Before skating outdoors, test the ice first to make sure that it is strong and hard enough to skate on. One way of testing the strength of a frozen body of water is to find a very shallow area and place one foot onto the ice. Apply your body weight until you feel comfortable to place your other foot onto the ice surface as well. You can then drill a hole in the ice to check for ice thickness. You can also check other sections of the ice rink to make sure that it is safe to skate on by drilling some holes through the surface.
Keep in mind that natural ice surfaces are always full of danger. They are not as safe as indoor ones that are always maintained and regularly inspected. If you prefer to skate outdoors, stay away from these hazardous areas:
- The shoreline
- Moving water