causing blisters, and whatever you do, don’t forget to take a pair of gloves with you!

• Size matters

Whether you’re borrowing hire skates or you have your own, it’s crucial you try and get the best fitting pair you can. If your skates are too big, you’re likely to fall or twist your ankle due to lack of support and if they’re too small you’re going to end up with very sore feet. Try a couple of pairs on to gauge the size and if needs be bring a couple of different pairs of socks with you to help pad them out. Once you’ve found the right size, make sure to do the skates up as tightly as possible, the tighter they are the less likely it is your ankles will be falling inwards the whole time you’re skating.

This year the ice rink will open on Friday, December 15 and run until Sunday 7 January, closing only on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.This year the ice rink will open on Friday, December 15 and run until Sunday 7 January, closing only on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.

• Perfect your posture

Proper posture is an important part of ice skating and finding your balance on those two thin blades can be especially difficult. To help you stay upright for as long as possible avoid leaning backwards, keep your torso upright, bend your knees slightly and if necessary put your arms out, one positioned straight ahead, the other slightly off to the side, to steady yourself.

• Don’t look down

It can be difficult to avoid the temptation to look down at your feet, especially if you’re feeling a little like Bambi when taking his first steps, but looking down can cause you all sorts of problems. For instance, letting your head drop or leaning forward can imperceptibly shift your weight, which is supposed to remain over the centre of the skates and this shift could ultimately result in you catching your toes and falling over.

• Follow the leader

At any ice rink you go to, there will always be an unwritten rule about which direction people should be skating in, be it clockwise or anti-clockwise. Take a look at what everyone else is doing, or if the rink is empty ask a member of staff just to be sure. This isn’t really the right place to break free from the pack and do your own thing.

• Don’t be afraid to fall

It happens to everyone at one point or another, but there are a few things to remember to ensure you don’t injure yourself during your tumble. Firstly, tuck in your hands, to avoid other skaters running them over and then manoeuvre yourself up on to rest on your knees. To safely get back up, raise one knee and push yourself up from this position.

• Have fun!

Enjoy your time on the ice and don’t take things too seriously. If you fall over, laugh it off, because I can promise you won’t be the only one.

• Norwich Ice Rink will be open from Friday, December 15 until Sunday, January 7. Tickets can be purchased in advance online from icerinknorwich.co.uk

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