How To Hockey Stop

hockey stop - how to stop on ice skates

by Jeremy Rupke on March 4, 2010

A common problem that many new hockey players have is learning how to stop. I don’t mean stopping by dragging your foot, doing a 360 or running into the boards, I mean doing a proper hockey stop!

In this article we have four videos to help explain the hockey stop.

I have written this article to help you learn how to stop in hockey, I have also made a how to stop in hockey video that I have added below. You can watch the video if you prefer a visual lesson, I will include key points below the video.

The first video shows the basics of stopping on skates. The biggest part of stopping on skates is getting over the mental barrier. Here is the first video

How to Stop on Hockey Skates Video

This video covers the basics of stopping and helps you understand what is happening.

As you can see in the video the main concept to grasp is that you have to peel the ice, and you will be sliding sideways for a brief second. The most important point to take away from this video is that you MUST keep your momentum moving in the direction you are skating, otherwise you will just turn around. Now you can watch the how to hockey stop video

The Hockey Stop for Absolute Beginners

We made the video below this one first, but we still had a lot of questions so we decided to address all those questions in this video, and offer some very simple solutions to some common problems that beginner hockey players were having.

30+ Years of Power Skating Lessons

In this video we have Scott Grover from the Science of Skating explaining how he teaches hockey players how to stop. Scott was a guest in our Learn to skate series.

How to Hockey Stop Video

If you like this video you can subscribe to our channel on Youtube

Learning how to hockey stop can be tough, but by learning the proper technique, taking it slow, and practicing a lot you should be able to learn in no time! Here is the process of stopping in hockey

A player starts by skating forwards, when the player is ready to stop they will lift one leg slightly to take weight off of it (this can become the back leg or front leg but for the purposes of this example this will become the back leg). With a bit of weight taken off of one skate, the player will start to lean back, rotate their hips and shoulders and begin to turn with their other leg (this leg becomes the front leg). When the player has turned their front leg approximately 90 degrees they will now plant their back leg about 1 foot behind their front leg. At this point the player will be leaning back, and keeping the momentum moving in the direction they were skating. With both feet planted the player will slide for a brief second before coming to a full stop. This sounds like a lot to learn and a long process, but it happens in less than a second. You can see this process in action in the video above if you would like. I have also added pictures of how the hockey stop happens below.

Hockey Stop – Start

You can see here that I am just finishing my last stride from skating, and now preparing to stop. I am pushing off with my back leg (left leg) and getting ready to land with my front leg (my right leg).

Hockey Stop – Rotate Hips

You can see that I have pushed off with my back leg (my left leg), landed with my front leg, and now I am beginning the hockey stop. I am starting to rotate my hips, and turning my front foot. At the same time I will be leaning back, and bringing my back leg behind my front leg.

Hockey Stop – Planting Your Feet

I have now rotated my hips a bit, turned my front foot enough to begin stopping, and just starting to plant my back leg. the back leg is used for balance, and also a bit for stopping. Most of the weight will be placed on the front leg. The key here is to lean back (so you don’t topple over) and peel ice. To stop you will be using the inside edge of the blade on your front skate, and outside edge of the blade on your back skate. I will pivot both of my skates just a little more, then really lean into the stop.

How To Hockey Stop

Here you can see the stop in action. I have peeled a lot of ice with my front leg and a bit with my back leg as well (hard to see though in this picture) The key is to keep moving in the direction that you are skating. If you have trouble stopping like this (you keep spinning or going in circles) try some of the drills I mention in the video, or in the article below.

Now that you know how a hockey stop happens I will teach you how to do it.

Learning To Stop in Hockey

  • The biggest obstacle in learning to stop on skates is the mental barrier that people put up. In the video and in this article I show you how you can overcome the mental barrier of stopping on ice. As you become more comfortable with the concept of how to stop on skates you will get better and better.
  • Start slow – Start skating slowly, and stopping slowly, in fact at first you will only be using one leg to stop, not both. If you are just starting, try holding onto the boards and just pushing off with your leg and get the feeling of your skate sliding sideways. Then move onto the next point
  • For your first hockey stop, take a few strides to get moving, glide for a second and make sure your balance is right. Now Lift a bit of weight off of the skate of your strong leg, rotate your hip a bit, turn your skate (of the leg that you just lifted) about 90 degrees (so it is almost perpendicular to your other skate) and plant your skate in front of you. Your strong leg should now slow you down and then stop you. You should use your other leg for balance. Practice doing this until you get used to using the inside edge of your strong leg to stop. If you feel comfortable at stopping like this then increase your speed a bit, practice doing it faster and faster until you have it down. Remember to practice stopping with both legs, in hockey you need to be able to stop with your body facing in both directions, so start practicing it now.  If you can stop like this you are halfway there.
  • You now know how to use one foot to stop, and the other for balance, with a hockey stop you should be using both feet to stop, but you are not ready to do that just yet, first you should practice stopping with only one foot! That’s right one foot and it is not as hard as you think. Earlier we were using one foot for balance, but your front leg was doing all of the work. Now we need to build your balance even more by taking away that leg you were using for balance. Perform the same motion as we talked about before, but take a bit of weight, or all of your weight off of your balance foot, try just using your front leg (your strong leg) to stop (as shown in the hockey stop video). Once you are comfortable taking weight off of your balancing leg, try lifting it right up. This will build your confidence in using your inside edge to stop, and the motion of sliding a bit, and keeping the momentum moving in the direction you were skating. That is pretty much it, now you can use both feet and do a full hockey stop!
  • To do the full hockey stop, skate forwards, lift your strong leg, rotate your hips a bit, lean back, and turn your body to the side so that both skates are now sideways (compared to how they were pointing before). Plant your back foot and dig in until you stop. Congratulations, you have just learned how to hockey stop. The only thing you need to do now is put that knowledge into action.

Understanding Your Edges

As requested by Jacky – If you have read our How to Ice Skate article you will know that when you are skating, each skate blade actually rests on two thin edges. When you skate, turn, and stop you need to use your edges. When you are playing this comes as second nature, but can be hard for some beginners to understand, and may help you learn to stop and skate if you learn about your edges. I have included some pictures that may help you understand how to use your edges to stop.

inside edge on hockey skate

This shows a front view of what a hockey stop would look like. This would be the front foot, in this case the left leg is leading the stop. On this skate you are using your inside edge, on the other foot you will be using your outside edge.

indide edge, closeup

This show’s a close-up of the hockey skate blade. You can see what I mean by the inside edge doing most of the work. The outside edge barely touches the ice.

how to hockey stop

You can see the inside edge of the left skate at work, while the outside edge of the right skate is being used. If a player were to stop in the other direction, the opposite would apply

Hockey Stop

This shot shows what the skates would look like if they were coming at you. You need to lean back in order to slide, and then stop. Remember, like in the video, practice with one foot, then try with both.

I hope this article has helped you learn how to stop in hockey. If you would like more hockey tips like this then you can subscribe to the articles with the box to the left.

Thanks for reading, let me know what you think (or add some tips of your own)

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Jeremy Rupke

Hi my name is Jeremy. I LOVE hockey and I am passionate about improving and helping others improve. My goal is to break every hockey skill down into easy to understand articles and videos. I explain everything step-by-step to help others improve. If you want to learn more about me you can read my about page. Thanks for reading and sharing!

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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

AlamSakib April 11, 2015 at 9:19 pm

I get alot of chattering when i try to do a basic snowplow stop. what should or should i not do?


AlamSakib March 7, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Which part of the blade should the weight be on?
The toes, heel, or middle?


Eric March 10, 2015 at 10:00 am

Definitely not the heel. In skates you never want your weight on your heels as you’ll end up on your butt really quick. Generally in skating you want your weight to be forward but not all the way on to your toes, try and have your weight on the balls of your feet, you can have your weight a bit more towards the center if that is comfortable (when you skate backwards you’ll find that your weight will tend to be more toward the middle than the front).

I hope this helps a bit.

Jelle February 9, 2015 at 9:49 am

I skate since 2 years but not with hockey shoes , so I bought T-blades.Is it possible, too?(Do the hockey stop with t-blades) Have I sharpened them too deep ?


Brendon March 27, 2014 at 4:06 am

Hey guys I am new to hockey im an aussie and I was struggling to do the hockey stop

what I found really really helped me was don’t think to much about what your doing, pretend you have a board attached from your waist down to your feet and turn your hips 90 degrees and your feet will follow. (obviously knees bent and head and shoulders up)

This is what I did and I was making snow strait away after struggling so bad I was hockey stopping both ways in 3 hrs

im not sure if that’s the correct way but its just a tip that I found that made me hockey stop

hope this tip helps out guys


Chris May 25, 2013 at 12:02 am

I’ve been skating for about 3 months now and I still don’t know how to stop, when I do my foot just gets caught in the ice and I fall. I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong though, my brother who’s been playing for 8 years says everything looks good and that he doesn’t know what the problem is, if you could help me somehow that’d be great.


Ricardo August 2, 2013 at 9:10 am

Hi I’m a coach for peewee hockey and at a highschool level, what I have noticed from begginers at stopping on my peewee team is that they put way too much pressure on their front foot, when your brother looks at you he probably is looking at the right moves but he won’t know about the pressure on your foot unless he is on your skates.

I have came across too that new hockey players have their skates sharpened way too deep because it gives more bite and they can “grip” better on the ice, maybe that’s your case, try with a shallower sharpenning and see if that helps, most begginers go with 1/2 inch so if you haven’t done so I suggest go with that ROH.

Rebekah May 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Thank you, it worked!!


franky May 12, 2013 at 11:40 pm

hey so it seems like in practice I can do a hockey stop but the left one not so good and even if I was able to stick handle well once I start playing its like I cant get the puck, my positioning is bad and can’t receive the puck and it is like if I can’t do a hockey stop anymore and just punch the boards or crash into them. it is like everyone went away and all the bad habits came back. What should I do, just not be scared and try to eliminate the habits?


Timmy February 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm

very helpful, and love the south park reference in the video (“you’re gonna have a bad time.”) Well done!


Athena October 26, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Hey! Can u guya teachnme how to do the hockey stop backwards?



chris young August 15, 2012 at 1:53 am

hi guys,this is chris on the isle of wight uk,i am a 61 year old guy who goes to planet ice here in ryde on the isle of wight,love the ice disco sessions,i have only been skating a year,and self taught,by watching other people skate,i can go quite fast and turn left and right,but have not always found it easy to stop,but after studying your (how to hockey stop videos)etc, i have a much greater understanding of how to stop,so thanks alot,and i will continue to study your videos and written advice to further my own performance,i find i can only learn by watching and studying the moves,its no use someone saying do this,or do that,as it goes in one ear and straight out the other,so keep up the good work,and happy skating everyone,best regards,chris.


Nicole June 3, 2012 at 1:28 am

hey i have the whole concept of stopping and all lean drop your weight and stuff everything is perfect.. EXCEPT i cant turn out my right foot as much as my left and it really annoys me cause my snow plough is fine and ive been trying for about 6months


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