Friday, February 7, 2014

Figure Skating Ice Quality Rants

It's an old trope that the Eskimo have 40 words for snow. Sadly in English, we only have 37.

Now it's time to get down to naming different kinds of rink ice.

Hockey ice <turns head and spits in disgust> Hard, cold, and chips easily. The basic ice of most American rinks.

Now let's get serious-- Figure skating ice types

"Good Ice" - smooth top surface, 26-28° F, with a sensation of skating on butter. Just enough bite on the edges to give the skater a good run with minimal push

"Boulder ice" - when the dehumidifier doesn't work, and water condenses on the rafters then drops on the ice below. Sometimes boulders the size of a fist will form on the surface.

"Pebble ice" - a variation of Boulder Ice, but when the ice is covered in small lumps over the surface. It seems to occur when the ice resurfacer doesn't have hot enough water in it

"Lizard Skin" -- when the ice resurfacer dumps too much water and/or goes too fast. Usually found at the ends of the rink over the spots for the hockey goals where the resurfacer turns to go down the center line.

"Picked Over" or "Hammered" -- someone who's working on their Lutz has hammer toed their mark over the ice

"Guttered" or "Chopped" or "Hockeyed Over" - Post hockey game or hockey  practice ice. Long ruts in the ice which a resurfacing did not fix

"Snow" -- when it's a public after two hours with a hundred people on the ice

"WTF IS THIS!"===yeah, sometimes something trips me. Like sand when the ice got so thin it actually broke through (no fat jokes please) or pools of water or covered with ICE TOURISTS!

(Enjoy watching the Olympics)


  1. I hear you, I hear you. Love your descriptions and I agree with the move when speaking of hockey ice. Are you sure you're not a New Yorker??

    1. Not only is it a New Yorker thing, but when I saw Rusalka today at the MEtropolitain Opera, mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick singing the role Ježibaba made that move in the third act as part of the action--ON STAGE!

  2. There's also Curling Ice. Another type altogether.

    1. Welcome to TIDC! Always happy to have a new reader!
      The only thing I know about curling is that when I lived in Duluth MN, in 1976 when it won the Silver Broom, the bar in the curling rink was open at 3am. (I was DD, honest)