For most Canadians, lacing up a pair of skates is a staple part of winter. It’s also a fun way to get out from hibernation and enjoy some light exercise. Whether you’ve recently moved to Ottawa or just want to skate on the Rideau Canal for the first time, this natural skate way can help you fall in love with winter. But before you head out, be sure to check out these skating tips for the canal this winter to ensure you stay safe and have fun.
Bundle Up with Lots of Layers
Living in Ottawa means bundling up and embracing the cold weather. And out on the canal, the wind can whip up quickly, especially as you glide on the ice, which makes it’s even colder. So, rule number one before heading out to skate is to bundle up well. Put on those extra-long johns, thermal socks, and make sure to wear clothing that is tightly fitted to help your body retain heat. The extra layers will also help buffer any slip and falls when you’re on the ice.
If you’re not a good skater, it can take some time and patience to get your balance. Since the canal is a natural skateway, it won’t offer the smooth surface you’d find in an artificial rink. So you should anticipate bumps, ridges and uneven areas along the route. Also, there won’t be any boards to help you stop. If you haven’t been on skates ever or in a few years, it might be worth starting at a rink where you can brush up on your balance and stopping skills.
Bring Your Own Skates
Renting skates used to be an option, but due to COVID, you must bring your own. Even when restrictions lift, we recommend having your own pair to avoid missing out.
There are Lockers Available
If you have bulky items and want to store your shoes to free up your hands, you can rent lockers near the Canal. This is a safer option so you can catch yourself if you take a tumble.
You Can Skate at Any Time
The Canal is free to skate on and open any time, so you can choose a quieter time to avoid busy skating traffic. If you plan to skate after dark, wearing a headlight can be a helpful tool to stay safe and see where you’re going.
If you want to embrace winter to the max, let us take care of the maintenance! At Hansen Lawn & Garden, we offer snow removal services so you don’t have to worry about shovelling. Contact us today to learn more.