Should I buy figure skates or hockey skates?

While the obvious response is "it depends on what kind of skating you want to do", in reality the beginner has to learn a set of basic skating skills, starting with balance, posture, stroking and stopping, and these can be learned on either type. However, if you consider the 4 points of balance, (Forward, backward, left and right) basic skills are learned more easily on a figure blade.

A hockey blade is like the rung on a rocking chair. In technical terms it is “highly rockered” meaning that you can lean all the way forward or backward with nothing to stop you. For this reason, beginners in hockey skates tend to skate hunched over with their arms extended to prevent a forward or backward fall. It requires proficiency at all 4 points of balance to achieve any consistent progress.

Figure skate blades have a toe pick and a tail. The toe picks on beginner figure skates are very small and usually do not present a problem, but they stop you from going too far forward on the blade, just as the tail prevents you from leaning too far back. This makes it easier to stand upright with solid core strength, and be able to utilize your left to right balance for inside and outside edges. You accomplish more of the fundamentals when you learn on figure skates, and often progress faster.

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