HELENA — It's the most wonderful time of the year, to get out and go ice skating, of course!
However, if you're new to ice skating or haven't strapped on a pair in a long time, it can be a daunting task to go out and do on your own. MTN spoke with learn-to-skate instructor Crystal Ann Curry in Helena to get three tips and tricks to help you get out onto the ice safely.
"Bend your knees, bend your knees, bend your knees," said Curry with a laugh. "Just kidding."
Jokes aside, here are the three tips Curry recommends for new and beginner skaters.
1. Bend your knees (Okay, maybe Curry was being a little serious. She recommends maintaining what many would consider an athletic stance.)
2. Try to relax (If you're stiff as a board, you're going to topple. While you don't want to feel completely 'loosey goosey' it is important to take a deep breath and try to feel as comfortable as you can out on the ice.)
3. Keep your arms out to the side or in front of you (This tip serves two purposes. First, by having a wider reach your center of gravity will be more stable. The second, when you inevitably fall, you're able to keep yourself from hitting the ice too hard.)
These are just a couple of tips that Curry recommends for those strapping on a pair a skates for their first few times on the ice, but if you'd like to learn how to skate effectively and safely, she recommends taking lessons.
In some areas, ice skating isn't a year-round thing, but in places like the Helena Ice Arena that has ice in their rink year-round, Curry says it's a great way to stay active.
"It really is a lifetime sport," said Curry. "If you know how to skate in, you know, any capacity, whether it's knowing the basics or knowing more than the basics, you can hit a public session. You can hit a pond. You can hit an outdoor skate. We're open in the summertime, you can come in, in the summer, cool off, skate a little bit, get some exercise and be safe while you're doing it."
Learn to Skate programs are available all over the state in locales like: