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General Ice Skating Chat / Re: Learn to play hockey at Basingstoke ice rink
« Last Post by Leif on Today at 07:24:44 AM »
There are learn to skate classes for figure skaters at the same time, for anyone who prefers figure skating. Just duck when you see a puck flying towards you.  :o Iím kidding, of course.
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This is a good shout. I have always been of the opinion that getting into the ice sports can be relatively cheap if you do it right. Basic group figure skating lessons do typically work out as marginally more than just paying for public and my last rink let you have the public time as well, so if you were even the tiniest bit interested in learning how to skate then it was really worth it to pick up the lesson for like £1 more than the public cost.
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General Ice Skating Chat / Learn to play hockey at Basingstoke ice rink
« Last Post by Leif on Yesterday at 08:38:56 AM »
I thought I'd mention this here. Basingstoke ice rink have a learn to play hockey course on Saturday morning, typically from 9:45 am to 10:30 am though times do vary. £60 for 6 lessons if you book before the start of the course, or £15 on the day, including free public skating, so if you block book you are paying ~£2 above the public skating fee for the hockey tuition. That's good value.

It's open to anyone, any age, even - say it quietly - figure skaters (though they will need hockey skates). There are lots of little kids, a few older ones, and quite a few middle aged people. I think they have some sticks to loan out. You will need basic skating skills and your own hockey skates.
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General Ice Skating Chat / Re: Skate Sharpening
« Last Post by WednesdayMarch on June 23, 2019, 09:29:59 AM »
Get them sharpened.  New blades always need a grind.  Even when the shop says, "They're already sharp," they usually need a decent grind.
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General Ice Skating Chat / Re: What did you do in today's lesson?
« Last Post by Jo on June 22, 2019, 08:41:17 PM »
Today was my first week doing Skate Excellence Level 5. We did backwards lemons. Backwards half lemons in a circle. Backwards scoots in a circle. Backwards half stars in a circle. Backwards tightropes in a circle. Achieved ok since we've been practicing that stuff in Level 4. Two foot changing direction. Not a hope. My legs completely refused to twist like that!  I'm hoping to have cracked level 5 by my birthday in September. (Fingers crossed hopefully) ;D
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General Ice Skating Chat / Re: Skate Sharpening
« Last Post by transmissionoftheflame on June 22, 2019, 01:39:38 PM »
Mine last around 25 hours.  They are not super blunt after that time, so probably at spinZZs stage 2.
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General Ice Skating Chat / Re: How did you choose your Forum name?
« Last Post by black on June 22, 2019, 07:56:38 AM »
When I went through the Learn To Skate course there were two of us with the same first name in the social circle, so nicknames were quickly established. I was 'the tall one' or 'no fear' or 'black', due to often wearing black clothing.
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General Ice Skating Chat / Re: Summer ice maintenance
« Last Post by black on June 22, 2019, 07:48:43 AM »
Back when Hemel Hempstead's chiller wasn't so reliable, they used to boast that they had the 'freshest' ice in the country!
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General Ice Skating Chat / Re: Skate Sharpening
« Last Post by spinZZ on June 21, 2019, 10:19:39 PM »
I got new skates about 5 weeks ago and I was told that they were pre sharpened, I skate for around an hour a week, how do I know when I need to get them sharpened and can you still skate on unsharpened/ blunt blades? Thanks.

Also were would be the best place to get them sharpened, my closest rink is Basingstoke, but the shop rarely seems to be open, my parents live near Swindon is there someplace near there I can get them done.
It's hard for a beginner to tell whether skating difficulties are due to problems with the equipment (such as dull blades) or poor technique.  If you have a friendly skate tech or coach, have her line up three blades for you with three different stages of sharpness:  (1) freshly sharpened, (2) ready for sharpening, but not overly dull, and (3) overdue for sharpening, overly dull.  Have her show you how to feel the blades carefully with your fingertips to note the differences.  You want a sharpening when they've reached stage (2); don't wait until stage (3).

Once you've mastered certain steps, you can tell when a blade needs sharpening, because you'll get blade slippage (on steps that you normally do well).  For me the most sensitive maneuver is entering a forward scratch spin.   Assuming you haven't damaged your blades (e.g., by walking on concrete), degradation is gradual.  You can continue skating, just not as well.
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General Ice Skating Chat / Re: Skate Excellence terms - help
« Last Post by brightblade on June 21, 2019, 10:15:55 PM »
The terms are baffling - I did Skate UK but occasionally my coach will revisit and use Skate Excellence stuff to help with technique.
Half star is one I do know: glide along on 2 feet, with your feet about shoulder width apart. Gently start to bend one knee and transfer your weight on to that leg. Hold it for a bit then come back to neutral position. Make sure to practice both sides :)

Oh, RIP. We have started doing a few of those in classes and...well...My instructor has a tendency to model things but give not a lot of instruction on how to do it or what the expectations are for our level and also to rush ahead without really seeing if we are able to do the thing. My knees are still on the stiff side and I can't get very low in attempts but he still has us going from the 1/2 star position into a 1 foot glide or alternating side even though most of the class are struggling to get the position decently in the first place. :/

Oh well, guess what I'm working on this weekend.
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