I always thought figure skating was kind of an interesting sport, and I swam and played volleyball and rugby in high school, so I'm 19 now, and decided to finally give skating a try over the summer, since my schedule/social life is kind of dead. I haven't gotten any lessons, but I've been watching a lot of tutorial videos online and got myself out to a rec center rink twice this past week. I can skate their public drop-in from 9am-5pm payng $7.00 for the facility if I don't use a coach; but if I do get one, the skating club charges about $12.00/15 min. session which seems kind of outrageous given it would cost me more to pay a coach for a couple hours of time than my volleyball fees for a club team season. I know it's an expensive sport, but I'm not ready for that commitment yet. My question is if it's worth it now to inquire about joining a club/finding a coach or getting private lessons. I think from what I've seen of them; I would be wasting my money with a Adult LTS class; but I could be wrong about that.
I was there for about two and a half hours on my first session and got over a lot of the mental fears I had and got forwards/backwards skating down to the point where I could do both with some speed and confidence. The only stop I can do is the heel stop (I don't know what that's called, but it's when I'm pushing the heel of my leading foot forward going sideways? It scrapes up a bit of ice on the end?) but it does work for stopping before hitting the boards.
I could also do backwards swizzles (i think that's what they're called? It's the first part of a crossover before you make the x?) faster than just skating normally backwards, but I don't know what to do with that other than it makes a cool pattern on fresh ice.
Changing directions (from going backwards to forwards) is kind of difficult because what I'm doing for now is gliding forward until I slow down a little bit, and then going up on the toe picks to flip over to the other direction. I know that's probably not "right", but I did have the rink to myself for an hour and wasn't really embarrassed to try something from YouTube, either. No falls/accidents from that, at least!
The next time I went back, I tried some two-foot jumps (just jumping over hockey lines going forward and backward) to see if I could do them and those weren't too hard. I fell a bunch of times, but not badly. Also tried gliding on one foot with the other leg straight, about knee high in front of me/behind me, following the pattern of the hockey circles, and could stay on the curve for about half the circle on each foot.
I'm still stuck on backwards crossovers (I think it's a weird mental thing, because I can't get my foot to make the x without falling) but I can do forwards crossovers somewhat. I also haven't tried changing directions just on one foot, but the next time I'm at the rink, I definitely want to. Any tips there (or how to do a two-foot spin? I've seen the one where you balance on the back of one blade and front of the other...not sure I culd do that yet)?
I have stock/rental boots with mounted blades purchased from the thrift shop for $10.00. Zero ankle support, but tying the laces tightly and wearing socks fixes that. I'm not even doing jumps yet, so I don't think that matters too much? There's no brand I can tell from the boots but there's not any rust on the blades and they feel pretty sharp after getting them sharpened in the sharpening machine. I know that's not good, but I'm not exactly competitive, either, and I don't know whether I'd be interested in adult/rec competitions at all yet I'm enjoying skating so far because I think it's relaxing. The rink is empty if I go between 10 in the morning and about 1 in the afternoon, and I only pay the drop-in rate to stay all day if I wanted, so it's a fairly cheap way to beat the heat, too.
So, experienced adult skaters/coaches on this forum, do you think I need to invest in classes/coaching yet- or should I wait until I have the crossovers/simple jump/spin? What level would I be at if I did? Are the Adult competitions worth it if I did continue skating?