It is never too late. USFS has an adult program that now includes young adult. There is a testing structure and events here and when you are older, all over the world. The devil himself showed up to award us our medals in Oberstdorf two weeks ago. One of the greatest attribute of skating is it is a lifelong activity! I know many who started in their twenties and have all their doubles and perform level 4 spins. BTW I started at 43 and skate pairs and free and am as fit as I was at twenty five (now 53)
Congrats on getting started skating. If it makes you feel better, I'm at least 25 years older than you and I started skating about 18 months ago. I'm taking lessons and learning very basic moves but I'm so glad I did it. Better to start late than not start at all. And if you stick with it long enough, you never know what might be in your future in terms of competing as an Adult. If you want to try pairs or dance, there may be an Adult male skater who wants to try it too. Or as your skills improve, you may be ready to partner with someone a little more experienced. Good luck and keep at it.
Regarding skates, I have a nice pair of Riedells that were around $150 on sale. If I get to the point of doing any jumps, may want to trade up eventually, but for an advanced beginner they're great.
Hi all, just thought I'd give you all a quick update, since you've all been so kind with advice I'm finishing up my first two-month semester on Thursday and have signed up for one more of group lessons (although the class sizes are ridiculously small and we keep losing students so it's practically semi-private lessons now). Currently learning to hold an edge on a circle, make figure-eight-style turns on one foot and on two feet, and work on simple two-foot spins.
My instructor sent me to a skate shop with an owner whose expertise she swears by so that I can finally ditch the horrid blue plastic rentals. Sounded simple enough, and since I know very little about skates, I took her word and trusted the guy. Came home today with a pair of Jackson Freestyles, which the skate guy says he puts most non-competitive adults in but which my instructor was a little surprised to hear and says they might be a bit too high-level for me. Am currently panicking that I've made a huge mistake- any reassurances? Or did I really blow it? Thanks.
Don't panic. Adults often need boots that are indicated for a higher level than we are. There's a simple reason for this: we're heavier.
Originally Posted by bwayrose7
Example: I'm in Elites, which are rated for doubles. I'm working on my Lutz. They're the perfect support for me.
I first set foot on ice at 24 and fell instantly in love. Quit two years later and am just now getting back into it at 34. I used to dream of pair skating but it seemed impossible to find adult women interested in pairs so I never did (actually I did try briefly with someone, but differences in age, skill, and seriousness made it a short-lived experience). I think potential partners are out there if you're able/willing to relocate at least. But I'm happy working on single freestyle now, trying to get my skills back up and hopefully beyond where I was before!
Regarding the skates - I think you'll be just fine. Just give them time to break in. I went with high-level boots and blades from the beginning and have no regrets.
I'm new to this forum but I saw this and immediately related to it. I'm 18 and I just started skating at the beginning of this month. I've done ballet for my whole life, but about 3 years ago I started dating my current boyfriend who was a competitive pairs skater. I've become closely acquainted with many of the skaters at his rink and some have even become good friends. I would go to all the shows and I would buy the icenetwork year subscription to watch them at competitions. My boyfriend quit skating at the beginning of the summer so that he could focus on school, but I decided I wanted to learn how to skate. I have had 3 lessons so far and I've been attending some of the public skate sessions so that I could work on catching up with some of the others in my class. Basically, I take an Adult Basic Skills class and there are about 6 of us who are all at different levels of skating. There are two other girls around my age. At the beginning of my lessons three weeks ago, all I could do was skate forward and balance on one foot. As of today, I have accomplished forward crossovers, backwards skating and crossovers, inside and outside edges on a figure 8, attitudes, pivots, and I've begun learning the basic two foot spin as well as 3-turns. I can also make a good attempt at spirals. I feel overwhelmed with the amount that I've learned in such a short amount of time and I am so excited! Currently I am skating in SP Teri skates that are two sizes too big as I wait for my Jackson Freestyles to come in (they were on backorder :( ). I get awful blisters and today after I took off my skates my ankle was bleeding, but I am still always so excited to get out there and skate. I absolutely love it. I'm hoping to learn ice dance, but if not I've been told I'd make a great pairs partner because of my size haha I guess we'll see!
Anyway, I'm super inspired to see all of these posts by late starters. It feels great to know I'm not alone!
How has it been going, btw? Have you been skating?
I started skating aged 42!
Wicked Yankee Girl
My first time ice skating was last July 2014 at age 26. I really admired figure skaters before (when i was 14-ish) and wanted to try skating for myself. Unfortunately, my parents told me that it was an expensive sport and there you have it, i wasn't able to start younger. Sadly the rink closed down only to open again this 2014. I said to my self "THIS IS MY MOMENT!" I tried skating and boy was I immediately in love with it (though my first step on the ice was b*tt shattering :D)... I used to go skating with friends but later on i started going alone (expensive ice time says a friend). I even got my "recreational" skates hoping this urge to skate will die down in time... I was wrong... the more I skated, the more i wanted to properly learn. Then I just found myself buying my first "proper ice skating boot (Jackson Marquis)" and enlisting for lessons. I'm working myself now on Beta (ISI) and still having FUUUUN. I skate 2x a week usually weekends... then i spend the remaining days checking figureskating boots and items and reading lots of stuff about ice skating. :D
The rink is a 90km drive from where i'm staying at... but hey, there is no distance too great if you really love what your doing right? :P
I haven't been on here in a while but it's awesome to see all these stories from fellow late starters! Since the fall semester started, I haven't gotten to spend anywhere near as much time skating as I'd like, but I'm progressing slowly and steadily. My second session of adult skills group lessons was unfortunately a huge waste of time: the class was way too big and everyone but me was a first-time beginner, which meant I got almost no attention for learning new things. I've begun working with a coach one-on-one when I can, though, and it's much better. I'd say I'm around the same level as ariaskater, minus the spirals and backward crossovers.
I'm 34 and I just started taking lessons in May. I watched figure skating when I was younger and knew some friends that did it but never started doing it seriously until recently. I completed the Adult 1-6 levels in October and am currently in Free Skate 1 (back outside 3-turns, scratch spins, waltz jumps, half flips, etc.). I'm feeling pretty good about the waltz jump (I get a lot of height with it on the ice, though not nearly as much as on the floor) but have major issues with the scratch spin -- I kind of know the theory about it but it's hard to make my body listen and to be able to "feel" it. I've always been more of a "theoretical" sort of guy in that way.
I think it just depends on whether or not you're interested in learning to skate, regardless of your age. I don't think it's healthy to go into hobbies with the goal of being the best in the world at them, although seeing what the best in the world can do is a good motivator. Instead, I think it's better to do them with the goal of making yourself happy and finding fulfillment in doing something new. I started playing piano when I was 6 and never bothered trying to make a career of it (and I was never good at competitions -- too much nerves); but I still play piano now and enjoy it a lot, even learning new pieces on my own.
It'll depend a lot on your rink though I think, whether or not they cater to adults. I'm fortunate in that at my local rink, they have a relatively well-established adult program, probably because it's in a college town. There's a separate adult class (teaching the Adult 1-6 skills instead of the Basic 1-8 skills), and also an adult jump and spin class for those that have already completed the basic classes. The rink director said that it's basically because adults don't move through the skills at each level at the same pace, and there tends to be one or two skills that an adult gets stuck on even though the other skills at a given level are already there. So the adult class is tailored more toward each individual adult's individual skills, i.e. an adult could be working on the spin from Free Skate 3 while doing the jumps from Free Skate 5 for example. (I can see that I will have issues with spins -- it's taken me a long time to learn the two-foot and one-foot spins despite spending over half of my practice time on them, and the scratch spin will be my major hurdle for Free Skate 1. So conceivably I'll run into this issue soon and switch to the "Adult" instead of "Free Skate" track if it's the only thing holding me back.) They've kept the classes pretty small, so each class has generally had about 3-6 students.
It's unfortunate that you ran into a group class that wasn't helpful because there were too many beginner students. Hopefully the rink director will make adjustments to how the classes are split depending on enrollment (which my local rink does) and that it'll correct itself at the next enrollment session when some of those beginning skaters move up. Additionally, one thing you can do if you know the other skating students is to have private lessons where the coach teaches two people. This way you can split the cost of private lessons and it may even be competitive with the cost of group lessons. At my rink, a half-hour group lesson is $17.50 while coaches generally ask for $25-30 for half an hour, so two people splitting up the cost of a private coach is pretty decent.
Speaking of which, I guess the other issue may be the cost of ice skating, since ice skating rinks are expensive to run after all. It will depend I guess on how much disposable income you have and what you think is worthwhile to spend on an entertainment or hobby. For me, $17.50 for a half-hour lesson doesn't sound that bad when I know my piano lessons were $60 for an hour growing up -- and this was almost 20 years ago. Also a two-hour public skating session for practicing basically costs $6 which is about the price of a movie -- and I would rather work on stuff that I enjoy and have fun learning rather than sitting through somebody else's story for two hours.
One of the things about learning to ice skate relatively late and being an "outsider" to the sport is that I have a different viewpoint on what would be fun or interesting to do in figure skating. It seems like the current trend is toward more revolutions in the six established jumps (toe loop, salchow, loop, flip, lutz, axel), but there's a lot of jumps that I want to do in ice skating that aren't so common (I'm into the jumps aspect of the sport). For example, I'd like to do the scissor leap (such as here) which I can do on the floor but haven't tried putting on the ice yet. I also want to try to put a splits into my waltz jump, once my waltz jump on the ice has close to the height of on the floor. My dream is to eventually do a butterfly spin with a butterfly twist entrance but I know that might just be a pipe dream (I haven't tried putting it on the floor for years) -- and I'm still having trouble with the basic scratch spin right now. But those goals and working toward them are part of what makes taking up a hobby interesting. I'm glad that USFSA is now putting more resources into developing the adult program, even if we'll never make the Olympics or anything like that.
Last edited by Vanshilar; 11-12-2014 at 07:35 PM.