Skates on a plane & Skating on natural ice

Sam L

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Skating on natural ice - Next trip Canada

Hi
I'm planning to take my skates with me on my next trip because I'm going to Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland in a couple of months. I am also going to be doing some skating on natural ice for the first time.

Just wondering if anyone's done both and what your experiences are. I'm assuming they allow skates as carry on? What difference can I expect from natural ice. I'll be doing the natural ice skating in Sweden. A shame I can't go the Worlds in Helsinki, I'll mis out by a couple of days. :( But I still plan to go to the rinks there.
 

karne

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First: skates aren't allowed as carry-on in either Australia or Europe. You'll have to put them in your checked luggage. I think the US is the only place I've heard that allows them.

I've never skated on natural ice, but my biggest concern would be for things stuck in the ice potentially damaging your blades (ie stones, sticks etc).
 

concorde

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In the US, they are "supposed" to be allowed but I would still call the airline and ask. Even then, I would still not be surprised if they were rejected the day of travel.

In the past, we have carried my daughter's skates on the plane but the most recent time was about 2 years ago. Since then, we have not had the need.
 
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Sam-Skwantch

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I grew up skating on ponds and lakes in Michigan as a kid. It's a great experience. The ice is choppy and you'll want to sharpen your blades afterward but the visceral experience is well worth the trade off. It's an experience every time and something I recommend everyone who can does :)

Have fun and good luck with your travel.
 

karne

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In the US, they are "supposed" to be allowed but I would still call the airline and ask. Even then, I would still not be surprised if they were rejected the day of travel.

I carried mine on all over the US when I was there for a month last year, including through: LAX, SLC, COS, ATL, DAB, DCA, JFK, and BOS. I never had a lick of trouble, and at DCA when they wanted to look they just looked to make sure they were actually skates (and not something more sinister) and then allowed me to go through without a problem.
 

skatemomoftwo

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We travel alot for skating and training and never have any issues with skates.We even carry a desktop computer and carry it on lol

I have heard in other countries you cant.
As far as outdoor ice, you need to be careful of dirt.When my kids skate on ponds they wear old skates.
 

sandraskates

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In took a trip last year within the US and it was no problem taking my skates in my carry-on bag - although one TSA screener took a long look at the x-ray monitor. I don't know about travels in Europe but others have chimed in on that.

<You don't skate if the "natural ice" you'll be skating on is a simple pond or something more kept up.>:palmf:
EDIT:
The above sentence should have said:
You don't STATE if the "natural ice" you'll be skating on is simple pond or something more kept up.

I've skated on two natural outdoor rinks. The best was in Keystone, CO. They actually run the Zamboni over the lake so the ice was smooth. Although the air temperature was really cold, but the high the elevation and sunshine made it possible to skate in a skating dress with no jacket!
The other time was in Switzerland and it snowed the whole time. It was freezing, I was bundled up and could barely move.
 
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NanaPat

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I have skated on the Mill Pond in Richmond Hill Ontario. The Mill Pond was formed by damming a stream to make a small lake. They don't Zamboni it, but do plow it with a truck/snowplow. One very bad year, they lost two trucks into the ice; had to wait for a thaw to pull them out. Because the pond is shallow, they were resting on the bottom but mostly above-water (ice).

From my experience, the greatest hazard (besides trucks) was small ridges that form when the ice cracks. I never did anything but skate (forwards) around and around. It was fun, though sometimes bitter cold. They held an annual winter carnival on the mill pond and surrounding parkland and lots of people came to skate,

And for those interested in skating trivia: Richmond Hill is know as the home of Elvis Stojko. They even put up signs about it under the "Entering Richmond Hill" and "population N" signs.
 
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Sam-Skwantch

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We travel alot for skating and training and never have any issues with skates.We even carry a desktop computer and carry it on lol

I have heard in other countries you cant.
As far as outdoor ice, you need to be careful of dirt.When my kids skate on ponds they wear old skates.

In addition to dirt don't forget about your skate guards!! I can't tell you how many times I've taken a break and jumped back onto the pond with my guards on. It's never an issue at the rinks but for some reason I become absent minded when I'm outdoors and have nearly knocked myself out multiple times. It happens so fast an unexpectedly it's really difficult to catch yourself.

Am I the only one this happens to? :slink:
 

Lysambre

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Seconding Karne on the fact that you won't be allowed to carry your skates in the planes in Europe.

Anything that even vaguely looks like a knife will be taken from you. I mean, I've had a nail cutter taken away, a dangerous thing too, all of 4cm long and all... :disapp: .
 

Sam L

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Thank you all for the advice. I'm leaving soon and I will pack them away in my luggage. As for sticks and other natural objects, yes I'll be careful. I definitely don't want damage on these blades considering how much I paid for them. LOL!

In took a trip last year within the US and it was no problem taking my skates in my carry-on bag - although one TSA screener took a long look at the x-ray monitor. I don't know about travels in Europe but others have chimed in on that.

<You don't skate if the "natural ice" you'll be skating on is a simple pond or something more kept up.>:palmf:
EDIT:
The above sentence should have said:
You don't STATE if the "natural ice" you'll be skating on is simple pond or something more kept up.

I've skated on two natural outdoor rinks. The best was in Keystone, CO. They actually run the Zamboni over the lake so the ice was smooth. Although the air temperature was really cold, but the high the elevation and sunshine made it possible to skate in a skating dress with no jacket!
The other time was in Switzerland and it snowed the whole time. It was freezing, I was bundled up and could barely move.

I'm not sure what the ice conditions will be like. I'm hoping to skate on natural ice in Sweden and Finland. I've never been to these countries. If it isn't possible, I will have days where I will skate on rinks anyway so it is worth to take my skates because I don't want to be skating in rentals.

I'm a naturally cautious person and I will be with experienced people so I'll ask if I should use my skates. The trip is actually for a longer distance skate so it may not be advisable to use my figure skates for that purpose anyway.
 

hanca

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Just curious about the term 'natural ice'. The ice outside is as natural as the ice inside at the rink. In both cases it is water that had to freeze, the difference is only that outside it froze because of the weather and inside it froze because it was helped by technology. The one at the rink also had some paint added to be white (you find out only when you have very bad conditions at your rink, the ice starts melting and you are unfortunate to fall. I am guessing the paint is only in the lower layers because usually when you fall, you don't get white stain on your clothes).
 

petitebrie

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Neither me nor anyone I know have ever had problems carrying skates as cabin baggage in Norway. The main security checkpoint is the same for all terminals, so if you get them through, it doesn't matter what airline you're flying or what your destination is. In either case, if the security officer is having a crabby day, there's usually no problem to go back to check your luggage as the desk is literally 20 metres away from security. Airports here are pretty small.
 

sandraskates

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Thank you all for the advice. I'm leaving soon and I will pack them away in my luggage. As for sticks and other natural objects, yes I'll be careful. I definitely don't want damage on these blades considering how much I paid for them. LOL!



I'm not sure what the ice conditions will be like. I'm hoping to skate on natural ice in Sweden and Finland. I've never been to these countries. If it isn't possible, I will have days where I will skate on rinks anyway so it is worth to take my skates because I don't want to be skating in rentals.

I'm a naturally cautious person and I will be with experienced people so I'll ask if I should use my skates. The trip is actually for a longer distance skate so it may not be advisable to use my figure skates for that purpose anyway.

I hope you have a great time Sam L! Come back and let us know where you got to skate.
 

desertskates

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First off, I hope you have a fantastic trip! In my experience, skates can be carried on within the US and Asia, but in Europe, you'll be expected to check them. The only time I've ever tried to carry mine on in Europe, the desk agent asked me to put them in my checked luggage and seeing my concern, she put an orange priority tag on my suitcase. They got there just fine. This was KLM, and YMMV.
I would be a little aware about stones in natural ice, but a good sharpening after should fix things up for you. Have fun!
 

Tavi...

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Just curious about the term 'natural ice'. The ice outside is as natural as the ice inside at the rink. In both cases it is water that had to freeze, the difference is only that outside it froze because of the weather and inside it froze because it was helped by technology. The one at the rink also had some paint added to be white (you find out only when you have very bad conditions at your rink, the ice starts melting and you are unfortunate to fall. I am guessing the paint is only in the lower layers because usually when you fall, you don't get white stain on your clothes).

I think the term natural ice is being used simply to differentiate ice that forms on ponds, lakes, etc. (due to naturally occurring conditions) from indoor ice, which doesn't occur unless someone decides to make it. It's not meant to imply that ice formed by technology is fake or unnatural, or that indoor ice is more contaminated by paint, etc.

Obviously, the biggest difference between the two is that with natural ice there's far more surface variation (twigs, leaves, stones, ripples, bumps, etc.), making it more challenging to skate and harder on your blades. However, as mentioned above, some "natural ice" is regularly resurfaced or cleaned to maintain good conditions, so it's not wholly "natural."

Hope that helps.
 

Sam L

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So I did this in Sweden. It was a shock to my system. The wind, the unevenness of the surface, the fish and branches sticking out and the sounds of ice moving/cracking underneath. It was amazing but not the most pleasant first time on natural ice experience. I kind of wonder though how the figure skating competitions in the past did it on natural ice. They must've had to really find some spots that were perfect for skating and really clean the ice area?
 

RoaringMice

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They used to do it by hand. This article (linked) mentions how the process worked before the Zamboni was invented:
http://mentalfloss.com/article/24700/making-ice-nice-1949-brief-history-zamboni

I'd imagine they did something similar for the major events that were held outdoors pre-Zamboni.

Maintaining the quality of an ice surface that could accommodate up to 800 skaters was a labor-intensive and time-consuming task. Iceland Skating Rink workers walking behind a scraper being pulled by a tractor scooped up the shavings, sprayed the ice with water, and squeegeed the surface. According to the Zamboni website, the process took more than an hour.
 

SmallAminal

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I just have to say this, but every time this thread gets bumped up towards the top, I read it as "Snakes on a Plane", as in the Samuel L. Jackson movie.
 

el henry

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I just have to say this, but every time this thread gets bumped up towards the top, I read it as "Snakes on a Plane", as in the Samuel L. Jackson movie.

You are so right:

"I've had it with these m*********ing skates on this m*********ing plane!" :laugh2:
 
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