Must Have Tips on Local Skating Rinks And Staying Safe

Skating rinks in the Hamilton & Niagara area a great way to enjoy the winter season!

Nothing says winter like a nice long ice skate, followed by hot chocolate and marshmallows. It’s quintessentially Canadian, what with our love for hockey and winter sports.

It’s also great exercise, even if you’re not particularly good at it! (Just staying upright is work for many of us!)

Actually, this low impact exercise can help with your balance coordination, forcing you to use muscles to stay upright that you don’t use for walking, or even running, to say nothing of toning up those larger muscle groups in your legs and your core.

Gearing Up For A Winter Skate

What to wear: The key with staying warm without overheating while you’re skating is to leverage the power of layers. Leave the super size parka at home or in the car and opt for fleece and a wind breaking layer, if you’re at an outdoor rink. Even with an indoor rink, make sure you layer up and don’t forget gloves: if you fall, your hands will need some protection.

Buy good skates: Next, if you plan to go out on the ice more than once or twice a season, investing in a pair of skates is worthwhile: they’ll fit better and you’ll be more comfortable. Hockey skates are ideal as they are light and well built, instead of figure skates. If you’re buying used, make sure you have the blades sharpened before you head out. Dull blades are actually harder, and more dangerous, to skate with.

Protect your head: Finally, a helmet, particularly for a new skater, is a good idea. If you fall backwards, you run the risk of hitting your head on the ice. A hockey helmet will do the trick, whether or not you ever plan to play the game. If you’re planning on taking skating lessons, a CSA approved helmet designed for skating will be required.

Safety For A Winter Skate

Lessons are a great idea for kids and adults who are new to the sport. There are safer ways of falling that will minimize the chance of injury, which you can learn in a lesson.

Also, you can get to a point of being proficient on the blades sooner, dragging your ankles on the ice less, if you take some lessons.

Skate in the same direction as everyone else at the rink and teach your kids to do the same. A lot of accidents happen when someone is goofing off going in all directions, getting in the way of other skaters.

If you’re skating on a pond or lake, you need to watch for ice safety. Popular natural skating areas will usually have a marked area where skating is allowed and has been deemed safe: stay within the markers! Ice needs to be at least four inches thick to be considered safe, so check in with locals who are maintaining the ice, before heading out.

Skating Options In The Hamilton Area

The Hamilton Waterfront Outdoor Rink Pier 8

This is a great spot for a skate, with rentals available if you need them! Usually open in December, you can check in on conditions online. Don’t forget to stop in at Williams Fresh Cafe for some coffee or a hot chocolate, right on the waterfront!

Wentworth Arenas

This is a great option if you want to get a group together for a skating birthday party or are interested in joining a hockey league.

Mountain Arena

With open skate times for individuals, adults, and families, check out the times and dates online and plan an outing. Helmets are required for kids 6 and under (and recommended for everyone else!). Other city run rinks and arenas?

For those closer to Burlington: you can search for public skating options here!

Skating is a great way to stay in shape and have some fun through the long winter months, so gear up and stay safe out on the ice!


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