Can Ice Skating Make You Taller? (The Truth)

Many factors influence an individual’s height, including diet, activity levels, posture, and others. You may be wondering if ice skating can change your height or what kind of effects your height can have on your performance.

Ice skating doesn’t make you taller. You aren’t suddenly going to grow a few inches after a few sessions on the rink. However, ice skating does train the legs and muscles involved in posture, which can help you look taller. Ice skates can also make you look taller than you are.

There’s a lot of interaction between height and ice skating, but there are also a lot of myths and misrepresentations that are passed off as facts. Ice skating will not directly add inches to your height, but it can help you maximize your height in various ways. Let’s take a look at how it does so.

Does Ice Skating Affect Your Height?

Ice skating does not affect your height. Some people, however, feel taller after ice skating and may even think they measure an inch or two higher. This is because ice skating strengthens your legs and hips, which improves your posture. This in turn can give you the illusion of being taller.

Height is determined by your environment and genetics. How much influence these two factors have on your height is not yet fully understood, but starting your kids young could be beneficial for their development. Ice skating provides an optimal environmental stimulus for children that positively influences their height.

Ice skating also teaches you to move more gracefully, and you become increasingly aware of your balance and have better proprioception, or ability to sense things like movement and position. This can change your body language in day-to-day life and give you graceful and more expansive movements that make you appear taller.

Does Ice Skating Stunt Growth?

Ice skating does not stunt your growth. The most vital environmental factor for growth is nutrition, since your body needs calories to reach its maximum height potential. Once calories are taken care of, physical exercise is needed for further growth, although it isn’t as important as nutrition. 

One of the major reasons people think ice skating can stunt growth is because competitive forms of skating often favor shorter, lighter athletes. The average female figure skater is somewhere between 5’2” and 5’5”. The average male figure skater is between 5’5” and 6’0”.

Highly competitive skaters are not short because of their sport. To look at it a different way, you won’t get the body of a professional swimmer just by swimming. This is also true for ice skating. Athletes who perform at the highest levels already have the genetics and physiques to excel in their sports.Their training further unlocks their gifts.

Will Ice Skating Affect My Children’s Growth?

Ice skating will not affect your children’s growth. Ice skating doesn’t stunt, hurt, or diminish their height in any way. Ice skating’s emphasis on balance and maintaining an upright posture will only help your child’s height.

The two primary influences on your child’s growth are genetics and nutrition. Genetics will determine the maximum possible height a child can reach, as long as they eat a balanced diet and get enough calories.

Where ice skating helps is in strengthening your child’s bones, muscles, and ligaments. Engaging in some form of exercise is very important early on. Ice skating is especially good here as it challenges children cognitively and physically. Ice skating also retains their interest, because it’s fun and isn’t repetitive.

Is Ice Skating Harder For Taller People?

Ice skating can be harder for taller people but only at the highest levels of competitive skating. For the average person, their height will have little to no impact on their performance and ability.

Things change a little bit when you get to the highest levels of the sport. In figure skating, which is a partner sport, there is generally a relationship between male and female skaters’ heights. Usually, the male is taller than the female. Having a height and weight advantage over the female is key, because executing lifts and spins while holding a smaller, lighter partner is a massive benefit.

Female figure skaters also tend to be on the shorter side, and a smaller individual is a lighter individual. A lighter individual can execute jumps and spins more efficiently than a heavier individual, which gives them greater stamina.

It’s important to remember that apart from the top elite competitive levels of the sport, your height has no bearing on your ability to ice skate. The only reason height can impact your performance at the highest levels is because of the point-scoring system. Scores often come down to decimal points, and a slight advantage can be the difference between a gold and silver medal.

How Much Height Do Ice Skates Add?

Ice skates can add between 2 and 4 inches of height, which is why many people are surprised at how short figure skaters really are. But the rink makes skaters look bigger, and the skates make them appear taller.

Certain kinds of skates may play with this illusion more than others. There are many different types of skates, and they can affect a skater’s height differently. There are four primary types: recreational, ice hockey, figure skates, and speed skates.

Recreational Skates

Recreational skates are the most common, and it’s these boots that you’ll see for rental at ice skating rinks. They are very similar to ice hockey or figure skates, and their stiffness supports your feet. How much height you gain from recreational boots varies greatly depending upon the rink you’re at.

Overall, recreational skates may give you an extra two inches of height or so, depending upon the size of the blades and how bulky the boot is. Some people feel more comfortable raised off the ground, and some feel better when closer. The most important thing is that the boot fits you well.  

Ice Hockey Skates

Ice hockey skates are much bulkier. They are designed to withstand heavier impact but are not built for distance. You might find that they give you more height than recreational boots, as the boots themselves are built to cushion your feet. These skates may also have lifted arches and larger heel blocks.

Overall, hockey skates can add three to four inches of height. This extra height offers some level of protection for your foot, but it also reduces speed. Hockey skates’ blades aren’t very tall, so the added height offered by the hockey skate comes primarily from the boot.

Figure Skates

Figure skates are quite similar to recreational boots, but they often have extra features, like toe picks or blades designed to assist agile and complex spins, jumps, and landings. This type of boot tends to be the least bulky of them all, as any excess weight will slow a figure skater down.

Overall, figure skates will add about two inches of height to your frame, depending upon the make and what type of blades you use. Figure skaters also spend more time on their toes and preparing themselves to execute jumps, which can make them appear taller than they are.

Speed Skates

Speed skates are used in competitive ice skating, usually in races over a defined distance. Speed skates are built for performance, have long blades, and generally tend to be quite stiff to support ankles. That said, they’re usually not as bulky as ice hockey skates.

Overall, speed skates can add about two to four inches in height.Most of this height comes from the larger blades prevalent in these kinds of boots. These are not boots for a casual skater though, because they’ll greatly enhance your speed. If you don’t have the expertise to control them, you could end up causing yourself a back injury, making you look shorter!

Final Thoughts

Ice skating does not directly affect your height, but it can make you appear taller. Ice skating strengthens the legs and back and improves your posture to maximize what height you have. You will also be taller when wearing ice skates. However, ice skating cannot make you taller or shorter.