Skating has inherent risks and skaters should take precautions as natural ice conditions can change unpredictably. Please skate at your own risk and check the Ice Report for information on Conditions and Closures.
- Ice must freeze to a uniform depth of at least four inches before it is firm enough for group skating.
- Be especially careful of areas with current, such as inlets, outlets and spring holes, where the ice can be dangerously thin.
- Stay off the ice along the shoreline if it is cracked or squishy. Don’t go on the ice during thaws.
- Watch out for thin, clear or honeycombed ice. Dark snow and ice may also indicate weak spots.
- Ice clouded with air bubbles should be avoided.
- Skaters and others should not go near partially submerged obstacles such as stumps and rocks where ice is weaker.
- Beware of Ice Fishing holes.
- Never skate alone. Adults should constantly supervise children skating and mobile phones should be carried when skating.
Skating Injury Risks
- This is a list of common skating injuries, but is not a complete list of the risks involved with ice skating;
- The intense weight and pressure placed upon the ankles during skating activity makes them susceptible to sprains and fractures.
- When a loss of balance or control occurs, injuries may happen upon impact. The ice surface is very dangerous as there is no cushion against impact. These skating injuries may include concussions, fractures and dislocations.
- Sharp blades. Hard ice. Speed and precise movements. These combined factors put ice skaters at risk of lacerations of varying degrees of severity.
Skating Injuries Safety Tips
- Many of the orthopedic skating injuries that are commonly suffered can be prevented by simply wearing proper equipment; that may include padding, helmets, and--of course--quality skates.
- Skates that do not fit properly contribute to a high number of skating injuries; they may cause stress to bones, muscles, and ligaments, as well as imbalance.
- Cold muscles and ligaments are more brittle and prone to tears and injury. Warming up can help to loosen your muscles, tendons, and ligaments and help to prevent tears.
- Wear adequately warm clothing--thick layers and a waterproof shell. And pay attention to changing weather. If you start to feel uncomfortable or chilled, it’s time to end your activity and return to warm shelter.