Skating When You’re Not Canadian

This is an actual photo of me.  During the expedition, my leg and both hands fell off.  My head was also knocked loose.  I'm feeling better now, thank you.Tonight, the family and I went skating. (We’re not Canadian, so we haven’t been bred to ice skate and play hockey. I don’t mean that as in insult either, hockey is cool.) The rest of my family has been going for a while, and in fact everyone else owns their own skates. Daddy had to rent a pair. I do have one thing going for me, and that’s the fact that I’m fairly stupid brave. It was fun, but needless to say, I’m not a good skater.

Really, I only want to master a few things:

1) I’d like to stay vertical most of the time.

2) I want to do that cool “snowblower” looking thing that cool skaters do when they stop.

I’m surprisingly good at the first goal, and shockingly bad at the second. I can’t for the life of me figure out how people do that. It looks awesome, plus, the ability to stop is a bonus. Since I’m a geek, I’ll probably google how to skate, and try what I find next time.

Also, there’s the matter of figure skates versus hockey skates. Apart from the toe pick, they seem similar in design, except that if you’re a guy wearing figure skates, you get beat up. I’m fairly certain the male figure skates in the rental place have never been rented. Ever. What’s the deal with hockey skates versus figure skates? Anyone know?

14 thoughts on “Skating When You’re Not Canadian

  1. Shawn,

    The stop is really easy. Really.

    Just skate as fast as you possibly can and then suddenly turn sideways. (Actually, if you don’t master the part about how to bend your knees, you just fall down sideways at really high velocity…but it’s pretty funny to watch if you’re, ya’know, not the one trying to stop.)

  2. The difference – look at the blades

    Figure skates

    _____}

    Hockey skates

    (_____)

    The blade on the hockey skate comes back up to attach to the sole, pretty similar to the front. The blade on the figure skate has a stubby tail that sticks out beyond the blade support that attaches to the sole.

    And the cool stop – Nathan pretty much has it. You need to make sure you compensate for your shifting center of gravity or you will have a really nasty “go boom” moment. Ouch.

    I grew up ice skating and playing hockey. I used to be a pretty good goalie and defense player. Now I go to the occasional UAF game with the nephew. And watch figure skating on TV.

  3. That reminded me of my family a lot, Shawn. My two girls are quite accomplished skaters, and Natasha can skate quite well herself. Me, I can barely stay upright on skates, let alone, you know, skate.

  4. I’ve skated a lot in my life, and I’ve never worn hockey skates. Hockey skates are great for hockey, not so much for skating. Toe picks rock.

  5. One of Richard’s and my first dates was ice skating at the Galleria in Houston, TX. I fell on my arse and was out of commission for a few days. That’s all I remember about ice skating.

    You are brave.

  6. I grew up skating on the pond and playing hockey with the neighbourhood kids (and did the manditory figure skating lessons)…yes why I AM Canadian……but now, as a slightly out of shape adult, imagine my surprise when I took the kids skating last winter at the rink at the end of my street, and I could. not. skate.
    While I did not fall down, I lasted all of 2 minutes on the ice…my feet were screaming!
    Now, it is a spectator sport for me…I watch while Keith and the kids skate…

  7. Ice and I do not get along. I have the scar and uncomfortable plate in my right ankle to prove it. I respect people who have the balance and skill to skate, but I don’t understand it.

  8. We have very good friends who are Canadian, and they have a problem putting their son on the ice. He does not like skating, Oh the shame! (Because I am an asswhole, it gives me infinite mirth) I politely refuse to go on the skates when my wife and little one want to go out. Although I manage to move along the boards and don’t fall down, skating bended over three-ways brings little joy πŸ™‚

  9. See I want to believe you about the stopping thing. But part of me suspects you’re in cahoots with my wife and she’ll be recording my, “hop, turn, and die” procedure on the ice. πŸ™‚

  10. Shawn,

    you can totally believe me! You will suddenly cease gliding velocity while achieving great flying velocity. (It also might hurt).

  11. my feet were screaming!

    Yeah, it’s amazing just how many muscles there are in the foot and how out of shape they can get. I’ve discovered quite a number of them myself, via yoga balancing poses. πŸ˜‰

  12. Another Canadian here. I started skating when I was about 3 or 4 years old. I remember the local rink had free skating after school 3 days a week and I went every one of those 3 days. The neighbour park would flood the tennis courts in the winter and the neighbourhood kids would all show up for some shinny see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinny – needless to say, skating is a favorite winter activity. I continued skating for fun & exercise all through my adult years. A lot of my friends (male & female) play hockey – some on rep teams, some just in house leagues. I haven’t been on the ice in a couple of years because I was having serious problems with my back and I was afraid if I fell, I would really injure myself. I’m all fixed up now and those skates in the hall closet are calling me.
    Keep at it Shawn. It gets easier and it’s great exercise. Imagine how sexy your legs will look in shorts in the summer ;o) To get the snowblower effect when stopping – turn your leg sideways, dig your blades into the ice so the length of your blades scrapes along the ice. You have to do this in a very short quick movement. Tape an NHL game and watch the players in slow motion. You can then practice the moves in your living room and be almost pro by the time you hit the ice again.

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