Ice and Figure Skating
Whether you are a first timer or a seasoned professional, ice skating is a wintry piece of awesome. Why? Because where else would glitter, mini skirts , and excessive make-up look sophisticated...on men? What other mystical environment--aside from the skating rink--enables you to feel both hot and cold at the same time?; fling yourself into the public air?; shoot the duck without violating animal protection laws? There is no other environment as great.
One must admit that skating is magical. Maybe not Disney-land magical, or even Harry Potter magical, but that rare and antiquated palpable kind; the type of magic uniquely produced by non electronically simulated stimuli--commonly referred to as: real life experience (re'el- l1f-k-spîr-e-ens).
- Rented: For the occasional skating trip or annual Girl Scout excursion, you may want to just rent. No point in buying something that you will not use.
- Bought: These days there are some fairly decent skates in the stores. If you are more than an occasional skater, but not quite a pro, take a trip to the store and see what they have. You might also want to check out the Ice Skates Buying Guide to aid you in the skate buying process. Store bought skates can range from the cheap to the very expensive. It all depends on you.
- Custom Fit: Serious skaters cannot skate in anyone else's skates and certainly not in skates designed for the general public. The only way a professional like yourself will perform best is with custom skates. Beware: they are quite pricey.
Skate Apparel and Accessories
- Skating Apparel: These range from the practical warm up suits to the extravagant competition outfits.
- Padding: Some people like to get pants with extra padding sewn into the buttocks and/or other sensitive areas. This is a good buy for beginners or people that fall a lot.
- Skating bag: A place to store your skating equipment and apparel so that all your skating paraphernalia is in the same spot.
- Blade guards: There are both hard guards and terry cloth covers (soakers) and they both serve different purposes. The hard ones are for walking on non ice surfaces. These are applied directly after leaving the ice. Their purpose is to prevent dulling and damaging of the blades. The terry cloth soakers are for protecting the blades when they are not being worn.
- Boot Covers: Boot covers are more of a decorative item than a protective one. Although they do somewhat protect the boot from being damaged, they are usually to top off an outfit by matching the boot covers with the same colors or material. Also available are boot cover tights.
- Laces Tightener: Having a secure fit on your skates is important but sometimes they can be really difficult to lace. I have damaged my cold fingers many a time when subjecting them to the laborious work of lacing the skate. This may be something to consider if you skate often.
- Group: Group lessons are a good way to get the basics down or to keep you on your toes in between individual lessons. It is something fun to do with friends and it is the preferred learning method for beginners.
- Individual: Individual or private skating lessons are more intense and more expensive. If you wish to skate competitively, this is a must. It could be helpful to supplement a class with a few individual lessons so that you can get some one on one time with a trainer.