How Thick Does Ice Have to Be to Skate On?

thick-ice-skate Credit: Chris Joseph/All Canada Photos/Getty Images

A minimum of four inches of ice is thick enough to skate on. Check the ice in several places for thickness using an ice auger or a chisel and a tape measure. Make a hole in the ice, hook the edge of the tape measure over the edge and measure.

Avoid skating on ice that has cracks or wet ice. Check the area for moving water under the ice at inlets and outlets. The ice is unstable in these locations. Ice that is five inches thick will hold a snowmobile or ATV. Cars and small trucks need 8 to 12 inches of ice, and larger trucks need 12 to 15 inches of ice.