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Thread: Skating Outdoors

  1. #1
    SkateFan4Life
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    Thumbs up Skating Outdoors

    It's the middle of August, hazy, hot, and humid in this area. How refreshing it would be to put on ice skates and glide outdoors, with the crisp cold air and bright sunlight!

    I used to skate outdoors as a child in several of the local lakes and ponds, but these bodies of water seldom ever freeze solid enough to safely skate outdoors. There must be something to the concept of global warming.

    Remember the World Championships and Olympics in which the figure skating events were held outdoors? Peggy Fleming won her first of three World titles at Davos, Switzerland, skating in blinding sunshine in a chilly outdoor rink.

    The skaters of old really were a tough breed, competing in all kinds of unfavorable weather - snow, sleet, rain, wind, blinding sunshine, fog - you name it, they skated in it. Can you imagine today's top skaters competing under these conditions? Can you imagine their upset at skating on choppy, uneven ice, with gusts of wind to prevent you from landing a jump - even if you were technicaly correct?

  2. #2
    Fan for Life
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    I was shocked the first time I saw the old TV footage of the skaters outdoors.

  3. #3
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    As fun is at looks, it must have been very tough, not to mention the ice they used probably would destroy blades.
    Laura

  4. #4
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Skating Outdoors

    SkateFan4Life:

    I love skating outdoors. In fact, when I lived in Prince George, BC, I started figure skating and spent most of my time on an outdoor rink my father made in the back yard.

    Many skaters like Barbara Ann Scott competed outdoors during the 1950s. I saw an interesting program the other day called "Growing up Canadian" and it was all about Canadian children and how they used to play. It was amazing how many had ice rinks in their back yard and how many girls learned to figure skate because they were not allowed to play hockey! It was great footage.

    I can still see myself to this day gliding around in my back yard learning to skate!

    PS - I have always wanted to skate on the Worlds' longest skating rink in Ottawa - The Rideau Canal


    Last edited by Ladskater; 08-13-2003 at 12:24 AM.

  5. #5
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Skating outdoors on frozen lakes is a lot of fun, as long as you can stand the temperatures. My toes always froze within half an hour, along with my face, fingers and any exposed skin.

    The ice is way different than typical arena ice. It is harder and much more brittle. It doesn't have the "spring" that arena ice does, and that makes jumping much more difficult, especially for getting height. It's next to impossible to find ice that is smooth and not covered in snow. Also, there are cracks that your blades can fall into right down to the sole of the boot.

    So I give a lot of credit to the early days of figure skating when we didn't have the luxury of indoor arenas.

  6. #6
    SkateFan4Life
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    I just don't see how today's skaters could compete outdoors and land all those triple and quad jumps.

    Remember Brian Boitano's "Canvass on Ice" television special in which he skated on an Alaskian glacier to "Water Fountain"?
    The glacier was covered with snow in sections, and Brian's
    "rink" was a smallish section of the glacier that had been cleared out for his usage. One of the highlights of his program was a combination of single axel, double axel, and triple axel. I wonder how many times that sequence was filmed before Brian was able to get a perfect takeoff from the outdoor ice?

    Brian said he was so moved by the experience - by the grandeur of the surroundings and the peaceful setting - that he was almost moved to tears.

  7. #7
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    cborsky:

    The outdoor rinks in Canada have good ice. We always cleaned the rink off with a shovel. Actually, I skate better outsdoors than I do indoors! I find it exhilarating. Of course, the lakes and ponds are a little rough.

    I think the skaters of yesteryear were a little "heartier" than todays' skaters. They were used to putting up with all kinds of conditions. They were not spoiled!

  8. #8
    Rinkside
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    Sun Valley, Idaho has a nice outdoor rink. My daughter had a great time skating on it. The biggest problem for my little skater was that it is blazing hot out there so she got tired quickly and she wouldn't even wear gloves because she said they were too hot! It was beautiful, though.

  9. #9
    Always Dream
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    I have never skated outdoors, but it looks fun. I want to

  10. #10
    SkateFan4Life
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    And can you just imagine the tear-jerker Up Close and Personal segments that would be filmed on the top skaters if they had to compete outdoors? They would be whining about the cold, wind, snow, ice, rain, ruts on the ice, blinding sunshine. It would be a real "Don't you feel sorry for poor little me?" kind of stuff that would REALLY make me run for the every-so-handy bucket.


  11. #11
    Skating Soprano
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    having lived in northern cali all my life, Ive only seen snow twice. Once when it was here as a fluke and once in the Italian alps. So, no, I havent skated outdoors, but its on the list of things id love to do one day.

  12. #12
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I believe Dick Button did a lot of practice skating outdoors in Englewood, New Jersey. There is cold weather in the North East for outdoor skating on lakes and ponds but only in the winter. Any sign of Spring especially and early one and the outdoor skating stops.

    Joe

  13. #13
    BeccaR
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    As I live in England, I've never skated outdoors & am unlikely to, plus I live on the coast so this doesn't help.

  14. #14
    SkateFan4Life
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    I live about a five-minute walk from the Atlantic Ocean, and it seldom gets cold enough around here to freeze the many lakes and ponds. However, this past winter carried weeks of freezing weather, and some of the ponds did freeze.

    I remember driving past one of the local ponds on a Sunday afternoon. The place was absolutely packed with hundreds of kids and their parents, many of whom were skating, playing pick-up hockey, and socializing. A bonfire was burning at one end of the pond, and some kind soul was actually serving hot chocolate and cookies to the crowd. It looked like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting.

    :D

  15. #15
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    Skating by the full moon-how neat that would be.

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