Figure Skating Costs and Training: Broken Down By Skating Level

A Young Figure Skater
A Young Figure Skater. Photo by Westend61 - Getty Images

Are you a parent of a young figure skater? Are you interested in getting an idea of how much time and money will go into your child's ice skating dream? Below are estimates of the time and cost of figure skating broken down by skating level.

Beginning Ice Skaters:

  • Learn to skate classes involve skating one time a week for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • The cost of learn to skate classes is usually paid for in a series.  For example, $100 tuition for ten consecutive weekly group lessons is commonly charged at many ice arenas.  That breaks down to about $10 per week.

Serious Recreational Figure Skaters:

  • Serious recreational skaters usually skate and practice two to four days a week for an hour or two.
  • The cost of each hour of practice may range from $5 to $15.
  • Recreational figure skaters usually take one to two private skating lessons per week.
  • The cost of private ice skating lessons range from approximately $20 to $50 for twenty to thirty minutes of private one on one skating instruction.
  • All serious recreational figure skaters own their own figure skates.  The cost of acceptable figure skates for recreational figure skaters may range from $150 to $300.
  • Skate sharpening is about $10 to $20 and should be done every two months.
  • Special practice clothing for skating is essential and basic skating attire costs may range from $30 to $50.
  • Some recreational skaters compete in basic skills, ISI, non-qualifying, test track skating competitions, take figure skating tests, or take part in skating recitals and shows.  These activities will increase skating practice time and costs.
  • Out of town recreational skating competitions mean that there will be travel costs.  Keep in mind that most figure skating coaches charge their students for extra expenses and lessons related to competitions.

Synchronized Skaters:

  • Other serious recreational skaters may join synchronized skating teams. Synchronized skaters pay a yearly tuition which includes ice time, instruction, costume costs, warm up suits or uniforms, and travel expenses.  Synchronized skaters usually skate at least two to three days a week, but sometimes will skate more.
  • Estimated cost for synchronized skating is about $2,000 to $3,000 per year per skater, which is usually paid in monthly installments.  (Ice Skating Institute's, recreational synchronized skating teams usually only practice together one time a week for about 30 to 45 minutes, so the cost of ISI synchronized skating is much less, approximately $15 to $25 a week.)

Social Ice Dancers:

  • Social ice dancers may skate once or twice a week with friends, take at least one private lesson a week with a qualified ice dance coach, and may attend ice dance weekends once or twice a year.  The cost of ice dance weekends can be estimated between $300 and $400 which includes two nights in a hotel, meals, socializing and a weekend that includes a lot of social ice time and dancing on and off the ice.  (Airfare is not included in this estimate.)  Social ice dancers are usually adult figure skaters, but some children and teens do take part in social ice dancing.

    Test Only Figure Skaters:

    • At the lower figure skating test levels (Pre-Preliminary and Preliminary) a test-only skater can accomplish much by skating three to four days a week for just an hour and take one to two private skating lessons a week.
    • The cost of each hour of practice ranges from $5 to $15 and private lessons range from $20 to $50 for twenty to thirty minutes of instruction.
    • As the skater's test level increases, figure skaters who decide to skate to complete all US figure skating tests and work towards a "Gold Medal" will skate at least two 45 minute sessions per day, five days a week and usually have at least one private lesson each day.
    • Also, at the advanced skating levels, higher quality boots and blades are required.  These costs can vary, but a suitable pair of skates for a test only skater may cost between $500 to $1000.
    • Skate sharpening prices range from $15 to $25 and skates should be sharpened about every five weeks.
    • Test fees, music editing fees, and skating test clothes, tights, laces, and practice skating clothes are also essential and will add to the above costs. 

    Preliminary Through Juvenile Level Competitive Figure Skaters:

    • Preliminary through Juvenile figure skating competitors usually skate at least two 45 minute free style practice sessions per day, five days a week, and also have at least one private lesson a day, but sometimes skate more sessions and have more lessons.
    • Also boots and blades cost between $300 to $900 for these levels and skate sharpening is done monthly ($15 to $25).
    • There will be test fees, music editing fees, competition clothes, practice clothes, ballet and dance lessons, off-ice conditioning and stretching instruction, competition travel costs, etc. 
    • The total estimated cost per year of a Preliminary to Juvenile's skater's training could add up to be anywhere between $7,000 to $10,000.

    Intermediate Through Senior and Elite Level Competitive Figure Skaters:

    • Intermediate levels and above require at least three to four 45 minute practice sessions per day, five to six days a week, but it is common for skaters of this level to skate and train much more.
    • Skaters of this level take at least two to three private lessons a day with highly qualified competitive figure skating coaches and additionally work with supplemental coaches and choreographers.
    • The boots and blades required must be of the highest quality, so it is common for skaters of this level to spend around $1000 to $1500 on their skates.  New boots and blades are sometimes required annually.
    • Sharpening is done monthly ($15 to $25). 
    • Music editing, choreography, competition costs, travel, practice and competition clothes, off-ice conditioning, ballet lessons, etc.are increased. 
    • A skater's family can expect to spend at least $20,000 a year on skating, but may spend more.