Ice Skating Trainers
Have you ever wondered how your favorite figure skaters became so good at what they do? Odds are, at one point in time, they probably relied on ice skating trainers. While these may not be a necessity for every ice skater, they can be very helpful for skaters who are just beginning their ice skating journey. Below we will cover some of the more important things you should know about them.
Benefits of Ice Skating Trainers
In case it wasn’t already obvious, ice skating is a workout. Gliding across the ice requires the engagement of many muscles throughout the whole body, not just the legs and glutes. There’s also an untold amount of coordination and balance that is needed to move gracefully on ice skates. Naturally, these skills can take some time to acquire. This is where ice skating trainers come in. Ice skating trainers are tools to aid the skater who needs a little help staying on their feet as they make their way around the rink. There are a few different types, but they all have this overarching goal.
The reason ice skating trainers are so important is that they can prevent unnecessary injury. Of course, falling is an unavoidable part of the sport. When you’re moving so quickly across a smooth surface on bladed boots, you’re bound to take a tumble or two. Using a trainer in the early stages can eliminate some of the risks of falling while learning to ice skate.
Things To Consider
When looking for ice skating trainers, you'll want to consider the following:
- How much are you looking to spend on an ice skating trainer?
- What level of ice skater are you?
- What kind of ice skating trainer are you looking for?
- Where do you plan on using your ice skating trainer?
What are you looking for in an ice skating trainer?
- Balance assistance
- Removable functionality
- Natural feel
There are three main types of ice skating trainers that a potential buyer should be aware of. We will cover those types and what makes them unique below.
Clip-on trainers just attach to whatever pair of skates the wearer already has. They add some stability with legs on either side of the blade but still allow the skater some freedom to move around. Since they just go around an existing pair of skates, it’s pretty easy to find this type of trainer for skaters of all ages and sizes.
- Can work with any type of shoe
- Relatively inexpensive
- Easy to put on and remove
- Restricts some movement, like turns
- May not be the most secure
- Sizing meant for children
Training skates can have a few different forms, but this iteration is great for the beginner who wants to work on their balance. The legs on either side add some stability but are less restrictive than some other types of trainers. The boots are not included, so any skater can add the blades to whatever ice skating boots they already own.
- Can be attached to pre-owned ice skates
- Size and age inclusive
- Attach securely to skates
- May be less helpful than clip-on trainers
- Can be hard to turn in them
- May not work with certain blade types
This is the most popular style of ice skating trainers. A walker-style trainer can likely be found at almost any ice rink, but their height indicates they are mostly intended for children. Despite this, the design ensures some much-needed balance, stability, and space for the skater who isn’t yet confident in their ability.
- Very accessible (easy to find at most ice skating locations)
- Wide frame provides space from other skaters
- Handlebars increase confidence and stability
- Usually very short
- May be difficult to maneuver
- May not aid in development as much as other trainers
When it comes to ice skating training gear, we’ve got you covered on the brands you should know. Franklin, Skateez, and A&R are some of the best brands to look out for when buying ice skating trainers.
Franklin is known for their walker-style ice skating trainers. You can adjust the height on these trainers to accommodate a slightly taller learner, and they even feature a leash-like feature. The loop on the handlebars means that a teacher or more advanced skater can pull the trainer (and whoever is holding onto it) along.
This brand is a go-to for training skates that are akin to training wheels on a bike. They are similarly priced to Franklin’s walker-style trainers at $24.99 but much smaller and more reasonable for personal purchase/use. These trainers are lightweight, durable, and easy to attach. Coming in a couple of sizes, they make learning possible for both young and older beginners.
A&R has basically anything you could need for any ice skating sport; however, the options are much more limited when it comes to trainers. For about $20, you can get a pair of strap-on trainers that will attach to any shoe. Unfortunately, they only come in one size and are recommended for children between the ages of 2 and 5.
Which type of skating trainer is best for beginners?
This depends on a skater’s skill level and what their goals are. If someone is content to just move at their own pace across the ice, they may love the security that a walker-style trainer provides. Clip-on trainers may be better for the skater who wants more freedom than a walker-style trainer provides but hasn’t yet committed to wearing ice skates. Training skates are ideal for beginners who have some experience and are looking to advance.
How do you install clip-on ice skating trainers?
The method or process for installing clip-on ice skating trainers depends on the brand. Most, if not all, brands will have instructions on their website or included with the purchase of the trainers, so that’s the best bet for finding accurate directions. Generally speaking, most clip-on ice skating trainers wrap around the bottom of a shoe or ice skate to secure on the top with velcro or something similar.
How much do ice skating trainers cost?
Ice skating trainers are typically available for around $30 on average, no matter the type. Clip-on trainers are the least expensive, as they are generally aimed toward children and will cost about $20. Training skates, like the ones from Skateez, cost around $25. Lastly, walker-style trainers tend to be the most expensive and cost between $30-$40.