Friday, June 21, 2013

Secret Adult Freestyle

At my first rink, I was a regular. I skated public several times a week, and I'd made friends with the the two pairs of ice dancers, the skating director, and the adult freestyle skaters. I was just learning, but unknown to me, I had a reputation for being alert on the ice (thank you horse show peripheral vision). So, one day the skating director said, "Why don't you come to Secret Adult Freestyle."

"I'm not out of Basic Skills."

"Oh, that's okay. You're aware of other skaters. A lot of people aren't."

So, she told me the schedule. "Sunday, 8-10."

I looked at the freestyle schedule on my way out, I'd never bothered before, there was nothing on the schedule Sunday before 11 am when there was stick and puck.

Invitation Only Secret Adult Freestyle
For some reason, I got the impression that every rink had invitation only secret adult freestyle. I was new to figure skating and I thought this was one of those little secrets of the sport that you only learn about if you know the right people.  It makes perfect sense to have invitation only secret adult freestyle. One person to open the rink on a Sunday morning when there's dead ice is all it takes, and then pass the word out to the adults.  Bam! Profit!

Ours was the honor system. There was an envelope and a sign up sheet. You shoved your $8 for an hour (oh, halcyon days of yore! EIGHT DOLLARS! I now pay EIGHTEEN!) in the envelope and got on the ice.

One day kid skaters started showing up for the session to get ready for a comp. After a few weeks of this I said to my friend, a male skater, "I miss when it was Secret Adult Freestyle."

He gave me a funny look. "What are you talking about?"

I told him about the invitation, my vision of clandestine freestyles in rinks across the U.S.

He burst into hysterical laughter. "It's not 'secret', it's on the schedule!"

"No it's not. I checked."

He pulled out the schedule and there it was. "See! It's not SECRET adult freestyle. It's SUNDAY adult freestyle."


  1. Replies
    1. By the quarter hour ($4.50 a quarter--four tickets for a 1 hour session, allows bridging, and refund if you have to get off early.). So yeah, possibly the most expensive freestyle in the US and the most flexible. I only skate on it for lessons.

      Sessions are full.

    2. PS They let us do boot fit and blade adjustments for free if it's only a few minutes. So, yeah, flexible

  2. We had secret synchro. Nothing was on the schedule for Sunday morning, and the rink director was so desperate to sell our low-money making Wednesday 8-9:30 pm spot to high money making hockey he offered us free ice on Sunday to give up the Wed. spot.

    We took it, but I think this was the beginning of the demise of our synchro team.

    Now the rink is empty on Sunday until 10.

  3. I recall a secret adult freestyle that was actually a public session in the late morning. Could only skate it when I was off from work. It was heaven!

  4. I really enjoy adults only freestyle. My rink recently introduced one, on Wednesdays, last winter. Two hours of ice for $10. No kids allowed. #heaven

    Now that it's summer, they've suspended it for the kids camp they do daily. Bummer. I hope they bring it back in fall.