Learn to Skate / Beginning Hockey

Kalamazoo’s original and best Learn to Skate program is back with two sessions (one in the fall, one in the winter) before the end of the season. KOHA’s Learn to Skate program was designed and implemented by a Western Michigan University graduate student with a hockey and education background. Thousands of young people have learned to skate with KOHA. KOHA Learn to Skate is open to girls and boys, whether they have an interest in playing hockey or not.

Equipment: KOHA has sets of basic protective equipment available for rent, first come - first served. Skaters must have a helmet, skates & winter gloves or mittens for Learn To Skate. Knee and elbow protection is strongly suggested.

What your child will learn: KOHA begins with teaching skaters how to stand up and fall down. Skaters are divided into groups of about 10, with an adult volunteer assisting KOHA’s program leader. Over the 8 to 10 one-hour sessions of the program, skaters will learn forward gliding and skating, backwards skating, hockey stops, left to right and right to left turns and front to back and back to front turns. Proper (efficient) skating technique is emphasized.

17/18 LEARN TO SKATE SESSION 1 (Saturdays AND Sundays - WINGS WEST - 8am)
OCTOBER 21st - NOVEMBER 19th (Sat & Sun - 10 sessions total)
Cost: $100

17/18 LEARN TO SKATE SESSION 2 (Saturdays ONLY - WINGS WEST - mornings, exact times TBA)
JANUARY 13th - MARCH 3rd (Sat ONLY - 8 sessions total)
Cost: $100

If you have any questions on the Learn to Skate Program please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (269) 349-7825.

Players must register on line with USA Hockey (Free for skaters 6 and under) prior to registering with KOHA for either Learn To Skate or Beginning Hockey.

Pictured: Nick Bootland (Head Coach, K Wings) & Jeff Blashill (Head Coach, Detroit Red Wings) & their sons
Photo courtesy: John Gilroy

KOHA Beginning Hockey Program is the second part of a two-part program designed to teach your child the basic skills of ICE HOCKEY. In Beginning Hockey, your child can continue to improve upon skating skills and learn hockey basics. Beginning Hockey runs from December through March.

This program generally follows the Learn to Skate Program and is recommended before entering our House League or Travel Hockey programs. Over 80 boys and girls annually participate in this program.

Why should your child participate? Skating is fun and easy; it improves balance, hand-to-eye coordination and strength. Skating compliments other sports, and is beneficial to girls and boys alike. The program is designed to allow children to develop skills and self-confidence at their own pace in an atmosphere of positive encouragement.


Recommended to be five (5) years old by December 31, 2017; younger players may participate with advanced approval by the program director.

BOTH Saturdays and Sundays. 2017/18 DATES: DECEMBER 9TH (Saturday) THROUGH MARCH 10TH (Saturday). One 60-minute session both days. Due to the size of our program in recent years and the limited ice availability, we have to limit our program to skaters 11 and younger. Older players are recommended to join House C.

(Beginning Hockey sessions/ice times will vary according to team assignments.)

Wings West (5076 Sports Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009) - just off of 9th Street in Oshtemo



Beginning Hockey:

Hockey skaters will need the following equipment by their first practice in December 2014.

  • Certified hockey helmet
  • Shin guards (tape ones or Velcro strapped)
  • Elbow pads
  • Protective cup
  • Hockey skates
  • Hockey gloves
  • Shoulder pads
  • Garter belt or hockey shorts
  • Hockey pants
  • Hockey stick
  • Neck guard

Note: KOHA has "One Goal" hockey equipment available for rent by Beginning Hockey players, depending on availability, first come first first serve. These sets of equipment exclude skates, a helmet and a stick. Please check with the office staff for more details.