Sunday, January 20, 2013

First Time on Freestyle?

One day you'll pass all your group lessons, or maybe your coach will say, "I think you're ready for freestyle."

Serious stuff up front:

If you are on freestyle for the first time and don't know the rules, it would be polite to skate around the perimeter until you figure them out. Different rinks have different rules. Your coach should give you a quick run down.  There's lutz corners and harness alley, and so on. I'm not going to summarize them here 'cause every rink is different.

Freestyles are usually assigned a specific time period. Freestyles are not like public, you don't play a flat fee for the hours you skate. You pay in chunks of time. Each rink is different. I've seen by the 1 hour, 45 minutes, and by 15 minutes. You pay for your chunk of time, and if you get off early, you don't get your money back Some rinks allow 'bridging'. With that, effectively  you can get on the ice at any time and skate until your time is up. .

Just like taking lessons on public, don't interrupt someone in lesson.

And now for fun....

Sign in with the ice monitor
Know the rules for paying the ice monitor.
Some rinks, you pay the monitor, others the desk.
If you're paying cash, it's nice to have exact change.
First time freestyle? May be too early to buy a bunch of tickets for the discount
You'll be tempted to 'dress up'. It's not
 necessary. Dress how you're comfortable.

Assuming you're there for a lesson, say 'hi' to your coach, but don't interrupt a lesson.
Catch their eye, and wave to let her/him know you're there is all that's needed.
Skate around and warm up.
If you haven't passed Basic Skills you may only be allowed on ice
with your coach. Ask.
There will probably be overdressed little girls. 
And some scary teenagers who resent you on 'their' ice.
But mostly people will be there to skate, not judge you

You'll feel enormous next to the other skaters
Don't worry, that will fade

On some rinks you'll see pairs or ice dancers working on new lifts.

Or maybe you'll be lucky to have an elite skater zip right past you and you'll feel the wind brush your face.
Wow, who was THAT!

There will be people doing things through the center of the rink. These people are probably practicing a program, or working on Moves Tests. At first you'll feel like a cat with a rubik's cube, but after a few weeks you'll learn to recognize what they're doing and where they're heading. They have the right of way (generally).
Don't worry, you'll learn what the Moves Patterns look like
and who has the right of way
I hope you enjoy your first time on freestyle. After you get off, there's just one thing to do.....
Say hello to Mr. Nap!


  1. Loved this blog post!! Your most entertaining one so far! :)

  2. I think all rinks should pass this out as important literature to read before first taking the ice on freestyle. Couldn't be more accurate!

  3. I'm inspired by the Harry & David wrapped doggie. How can I incorporate such finery into my practice wear?

    1. I know, it's positively 'squee'. My favorite, though, is the cat with the rubik's cube. First time I saw someone working on silver moves, I felt exactly like that.

    2. I saw a woman at the airport the other day wearing a headband that immediately reminded me of this picture! Apparently, such a thing does exist in the real world! I don't know that I'd actually want to wear it skating, though.

  4. This is so accurate and so funny!! Bravo!