Figure skating is a great sport. There’s just something truly special about watching a good figure skater glide across the ice. Unfortunately, it isn’t cheap. So, if you’re thinking about how to afford expensive figure skating, here are a few tips that can help.
Top Ways to Make Figure Skating More Affordable
While skating is expensive there are ways to make it more affordable.
Make Your Own Practice Clothing
When I was younger and skating, I was lucky. My mother was able to make my practice clothing. She taught tailoring when she was a high school teacher, so she was an advanced sewer, but even someone with moderate skills can get the job done.
There is no reason to spend large amounts of money on practice clothing, so if you can’t sew ask a family member or friend.
Chances are, they would be thrilled to help you out.
If you are a really good sewer or you know someone who is, you could even make your own competition clothing at the Preliminary and Juvenile Competitive level.
This can save you a great deal of money and a good way to make figure skating more affordable.
Share Your Lessons
Some rinks and a lot of coaches will allow 2 students in a private lesson. Sure, you won’t get 100% one-on-one time with the coach but it will cut the cost in half.
You will still be getting the instruction you need and over time, it will add up.
This is a good way to save costs especially at the lower level of skating.
Take Lessons Less Often
Instead of having a private lesson every week, take one every two weeks.
If possible, take a group lesson in between. If that’s not possible, then use that time as practice skating.
Be sure to have your coach give you specific things to work on the week you’re not meeting.
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Get a Scholarship
Many rinks have scholarship programs for promising students.
If you are taking group or private lessons talk to your coach and ask if they feel you would be a candidate for a scholarship. If they feel you are, then you should certainly check it out.
Chances are there is something you’re really good at. Maybe you are a skilled marketer or you build websites or you’re a bookkeeper.
Whatever your skill is, see if you can do something to help the coach. If so, there is a good chance that they will trade lessons for whatever skill or service you can provide.
I did this once when I needed chiropractic services. I offered to write content for their website in exchange for their services.
All I had to do was ask and they were thrilled with the trade.
So, see if there is something you can trade that is a win-win for you and your coach. It could save you a lot of money.
Ask for 15 Minute Lessons
Most private lessons are 25 to 35 minutes long. Ask your coach if they would be willing to give you a 15-minute lesson.
This might work out well for them if they have small breaks in their schedules that they want to fill.
This way you can still get some one-on-one time with a coach as well as milestones to work on and you can save money at the same time.
Get a Side Gig
If you’ve read much of this blog then you know I am a big fan of multiple streams of income and side gigs or hustles.
I’m not a fan of second jobs. A second job implies that you have a set schedule and a boss. A side gig means you are doing something to make extra money on your own time in your own way.
You could sell stuff on eBay, make items to sell on Etsy or even sell used books on Amazon. It doesn’t really matter what it is. What is important is that you enjoy it and you can work on it as much or as little as you want when you want.
This extra money could cover all of your figure skating costs and still leave you time for lessons and practice.
The Costs of Figure Skating
If you’re thinking about learning to figure skate or your child wants to take up the sport, it’s a good idea to know exactly what the costs are. They are different depending on what level of a skater you are and what your skating goals are.
When I was a kid, I took group and private skating lessons. It was truly my life and I was good at it. I had the typical dreams of going to the Olympics and then being a professional ice skater after that, but unfortunately, we moved to a small town with no ice skating rinks so my dreams kind of went down the tubes.
Even so, skating was a lot cheaper back then. Nowadays, lessons and skates are super expensive.
If you’re just starting out and want to learn the basics, you can do so for a little bit of money.
You’ll find that the rink will offer a package deal of one lesson per week for 10 weeks for around $100. This will include rental skates and you won’t need to worry about any specialized practice clothing.
So, if you’re a complete newbie and want to learn a few basics, get out there now and have some fun.
If you’re a little more serious than the average skater and you want to truly learn the sport of figure skating, then the cost in time and money is going to start to go up quite a bit from the beginner skater, but it is still affordable for most want-to-be skaters.
Lessons will be private and you will typically take two lessons per week. Those lessons will cost you between $20 and $50 each depending on what part of the country you live in.
You will also want some practice time which typically runs $10 to $15 dollars per session. If you do one per week, that’s another $60 dollars per month.
You will also need to buy your own skates and you should expect to pay around $300 dollars for those. You will also want to have them sharpened once every two months, so that’s another $20 (or $10 per month if you are averaging the cost out.)
Finally, you should have some practice clothing, so budget about $50 for that. Obviously, you won’t need a new outfit every month, so if you buy 4 per year, you are looking at about $200 per year or $17 per month.
Totals: For the serious recreational skater you are looking at an average of $247 to $487 per month with a one-time cost of $300 for your skates.
Preliminary and Juvenile Competitive Skaters
At this level, you will need to purchase more expensive skates starting at $300 to up to $900 dollars. They will also need to be sharpened every month instead of every two months. So, that is another $20 each month.
You will have lessons daily including practice sessions and private lessons.
Finally, you will now start to purchase not only practice clothing but also competition clothing.
You will have travel expenses, test expenses, and other lessons such as dance and ballet.
The yearly total is typically around $10,000 dollars.
Intermediate, Senior, and Elite Competitive Skaters
At this level, you will have up to 3 private lessons daily as well as 5 practice sessions. Serious skaters at this level will have even more.
You can expect to pay up to $1,500 dollars for your skates and will need them sharpened monthly. You can also expect to buy new skates each year.
The costs for music editing, competition, and practice clothing also increase as well as other lessons for dance, stretching, and ballet.
You are looking at a yearly total of $20,000 or more.
Now if you’re talking about getting to the Olympic level of figure skating, you’re looking at about $100,000 dollars in total.
Who is the Highest Paid Figure Skater?
If you look at net worth, you can get an idea of who the highest-paid figure skater is.
Coming in at number 1 is Kim Yuna with a net worth of $35 million dollars. At the number 2 spot is Scott Hamilton with a net worth of $30 million and at number 3 is Evgeni Plushenko with a net worth of $12 million.
What Age is Best to Start Figure Skating?
You can see kids as young as 3 years old figure skating, but at that age, they don’t really have the balance or attention span to make it through a full lesson.
On the other hand, by the age of 5 or 6, a child can handle the lessons and more difficult aspects of figure skating.
Is Ice Skating Hard to Learn?
If all you want to do is have some fun skating around the rink and maybe learn to go backward and that sort of thing, then no, skating isn’t difficult to learn.
If you want to get into the more advanced aspects of skating such as jumps, then yes, it is hard to learn and will take years of practice.
How Many Hours a Week Do Figure Skaters Train?
It depends on what level the skater is at, but when you’re talking about the highest level of skating, they train on average 6 to 8 hours per day 6 days per week.
To Sum it All Up:
There’s no getting around the fact that figure skating is expensive and it can be difficult to afford. The good news is there are ways to cut the costs including getting a scholarship from the rink, trade services with your coach, making your own practice wear, or taking lessons every other week.