When you are skating on ice, it is crucial to know how to stop properly so that you won’t hurt yourself. There are a few different ways to do this, and the best way depends on your skills and style.
In this detailed guide on how to stop on ice skates, we will show you 7 techniques. Read on to find the instructions for each, as well as other handy tips.
- 6 Ways to Stop on Recreational Ice Skates for Beginners
- Tips to Get Better at Stopping on Skates
- Frequently Asked Questions
6 Ways to Stop on Recreational Ice Skates for Beginners
You have a couple of options when it comes to braking on ice skates. Some will be more difficult to master than others. In the section below, we will go through seven ice skating techniques for stopping.
Stopping way 1. The snowplow technique
The snowplow stop ice skating technique is one of the most common approaches for new ice skaters. You can do it with one foot or both.
1. While you’re skating, slightly bend your knees to lower your center of gravity. Then slowly spread your legs as wide as your shoulders.
2. Then, dig the flat part of your skates while shifting your feet to form an upside-down V to create resistance. This resistance is what will pull you to a stop.
Note: Besides stopping on ice skates, you can also use this to stop on roller skates outdoors.
Stopping way 2. The T-stop technique
Many skaters vouch that this is the easiest way to stop while ice skating. Here is how you can do it:
1. Make sure that you are leaning back slightly but still keeping your shoulders straight. Your hips should also be facing the direction you’re going. Otherwise, your body will pivot around when performing this technique.
2. As you’re skating forward, drag your dominant foot behind the other so that the two form a 45 degree angle. Drag it with just enough pressure to create friction, which will slow you down.
For this technique to work, there’s no need to shift the back foot aggressively. Doing so will only make it easier for you to lose your balance.
3. Add to the friction by shifting your weight and leaning back a bit. However, do not overdo the gesture or shift your weight to the back foot, as you’ll tumble backward.
Count on the friction to bring you to a complete stop.
Stopping way 3. The hockey stop technique
This is a slightly more difficult way to stop when ice skating, but it is particularly effective for stopping on ice skates going at high speeds. It is also more graceful-looking than other ways to stop when skating fast.
1. Start by bending your knees, but not all the way down. Ensure they are still spaced about shoulder-width apart.
While you’re at it, bend your hip slightly so that you’ll be leaning forward. The key to pulling off this technique is to never lean back.
2. Twist your dominant foot so that the toes will be pointing inward. To put it simply, imagine you’re doing the snow plow technique, but you only need to shift one foot instead of two.
3. Shift the other foot so that it’ll be parallel to your dominant foot. Your weight should be put mostly on the drifting foot.
4. Scrape into the ice slowly to create friction, slowing you down. Eventually, you will be able to pull to a standstill.
Note: To make sure you remain stable and balanced, keep your head up and your body low.
Stopping way 4. The tango stop technique
1. As you are gliding, bring your back foot to the front. At this point, the two feet should form into a near 90-degree angle
2. At the same time, press down your knees and ankles.
3. Also, apply downward pressure to the outside edges of your skates to stop.
4. End with outstretched arms on either side.
Stopping way 5. The eagle stop technique
You can progress into this stopping method from the T-Stop above. However, the tricky thing is that you must be comfortable pulling the T-stop with either foot. As such, this technique can be rather challenging, even for veteran skaters.
1. Push your heels forward with your toes pointing slightly outward. At the same time, lower your center of gravity.
2. Bend your knees, extend your arms, and push the chest out so that your posture is like sitting.
3. At the standstill, your feet should resemble a V.
Stopping way 6. The penguin stop technique
1. First, get into the right posture by bending your knees, keeping your head and shoulders straight, and looking straight ahead.
2. Essentially, what you want to do is swing your skate back, then kick it to the front onto its outside edge to stop.
3. Make sure that you place most of your weight on the outside edge that is coming into contact with the ice.
Tips to Get Better at Stopping on Skates
- Workout off-ice
Ice skating, in general, and stopping on skates in particular, rely on strong muscles and stamina. So, it is important that you work out off-ice to maintain your fitness. Strengthen your muscles and improve your stamina with exercises and other sports.
- Practice regularly with drills
Doing drills is a great way to practice stopping on ice skates. There are plenty of readily available resources online that you can search for. Video tutorials are the best options.
Some drills that we suggest are drills that help you familiarize yourself with the inner and outer edges of your skates. In addition, don’t overlook drills that nail the shifting and dropping of your weight when necessary.
- Keep a progress journal
A progress journal can help you keep track of what you can and cannot do. As such, it will let you know what you can set aside and what you need to spend more time practicing.
When looking at your improvements over time, you will be fueled with motivation to become better and better as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I break in ice skates fast?
- There are a few different things you can do. Consider:
- Putting them on and walking them while you are at home.
- Applying heat to them with a hair dryer.
- Baking them in the oven for a couple of minutes at 80℉. Be careful with this method, though, as some ice skates are sensitive to high temperatures.
- Putting a weight (15 to 20 pounds) on the skate arch.
- Rubbing them thoroughly with some mink oil.
What are some important hockey stopping tips I should keep in mind?
- While it is tempting, do not look down at your feet. Keep your head up and look ahead.
- Turn your hip as you turn your skates.
- Scrape the ice but do not dig down into it. Otherwise, your edge will lodge into the ice, and you will faceplant as a result.
- Practice with one direction first, master it, then try the other direction.
What are some ice skating tips for intermediate skaters I should take note of?
- Never forget to warm up – Spend 10 to 15 minutes warming up before you hit the ice, as well as during breaks. This ensures that your body is ready for the rigors of skating.
- Learn to fall correctly – This entails bending your knees, leaning sideways, and falling on your hips.
- Pay attention to your posture – Make sure you bend the knees, arch forward slightly, align your feet under the shoulders, and look up not down.
How to stop on ice skates hockey?
Apply the “Hockey Stop” technique we went over above. But note that you need to be completely comfortable using this to stop on the dime.
There are several variations of the Hockey Stop that you can use, too, such as the Wide Hockey Stop and the Side Hockey Stop.
We have shown you how to stop on ice skates. Now, it is up to you to practice diligently and master the techniques. Remember, practice makes perfect! Do not give up until you are entirely comfortable with braking on your skates. In order to have a safe and fun time on the ice, this is a skill you must have.
Do you have any other tips and tricks? Share with us (and other skaters) in the comments. Also, leave any questions you have. We will try to comment back right away.
Harrison is a skating enthusiast who picked up the sport during her student exchange years in Canada. She has been a skating coach for children and teens for 3 years and now holds classes as a freelancer. Harrison entwines her experience leading skating classes in the content published on Cora to help readers fall in love with skating, just like she did.