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Friday, December 21, 2012

Skaters Night Out: Figure Skaters and Hockey Players

Let me start off this post by saying, I'm on pretty good terms with the hockey guys at our rink. I also haven't even once been ridiculed for having a skate bag with a fluffy plush ball attached to it. Also, if it wasn't for the sport of ice hockey, there would be at lot less rinks in the world to go to. So, contrary to the stereotype, this is not going to be a tale of rink rivalry. Still, it is fun to observe certain differences between hockey people and figure skaters, so let's take a look at a few things:

Skate guards:
Ever seen a hockey guy wearing skate guards (or using soakers)? Well, to my surprise, I actually saw one with guards this very month but he took them off in the change room and walked on the bare blades from there. And let me add, there are mostly hard plastic tiles for walking on, not even padding. In contrast to that, I seem positively OCD wearing my guards all the time off the ice, but the few other figure skaters I see at the rink all seem to do the same.

On the ice:
Figure skaters are mostly occupied with themselves and practising their moves or turns or whatever. Hockey people can mostly be observed spending their time playing the hockey stop game, i.e. who sprays the highest against the boards. They just can't seem to get enough of this. Sure, there is also playing tag or doing hockey drills but the ice spraying thing really is the trademark and most favourite pastime of hockey people.

The toe-pick horror: 

 Hold on! What's the deal with these claws up front here?

Frankly, this is one thing I can't get behind. We all know, of course, the famous scenes from The Cutting Edge but that was fiction. I'm pretty much a below average talent, yet the toe-pick was only ever a problem for me in the first two sessions I skated. Now, you can bet the regular hockey people are way better skaters than I am, yet, when I got to know some of them, one of the first things they each did was pointing at my skates and telling me how they don't like toe-picks, don't get along with them etc. I can only think there is some irrational fear behind this or no hockey player has likely ever worn figure skates for more than 20 minutes, because that would surely have been enough to get used to it for skaters of their level of competence.

Can you confirm any of the above points? Have you made completely different experiences? Would you even like to add some interesting observations? Feel free to make use of the comment option and let us know what you think.

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