5-Year Old First Time Ice Skating

Updated on December 28, 2010
D.J. asks from Honesdale, PA
17 answers

Hi there..my five-year old son would like to try ice skaing this winter. He's never roller or ice skated before. He's got some good balance on a scooter and just started trying out a skateboard. Can anyone give me some advice - single or double blades? I'm planning to get real ice skates vs the over-the-shoe type, but don't know about the number of blades. Also, has anyone had an experience with the adjustable sized ones? Any advice would be appreciated. I must add..after receiving many responses to rent skates, that's not an option for me. We live nowhere near a rink so we would be taking him out on the pond on our property.

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answers from New York on

My son started skating at 2 with regular blades holding on to a traffic cone.
The cone was the right size for a little boy and it slid along on the ice. Hes 10 now and a great skater. No cone necessary.



answers from New York on

I didn't read through the responses, but I know a kids' instructor. One thing she mentioned to me is for the child to have a hocket helmet, the type with the cage over the face. She said she has seen too many accidents where the child falls forward and smacks their face off the ice. I thought that was a good recommendation. Good luck and have fun!

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answers from Santa Fe on

My son started when he was 4 and got good at it quickly! He loved it! He wanted to go all the time and all that practice is why he became good at it. Now he is 6 and just loves ice skating. We always used regular single blade hockey skates. He always wears long ski socks as well as snow pants over his pants and mittens to help with falling. When he first started out he wore knee pads which really helped! You can have your son hold your hand at first or onto something he can push on the ice like a walker. Have fun!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Why buy until you see if he even likes it?
I've heard it said that hockey skates are a bit better than figure skates.
He can also wear a helmet (bike helmet is fine) until he finds his "legs" on the ice.


answers from Columbus on

I would go for the single blades. My son learned on a single blade at 5, so he wouldn't have to adjust to a single blade at a later date, and he did fine.



answers from Minneapolis on

Yes, rent first. At 5 my daughter tried it once, by 6 she was ready to go more often and we bought used skates. The rink we go to has "chairs" to rent that the kids can hang on to, push around the ice, and learn on their own. They are fun!



answers from New York on

Double blades? Ick. No one uses them with any sense uses them. We put my daughter on single blades at 2. A 5 year old will manage fine as long as the ankles are well supported in the skates and the boot fits snugly. Since his foot will be growing you should be able to get a relatively inexpensive, but somewhat stiff boot with blade combo for not too much money. You might also try Craig's list and ebay. There are always tons of pairs of skates available.



answers from Detroit on

I would find a rink where maybe they are giving lessons and have skates to rent. You can rent the skates and let him take a few lessons, then decide if it is something he wants to stick with (maybe eventually he'll want to play hockey) before investing in buying skates. The coach should also be able to tell you what they recommend for blades.



answers from Seattle on

By "single or double" do you mean hockey v figure skates? Or has some insane company actually put 2 freakin blades on a pair of boots? If so SINGLE blades. If hockey v figure... EITHER is just fine. The both require a different skill set but he won't have either yet, so whatever you buy will be what he learns.

Bauer & Riedell are the 2 brands to buy.



answers from Orlando on

My daughter started ice skating when she was 4 1/2. I would suggest NOT buying ice skates at all until you know he wants to stick with it. They are expensive!! I would rent them at the ice skating rink! After I knew she loved it I bought the regular single blades.


answers from Chicago on

I took my 5 yr old for the first time in October. It was rough. She couldn't really stand up on her own and she doesn't even have a problem with balancing. She had single blade skates. My uncle is a hockey player so it was really nice that he was along to help her skate because I cannot ice skate either! He had to help her the whole time we were there. We have not gone since, but are planning on going again soon for more practice. Good luck!



answers from New York on

Single blades definitely! He is old enough to learn correctly. I started my youngest on singles when she was 3 ...just remember to wear lots of layers, snowpants and warm gloves since he will be on the floor quite a bit! Consignment and 2nd-hand shops are full of things like skates which kids can only wear for one season before they grow out of them.
Have fun!


answers from Philadelphia on

The ice rink near me offered group skating lessons every saturday or sunday afternoon. They call it the learnt o skate program. They start first with helmets and snow plow Sam skill level, and move up as they go. My daughter has since graduated from the group lessons and is now taking private lessons twice a week and competing. It is a great sport for the kids to get into.
The learn to skate program usually includes the lesson, open ice time, and skate rental. After the first session, if he wants to continue, I would then get him skates, as the rental skates tend to have a duller blade and as they learn new things they need sharper blades.
They also offer learn to skate for hockey as well.

Hope it helps!



answers from Toledo on

my son was 4 when he first started lessons, and he used just single blades and did just fine- he looves it too!



answers from Santa Barbara on

My daughter was a competitive ice skater. I agree with the other moms and find a rink where you can get some lessons (maybe an eight week class) and use rental skates. Skates can be very expensive then you have to add in blade guards and a bag. Have fun!!



answers from San Francisco on

Single blade and rent a couple of times (but not hockey skates), IMHO.
Also, if you can go to a rink where they will let them take a chair on the ice to push the first couple of times, that would be good for him to learn to balance forward. Go mid week when it won't be crowded hopefully.


answers from Pittsburgh on

A single blade should be fine. Ice skates are a lot easier to stand on than roller skates, so balance shouldn't be too much of an issue.

Next question: Roller Skates or Roller Blades?