Recreational/adult skaters - What are your experiences going back on the ice after the lockdown? | Golden Skate

Recreational/adult skaters - What are your experiences going back on the ice after the lockdown?

CrazyKittenLady

My cat jumps better Axels than me.
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Country
Austria
Today I went back on the ice again after nearly a year of zero skating. Ice rinks have been closed in Austria since the beginning of the pandemic and no coaching is offered (with exceptions for professionals), but after two weeks of -15°C the big lakes in my vicinity have all frozen over and are finally open for outdoor skating.
My blades felt like they had no edges (no sharpening services offered by the skating club due to Covid), the ice was bumpy like a mogul slope - and I caught every bump with my toe pick, and it was so cold that tiny icicles formed in my hair. My boyfriend was unfazed by it all. He did his stroking exercises forwards and backwards in his hockey skates, enjoyed the offroad skating, as he called it, while I barely managed to do swizzles. He told me to bend my knees and bend at the hip, but I was rigid as a board. After my first fall of the season (I spotted the hole in the ice, but it was too late and I landed on my butt) I became a bit more relaxed. But when I tried to do stroking to pick up speed, I just kept slipping on my edges. First I told myself that it was due to the lack of sharpening, but now I realize that a big part is also that I neglected to do proper strength exercises for my legs during the downtime. I did a lot of stretching because I wanted to use the forced off-ice break to improve spin positions, but currently I am unable to even get into a two-foot spin - so much for that strategy.
Anyway, it still felt glorious to go skating again and I hope it stays cold and the outdoor rinks will be open until the end of February at least. What I took from today is that I will focus more on strength and stability in my off-ice workouts from now on, and that I desperately need to find someone to sharpen my blades. Also, I really need some individual classes with an instructor again, since today was quite a blow to my confidence in myself as a skater, but realistically, this probably will not be possible until September due to Covid restrictions.
Tonight I am sore all over. Long gone are the days when I had a concussion as a kid, and three weeks later I was playing sports again. Nowadays, it feels like I sit in a wrong position for five minutes at work, and I need physiotherapy for the next two months. :p Still skating is the best sport ever. It may break your bones, but it never breaks your heart! 🥰
So, fellow recreational/adult skaters, how did you fare your first time back on the ice after the lockdown (or after any long break from skating)? Did you have similar experiences or did it feel like you've never left the ice at all (and if yes, what is your secret)?
 

1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Natural ice is a lot harder than the ice in indoor rinks, so that's for sure the reason why you didn't have enough grip. During the season I usually skate at both, an outdoor rink and several indoor rinks, and when outside temperatures drop below a certain point, I always have to make sure to get a fresh sharpening to compensate for the harder ice from that outdoor rink (and that's not even natural ice, which has an uneven surface).

As a kid/teenager I used to skate a few times each year (usually on natural ice, if it was cold enough and the ponds in my neighbourhood had frozen over), so actually this used to be 'normal' for me, having a one year break in-between. :laugh: Funny how things change.

Although back then I was just shuffling around the ice, two-footed, in broken down second-hand skates from the flea market, so you could barely call that skating haha (I also was, and still am, devoid of any talent regarding any type of physical activity, so that didn't help either). It certainly wasn't comparable to skating on edges, balancing on one leg etc., so being off the ice didn't really bother me back then, but now that I'm attempting more 'challenging' skills, each break from skating will affect me a lot more.

Don't you usually have a summer break though (even if it's a lot shorter than one whole year)? We always have one ranging from 2-4 months, so we're kinda used to having that adjustement period each year, whenever we get back on the ice.
Usually after 2-3 months away, it takes me 20-30 minutes to feel somewhat comfortable and stable again and feel my edges and trust their grip again. I might not feel totally confident, the way I might do when I skate regularly several times a week, but it's tolerable.
But I only work at beginner/lower level skills i.e. single jumps (with not too much height or distance -> not much strain on your body) and the most basic spin positions, plus some more advanced footwork (relatively), so I can usually do all of that on my first session back, because they're fairly easy (I mean, not for me, but generally speaking) i.e. they don't require much fitness or strength. I do feel sort of off-kilter with my body though, during that first session, and every movement feels foreign and it's a more 'relying on muscle memory and testing if it'll work out' type of approach instead of consciously executing certain movements and feeling in control of what I'm doing.
I'm always amazed and jealous of others in my training group, they're usually right back at it, as if they've never left the ice.

On my first sessions back I usually end up with cramping feet muscles while I skate, because naturally I haven't used those particular muscles in a while, and maybe some soreness in my thighs afterwards, depending on how much footwork I did (but the latter is also true for any regular session). Again, I don't do any fancy stuff on the ice, so not that much strain on my body, I assume it's gonna be different for someone who's more advanced and uses a bigger range of motion and body movements on the ice.
I guess it also depends on one's age ;) don't know how old you are, but the older we get... 🙈
 
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Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
Today I went back on the ice again after nearly a year of zero skating. Ice rinks have been closed in Austria since the beginning of the pandemic and no coaching is offered (with exceptions for professionals), but after two weeks of -15°C the big lakes in my vicinity have all frozen over and are finally open for outdoor skating.
My blades felt like they had no edges (no sharpening services offered by the skating club due to Covid), the ice was bumpy like a mogul slope - and I caught every bump with my toe pick, and it was so cold that tiny icicles formed in my hair. My boyfriend was unfazed by it all. He did his stroking exercises forwards and backwards in his hockey skates, enjoyed the offroad skating, as he called it, while I barely managed to do swizzles. He told me to bend my knees and bend at the hip, but I was rigid as a board. After my first fall of the season (I spotted the hole in the ice, but it was too late and I landed on my butt) I became a bit more relaxed. But when I tried to do stroking to pick up speed, I just kept slipping on my edges. First I told myself that it was due to the lack of sharpening, but now I realize that a big part is also that I neglected to do proper strength exercises for my legs during the downtime. I did a lot of stretching because I wanted to use the forced off-ice break to improve spin positions, but currently I am unable to even get into a two-foot spin - so much for that strategy.
Anyway, it still felt glorious to go skating again and I hope it stays cold and the outdoor rinks will be open until the end of February at least. What I took from today is that I will focus more on strength and stability in my off-ice workouts from now on, and that I desperately need to find someone to sharpen my blades. Also, I really need some individual classes with an instructor again, since today was quite a blow to my confidence in myself as a skater, but realistically, this probably will not be possible until September due to Covid restrictions.
Tonight I am sore all over. Long gone are the days when I had a concussion as a kid, and three weeks later I was playing sports again. Nowadays, it feels like I sit in a wrong position for five minutes at work, and I need physiotherapy for the next two months. :p Still skating is the best sport ever. It may break your bones, but it never breaks your heart! 🥰
So, fellow recreational/adult skaters, how did you fare your first time back on the ice after the lockdown (or after any long break from skating)? Did you have similar experiences or did it feel like you've never left the ice at all (and if yes, what is your secret)?
You may need new blades after skating on rough, very hard, natural outdoor ice. I would never use my primary boots/blades for outdoor skating. Just FYI.
 

Flying Feijoa

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Country
New-Zealand
When I got back after the first break (March-June), I could 'do' most elements (single jumps minus axel, spins, footwork) but without the normal quality and ease. Ice dance was surprisingly the most impacted - it took a while to recover power/posture/neat feet and to skate to the required tempo. I felt too unstable for the first few sessions.

My axel was (and still is) gone, but it wasn't stable in the first place, whereas I've had my other elements for a few years.

Indoor rinks have been closed again since November but I'm hoping it won't be too bad when we do get back. I tried skating on an outdoor rink a few times (really hope I didn't do lasting damage to my blades...) Off-ice core exercises, skipping rope and ballet (Zoom, unfortunately) helped a lot last time.

You may need new blades after skating on rough, very hard, natural outdoor ice. I would never use my primary boots/blades for outdoor skating. Just FYI.
Hi again Ic3Rabbit! I definitely wouldn't risk my only pair of skates on natural pond ice, but how about the city-owned outdoor rinks in Toronto? I've tried skating on quiet sessions straight after ice resurfacing, when it seemed fairly smooth, just rather hard and cold. But I'm a bit worried about going any more frequently than once every 2-3 weeks.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
When I got back after the first break (March-June), I could 'do' most elements (single jumps minus axel, spins, footwork) but without the normal quality and ease. Ice dance was surprisingly the most impacted - it took a while to recover power/posture/neat feet and to skate to the required tempo. I felt too unstable for the first few sessions.

My axel was (and still is) gone, but it wasn't stable in the first place, whereas I've had my other elements for a few years.

Indoor rinks have been closed again since November but I'm hoping it won't be too bad when we do get back. I tried skating on an outdoor rink a few times (really hope I didn't do lasting damage to my blades...) Off-ice core exercises, skipping rope and ballet (Zoom, unfortunately) helped a lot last time.


Hi again Ic3Rabbit! I definitely wouldn't risk my only pair of skates on natural pond ice, but how about the city-owned outdoor rinks in Toronto? I've tried skating on quiet sessions straight after ice resurfacing, when it seemed fairly smooth, just rather hard and cold. But I'm a bit worried about going any more frequently than once every 2-3 weeks.
Is it natural or manmade ice? If it's the latter, you're good.
 

alyssamarie

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 23, 2017
Country
United-States
I agree with what Flying Feijoa posted. first time on in June I forgot my toepicks existed lol. Then I was off again until September but I was able to get everything back within 1-2 sessions (didn't attempt axel/doubles/flying spins). I'm completely fine now, but likely won't have that much ice when I'm at school (Might have no ice until may :( ) All the outdoor rinks near me are closed, and indoor rinks don't have freestyle ice at convenient times and public ice is too crowded.
 

CrazyKittenLady

My cat jumps better Axels than me.
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Country
Austria
Wow, thanks for all your replies, it's really interesting to read about different experiences!

Natural ice is a lot harder than the ice in indoor rinks, so that's for sure the reason why you didn't have enough grip. During the season I usually skate at both, an outdoor rink and several indoor rinks, and when outside temperatures drop below a certain point, I always have to make sure to get a fresh sharpening to compensate for the harder ice from that outdoor rink (and that's not even natural ice, which has an uneven surface).
See, that's the thing, I skated on natural ice before (in fact, during the season when our lakes freeze over, I probably do more outdoor than indoor skating) and I've never had those problems. It's not like I was trying to do fancy stuff either, but come on, I slipped from my swizzles :eek2: - Side note: I hope swizzles is the right word, in German we call them fish, but I mean this shape on the ice ().
Then again, usually my blades were properly sharpened...

Don't you usually have a summer break though (even if it's a lot shorter than one whole year)? We always have one ranging from 2-4 months, so we're kinda used to having that adjustement period each year, whenever we get back on the ice.
Yeah, we do have a summer break, and the first few sessions back after the break, I feel like the first human being on skates. But muscle memory kicks in quickly. Muscle memory also kicked in yesterday after a while, but everything felt so much harder. I really had to step onto my blade with a lot of force to get some grip and gain speed (it did not look elegant :ROFLMAO:). And tbh, that became exhausting quickly, so most of the time I skated really slowly. But the slower I was, the more I kept hitting the bumps in the ice. It was a vicious circle.

On my first sessions back I usually end up with cramping feet muscles while I skate
Glad it's not just me. :p

I guess it also depends on one's age ;) don't know how old you are, but the older we get... 🙈
I'm in my early thirties, so a granny in skating terms, but I firmly believe I still have a couple of spins left in me!

You may need new blades after skating on rough, very hard, natural outdoor ice. I would never use my primary boots/blades for outdoor skating. Just FYI.
Oh no, no worries! I have a dedicated old pair of boots for outdoor skating. I don't do anything outdoors where I would need a lot of support, certainly no jumps, and until now I felt the boots and blades were still good for that. You may have a point though, maybe I should invest in new blades for my outdoor boots. I was thinking of asking the shop where I bought them if I could send the blades for sharpening, but it might be less of a hassle to simply buy new blades altogether.

I felt too unstable for the first few sessions.
"Unstable", that's exactly the right word! Stroking in skates always felt very natural to me (whereas toe pushes feel just wrong), but yesterday I felt so unstable that my whole body tensed up, which didn't help the skating of course.

Off-ice core exercises, skipping rope and ballet
Yes, I will definitely put more focus on the core exercises! I couldn't find ballet classes via zoom, but I do online yoga sessions, which is the next best thing I guess.

Then I was off again until September but I was able to get everything back within 1-2 sessions (didn't attempt axel/doubles/flying spins). I'm completely fine now, but likely won't have that much ice when I'm at school (Might have no ice until may :( ) All the outdoor rinks near me are closed, and indoor rinks don't have freestyle ice at convenient times and public ice is too crowded.
Wow, that sounds amazing. Congrats on getting your elements back so quickly! Hopefully you can get ice before May, I will keep my fingers crossed for you!

So, to sum up, of course I've been thinking about the whole issue again since yesterday and I came to the conclusion that it is too early to panic. I will get my blades sharpened professionally (or if necessary buy new ones) and then try again. If I'm still slipping from my edges I will try to get hold of our instructor at the rink and see what she thinks about it. But hopefully that won't be necessary.
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Nonono, fish?? Easter eggs or lemons, sure, but I've never heard anyone call them fish 😂 unacceptable!
Perfectly acceptable - and good! - term. Absolutely understandable. I've also heard them referred to as pizzas. That doesn't help me much as my mind immediately goes into Homer Simpson mode... :laugh:
 

1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Perfectly acceptable - and good! - term. Absolutely understandable. I've also heard them referred to as pizzas. That doesn't help me much as my mind immediately goes into Homer Simpson mode... :laugh:
Anything graphic that'll give children an idea of what they're supposed to do will work. ;)
But it always sounds funny when you're teaching adults. 😄
(Same with "doing the stork".I s that a term used in skating in english?)

ETA: Now that I think about it, I've never learned swizzles. 🤔
 

CrazyKittenLady

My cat jumps better Axels than me.
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Country
Austria
Anything graphic that'll give children an idea of what they're supposed to do will work. ;)
But it always sounds funny when you're teaching adults. 😄
(Same with "doing the stork".I s that a term used in skating in english?)

ETA: Now that I think about it, I've never learned swizzles. 🤔
I don't know about English, but we are definitely doing the stork in German!
 

1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
I don't know about English, but we are definitely doing the stork in German!
I know. ;)

BTW, I have to admit that I can't actually do 'the stork' 🙈 😅 It is so embarrassing, but I just can't skate on a straight line like that, at least not very far (but I've never practised it, so that's gonna be my excuse, because when I joined my beginner's group class it was already the middle of the season, so I missed all those classic beginner moves).
 

CrazyKittenLady

My cat jumps better Axels than me.
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Country
Austria
I'm guessing that "doing the stork" is literally a one foot glide in a straight line with your free leg up, thigh ideally parallel to the ice, foot pointing downward by the skating knee?
You are guessing correctly! In the Southern hemisphere it's probably called the flamingo. 🦩 Maybe someone can confirm my theory? Though personally I wouldn't trust a flamingo on ice...
 
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