Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Frames Of Death!

 Technically they're called 'skating aids', those usually metal frames that are rented to families with little kids to push around on public ice.

I hates 'em.

First off, they hold up the kid and the kid having no sense goes as fast as he can. Can he stop? No. Does he care that he's in center ice? No. Do kids leave the frames on the ice next to the gate? Yes. Do teenagers get hold of them and fight 'ice wars' with them? Yes.

My worst experience. A kid picked one up at threw it at my head. It wasn't personal. He wanted to throw something, I happened to be in the way. I gave him the rough edge of my tongue.

Still, using a skating aid has a long, long history. The earliest pictures I've seen use a chair. This makes sense. Cheap stable, and on outdoor ice it gives you something to sit on after you get off the ice.
The original skating aid
Interestingly, in China there's a long history of outdoor chair skating. It's evolved into some elaborate equipment. I think you push yourself along with the sticks.

But people came up with other designs.
Yes, this is weird.
But there's many, many patented designs for frames around the world.

The Break Your Heart Version
The one with the modesty panel
(Actually, this seemed the safest)
This one screams "Nose Breaker"
The one that will roll over
These are adjustable and I've seen a lot of broken ones
There's also a polar bear version
 But there are skating frames that defy rationality.
The double banana version
I think the parent pushes
and the kids ride.
The buy your own, portable frame
Why, God, Why
Good idea having a metal bar at groin level.
It's from a rink in the U.S.

But just when you think it couldn't get any worse, someone comes up with the ultimate skating frame. A two seater.
Undergoing off ice trials now!
So, take heart, whatever frames are on ice at your rink, it could be worse!


  1. Fortunately, my rink doesn't allow this kind of contraption. Very rarely I've seen small plastic chairs used for the tot LTS kids, but never during public sessions. It's scary enough dodging hockey boys!

  2. Yep the two seater ones are for an adult who can't skate to push small children around on, knocking over other adults and children as much as possible!

  3. I'm lucky that my rink doesn't offer/allow these. Instead, we see parents carry their kids around the ice a lot. That's technically not allowed, either, and it makes me cringe because the parents can barely skate on their own - much less carry a child at the same time!

  4. Way back when I was a boy we routinely took an old cane bottomed chair to the pond. Our rink has EZ-skaters made out of white plastic water pipe. I'll take a pix the next time I think of it.

  5. My rink has a red version of the plastic ones with the "modesty panel". I have nicknamed them the bumper cars, as that is how both the kids and teens tend to use them.

  6. Not allowed at any rink in my neck of the woods. We do have those cones that kids lean on and push across the ice. Then they leave them wherever and the skate guards forget to get them and the Zamboni driver gets angry...

  7. One rink where I skate has cones and the other is strictly no aids. I'm not sure which is better.

  8. Hi there, I came across your page because I was looking for a way for my four year old son to enjoy ice skating with our family, despite the fact that he has cerebral palsy and can't walk. The photo of the banana version of skate aid came up when I googled skate aids…but lead me to your page instead of information for how to help my child with a disability.

    you may want to consider the fact that skate aids allow people who have trouble with balance or walking in general to enjoy time on the ice with their families

    1. That's a good point, and I wish you and your son find a way for him to skate. If you contact the skating directors at nearby rinks you may find a rink that has a program for people with a physical limitation. There are special skating frames that look like sleds for people who can't walk and coaches with training to teach children who have a physical or developmental difficulty in skating. These are called Special Skater Programs and you may find a rink that has these programs if you call around.

    2. My sister has cerebral palsy and plays sled hockey. If you really want to enjoy the ice with your son and give him some independence on the ice, even if he doesn't play sled hockey, the equipment could still work well. If you want more information on sled hockey please let me know.