How to Hockey Stop

Knowing how to hockey stop is an invaluable skill whether you're a hockey player or just skating for fun.  The hockey stop allows for rapid braking and quick turns on the ice. Although it looks intimidating, the hockey stop is based on simple physics and is easy to master.

You will need:

  • hockey skates
  1. Begin skating straight forward.  Do two to three pushes to get moving.  While gliding forward, stand on both feet.  Feet should be shoulder-width apart.  Keep your shoulders and hips lined up, facing straight forward in the direction you're traveling.  Hold your arms out to the sides for balance.
  2. Lift your weight lightly onto the balls of your feet.  At the same time, use your torso muscles to turn your hips quickly to the left so that your skate blades are at a right angle to the direction of travel.  Keep your shoulders, arms, and head pointed straight forward; do not allow them to turn with your hips and legs.
  3. Bend your knees.  Push your weight into the skates.  Your weight should be balanced over the balls of your feet.  Concentrate on keeping most of your weight on your back skate.  If you lean too far forward, the skate edges will "let go" of the ice, causing you to fall.
  4. Practice.  The "up" movement, the turn, and the bent-knees "down" movement must be coordinated to hockey stop well, and the coordination takes practice.  Do not attempt to hockey stop at high speeds until you are comfortable doing it slowly.  Practice the hockey stop in both directions, with the feet facing either right or left.

The hockey stop can also be performed on figure skates, following the same basic directions.  Some advanced skaters will lift up the front foot when they stop.  A one-footed hockey stop will wear out the edges on the skate blade much faster than performing the stop on both feet will.



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