Is Ice Skating An Expensive Hobby? (The Numbers)

When starting any new hobby, it’s always a good idea to look at the possible financial costs. In order to not have to not worry about future costs or being blindsided by sudden expenses, it’s useful to understand beforehand whether ice skating is an expensive hobby.

Ice skating can be both cheap and expensive. It all depends upon how much time you want to put in and how advanced you want to get. It’s not uncommon for a casual hobbyist or beginner ice skater to pay as little as $10 to $20 a week, or for a semi-pro to go over $1,000 a year.

Ice skating expenses are determined by the hobbyist, and there are many factors under your control. But you’ll need knowledge and information to get the most value for your money. You can still get very proficient at ice skating without spending too much, and we take a look at how to do so below.

Is Ice Skating A Good Hobby?

Ice skating is an excellent hobby no matter who you are. It’s accessible to everyone, from young children to people of advanced age. It’s a social activity that has tremendous physical and mental benefits, and it’s an excellent form of exercise that is hard to find anywhere else.

If you compare ice skating to other hobbies, it offers a little something for everyone. A hobby like chess offers social and mental challenges but no physical difficulty. If you’re lookingfor mental stimulation, there’s a huge list of moves to learn, and it can take a lifetime to master them all.

Comparing jogging to ice skating, there’s a physical and social element, but not much of a mental challenge. Many people jog along the same routes or go to a gym and jog on a treadmill. This can lead to burnout and boredom. Ice skating is the opposite of jogging in that it’s hard to get into, but the better you get, the more you enjoy it.

Swimming is very physical but doesn’t offer as much of a social element. Ice skating gives physical benefits similar to swimming, but it can be done alone or in a group. You could take up synchronized swimming, but that’s not a sport that’s accessible to a beginner.

Lastly, ice skating doesn’t require huge amounts of time. There are plenty of people who enjoy it a few times a year in the winter, so it doesn’t have to be a hobby that eats away all your free time. You can enjoy other hobbies while investing minimal time in your ice skating practice.

Is It Expensive To Be An Ice Skater?

It’s not expensive to be an ice skater, and the minimum requirements for ice skating are not expensive. All you need is a pair of skates and an ice rink. If you’re in a northern country with a colder climate, then ice skating can be very cheap, as you may be able to skate outdoors for free.

How expensive ice skating is or isn’t depends upon what you want from the hobby as an individual. You can become very proficient at ice skating basics with minimal equipment and support. Doing it this way may be more difficult, but it will cost you less money.

However, if you want to streamline your learning experience or see ice skating as a very serious hobby, then it can become quite expensive. Expenses can include paying for private lessons from coaches, maintaining equipment, and paying entry fees for competitions. This combination can make ice skating an expensive hobby.

Overall, ice skating expenses depend on how far you want to go. Having a few sessions a month on a rink is not going to break the bank. Once you start looking at joining clubs and purchasing all the equipment, it begins to get expensive, but this is by no means required.

How Much Does Ice Skating Cost?

Ice skating costs vary greatly. As a beginner, it will cost you around $40 to $100 a month for weekly practice. Compared to most activities, that’s not unreasonably expensive. This is the bare-bones requirement for an ice skater, and it can get more expensive than this.

If you want to buy your equipment, a decent pair of used skates will cost roughly $50, but they’ll last you a long time. The only maintenance that skates require is having the blades sharpened, which you can do once a year for around $10.

The Cost Of Renting Skates

Renting skates from the ice rink every time you go starts to add up. It may cost you an extra $10 or more to rent skates for a single session. Having your own skates can make ice skating cheaper in the long run if it’s something you want to do regularly.  

If you want to take lessons, most beginners take group sessions. For kids, these sessions can be cheap. It’s not uncommon for ice rinks to offer deals, such as five to 10 lessons for a one-time price. These will likely be around $15 per lesson.

The Cost Of Getting A Coach

If you want to develop your skills further, you’ll need to think about employing a coach to teach you privately. A private coach will charge around $30 to $50 for half an hour of lessons. This may not seem like a long time, but it’s more than enough to learn the basics and then begin practicing on your own.

Once you start getting more advanced, costs can get very high, from travel expenses to competition fees. However, these costs depend on where you go. Once you reach a certain level, you’ll need to specialize to advance further. This specialty could be figure skating or competitive skating of a different kind, and they all come with their own costs that get very expensive.

Ice Skating Costs By Experience Level

A good way to break up your ice skating costs is to look at different experience levels. This can help you decide where you want to go, what you’re willing to pay, and what your goals are. Ice skating costs can go up as your experience level goes up.

However, how much costs go up largely depends upon what you want to do with your skills. You get more access to different clubs and events as you get better, but if you’re not interested in any of these then your ice skating costs will be minimal.


For a beginner, you’ll pay the cost to go to the ice rink. If you keep it casual, then you might only go a few times in the winter. If you’re interested in learning the basics quickly, it’ll probably take 7 to 10 lessons. If you want your own skates, this will also add to the costs.

The maximum amount that a beginner will pay is around $300 a year. This includes having your own skates and paying for enough lessons to learn all the basics. The costs here vary depending upon your goals.

However, If you’re only interested in having a bit of fun on the ice, and you’re not interested in taking lessons or owning ice skates, this goes down to around $100 to $150 a year.

As a beginner, you’ll want to attend ice skating sessions that are open to the public. This means that you don’t pay per hour, which makes things much cheaper. It usually only costs $10 to $14 per session, and you can skate for an entire afternoon if you want to.

In summary, a beginner will pay anywhere from $50 to as high as $300 in a year.


Things get a bit different for an experienced skater. At this level, you’ll probably have your own equipment, which will most likely be newer, as it needs to stand up to increased wear and tear. A good pair of unused ice skates can range from $30 to $500. While you can overpay for brands, there are often big differences between materials used and craftsmanship.

As an intermediate skater, you may want to pay for lessons from a private coach. Beginner group-based lessons just won’t cut it at this level. You’ll need to work with a coach who can give you personal attention and who has some knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses as a skater. A coach may charge around $30 to $50 for private sessions.

Many ice rinks and sports venues will have slots dedicated to “freestyle sessions.” You’ll want to go to these sessions, because there’s much more room to practice. If you’re honing particular skills, then you’ll need the space. You’ll also be surrounded by skaters around your level. However, these freestyle slots tend to cost around $10 to $15 per hour.

Costs for an intermediate depend upon how much time you want to practice ice skating. If you wanted to practice for two hours a week every winter, you’d end up paying around $300 for freestyle sessions combined with some lessons from a private coach.

To summarize, an intermediate ice skater could end up paying anywhere between $500 to $1,200 a year.


At the expert level, costs can soar. It’s fair to say that the vast majority of people won’t be interested in going anywhere near this level. At this stage, ice skating is more than a hobby. You might be thinking about competing at a national or even Olympic level. If you were looking to become an expert figure skater, for example, you’d be paying a lot of money.

You’d want the bestfigure skates you can get,which would need monthly maintenance. That could cost between $200 to $1,000. When you’re skating at expert levels, your skates have got to be sturdy for hours of work. They also have to fit you exceptionally well, or they’ll negatively impact your performance.

You’ll need to pay for your practice hours, which could cost you between $20 to $40 a day, depending upon how much time you’re on the ice. However, like any skill, if you want to maintain or improve at an elite level, it’s going to require some dedication.

You may end up joining a figure skating club, as they’ll have an arena available at all times for you to practice whenever you need to. This could cost you anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000, depending on the club.

To summarize, you’d easily be paying over $10,000 a year at the very least.Like any expert or elite level of athletics, you’re going beyond the hobby stage, and it costs lots of money to compete at any level.

How Can I Keep My Costs Down?

Keeping your costs down is about understanding what you want out of ice skating. If you want to get decent at it and be able to confidently skate with your family or friends, then it doesn’t take a lot of money at all. It’s arguably cheaper than many hobbies. An annual gym membership, for example, is more expensive.  

However, if you want to learn advanced skills, such as jumps, pirouettes, landings, and otherwise skate at a very high level, it’s going to start costing you more and more money. Learning these skills on your own without coaching or expert knowledge would be an incredibly hard and dangerous task.

The final tip is to start young or start your children ice skating early. If you want to involve your family in your hobby, teaching your children to ice skate is more efficient and cheaper than waiting until they’re older. Children can pick up the basics of ice skating in weeks, whereas an adult might take months.

Final Thoughts

Ice skating isn’t a very expensive hobby for the vast majority of people. Most adults can learn the basics relatively quickly and don’t have to pay for expensive equipment. However, ice skating can rapidly become very expensive if you want to get more advanced.