Like taking up a new language or learning how to play an instrument, it’s best to start young in sports. This is also the case for ice skating—the sooner you begin, the more likely you can become a pro at the sport.
Then, how old do you have to be to ice skate? Like other sports, ice skating has different levels suited to various age groups. If you’re taking up it for fun, you only need to be 7 or older. However, those hoping to claim a place in the Olympics would need to start by the age of 3.
What Age to Start Ice Skating
Though learning to ice skate requires immense training, physical conditioning, and mental sharpness, it doesn’t exclude anyone from learning it. However, age requirements can impact your likelihood of mastering certain ice skating levels.
1. Ice Skating for Fun
Generally, ice skating as a hobby or recreation begins as early as the child engages with it. 7 to 14 is a good age range to start, since these kids are usually old enough to be confident on the ice rink and have a good sense of balance.
What about the older ones? Is there an age limit for adults when it comes to skating for fun? No. Adults as old as their 80s might still be able to skate, provided that they have enough physical strength and flexibility for the activity.
2. For Olympic Level
If you want your kids to be on the roster for high-ranked tournaments like the Olympics, they need to start as young as 3 or 4 years old.
Typically, the best age range to prepare for the Olympics is 4–6 years old, as these kids tend to take to the ice the quickest. However, kids this young are also more likely to get scared.
Although beginner skaters aged 7-10 are less likely to be good enough for the Olympics, there’s still hope for them. To name an example, Gracie Gold – an Olympic bronze medalist – only started skating when she was 9.
3. Figure Skating
How old should a skater be to start figure skating? The majority of expert-level figure skaters begin at a minimum age of 3 to 5, which gives them plenty of time to prepare for professional competition by the age of 11.
Again, children aged 6 to 12 can also quickly build a solid foundation and master demanding techniques. With enough practice and proper guidance, they can participate in competitions as well.
Criteria for Toddlers to Start Ice Skating Lessons
- The child must exhibit attentiveness to instructors.
- They should have flexibility and physical strength.
- The child should already be able to walk.
- You shouldn’t see the kid crying or throwing tantrums and showing separation anxiety in the rink the whole time.
- The kid should already know how to balance.
Generally, ice skating has no age restrictions. However, those who start young likely have the edge in the learning curve or a more competitive setup.
So, how old do you have to be to ice skate? If for a prospective career, it’s best to start young. Or if for some other non-competitive reasons, there’s no age limit, as long as you’re fit to do it.
Our performances might differ in intensity or proficiency. But remember, we all started from the same ground.
Born in 1990, Rice is a skating expert who fell in love with it as a sport and recreational activity at the age of 9. He does inline skating as well as roller skating. Throughout the years, Rice has built up an impressive collection of skating gear and honed the essential know-how. During the pandemic, when he was kept from hitting the skate park, Rice founded Cora with his roommate Gibson to share his skating knowledge and experience. The goal is to make skating more accessible to everyone, regardless of gender, age, and ethnicity.