November 2, 2023

The Complete Guide to Stopping Techniques on Ice

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on stopping techniques for ice skating. If you’re new to ice skating, learning how to stop effectively is crucial for your safety and enjoyment on the ice. In this guide, we’ll cover various stopping techniques, tips, and safety measures to help you master the skill of stopping on ice skating.

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced skater, our guide has something for everyone. From basic techniques like the snowplow stop to advanced maneuvers like the hockey stop and one-foot glide stop, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions and tips to help you improve your stopping skills.

Our guide also includes emergency stopping techniques and safety measures to ensure that you’re prepared for any situation on the ice. So, let’s dive in and learn how to stop on ice skating like a pro!

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Understanding the Physics of Ice Skating

Before we dive into the various stopping techniques, it’s essential to understand the physics of ice skating and how it affects our movement on the ice. The two fundamental principles at work here are friction and momentum.

Friction refers to the force that opposes motion between two surfaces in contact. On ice, the blade of the skate creates friction between the ice and the metal blade. When we push off with our skate, the friction allows us to accelerate, and when we use stopping techniques, it slows us down.

Momentum, on the other hand, is the product of an object’s mass and velocity. On the ice, when we skate, our body gains momentum, and the faster we go, the harder it becomes to stop or change direction.

Did you know that the coefficient of friction between ice and a metal blade is incredibly low, making it difficult to stop on ice without proper technique or friction-enhancing aids?

Therefore, to execute effective stopping techniques, we need to find a balance between these two opposing forces. With the physics of ice skating in mind, let’s explore the different stopping techniques suited for ice skating.

Basic Stopping Techniques for Beginners

If you’re new to ice skating, learning to stop is a crucial skill to ensure your safety and enjoyment on the ice. One of the most common and effective basic stopping techniques for beginner ice skaters is the snowplow stop.

Mastering the Snowplow Stop

The snowplow stop involves positioning your feet in a V-shape and pressing the inside edges of your skates into the ice to create friction. This slows down your momentum and helps you come to a controlled stop.

To execute the snowplow stop, follow these steps:

  1. Keep your knees slightly bent and your weight over your toes.
  2. Point your toes inward to create a V-shape with your feet.
  3. Press the inside edges of your skates into the ice, making sure to keep your knees bent and your weight over your toes.
  4. Gradually increase the pressure to slow yourself down until you come to a stop.

Remember to practice this technique until you feel comfortable and confident executing it on the ice.

Additional Tips for Beginner Ice Skaters

Aside from the snowplow stop, there are several other basic stopping techniques you can learn as a beginner ice skater. These include bending your knees to lower your center of gravity, keeping your weight over your toes, and using your arms for balance and control.

  • Practice stopping in a straight line before attempting to stop while turning.
  • If you’re feeling wobbly or unsteady, hold onto the boards until you regain your balance.
  • Remember to wear proper protective gear, such as a helmet and knee pads, and avoid skating in overcrowded or busy areas.

By following these tips and practicing regularly, you’ll be well on your way to mastering basic stopping techniques and enjoying a safe and fun ice skating experience.

Mastering the Hockey Stop

The hockey stop is an advanced stopping technique that requires a combination of balance, edge control, and turning momentum. It’s a valuable skill to learn if you want to stop quickly and efficiently on the ice.

To perform a hockey stop, start by skating forward with your knees bent and your weight evenly distributed on both feet. Then, turn your feet sideways and dig the inside edges of both skates into the ice. This will cause your body to pivot, and your momentum will switch from forwards to sideways.

As you pivot, lean slightly towards the direction you want to turn. This will help you maintain your balance and control. Keep your knees bent and your core engaged throughout the maneuver.

Once you’ve pivoted, use the outside edge of your back foot to scrape the ice and slow down. This is the key to coming to a complete stop. The front foot should be turned out slightly and act as a pivot point.

It may take some practice to master the hockey stop, so be patient and take it slow. Start by practicing on one side and then switch to the other side. Once you feel comfortable with the technique, you can try stopping more quickly by increasing your speed and using more turning momentum.

Pro Tip: To improve your edge control, practice doing crossovers and figure eights. These exercises will help you develop the balance and control you need for the hockey stop.

Slowing Down with T-Stops

Another effective braking technique for ice skaters is the T-stop. This technique involves positioning your skates in a T-shape to slow down and stop.

To execute the T-stop, first, bend your knees slightly and point your toes inward. Then, lift one foot and turn it perpendicular to your other foot, forming a T-shape. Use the inside edges of your skates to apply pressure to the ice, gradually slowing down and coming to a stop.

As with the snowplow stop, practicing the T-stop will help improve your balance and control. It’s also an essential braking technique for beginner and intermediate ice skaters.

Tips for Improving T-Stop Technique

  1. Positioning: Ensure that your weight is evenly distributed on both feet and your knees are slightly bent. Keep your upper body upright and your eyes facing forward.
  2. Foot Placement: Make sure your back foot is perpendicular to your front foot, forming a T-shape. Keep the heel of your back foot raised, and the ball of your foot should be in contact with the ice.
  3. Balance: It’s crucial to maintain your balance while executing the T-stop. Keep your upper body stable, and avoid leaning too far forward or backward.
  4. Control: Practice applying pressure to the inside edges of your skates to control your speed and come to a stop gradually.

Mastering the T-stop takes time and practice, but with patience and perseverance, you’ll be able to execute this braking technique with ease. Remember, the T-stop is an essential skill for ice skaters of all levels, and it’s an effective way to slow down and stop while maintaining control and balance.

Using the One-Foot Glide Stop

The one-foot glide stop is an advanced stopping technique that requires a combination of balance and control. This technique involves gliding on one foot while applying pressure on the inside edge of the other skate to come to a stop.

To execute the one-foot glide stop:

  1. Start by gliding on one foot: Lift your non-dominant foot slightly off the ice and glide on your dominant foot.
  2. Shift your weight: Transfer your weight to the non-dominant foot by bending your knee and shifting your hips to the side.
  3. Apply pressure: Using the inside edge of your dominant foot, apply pressure to the ice to slow down and eventually come to a stop.
  4. Balance: Maintain balance by keeping your head up and your arms out to the side.

“The one-foot glide stop requires practice and patience to master, so be sure to start slow and gradually build up your confidence.”

Remember to practice this technique on both feet to develop balance and control. With time and practice, you’ll be able to execute the one-foot glide stop smoothly and efficiently, allowing you to stop with finesse and style.

Emergency Stopping Techniques:

Ice skating is an exhilarating sport, but safety should always come first. Here are some emergency stopping techniques you should know:

  • Snowplow Stop: This basic stopping technique involves pointing your toes inward and pushing out with your heels to create a “V” shape with your skates, reducing speed and coming to a controlled stop.
  • Hockey Stop: An advanced stopping technique, the hockey stop involves using your edges and turning momentum to come to a quick stop. This is a more effective way of reducing speed and stopping than the snowplow stop.
  • T-Stop: Another effective braking technique, the T-stop involves placing one skate perpendicular to the other and dragging it behind you to create a T-shape. This slows you down and helps you come to a stop.

Remember to always be aware of your surroundings and avoid collisions by skating in a controlled manner. Wearing proper protective gear like helmets, gloves, and knee pads is also crucial in preventing injuries.

Tips for Improving Stopping Skills

Stopping on ice skating is a crucial skill that requires focus, practice, and proper technique. Here are some practice tips and body positioning techniques to help you improve your stopping skills:

  1. Practice on a regular basis: The more you practice stopping, the better you’ll get. Find a safe area and practice stopping using the techniques we’ve covered in this guide. As you become more comfortable, try increasing your speed and practicing on different types of ice surfaces.
  2. Focus on your body positioning: Your body positioning plays a crucial role in stopping effectively. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed, and your knees are bent for balance and control. Keep your head up, and your arms out for stability.
  3. Use your edges: The edges of your skates are essential for stopping. Practice shifting your weight to the inside edges of your skates to slow down and come to a stop.
  4. Progress from basic to advanced: Start with the basic stopping techniques we’ve covered, then progress to more advanced techniques like the hockey stop and one-foot glide stop. As you become more comfortable, you’ll be able to execute these techniques with greater confidence and control.
  5. Get feedback: Have a friend or coach watch you stopping and give you feedback on your technique. This will allow you to identify areas for improvement and make adjustments for better stopping skills.

Remember, practice makes perfect. With dedication and effort, you can improve your stopping skills and become a more confident, efficient ice skater.

Safety Measures for Ice Skaters

Ice skating is a fun and exciting activity, but it’s essential to stay safe while enjoying the experience. Here are some safety measures to keep in mind:

  • Wear proper protective gear: Always wear a helmet, gloves, and knee and elbow pads to protect your head and limbs in case of falls or collisions.
  • Avoid collisions: Be aware of your surroundings and other skaters around you. Avoid skating too fast or recklessly, and always yield to other skaters.
  • Check the ice conditions: Be aware of the ice conditions before you start skating. Look for signs of cracks, holes, or soft spots, and avoid skating on thin or weak ice.
  • Know your limits: Don’t attempt advanced skating maneuvers or techniques beyond your skill level. Stick to techniques you’re comfortable with and gradually build your skills over time.

By following these safety measures, you can minimize the risk of injury and enjoy your ice skating experience safely and confidently.


Stopping techniques are a crucial skill to master for any ice skater, regardless of their level of experience. By learning and implementing the techniques covered in this guide, you can significantly enhance your ice skating experience while ensuring your safety and the safety of others around you.

Practice is key to improving your stopping skills, and it’s essential to take into account the physics of ice skating, such as ice friction, when executing these techniques. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced skater, there’s always room for improvement, and the tips provided in this guide will help you achieve your goals.

Tips to Remember

Remember to always wear proper protective gear, such as a helmet and knee pads, when ice skating. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid collisions with other skaters. And finally, always be cautious and alert, even when executing seemingly basic techniques.

So put your new skills into practice and enjoy the exhilarating feeling of gliding on ice. Happy skating!


What are the most effective stopping techniques for ice skating?

Some of the most effective stopping techniques for ice skating include the snowplow stop, hockey stop, T-stop, and one-foot glide stop.

How do I perform a snowplow stop?

To perform a snowplow stop, widen your feet into a V-shape, bend your knees, and press the inside edges of your skates into the ice to create friction and slow down.

What is a hockey stop?

A hockey stop is an advanced stopping technique that involves turning your body perpendicular to your current direction and using your edges to come to a quick stop. It is commonly used in ice hockey.

How do I execute a T-stop?

To execute a T-stop, shift your weight to one foot while extending the other foot to the side, forming a T-shape with your skates. Apply pressure to the inside edge of the extended foot to slow down and stop.

What is a one-foot glide stop?

A one-foot glide stop is an advanced stopping technique where you glide on one foot while gradually reducing speed until you come to a stop. It requires good balance and control.

What emergency stopping techniques should I know?

It’s important to be prepared for emergencies while ice skating. Some emergency stopping techniques include dragging one foot behind you, performing a quick snowplow stop, or using your arms to create resistance against the ice.

How can I improve my stopping skills?

To improve your stopping skills, practice regularly, focus on your body positioning, and gradually increase your speed and control. It’s also helpful to take lessons from a qualified instructor.

What safety measures should I follow while ice skating?

When ice skating, always wear proper protective gear such as a helmet, knee pads, and wrist guards. Avoid colliding with other skaters, be aware of your surroundings, and follow any posted rules or guidelines at the skating rink.

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