Author Topic: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it  (Read 4860 times)

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #88 on: August 11, 2017, 09:00:26 PM »
Ahhh, I can 'skate' again!

Had the blades of death reground to a 5/8" cut last weekend, then ventured out for a week of camping in the NorthWest.  Gave Blackpool Ice Rink (for which read 'theatre with ice on the floor) a try, and I can stop again! 

Fingers crossed for the weekend skates!
Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #89 on: August 18, 2017, 09:47:44 AM »
Well, time for another update.  After another lesson, and four more public skates, and an LTP hockey session, things are coming back together.

Starting with the LTS lesson, my 3-turns are actually starting to come together now.  Still a lot more work to be done, but I am now starting to gain the confidence to get the turn.  The wall at the moment is maintaining the momentum to carry it through.

The 5/8" cut is proving to be just perfect.  I can stop again, and yet still have enough edge for confident crossovers, and last weekend I actually managed my first single backwards crossover (though much work to be done).

Last nights LTP hockey session was one of the best we've had.  Sam Bullas of the Wildcats coached us, and I think we all agreed that the format was spot on.  A few minutes of skating drills, (interestingly, although I am one of the weaker skaters, I am one of the few that have progressed through the NISA LTS, and it showed on a lot of things, a fair few of the guys couldn't manage end to end one foot glides, one thing that I find pretty easy because of the LTS).  We then progressed through some stations, and then the rink was split into two for 3 on 3 mini scrimmages.  I am still struggling to keep up with the action, but am a helluva lot better than I was 6 months ago, so am getting there.

Onwards and, hopefully, upwards!
Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #90 on: August 20, 2017, 09:08:20 PM »
Well, it's that time again.

Yesterdays LTS session was interesting, the supply coach giving a detailed background into why a lot of the LTS moves are so much harder in hockey skates, which I believe made some of my fellow figure skaters look at them in a new light.

My backwards one foot edge glides are still slow to progress, but the coach gave me some good tips and I can put them into practice once the rink is a bit quieter (it may just be me, but I hate practicing new stuff on a crowded rink).  On the other hand, my progress on the 3-turns has had some positive praise, and it looks like I'm gradually getting closer to achieving them.

Then onto the public skate, and my stops on the left side are now pretty much there, to the point that I can do a decent one foot hockey stop on my left.

Todays public skate was unfortunately a lot less fun.  Some pillock (I have many more less polite terms for him), comes to the rink every now and then, showboating with his backwards skating.  He is undeniably good at it, but totally unsafe and inconsiderate.  I lost count of the number of times he cut people up, and at one point he knocked a small lad over whom then had to be guided off of the ice crying.  The bloke is a menace and should be banned.  And unfortunately his lack of consideration and care has passed onto his offspring, who is just as inconsiderate and unsafe, and also knocked a small 5yo boy over.  If you guys are on this forum, and read this, and know who you are, one day you are going to bump into the wrong guy, and be introduced to a home made slush puppy, head first!  Shame on you both for being so damned inconsiderate.

Rant over, and here endeth the update :-)
Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.

Leif

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #91 on: August 21, 2017, 01:33:18 PM »
There is no excuse for a good skater to put other skaters at risk. A volunteer steward suggested I inform the staff if I see something like that, I s'pose you could try. 

I've learnt that there are good times for the more risky skating, such as CW backwards crossovers. After 2pm at the weekends is good, when the skating coaches and most of the little kiddies have gone. But we do sometimes get young lads playing tag, which makes the entire rink unusable for practising as you don't know when someone will hurtle across your path.

I think figure skating moves are harder for us hockey skaters because our skates have curved ends, and they are narrower, so they are less stable, but more manoeuvrable. I might be mistaken.

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #92 on: August 21, 2017, 07:35:33 PM »
Hi Leif,

It's a real shame when the good skaters (and this guy is undeniably good) ruin it with carelessness and inconsideration.  And when others see those curved rockers on the feet, they instantly assume it's just another hockey skater giving us all a bad name.  And I can bet this guy has never hit a puck in his life.

You're quite right about the blades though.  The figures are a wider, longer, flatter blade, built for the intricate moves that a figure skater requires, whereas the curved rocker on a hockey blade gives us speed and tighter cornering (in the right hands....or feet!).  The stand-in coach said that a common practice in the USA is now to train hockey skaters to skate on figures, before progressing (oh, I can feel the eyes burning into the back of my head now!) on to hockeys, as this gives them a much more solid foundation for edgework.  As hockey skaters, we tend to skate on our inside edges a lot more, as our skates are biased that way.  She also stated that despite skating for years (as an ice dancer), she has not skated on hockeys, but wants to give them a go, and said that she is very sure she will fall over a lot to start with.

I think if more people knew a little bit more about the technical differences of each others' skates, there might be a bit more mutual respect across the disciplines, rather than a 'look down the nose' approach.  I admire a lot of skaters of a wide range of disciplines, but definitely not the muppet-womble (I had to work hard to keep that family friendly) that we all had to endure last week.

Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.

Leif

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #93 on: August 21, 2017, 10:11:57 PM »
Hello Andy

An interesting post. Yes, I think the muppet-wombles do tend to wear hockey skates, sadly.  :(

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #94 on: August 23, 2017, 03:32:46 PM »
Not so much of an update today, more of a review.

Due to working away, my skates have found themselves in the car and up to Manchester, and this morning I got to have a 3rd skate at Altrincham rink, home of the Manchester Storm elite hockey team.

No wonder they are an elite team, you'd have to be to skate on that surface!  I think I am now experienced enough to skate across tarmac and gravel!...ok, let me back up a bit here....

I have skated twice before at Alrincham, the first time, the resurfacing machine had broken down and the ice was appalling, the second time, it was much better, though still not as good as my home rink.

Altrincham does a 'mega skate' deal, whereby you pay one price, and can skate all day, from around 10:30 am until 5:00 pm.  I hit the ice at 1040hrs, and was off by 1130hrs.  I asked if the ice had been resurfaced this morning, and was told yes, I just didn't realise it had been resurfaced using a plough!

The ice was very wet, the furrows (yes, furrows, they were that deep) led to a very uncomfortable boneshaking experience, and the place was dripping with condensation.  There was a light mist over the ice when I got on, and I kept getting dripped on from the roof.  I suspect that this was condensation, as it was dry outside.

After 50 minutes of skating on that, I'd had enough.  I can skate for 2hrs+ in Swindon quite happily, but this morning I had shin splints from the constant judder across the ice.  I know how carved up a good rink can get after a couple of hours of skating, so God only knows how bad it will be at the end of the mega skate today.  I suspect there will be big piles of slush everywhere.

It's a shame, as the rink has a bit of character to it, but after 2 negative experiences of ice quality in 3 sessions, I won't be rushing back any time soon.  I think I'll be clicking the heels of my CCM's and chanting "there's no place like my home rink".

Given the number of learner skaters in blue 'death wellies', I think skating on such a bad surface is not the best introduction to the sport, and could potentially put a lot of people off if they didn't know that there are better surfaces out there to skate on, such as Brighton Beach and runway 2 at Heathrow. 

Hoping to get up to Murrayfield in the next few weeks for some sessions, so will post a review when I get there.

Happy skating :-)
Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #95 on: August 29, 2017, 05:16:24 PM »
Aaaahhhh, rant time again I'm afraid!

First of all though, on a positive note, the Saturday morning LTS was good progress.  That 3-turn is starting to come together, still a lot of work to do on it, but unquestionably better than it was a month ago.  Clockwise crossovers are getting a lot quicker (my ACW ones are lovely, and a lot of fun), and I have now started on the road to backwards crossovers (less said about them the better, CW so-so, ACW, laughable!).

And then Sunday.  Mr 'conclusive point of a foundry cast sounding device' (End of a bell, if you didn't get that), was back in his fruity little 3/4 length pants, terrorising the rink with his 'wanton and furious skating' (I'm an ex-cop, and such an offence deserves to be ratified!).  At one point, a young 'un in blue death wellies was skating (very unsteadily) about 2' away from a dividing line of cones (and crossing the ice without the safety of a barrier to hold on is scary as a learner, come on, surely we all remember that), and 'Twinkletoes' carved up between the lad (about 6 yrs old) and the cones, leaving the poor mite stood frozen (pun very much intended) and trembling on the spot.  The bloke is a menace, and deserves to be banned (or at least advised to tone it down and save it for quieter periods or more appropriate sessions).  What really wound the issue up was that the rink marshal had scolded a young kid for skating fast (though nowhere near at the speed this plonker, or his equally dangerous and inconsiderate offspring was going), and frequently tells my son (10yo) off for spraying snow on his hockey stops (I tell him off too, and vocally support the marshals on this issue when it becomes an annoyance to others), and yet nothing seems to be said to the muppet-womble (I'm really struggling not to use terminology that will see me banned!).

To top that, another marshal took over sentry duty a short while later, and in addition to not saying anything to the menace, I watched as he impressively failed to skate to the aid of a number of fallen skaters, instead he was seen to be practising his fancy footwork on the ice whilst watching his own reflection in the rinkside glass.  Excuse me, aren't you guys supposed to be ensuring the health and safety of the other skaters, AKA 'paying customers'?  The same guy often skates on the public sessions whilst off duty, and proceeds to break many of the rules he enforces whilst on his ego trip, I mean, in the daily pursuance of his duties.  At least our regular marshal doesn't showboat, and is quick to come to the aide of a skater in need.

Right, I'm now off to sign up to the NISA witness protection program and change my identity. ;-)

Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #96 on: August 31, 2017, 07:15:37 AM »
Review time again!

Last night found me at Murrayfield Ice Rink, home of The Edinburgh Capitals, for the evening skate.

Build in the shadow of Murrayfield Rugby Stadium, the rink is quite easily accessible, and so far the only one at which I have had to queue up at outside the door.  Inside it's a little dated, but full of charm and character as a result.  After getting my skates on, I headed out onto the ice.

And, given the state of other rinks I have skated on, I am happy to say, that Murrayfield has one of the best pads, if not THE best (sorry  to my home rink - it's a very very close tie) that I have skated on.  The ice was like glass, and very well maintained.  The stands and facilities are again, a little dated (home rink wins on this front), but again, it adds to the charm of the place.  I think if it was all new and shiny it wouldn't have the same character.  It feels like it should, if that makes sense.

The people were also very friendly, some very good skaters, very considerate, and I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of a couple of fellow skaters whom were very welcoming.

Definitely well worth a visit if you're in the area, and very well priced, and 5 for an adult on the Wednesday evening free skate session.

Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.

Leif

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #97 on: August 31, 2017, 07:10:46 PM »
Right, I'm now off to sign up to the NISA witness protection program and change my identity. ;-)

It's pointless Andy, as soon as you started posting online as Tarquin Ftang Ftang Biscuit Barrel, your sense of humour would give you away, and you'd have to flee once more.

Glad to hear you are progressing. Yes stewards are not always on the ball. But bear in mind that they are most probably very poorly paid. You are lucky there were on ice stewards, at my rink there are usually none, or perhaps a volunteer steward. And the stewards are not exactly intimidating, one is so young he has been mistaken for a foetus.

AndyinSwindon

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Re: A total noob to Ice Hockey - sore and loving it
« Reply #98 on: September 01, 2017, 07:02:40 AM »
Quote
as soon as you started posting online as Tarquin Ftang Ftang Biscuit Barrel, your sense of humour would give you away, and you'd have to flee once more.

....that's almost worth doing, just because!

I noticed this week that the steward at the Murrayfield rink was a very different beast to that which I am used to.

He was a chap a little more 'advanced in years', and due to his presence on the rink, he felt a bit more like a school playground monitor, (that probably doesn't make much sense, it was just a presence/image thing).  However, he was pretty eagle eyed, omni-present, and on many many occasions I saw him willingly assisting and advising the less stable skaters.  Was nice to see.  A lot of stewards I have witnessed don't tend to get involved in that kind of manner.

I was possibly being a little unfair to the Swindon stewards, as you say, they are possibly underpaid, and given the nightmare that is litigation and 'customer care', they would probably be going down a slippery slope (Doncaster Dome? ..heh heh, if that confuses anyone, look it up, they have a split level ice rink with a slope and.....oh never mind, jokes are never funny when you have to explain them).  As you mentioned, they don't necessarily cut an intimidating presence, and neither would we want them to, it would be just a bit nice if the justice meted out was a little more balanced.  Jordan at Swindon rink is a superb marshall, great with the kids, and a nice guy all round, but I do wonder how much back up he would get if things got nasty.  I think that the rink pest has been spoken to on a couple of occasions, and slowed down for a few minutes after each time, but it didn't last.  What can you do?  Personally I think they should give the guy a stick and a puck, and then send on a bunch of goons kitted up to play a quick 5 on 1 scrimmage.  I think the biggest shame is that his reputation preceeds him.  He is a very good skater, and possibly a nice guy, and a few of us could probably learn from him, but it's just his overall conduct around the rink that lets him down.  It would be like if Usain Bolt was a bag snatcher.  You would be in awe of his getaway speed, but he'd still just be a bag snatcher!

Ok, I'm starting to go off on a tangent!

Have fun, and happy skating.
Started skating 07.01.17
Currently working through NISA LTS Levels.
Currently wobbling through hockey LTP sessions.