Is Ice Skating Expensive? Answered With Cost Breakdown

Ice Skating

Ice skating is a fun and affordable activity the whole family can enjoy, as a skating session at your local ice skating rink will typically cost between $10 and $14 per person, which includes the cost of the skate rental.

This means a family of four, can typically go ice skating for the afternoon at a cost between $40 and $56.

But ice skating can also be very expensive, depending on how far you want to go in the sport and how serious you want to take it.  

As there are also freestyle sessions which can run between $10 to $15 per hour, private or group lessons that can cost between $20 to $100 an hour, ice skating and figure skating equipment that can cost hundreds and even thousands, and professional figure skating club memberships, which can run into the thousands of dollars for a single years membership.  

But if you’re not sure what all these different costs are and thinking about getting into ice skating or figure skating, you definitely want to keep reading.

As we provide a full cost breakdown of ice skating in the rest of this article, plus answer some common questions around the cost of ice skating as well as figure skating. 

How Expensive is Ice Skating: Full Cost Breakdown

Ice Skating

Ice Use or Ice Skating Rink Fees

The most basic cost associated with ice skating is finding somewhere to ice skate.

Which for most skaters will usually be at their local ice skating rink or sports complex, where they will charge ice use or rink fees to skate.

But when it comes to ice use or ice skating rink fees, it’s not one-size-fits-all.

As there are three main types of ice use fees, including open public sessions, freestyle sessions, and professional figure skating club memberships, which each have their own unique cost.  

Open Public Session:  $10 – $14 Per Session (Includes Skate Rental)

The most common and affordable ice use fees are open public sessions, which as the name implies are meant for the general public to casually enjoy ice skating.

Open public sessions are meant for beginner to intermediate ice skaters that just want to casually skate around and enjoy the sport of ice skating.

Usually, ice skating rinks or sports complexes will block out specific blocks of time for open public sessions, where anyone can come and skate for a few hours at an affordable price.

In addition, seasonal and pop-up ice skating rinks offer open public sessions almost exclusively, as these types of ice skating rinks are geared towards beginner and novice ice skaters.

While cost can vary depending on the ice skating rink, usually open public sessions will cost between $10 and $14 per person per session, which includes the cost of the skate rental. 

However, some ice skating rinks offer bulk or group discount rates for birthday parties or youth groups, which can lower the cost per person by a few dollars off the normal rate.  

Freestyle Session:  $10 – $15 Per Hour (Typically Does Not Include Skate Rental)

Freestyle sessions are the second most expensive form of ice use fees, which are also available at local ice skating rinks and sports complexes.  

As local ice skating rinks and sports complexes will block out specific blocks of time throughout the week designated for freestyle sessions just like open public sessions.

But while open public sessions are meant for the general public to just casually skate around on the ice, freestyle sessions are meant for more advanced and skilled ice skaters that want to practice more complex ice skating moves and skills and need more open ice to do so.

Because the big advantage of freestyle sessions is that they are usually far less crowded compared to open public sessions, which provides a lot more open ice for practicing and maneuvering.  

But with this extra space also comes an extra cost, as the typical freestyle session at an ice skating rink will usually cost between $10 and $15 dollars per hour, which can quickly add up depending on how long you plan to be on the ice.  

In addition, skate rental is not typically included in the cost of a freestyle session but this usually isn’t a problem, as any skater paying for a freestyle skating session more than likely has their own pair of skates anyway.  

Private Figure Skating Club Membership:  $1,500+

The most expensive ice use fee by far is a membership to a private figure skating club, which can easily run into the thousands of dollars for a yearly membership.

Private figure skating clubs are meant for the most committed and serious ice skaters that either skate professionally or are training for a figure skating competition.

The cost of a yearly membership though is not just one set price.

Because just like open public sessions and freestyle sessions from above, the cost of the yearly membership to a private figure skating club is still typically based on the amount of time you plan to be on the ice.

To illustrate this point take a look at the differences in price for a private figure skating club membership.

Private Figure Skating Club Membership Sample

2 Days Per Week $1,643.00
3 Days Per Week $2,464.50
4 Days Per Week $3,162.00
5 Days Per Week $3,794.40
6 Days Per Week $4,092.00
Unlimited Day Time Ice Package $5,710.00
Unlimited Prime Time Ice Package $7,140.00

*Pricing from a Private Figure Skating Club Pricing Sheet

As you can see from the sample above, there can be more than a $5,000 difference in the cost of a private figure skating club membership, based on the amount of ice time it offers.

With the most expensive private figure skating club membership topping out a $7,140 for an unlimited prime time ice package.  

Ice Skating Lessons Cost

Just like ice fees, there can be a wide range when it comes to the cost of ice skating lessons, ranging from as little as $20 to $30 dollars for a basic group ice skating lesson, to as much as $50 to $100 an hour for private figure skating lessons.

So as was the case with ice fees, how much you need to spend on ice skating lessons depends largely on how serious or how far you want to go in the world of ice skating and figure skating.

For example, if you are a beginner ice skater and just want to learn the basics, a handful of $20 to $30 group ice skating lessons should be all you need.

However, if you have higher aspirations in ice skating, such as entering into figure skating competitions or ice skating professionally, you will need more expensive ice skating and figure skating lessons and perhaps even private coaching, which is the most expensive option of all.

Because once you move on from basic ice skating lessons, you will usually move on to private or semi-private lessons, which usually cost between $20 and $50 an hour depending on the number of students in the class and the expertise level of the teacher.

But the most expensive option of all in figure skating is private coaching, which can run anywhere from $50 to $100+ an hour, depending on the level of expertise of the coach and also the level of prestige the coach has in the figure skating world.  

Cost of Ice Skates and Other Ice Skating Gear

Ice Skates

As is the case with everything else around ice skating, when it comes to the actual ice skates there can be a very wide range in price and cost.

For example, a basic pair of ice skates from an off-brand with a stock boot and blade can cost as little as $50, while a custom pair of high-end ice skates with a custom boot and blade can cost more than $1,500.

So how much do you need to spend to buy a quality pair of ice skates?

Stock Ice Skates Cost

Most beginner ice skaters buying their first pair of skates go with a quality pair of stock skates, as they offer a good compromise between performance and cost.

A quality pair of stock ice skates from a name-brand manufacturer such as Riedell or Jackson will usually start at around $70 and top out around $800 but most beginner skaters will usually end up spending between $100 and $200 for their first pair of quality ice skates.  

Also, while it might be tempting to check out the bargain bin when looking for a pair of beginner skates.

It’s usually best to avoid cheap ice skates, as they will often hold you back and make it much more challenging to advance in skill level due to their lack of support and poor quality.

Want to know how much specific ice skates cost?  If so, check out our article “How Much Do Ice Skates Cost? Answered (18 Examples)“.

Top 3 Picks for Beginner Ice Skaters

If you’re looking for a recommendation on a good quality pair of ice skates for beginners, take a look at the top three popular picks below.

1. Jackson Mystique Ice Skates

Jackson Mystique with Mark II Blade

  • Best for Youth Beginners
  • PVC Sole
  • Polyurethane Coated Leather Upper
  • Microfiber Lining
  • Flex Notch for Added Flexibility
  • Fully Mounted Mark II Blade
  • Rated for 1/2 Rotation Jumps

2. Jackson Artiste Ice Skates

Jackson Artiste Ice Skates

  • Best for Adult Beginners
  • Higher Stiffness Level
  • Available in White or Black
  • PVC Sole
  • Polyurethane Coated Leather Upper
  • Microfiber Lining
  • Flex Notch for Added Flexibility
  • Fully Mounted Mark IV Blade
  • Rated for 1/2 Rotation Jumps

3. Jackson Elle Ice Skates

Jackson Elle Ice Skates

  • Upgrade from Beginner Boot
  • Microfiber / Leather Upper
  • Cork Fusion Sole
  • Cloth Lining
  • Flex Notch for Added Flexibility
  • U Shaped Back Ankle Cuff
  • Temp Mounted Mirage Blade
  • Rated for Full Rotational Jumps

Custom Ice Skates Cost

Stock skates from a quality brand like Riedell or Jackson are really all you need for your first few years of ice skating.

As quality stock stakes will allow you to progress through most of the figure skating levels, including pre-preliminary, preliminary, pre-juvenile, juvenile, intermediate, and novice.

But as your skill level increases, there will be a point when it makes sense to upgrade to custom ice skates, which are considerably more expensive compared to stock skates.

As custom skates will typically cost anywhere from $800 on the low end to more than $1,500 on the high end.

With custom boots costing between $600 and $1,000 and custom blades costing anywhere from $100 to $600.  

Other Ice Skating Equipment Costs

While ice skates will make up the bulk of the ice skating equipment cost.

There are a few other things you will need for ice skating and figure skating.

So we have included this list of the most popular ice skating equipment used by figure skaters and their associated costs.  

Average Cost Amazon Cost
Rockerz or Guards $15
Soakers (Blade Covers) $10
Skating Towel $10
Padded Skating Shorts $50
Leg Warmers $10
Figure Skating Gloves $25
Ice Skate Bag $40
Ice Skating Rink Tote $50
Bunga Pads $15

Want to learn how to ice skate faster?  If so, check out our article “Is Ice Skating Hard to Learn? (12 Tips that Make it Easier)“.

Why is Ice Skating so Expensive?

While it doesn’t cost much to rent a pair of skates and enjoy an afternoon at your local ice skating rink.

The sport of ice skating can get very expensive as you progress through the different levels of the sport and especially once you enter into the world of competitive figure skating.

Which can top out at $35,000 to $50,000 a year to compete at the Olympic level of the sport, due to numerous costs such as expensive costumes, custom skates, private coaches, choreography, physical therapy, and travel.

But even if you don’t plan to enter into the world of figure skating and compete at the top levels of the sport, ice skating can still be very expensive, due to several costs, which we’ve listed below.

  • Annual Ice Time:  $500 to $1,500+
  • Stock Pair of Ice Skates:  $200 to $800 (Will Need to be Replaced Regularly)
  • Additional Ice Skating Gear:  $100 to $200
  • Lessons:  $20 to $100+ (Per Session)

How Much Does Figure Skating Cost?

The cost of figure skating can vary wildly depending on what level of the sport you’re competing at.

But as a general rule, the further you advance in the sport, the more expensive it becomes.

For example, to compete at the lowest levels of the sport, at the preliminary and juvenile levels, it usually costs between $1,000 and $2,500 per year.

However, as you progress through the different levels of figure skating and start to compete at higher and higher levels, the costs tend to increase exponentially, topping out between $35,000 and $50,000 annually, at the highest Olympic level.  

But, in general, most figure skaters will typically spend between $2,500 and $10,000 a year, depending on their ability and level of competition.   

Figure Skating

Why is Figure Skating So Expensive?

Figure skating is one of the most expensive winter sports you can participate in, due to numerous fixed and variable costs that can easily run into the thousands and even into the tens of thousands at the highest levels of the sport.

But to truly understand why figure skating is so expensive, we have to look at the individual costs associated with figure skating.  

Figure Skates:  $200 to $1,500+

Stock boots and skates usually cost between $200 and $800.

But once you start competing at the higher levels of the sport, you will need to switch to custom skates, which will usually start at around $600 and can be as much as $1,500.

And this isn’t just a one-time expense.

As lower-level skaters will usually replace their skates once a year, while higher-level skaters will often replace their skates every few months.  

Ice Time:  $500 to $1,500+ (Annually)

In order to be competitive, figure skaters need to spend a lot of time on the ice practicing and conditioning.

With beginner skaters spending about an hour on the ice, two to three times a week, and more advanced skaters spending as much as 3 to 5 hours on the ice, four to five days a week.  

Private Coaching:  $50 to $100 (Per Hour)

The cost of private coaching can vary greatly depending on the skill level of the skater and the experience level of the coach.

However, private coaching in figure skating will usually start at around $50 an hour and quickly go up from there, topping out at around $100 an hour for more sought-after and experienced coaches.

Keep in mind though, as you advance in figure skating the amount of coaching and the different types of coaching you will need will usually increase substantially, which will greatly increase the cost.

For example, a highly advanced figure skater competing at the highest levels of the sport oftentimes will have several coaches including an overall general coach, a skating skills coach, and a jump coach.  

Figure Skating Costumes:  $1,000 to $5,000

Another big cost associated with figure skating is the costumes that are worn during competitions, which can range anywhere from $200 for a basic off-the-rack costume to as much as $5,000 for a custom-made costume you would see at the Olympics.

So if you plan to compete in figure skating competitions, you should plan for at least $1,000 on the low end to get you started to as much as $3,000 to $5,000 on the higher end.

As most figure skaters will have one costume for the short program, one for the long program, and a backup just in case.

Chorography:  $50+ (Per Hour)

Another big part of figure skating is the choreography that goes into each routine, which is usually handled by the general coach at the lower levels of competition.

But can also be handled by a separate choreographer at the higher levels of competition.  

Figure Skating Clubs, Association Fees, and Testing:  $150 to $300 (Per Year)

Another cost of figure skating is club memberships, association fees, and testing, which will usually run between $150 to $300 per year.  

As figure skaters will typically belong to a figure skating club that costs around $150 a year, which will also pay for their association with either the USFSA (US Figure Skating) or ISI (Ice Skating Institute).

As most figure skating clubs in the US are associated with either the USFSA or the ISI, which provides an organizational structure for programming, administration, and development.  

In addition, in order to advance from one skill level to the next in figure skating, field tests are required, which will usually cost between $35 and $100 per test.  

Travel:  $1,000 – $5,000 (Annually)

In order to compete in the various figure skating competitions, you will have substantial travel expenses, which can vary depending on the mode of travel and how far away you are from the competitions.

But in general, you can expect to spend between $1,000 and $5,000 annually on travel, while figure skating.  

Want to know how dangerous ice skating is?  If so, check out our article “How Dangerous is Ice Skating? (Most Common Injuries)“.

How to Afford Figure Skating?

As we have seen throughout this article, ice skating in general and especially figure skating can be very expensive.

Which unfortunately can make getting into the sport challenging, if you’re working with a small budget.  

Luckily though there are a handful of ways to save money and figure skate on a budget, which we’ve listed below.

6 Tips to Figure Skate on a Budget

  1. Group Classes – While many skaters think you need private lessons right away, group classes can be just as effective as private lessons, especially in those first few years, which cost a fraction of what private lessons cost.
  2. Semi-Private Lessons – Once you’ve mastered the more basic skills of ice skating, semi-private lessons can also be a great alternative to private lessons, as it will often cut the cost of more advanced training in half and perhaps, even more, depending on how many skaters are participating in the semi-private lesson.
  3. Look for More Affordable or Used Equipment – In the beginning, at least up to the level of juvenile, it is not necessary to have the best of the best, when it comes to equipment.  As basic equipment and even used skates should easily get you through the first few years of figure skating. 
  4. Go With Public Sessions Over Freestyle Sessions – While you will have to share the ice with more skaters and with skaters of all levels, public ice skating sessions are far more affordable compared to freestyle sessions.  
  5. Off-Ice Training Videos – As is the case with most things, YouTube is a great source of information on different skills and techniques for figure skating.  Allowing you to spend more time practicing and less time learning while on the ice, greatly cutting down on the amount of needed ice time.
  6. Find a Job or Volunteer at an Ice Skating Rink – There are many different jobs available at your local ice skating rink, that can help offset the costs of figure skating.  And if you’re too young for a job, you might want to consider volunteering, in order to obtain some free ice time.


U.S. Figure Skating Levels –

Cost to Become an Olympic Figure Skater –

Cost of Figure Skating Field Test –

Jason Kidd

Jason is an avid lover of camping, hiking, and well just about anything outdoors. He is both a writer and editor for Outside Pulse and has been camping and hiking for over 20 years.

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