I write on a wide variety of topics (money, music, health, relationships) as well as some personal experiences and opinions.
Is Figure Skating Expensive?
Figure skating is a popular sport, but it can be an expensive endeavor. I've been asked a few times over the years, "Is figure skating expensive?" The more you are involved with testing & competition, the higher your expenses will go. It can go very easily into the five-figure range annually per skater in your household.
I've met a few families with more than one skater over the years. Many eventually quit due in major part to the cost. A pair of twins who I met switched from the ice to roller figure skating to save money and still enjoy a similar skating experience complete with testing and competitions through national and international levels. While they gave up ice, their families easily saved many thousands of dollars annually. There are so many ways skating can drain your wallet, but here are some ways to avoid that.
1. Buy Ice Time In Bulk
Similar to getting a good deal on household goods, if you buy freestyle ice time or public ice time in bulk, many rinks will cut you a deal. The savings will often be clearly advertised. If they're not, you may have to ask if there are any discounts when you buy ice time in bulk. The most costly way to buy ice time will be to pay by the session when you skate regularly. Avoid doing this if at all possible and always try to buy your ice time in bulk.
2. Off Ice Training
While it's not the most obvious of money savers, off ice training enhances what you do on the ice and can make certain moves easier by helping to perfect techniques off ice. The benefits are strengthening your muscles and enhancing flexibility in addition to perfecting your technique without paying for ice time. Off ice training includes everything from ballet to gymnastics, as well as online and in-person jumping and spinning technique classes. There are also more traditional strength training and various cardio workouts. The benefit to off ice training is that it can save you some time and money while making some training gains. Off ice training does not always have to be something you pay for. Many off ice training options are available for free or at a very low cost, such as simply doing cardio workouts or choosing a workout class.
3. Test & Competition Wear
Many people enjoy seeing the various dresses & costumes skaters wear in competitions and shows, but they often don't know that a single skating dress worn at the highest levels of the sport easily costs several thousand dollars. Some are surprised to learn that each dress or costume is used only for a single piece of music, a single season of competition, or just for a session or two. However, even pre-made/off the rack costumes for lower level skaters can cost a couple hundred dollars. Those new to skating can be quite surprised. The more intricate or unique the design and/or fabric, the more expensive the item will be. If your budget doesn't allow for the pre-made skating dress cost, you may be able to find a used skating dress that has a reasonable price online or by asking coaches for help at your local rink(s). Some people have a friend or family member make their skating dresses while those handy with a sewing machine and a bit of time can create their own. Some skaters find good deals on Amazon.
These costs include anything from your travel expenses to paying the costs of your coaches travel expenses. Again, newcomers to the sport are often surprised to learn that they pay for their coaches travel expenses to and from competitions. Driving to competitions is always going to be cheaper, but the further the distance, the more likely flying will be the better option. Sitting for hours or days in a car is not good for anyone, let alone an athlete. Setting fare alerts can help you find flights with prices you're happy with. Some people use their rewards cards or their airline cards, while others find savings on flights using flexible dates rather than searching only specific dates for their flights. Combine one or more of the above to maximize your travel budget.
Coaching helps you progress by teaching proper techniques to complete various dances, jumps, spins, footwork, etc. Without coaching, many people do not learn or progress as much as they want. However, coaching is also one of the reasons figure skating can be expensive. After you've gone as far as you can with public/group lessons, the next step is private coaching, particularly if you want to test and/or compete. Coaching easily costs $60-$120 per hour in many areas, but lessons are typically provided in 20, 30, or 60-minute lessons, allowing you to budget more easily. Some coaches may be open to semi-private lessons where they teach two skaters at once, lessening the cost to each skater. However, you must ask if the coach is open to this option. You may also simply take fewer lessons to lessen the cost. This is a good option for skaters who are more recreational and not competing or testing.
© 2021 H C Palting