Skating again after a 10 year break | Golden Skate

Skating again after a 10 year break


Sep 22, 2021
Hello everyone! I used to do both ballet and figure skating as a child (3-9) but quit due to anger issues and problems with authority. Now that i’m older and can actually behave I began to miss figure skating a lot and sighed up for an adult beginner class. I’m particularly worried about progress as i get frustrated and angry with myself quite easily. I’ve seen a lot of posts online about how you’ll never make any real progress skill wise as an adult and it really makes me sad. I’ve kept a lot of my flexibility from ballet as I stayed in it longer and never really stopped using the exercises i’ve learned in those classes to just stay in shape.

I know i’ll never be very skilled since i’m so late to getting serious with skating but if there’s anyone else here who started as a young adult id really love to hear your experience and how you’re doing.

I still own a pair of skates and if I go to rinks with my friends I can skate causally just fine (go forward, turn, stop etc) but I can’t spin or do any sort jumps or hops. I can do both middle and side split jumps on land and i’d love to learn how to do them while skating one day.

Thanks for reading all this


Record Breaker
Nov 12, 2011
i don't think there's any reason you couldn't learn new skills or improve as an adult. realistically it will likely be slower progress than a child, but IMO it depends on how much time you spend on it and your commitment. if you are planning to skate once or twice a week, don't expect to see a ton of progress.

try to be patient and kind to yourself, its not realistic to expect the same of yourself as an adult versus a child. your risk of injury is also higher as an adult and it's smarter to not push yourself and take it slow. i have been learning this myself as i have returned to the ice this year after an 8 year break. as a competitor back in my day i had all my doubles and was a great spinner. when i came back i thought i could do more than i actually could, and being 15 years older with much less muscle mass and weighing a lot more than i did as an athlete, i overdid it an injured myself. i learned i really have to listen and pay attention to my body and be careful and my relationship with skating will not be the same as it was when i was a teenager. but most of all, just have fun with it and remember why you love to skate.


On the Ice
Jul 3, 2018
I guess it depends on how you define "real progress."

Will you ever learn triple and quad jumps? More than likely not, but getting all of your singles is very realistic. A fair number of adult skaters get some doubles too!

Will you compete in the Olympics? Definitely no, but you can go to adult competitions which are a blast! They're very communal - everyone is friendly and supportive, and the competitions range from small club competitions all the way up to the international level (1989 World Champ and 1992 Olympic silver medalist Midori Ito even came back and competed at the adult level in her 40s!).

I'm not what anyone would describe as "flexible" - I'm a short, stocky guy, with more of a wrestling build than a figure skating build - but I started skating seriously at 32 and in a year and a half I had landed my first single toe loop and single salchow. Based on your background, I'd expect you could probably progress faster than I did!

You're doing exactly the right thing starting with the adult beginner class. They'll go over the basics, which might feel a little boring at first, but every skill in skating is based on a more basic skill that you need to master first (you can't learn crossovers without knowing half pumps on a circle, you can't learn half pumps on a circle without knowing swizzles, etc). I know I was really impatient to get to the "good stuff" at first, but eventually I found the joy in practicing and really mastering the basics - because it made the good stuff that much easier when I got to it. I struggled a lot with outside edges at first and it wasn't fun to drill them over and over, but the first time that I stepped out of backwards crossovers into a forward outside spiral and flew across the ice in a graceful curve, I felt like Michelle Kwan! :)

And macy is dead on - take really good care of your body. We're not as resilient as we were when we were kids, and the work you do off the ice will pay off on the ice when it comes to injury prevention.

Most of all - have fun with it! It's hard work, but boy, does it pay off.


On the Ice
Oct 6, 2016
I found the adult MIF tests to be a super helpful way to structure my practices in addition to spins and jumps. Also, many of us take lessons from dance coaches for basic skating skills and some even do the dance tests--I have not, but they look fun.
First, get fitted for a good pair of skates if you haven't already. Find a coach who works well with adults and do regular lessons if you can. Classes are also a nice way to get back into skating. A friendly warning--adult skating is one step forward, two steps back. I am not the most patient person, but it's taught me patience.


Final Flight
Mar 24, 2019
Of course you can make excellent progress as an adult! No, you're probably not going to make the Olympics but there are plenty of other competitions out there for adults if you're after medals. The beauty of skating as an adult, however, is that it's all about the joy. And the friends you make.

Get fitted properly for boots and blades and sign up for some adult beginner classes. Tell yourself you're doing it for the joy and anger has no place in skating for you.

Then, as pointed out above, make sure you take care of your body. You are likely to be a bit more cautious as an adult but you're still very young so unless you have underlying health issues, you shouldn't be too worried. Impact protection gear is much, much more widely worn than it was 10 years ago, so if you feel you'd like to wear it don't worry that anybody will look askance. Head protection is an especially good idea until you find your feet again, although as you've been skating casually on and off, you are probably pretty happy anyway.

Enjoy the journey!
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Jul 17, 2021
Hi _ I just restarted skating after a 16/17 yr break - so yeah, it's been a few months since I've been back but this online skating community has been super helpful! I did ballet pretty seriously as a child - then decided to go to college after an unfortunate hip injury at age 17. I took a pause from ballet and took up ice skating in my early 20s - probably hitting at about a freestyle level 1 before I stopped skating. There was about a decade plus of pretty much inactivity but I took up ballet again a few years ago. During COVID, I decided I wanted to skate again. (I'm now in my early 40s). I'm signed up for classes at my local ice rink (intermediate level) and I brought along my old ratty skates from 16 yrs ago when I tentatively stepped back onto the ice.

I'm by no means an expert but here are some things that helped me these past few months getting back to skating:
1) I got fitted for high quality skates that were the right stiffness / boot / blade for me, for my level. I went to one of the best skate fitters in my area, the Bay Area, George at SP-Teri. I'm not going to lie - it's a huge investment. Many fellow students in my classes were purchasing $200-$300 skates from our rink pro shop. I'm so glad I did not go this route, my skates now fit like a dream (it took a while to break in and I had to find another insole to work for my feet). My John Wilson Coronation Ace blades have been I didn't know what I was missing before - I had cheap blades on my first pair of skates. A good quality blade makes such a difference. I'm glad to know I will not be injuring my feet anymore than I need to - ballet has pretty much battered them up with lots of ankle sprains, etc.
2) I just go slow. And try to give myself a break whenever I can, when things don't go right. I also find that the advice given here on this online board is super useful - if you're looking to improve - nothing will substitute for ice time. Not the nicest skates, the newest accessories. Go to the ice rink as often as you can - which is often challenging with a full-time job, family/ kids / pets and life in general.

I've been pleasantly surprised to find that I hadn't lost my forward spins completely - and I have quickly remastered the waltz jump and the salchow. It's been fun to realize my skills can come back - and yet, there are times when I have trouble skating forward, simple strokes. I'm the student in class who will be standing completely still on the ice and find myself falling backwards for no reason at all (klutzy!). But in the moments where things seem to be working right- these moments are glorious.

Please tell us how you do as you return. You're competing against no one so have fun. Hopefully you'll be surrounded by others who are enjoyable to be around as well and think skating is fun as you do. I was talking to a colleague today who used to skate in the Ice Capades (so cool!) and she said she's super passionate about "Life beyond the podium" in skating. There sure is...


Dec 15, 2018
Hi, there are a lot of inspiring comments already in this thread, but maybe I can add something to inspire you.
I don't know if I qualify as a young adult, having started figure skating lessons at 40. I am now 43, and am working on double salchow and double loop. I have landed a spindly axel and I am still improving that. I do combination spins, catch foot and am working on a Biellmann spin. I have the position, because like you I am flexible. ( I did gymnastics as a child and am a yogi.) I am improving in my turns and step sequences.

I am lucky to have a coach who does not think that skating is over once you hit twenty, or thirty or even forty. Off ice training has helped me a lot, both with flexibility, strength and jumps. I have also discovered that skating motivates me to stay in my best shape - more than wanting to fit into a certain dress or jean size. Skating inspires me to be healthy and stay that way.

I know I will never have the higher doubles, and that my spins will never have the speed or the rotations as I *might* have had if I had started earlier. It does not matter because the joy of skating and improving is so fulfilling. Go for it, don't judge yourself, be kind to yourself and just enjoy the skating. You will be surprised how far you will get. But let the jumps and the spins be a side effect of doing something that you find relaxing and refreshing. Good luck!


Sep 28, 2020
I'll echo what everyone else has said: You can make lots of progress as an adult, especially as a young adult. I've come back to skating after two lengthy breaks. I started at 13ish and stopped around 16, started again at 23 and stopped close to 30, and started again at 40. Let me tell you, it is a LOT easier to start again in your 20s than in your 40s, though it's a fair amount of work at any age. Enjoy the heck out of your 19-year-old body. It will be far more forgiving than your 40-year-old body. The older you get, the more care you need to take to avoid injury; that's unfortunately just how bodies work as they age.

All of that said, skating has been worth it for me every time I've come back. I hope to keep skating for the rest of my life. And learning or relearning skills as an adult is a different and interesting process. Many kids can kind of just mimic what they see and throw themselves into stuff without thinking about it too hard, at least for the basics. I was one of those kids. My body still remembers how it felt to do some of the stuff that was automatic to me as a kid, but learning new skills is more challenging -- and more rewarding, because now I have a much better understanding of the how and the why of everything. I pay a lot more attention to alignment and where my weight is and which parts of my body are generating power. I'm more conscientious about bending my knees and ankles. For me, skating in my 40s is a much more intellectual and holistic exercise than it's ever been before. I can't just go on autopilot, because gravity is a harsh mistress, but skating engages my whole attention and it's easier to shut out everything else when I'm on the ice. It's an intense workout, but it's also a mental vacation for me on all but my very worst days. And it's never boring!

So welcome back to the ice, and I hope your journey is good for you. I echo everyone's advice about getting properly fitted skates with good-quality blades from a fitter who knows their stuff.


Jan 29, 2021
I returned to skating at 45, right before COVID. I missed the ice SO MUCH, so the minute I could get back to it, there was no question I was going to commit. I'd been proud of maintaining my old Riedels but like others have said, NO - go get properly fitted for good skates. And if they aren't working, keep going back to your fitter until they get it right.

INJURIES ARE THE WORST. It takes so long to heal. Good equipment (good fitting skates and sharp blades) are a must. I simply landed a loop jump funny (that's right - I LANDED it, did not fall) and tweaked something in my hip that took months of PT and ultimately getting off the ice for 6 weeks to fully recover.

On that note - they make such wonderful pads these days! I was just commiserating with another adult at my rink about how much a clunk on a kneecap hurts, even if you don't do real damage. You can get padding for specific trouble spots, padded shorts, wrist guards, etc. Life is short and our remaining years to achieve our goals on ice are limited. Don't waste them on injuries that could have been prevented.

Also important and mentioned above - off ice conditioning. There's strength required for this sport that is so easy to build as a kid, but as an adult requires more diligent effort. Strength and flexibility prevent injury (my hip thing was 75% lack of fitness, 25% crappy old skates). There are a few online training resources specific to skating - some free on you tube, some subscription or pay per class. These are great for those of us who may not be able to get on the ice as often as we'd like (I have 2 kids and a more-than-full time job).

I am testing pre-bronze moves and freestyle next month, I just joined a synchro team, and look forward to competing in local adult competitions. My peers play golf or tennis, ski, do yoga, etc. This is just a different hobby. Looking at it that was helps me legitimize the expense and the time commitment. Moves are awesome - I grew up doing figures - they have a way of making you focus on the weak areas of your skating. My goal is I just want to be a good, solid skater.

And land an axel :wink:.
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