Image result for photo of cody williams, unlv rebels      Celebrate the holidays with UNLV players including the dynamic goal scorer Cody Williams of Las Vegas

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      By Bethany Drysdale

        Want to meet your favorite Rebel Hockey players? Want to skate outdoors and support a good cause? Come join the UNLV Rebel Hockey team as they get into the holiday spirit, this weekend, December 8 at 5PM. The team is inviting the public to join them at Green Valley Ranch’s Winter Village, with proceeds benefiting St. Jude. Here is a perfect opportunity to say hello to the wonderful friends we have introduced to you through our “Love of Hockey” player profiles. If you have never been on the ice before, this is the perfect opportunity to try, and just maybe get you into the holiday spirit.

            Another family fun event will be Wednesday December 5 at the Cosmopolitan Ice rink, where Vegas Golden Knight Deryk Engelland will be lighting the holiday tree from 6-8PM. Come on out and skate with our hometown Golden Knight and enjoy some holiday fun!

            For our new, novice readers, there are a few tips to know before lacing up you skates…You don’t need your own skates when you are first learning; rental skates are available at all locations around the Valley. If you do decide to make ice skating a regular activity, owning your own skates is a definite advantage and cost saving. Sizing your skates is different than your actual shoe size. Typically, the skate size is down 1.5 sizing from a men’s shoe. To get the most accurate measurements:

  1. Place a ruler or tape measure on a flat surface, like the ground, with one end against a wall.
  2. Stand up straight on the ruler or tape, with your heel against the wall.
  3. Measure the length of your foot from the end of your longest toe to the heel
  4. Enter the sitting position.
  5. Use the tape measure or ruler to measure the widest part of the ball of your foot
  6. Pull the tape measure snugly, to get the most accurate read out

A snug fitting skate, with thin socks is ideally what a skater needs. Figure skates are different from hockey skates. The blade on a Figure skate is typically longer, flatter and has a toe pick to help stopping and standing.

            Beginners might be surprised at the cost of ice skates, if they look into buying their own pair. There are also several brand names to choose from, with high quality skates. Beginner / Entry Level Ice Skates – Designed for those just starting out, featuring softer synthetic boots and linings, PVC soles, and basic blades, that perform adequately for basic moves and skating. Entry level skates will most likely not hold up to advanced maneuvers and jumps. Recreational Ice Skates – Meant for casual skaters, recreational skates have a simple lace for easy on, off, and fitting, as well as basic boots and blades. Similar to beginner skates, these ice skates will only take you so far, and will not hold up to advanced spins, jumps, and other maneuvers. Intermediate / Advanced Ice Skates – Boots and blades that perform well at the highest, most demanding levels, these skates are more complicated, and in turn, more expensive than most other figure skates.

            After skating with the Rebels, there are several Vegas locations to practice ice skating. Some are indoor and offer year round public skating, while others are outdoor and seasonal. Indoor places include:

Las Vegas Ice Center http://www.lasvegasice.com/

Sobe Ice Arena https://fiestarancho.sclv.com/Entertainment/SoBe-Ice-Arena

City National Arena https://www.citynationalarenavegas.com/

Don’t be afraid to get out and try something new. Skating is a wonderful family activity and a chance to make some new holiday memories. It will also give you a better idea what these hockey players do every time they lace up for a game.