Tip Number 1
Are my knees bent enough

The answer to this question is simple - assuming the proper hockey stance postion that i referred to on tip number 2, the most effective way to determine adequate knee bend is to bend the knees until you can no longer see the tips of your skates. While practicing this stance, keep in mind not to bend at the waist.
Tip Number 2
Should my stance be shoulder or hip width apart

My choice would be hip width. I recommend this stance because i want kids to realize that proper balance and power come from pushing from the hip outward and not from the shoulders outward. This stance will allow for a longer stride, thus improving overall speed and power.
Tip Number 3
How many edges are on a blade

There are 2 edges on a blade the outside and inside. Very simply put, the outside edge is on the part of the skate that faces outward, while the inside part is on the interior part of the skate.

A good way to test your ability to hold an outside or inside edge is to practice on a circle. When going counterclockwise, lift up the right foot so that the left foot is gliding on the circle. Body weight should be centered on the foot that you are gliding on. This will demonstrate the outside edge. To obtain the inside edge, continue counterclockwise but now lift the left leg so gliding occurs on the right foot. Again, weight should be centered over the gliding foot. Repeat the exercise in clockwise direction, again, alternating feet. Edges, and the knowledge of them, is the key if you strive to be a good technical skater. All skating technique (i.e. forward skating, backward skating, stopping, turning, crossovers etc.) is achieved by being able to manipulate these edges to the fullest.
Tip Number 4
The forward stride

Once we establish basic stance and balance it's time to tackle forward skating. This is probably one of the most difficult skills to master, as it takes time and practice to achieve the perfect stride. However once the perfect stride is achieved you should see an increase in your speed and power.
3. The Return

Once the leg has completed its full extension, it should return under the hip. A common error here, is to return the leg to far apart to be able to achieve the next full extension. The return should be fluid with no pausing to start the next push.
4. The upper body

The upper body should remain upright with the head always looking forward. The arms should move forward, one at a time, very similar to a cross-country skier. A common error here, is to jut the elbows out to the sides of the body. This creates a twisting of the upper body which makes balance and extension of the proper stride almost impossible to achieve, not to mention the fact that it is difficult to be an effective puck handler if you have difficulty keeping your upper body immovable while skating.

The perfect stride takes much practice but when achieved, will improve other aspects of your game almost immediately.
Hope these tips help. If you would like to learn more on how to improve your skating skills, please check out our new Instructional video.
If you have any questions or need advice please feel free to use our contact form or email us at: info@powerskating.ca