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Adult Beginner Class Week 4 & BONUS – A Rink to Myself

Another week has passed, well a little more than a week. Class was great, I made a good decision with my skates and got some extra practice in, on a full rink for just me!

My trusty Bauer Nexus N2700’s. You’re gonna see a lot of them today.

So last week was a bit of a blur. Had my weekly ABC up at Union College on Wednesday, but writing it up at the time, I felt like there needed to be more to this week’s story. Thankfully I went skating on my own at the local YMCA here in Bethlehem, NY and spent some time working on my edge work (discussed in my review of week 3).

I tried to get a picture of the edge of the blade to illustrate the hollow. Apparently I need a better camera to get that level of detail.

As I’d mentioned, my skates were not nearly sharp enough for last week’s class, and I’d paid for it by landing on my back, knees and elbows more than one time during the evening. So before class this week, I stopped by my local YMCA and had my skates not just sharpened, but the hollow on the blade changed. This is something you may not realize when you start skating or are just looking into getting skates, but there are two blade edges on the bottom of your skate, with the middle concave area being the skate hollow. The depth of this is based on the radius of a circle, the bigger the radius measurement (in inches) the flatter the hollow of the blade is, giving you less pronounced edges. For example, most skates come with a 1/2″ hollow when you get your first sharpen at the shop. This works pretty well for most skaters, as it’s a medium between gliding and edges. As you go up from a 1/2″ to a 5/8″, there is less “bite” to the edges, but gliding without digging in is a bit easier. Larger skaters generally use the larger radius, as they have more weight to dig the edges into the ice. As a larger human being, especially when I began skating, I went with the 5/8″ radius on recommendation from the internet and my friend who’d been skating for many years.

Going down to the 1/2″ radius was a bit of a gamble, as I’m still not the smallest guy and I was worried that all the progress I’d made skating would be wiped out by making such a change. After ABC this week (my first time testing it out, super bright idea) I felt I’d made the right call. After months of having issues feeling and manipulating edges, suddenly I could feel every time on both inside and outside when an edge started digging into the ice. It lead to a mostly successful ABC for me. The drill periods were the same as in previous weeks and I NEARLY scored my first goal in any setting during the scrimmage, however the post denied me with a loud *CLANG*. Guess that first celly will have to wait.

Today, I took some time in the afternoon (I had a test to take in the morning that gave me more of the day off than anticipated) and took the short trip over to the local YMCA. I have to say, having access to a full size ice rink at your gym is a pretty stellar bonus, I love going over and skating around to blow off some steam whenever I can. Due to the time of the day, I got THE WHOLE THING TO MYSELF! Instead of dodging kids like they were traffic pylons, I got to play with my edges, skate the wrong way, dig my edges in to practice stopping; basically everything I’d hoped I could do in public skate but never could. Even got to take some pictures to illustrate some of the “inside/outside” edge terminology I’ve been babbling on about in previous posts.

On the inside edge, from above. You should be able to see the logo on the outside of the boot.
On the inside edge, from the front. You can see the blade tilted in so the part on the inside of your foot is the part digging into the ice.
Outside edge from the top. You generally won’t be standing straight up and trying to skate on the outside edge, but I wanted to show an exaggerated foot position to illustrate the part of the skate you need to be on.
Outside edge, from the front. Little bit better view of how your foot will be lined up when using the outside edge of your skate.

That’ll do it for this week’s hockey class and skating post. I’ll be back again Wednesday to ABC, I’m hoping we can get a little more into skating backwards, something I struggle with mightily. Maybe I’ll finally get a goal or assist in one of these scrimmages, my points per game is REAL low!

If you enjoy the blog, give it a follow, share it on your favorite social media or leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you and appreciate all of the support I’ve gotten on this blog to date. This week I’ve eclipsed 500 page views! It’s not a lot but it’s a great start for something I decided to do in my free-time as a passion project. With your help we can expand and grow further! Thanks for reading, I’ll be back Wednesday/Thursday to talk more about learning to play hockey and skating.

Patrick View All

Just a guy who loves sports.

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