Author Topic: Am I too low a level for patch ice?  (Read 318 times)

josydavinia

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Am I too low a level for patch ice?
« on: May 24, 2019, 10:02:16 AM »
I find public sessions at my rink really daunting as we have a LOT of hockey skaters who tear up the ice and make it difficult to practice moves that require some space - even when practising 3 turns last week I managed to have one nearly knock me over!

I've skated on patch before but I have always done so with a coach. My coach is incredibly busy and can't fit me in this weekend for a lesson, but I want to attend patch ice to make sure I get weekly practise in. I am certified level 5 skate excellence, but I haven't done a group lesson in a few weeks and so I'm probably a little higher than that in theory but without the certificate. Patch ice at my rink is normally really quiet on a Saturday but I want to know if people think I'm too low a level to skate on patch without a coach?

I know the etiquette/rules and I know how to stop and move out of peoples way easily. My rink doesn't operate a priority system when it comes to music. Is there anything else I should be aware of when skating patch?

The Sacred Voice

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Re: Am I too low a level for patch ice?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2019, 11:01:02 AM »
The rules for patch admission vary from rink to rink, but they usually ask people to have a minimum level of certification to go on - at my last rink you had to have passed Skate UK 8 unless you had a coach with you, in which case you could be any level - however you'll find that the enforcement of these requirements is often lax at best and the kids on patch are rarely following most of the patch rules themselves. They usually want you to have your own skates as well, which I assume you do have.

The reality of patch is you only really have to be aware of the people around you and be able to get out of the way, which you've said you can do. The main other thing to be aware of is if someone comes flying at you in a hi-vis jacket as they're probably practising their programme and technically have right of way. That's pretty much it though. My last rink had some hilarious other rules like "no jeans" and "no talking", but those were never enforced further than a coach telling you to stand by the barrier if you wanted to chat for a bit. They also had this hilarious archaic rules about always giving way to skaters of higher level, but that appears to have been adjusted to skaters of higher level being expected to work around lower level skaters, though I did always try to get out of their way.

I think a lot of people think transitioning to patch will rid them of the pains of things like hockey skaters, but the reality is that patch can be literally as messy and chaotic as public is and the kids on it are just as unaware of their surroundings as most public ice skaters - even if they know you're coming then they still often rabbit-in-headlights regardless. Therefore, if your session sounds quiet then I'd heartily recommend hopping on if you feel comfortable and your rink will let you because a quiet session will be easy to manage and you'll actually get to make use of it compared to a busier patch or public session.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 03:10:12 PM by The Sacred Voice »
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josydavinia

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Re: Am I too low a level for patch ice?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2019, 11:10:18 AM »
That's really useful :) I skate at Gillingham which is a planet ice which allows patch skaters from Level 5 skate excellence. My coach once said that the rules are pretty much "as long as you're seen to have lessons here, you can use it" and this was back nearly two years ago when I started off doing 1 to 1 lessons.

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: Am I too low a level for patch ice?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2019, 09:17:58 PM »
Sounds like you're doing all the right things and will make a good patch citizen - probably better than some existing users.  I personally loath patch - the atmosphere, the people, the music, and prefer rowdy public sessions.  But some people think it's great, so you should give it a go.  Figure skaters are in my experience often aggressively territorial.


One day when you become more proficient and confident in your skating you will not be fazed by busy public sessions.

The Sacred Voice

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Re: Am I too low a level for patch ice?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2019, 12:17:16 AM »
I personally loath patch - the atmosphere, the people

I don't mind the atmosphere so much, though I do know what you mean. The thing I've noticed since transitioning to the patch sessions at my new rink is that I've been getting reeeeaaaalllllllllyyy judgey/appraising looks from the coaches. I see them glance over, clock my skates and give me an up and down look when they think I'm not paying attention, which actually comes off weirdly hostile. I understand that I'm new at the rink and they don't know me, I should also stress that I'm not at all fazed by their behaviour, but they should really consider how their attitude is impacting on the mind of a new potential customer.

Also, I get very tired of the myopic little kids that have zero awareness of anything happening around them. I know that the patch sessions they deal with rarely have skaters that move faster than they do around the rink, so they're not used to having to look out, but I've come much much closer to collisions than I feel I should really have had to when it's come to finding spots to do a jump.
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VisuallyImpairedOnIce

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Re: Am I too low a level for patch ice?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2019, 08:59:11 AM »
If you're the right level, you should have no problems getting onto patch.


Once you get there, I'd spend 5 minutes off the ice just watching, to learn the patterns. A smile and a quick apology works wonders if you do accidentally get in someone's way, but the onus isn't all on you - higher level skaters should be aware of new people and give you the same courtesy you give them :)


They let me on patch at my rink, and I've got limited peripheral vision 😂 In all seriousness I skate regular patch sessions and everyone knows me, and although I do my bit and don't deliberately get in anyone's way, the regulars are very good at remembering my limitations :)


Enjoy it and let us know how you get on :)
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josydavinia

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Re: Am I too low a level for patch ice?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2019, 02:47:04 PM »
If you're the right level, you should have no problems getting onto patch.


Once you get there, I'd spend 5 minutes off the ice just watching, to learn the patterns. A smile and a quick apology works wonders if you do accidentally get in someone's way, but the onus isn't all on you - higher level skaters should be aware of new people and give you the same courtesy you give them :)


They let me on patch at my rink, and I've got limited peripheral vision 😂 In all seriousness I skate regular patch sessions and everyone knows me, and although I do my bit and don't deliberately get in anyone's way, the regulars are very good at remembering my limitations :)


Enjoy it and let us know how you get on :)

I've only just seen this but it made me feel a lot better! I LOVE patch ice and it's worth getting out of bed for. I tried an early public session on Saturday as well to see how I felt and how it compared but I nearly ended up taking down a small child just out of skate excellence that wasn't a) supervised or b) looking where he was going at all before skating the wrong way to the barrier. Definitely a patch convert! :)

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: Am I too low a level for patch ice?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2019, 07:27:16 AM »
Ah, that's good.