Thursday, March 16, 2017

When Figure Skating Nerds Collide #1: ROH

I took my blades to my sharpener and pulled off my pink and purple fuzzy soakers. "I think I need a sharpening."

Actually I KNOW I need a sharpening, but it's always tactful to open the conversation with "I think." I can tell the instant I skid a turn whether more knee bend will fix the skid, or I need a sharpening.

He ran his thumb across it. "It's close enough, yeah, I can go ahead and do it. You wanted 7/16?"

I'm skating on 1/2" radius of hollow now, because in warm weather, I just float through my turns. But in the winter with hockey season on, the ice is as...cold as ice. With hard cold ice, a tighter radius of hollow gives you a grippier blade.

I bite my lower lip, and my sharpener can read my mind. I'm worried that 7/16 will be waaay too grippy.  I'm not jumping, and I don't have that much speed. Too grippy can stick me like glue.

"What if," my sharpener says, "I split the difference."

At this point, I have to do 4th grade arithmetic (well, 4th grade in the 1950s. GOK when kids today learn fractions. High School?--moving on). If he's going to split the difference, that means he has to halve the we're now in 32nds.

"Uh, 15/32nds?"  I pause then say hoarsely, "Kinky."

Knowing my blades and 
understanding technical issues


  1. Skating math: If a skater pushes off at 5mph on a RBO edge, does a RBO three-turn, then steps forward onto LFI edge how long will it take some kid skating in direction A but looking in direction B to crash into him? Answer: An increment of time too small to be measured with existing technology. I performed a small impromptu pairs routine with a little girl yesterday evening. We collided and I ended up carrying her about ten feet down the ice before she stopped flailing enough so I could put her down upright. I think the lift would have counted, but negative GOE for sure.

    1. My guess for the increment of time would be...32 seconds. Little kids have to take time to aim at you, you know.