Who does your rink allow to skate on Freestyle sessions?

Sunshine247

Rinkside
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Considering I only tend to skate for 60-90 minutes at a time now, while I get into shape, it’s really not too much more expensive to do freestyle sessions ($9.50 vs $13). I’m a DINK, I can afford it. And this is only coming up because hockey starts again soon and the only public skate will be Friday Saturday and Sunday. Fri and sat are madhouses, I need more time to practice.

Based on feedback from others and yourself, definitely start with some coaching on your first few freestyle sessions and ask the coach to help ease your transition. Most skaters recognize a new, less advanced skater and are more forgiving at first. You’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly as an adult. It can be very productive working on freestyle sessions! No matter when you start there will be an adjustment period. Might as well start now.
 

Tavi...

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
OP, I started skating on freestyle sessions when I was about Basic 3 (I could do FW crossovers but not too much else). I really wanted to improve, but practicing on public sessions was difficult. So when I heard that my rink had freestyle sessions every morning, I asked the skating director if I could skate on them and she agreed.

In order to get over my nerves, I did exactly what people are suggesting you do: I sat and watched a few sessions so I could see what it was like, and found and read the session rules (who has right of way, don’t hang out in the lutz corner, etc.). The first few times I went, I asked questions if I wasn’t sure of where I should be or what I should be doing (“is it okay to practice crossovers here?” or, “is this the lutz corner?”) Most of all I made it a point to be very aware of my surroundings, considerate of other people’s space, and to not interrupt someone’s lesson with my questions.

That’s really all you have to do.

My first rink was basically not a competitive rink and only had a few kids doing doubles. The sessions were pretty lightly attended, so it was a great place for me to improve. If you’re in place like that it will be fine. As several people have mentioned, some rinks divide their freestyle sessions by level. If you’re at a rink like that, you probably won’t be allowed on the high freestyle, so you won’t have to worry about being mowed down by someone doing triples. :)

These days at my current rink I will occasionally have lessons on sessions with elite skaters. It’s a bit unnerving at first to be around so much speed and power, but you get used to it. And they’re usually really nice and are great at watching out for you. Good luck!
 

jersey1302

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Country
Canada
So, Im in Manitoba, Canada and the way it typically works here is our starskate program is the measuring stick. There are senior, intermediate and jr sessions. Some are combined and some are only one of them. Senior is above Junior Silver free skate level passed ( in competative terms is around pre novice to novice and above) and the other two are lower. Everyone falls into one of those categories. If you have not passed anything then you would be on the junior session but must have secured a coach and have paid your Skate Canada membership fee for the year.
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
I know they've got at least one really high level skater, I've seen her at public (don't ask me how she gets anything done). I would be terrified to be on the ice with her alone.
Don’t make any rash judgements. I’ve been in this situation, since I skate weekday morning publics and, over the years, have often been alone with a variety of hi-level skaters (mainly home-school kids) for at least part of the session. Their behaviors cover a wide range. Sure, a few are arrogant, act as if they own the ice, treat me like an intruder, and try to scare me off by skating close by at hi speed. But far more have been polite and considerate (especially since they are aware it is a public session, and technically they are not supposed to be doing freestyle; but as long as it’s fairly empty, and no one complains, it’s OK). Often they will limit their hi-level moves to one end of the rink. Some even ask my permission first to let them have the whole ice for a short while so they can do a run-through of their program before a competition. I’m always agreeable, and I like to watch. And some have been supportive and a delight to skate with over the years: I first met one young hi-level skater when she was about nine, she’ll be starting college this fall.


And this is only coming up because hockey starts again soon and the only public skate will be Friday Saturday and Sunday. Fri and sat are madhouses, I need more time to practice.
During July and Aug, you might want to try out some public sessions during Sat and Sun to see how crowded they are. In my area, they tend to be fairly light since (a) many kids are away at camp, (b) many families head for the beach, (c) many casual skaters consider skating to be a winter sport, and (d) extra freestyle sessions open up, and the more serious skaters tend to go to them.

During the regular school year, here’s an option to check out. See if your local rinks offer public sessions during weekday mornings; in my area, they are lightly attended. If you have some flexibility with your work schedule, even one such session a week would help a lot. Some coaches will even give private lessons during these sessions (depending on how close to the rink they live, and whether they hold other jobs). At one time, I was able to work Tues - Sat, and skate Mon mornings. I later worked from home flex-time and skated Mon - Fri mornings.
 

MCsAngel2

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Country
Scotland
During July and Aug, you might want to try out some public sessions during Sat and Sun to see how crowded they are. In my area, they tend to be fairly light since (a) many kids are away at camp, (b) many families head for the beach, (c) many casual skaters consider skating to be a winter sport, and (d) extra freestyle sessions open up, and the more serious skaters tend to go to them.

During the regular school year, here’s an option to check out. See if your local rinks offer public sessions during weekday mornings; in my area, they are lightly attended. If you have some flexibility with your work schedule, even one such session a week would help a lot. Some coaches will even give private lessons during these sessions (depending on how close to the rink they live, and whether they hold other jobs). At one time, I was able to work Tues - Sat, and skate Mon mornings. I later worked from home flex-time and skated Mon - Fri mornings.

I already do skate on Sat or Sun public sessions. That's all we have, plus Friday night, and one rink has a Tuesday night public until hockey starts again. I have to be able to skate more regularly and frequently than every weekend.

The morning public session is from 9:45 to 11:45 daily, so that won't work for me. I already have a flexible schedule in that I work from 9:30 to 6:30. The rink's morning freestyle sessions are from 6 to 10 am, and that is what I am looking into now.
 
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