New Adult Skater - ISI vs. Learn to Skate USA | Golden Skate

New Adult Skater - ISI vs. Learn to Skate USA


Dec 28, 2018
Hello all! I am a new adult skater, 39 year old woman. I just started taking lessons. I signed up for Adult 1 having never taken lessons before but was moved to Adult 2 (I guess my ballet training as a kid has helped, lol). We are now working on some Adult 3 skills (forward crossovers, backwards swizzles/pumps on the circle). There is one more lesson of Adult 2, and my question is about what I should do next. I have discovered that this rink offers classes through the Learn to Skate USA program, while a rink that's actually closer to my house and where I practice once or twice a week offers classes through the ISI program. It seems that they teach some different skills in different orders, which is a bit confusing. The director at my current program said ISI is taught less frequently. I am curious to hear everyone's thoughts on Learn to Skate vs. ISI for new adult skaters. Obviously I am not training for the Olympics - my goals are to eventually do some basic jumps and basic spins. Maaaaaaybe a low-level local adult skaters competition if I get good enough. Would training the ISI program be a terrible idea? There are more adult classes at that rink and it's closer to my house (and easier parking). Ultimately I think it comes down to what time the classes are so I can fit it into my schedule (I have a full time job and two young kids). Thanks for your thoughts!!!


Record Breaker
Oct 22, 2005
If you eventually would like to compete (or if you want to set US Adult Championships AKA Adult Nationals as a goal, even at the Bronze level), you are better off in the LTS USA program because it will feed into the Adult Testing program to get you there. It may seem like far away now, but it comes about quickly


Final Flight
Oct 31, 2020
For now you are probably good either way as the beginner programs are fairly equivalent (aka they have the same amount of deep rooted flaws in my opinion). However, far fewer skaters compete ISI so you will have a hard time finding competitions that are actually competitions, especially as an adult which already limits how many skaters you will be competing against.

It is important to note that the USFS programs (Learn to Skate) have much more protections for athletes under SkateSafe. A few coaches at my old ISI rink pretty much only coached there because the USFS no longer really welcomed them anymore. You will also have an easier time finding a good long term coach under Learn to Skate since USFS is objectively the better competitive option long term.

So if scheduling is really an issue, ISI is fine, but I really would recommend Learn to Skate if you can swing it.