Monday, February 13, 2012

Dealing with Ice Tourists

Public skate is for 'the public'.  Most of 'the public' are Ice Tourists  who don't skate regularly and only visit the rink on public sessions. I'm happy they're there. They help keep the rink open.

I don't expect them to know about the coned off center. Really, rinks should post signs, "The coned off center ice is for lessons, jumps and spins." for it to have any meaning.

I don't expect the children to exhibit good sense. It's my job to look out for them.

But older teens and adults? Sadly, 20% of them appear to be lobotomy survivors.

The dads and moms that carry their children in their arms. Yes, I saw one mom fall on her little girl.

The dads that take their son out on the ice in hockey skates then act upset when the 4 or 5 year old can't figure out how to skate, sits down and cries. 

The grown men who skate backwards fast without looking behind them.  

The older teens who link arms and play crack-the-whip, never mind that they're surrounded by tiny kids.

The young men who get in a fight in center rink. Ditto the ones who get in a shoving fight along the boards. Ditto the ones who play tag through the stream of kids.

The adults of either gender who don't look before they step into the stream. Or who have some skating skills, but don't look before they turn or step in a new direction. I don't mind that they change direction. I just want a hint. Anything! PLEASE! 

And for me here's the kicker. I said I don't expect them to know about the coned off area, but I do expect them to have enough sense to see Dance Coach and I practicing fast crossovers in hold. We're a big fast moving train going in a circle and someone (always a man for some reason), will skate into the center and stand there in our path gawping at us. You know, I just want to give them a dope slap! How do these people drive to the rink? 

But public ice is for the public. I'm lucky my rink allows lessons on ice, otherwise I'd never get to skate. Thank you rink.

Hey, You. You, fat guy over there skating backwards....kid behind you...stop!....stop!....stop!


  1. You are lucky you have rink guards at all...

    Also- I cannot stand parents who pick up their children when they are skating. One time a Mom fell over her child, and a coach offered to carry the crying child off the ice. I was coaching at the time, so I was helping the mother up (she couldn't get up on her own). I gave her a gentle "you shouldn't carry children while skating" reminder, and she said "but that man just did exactly what I was doing to get my daughter off the ice." Yes, that man has international pairs medals. He can certainly handle it. Heck, most of the freestyle skaters could safely carry a child. YOU cannot. Common sense lady. There are many ways to move uncooperative kids across the ice without picking them up. Ice is slippery- it helps move them!

    1. I blame the olympics. Since all we see on TV are the world's best skaters, skating looks easy. The people watching, the ice tourists, don't see the years of falls, crashes, and injury that it took to get that good. The ice rinks walk a fine line between making skating a fun place to go, and warning people of the dangers.

  2. Once I went on a weekday in the morning, the absolute dream you'd think. There were probably 20 people on the rink which was going to be awesome for me practising basic figures in the middle circle.

    The only issue was some young ice tourist. He seemed to not get that when the rink wants people to skate CCW, that means staying reasonably close to the rink border and avoid getting too close to the middle circle, or worse, cross into it. We nearly crashed into each other a couple of times as I was skating backwards, and I was amazed that after dozens of such near crashes, he kept pretty much crossing the rink nearly like you would swim in a swimming pool lane.

    I didn't dare speak to him because I thought he might be retarted, because otherwise he'd have pick the hint. Perhaps I should have coz he ruined my session.

    1. Welcome to The Ice Doesn't Care.
      I've seen ice tourists like you describe. Sometimes explaining the traffic rules works, sometimes not. Mostly, if it's a boy in hockey skates, I don't waste my time. They know the rules, they just don't care. And yes, some parents put their kids with developmental issues on the ice without an escort. It's sad for the kid to be thrown out there alone. We have a man at my rink who has a son in his twenties, who is perhaps mentally about 6. I see them skating together and think, "What a great guy." His son is just so happy to be there.