Sunday, August 25, 2013

2013 Lake Placid Skate Camp Review

Just back from my 4th or 5th Lake Placid summer. I am happy to report that this summer was very close to perfect. Good on ya, ORDA!

Ice schedule. Adult skaters were scheduled on two surfaces, the 1980 rink and the USA rink. All group classes were on the USA rink, and all freestyle sessions were on the 1980 rink. This was consistent throughout the week. The schedule differed day to day. Since the rink has a number of other events going on (synchro, hockey), adult skaters could find themselves with early ice one day and evening ice the next. The full schedule of ice time was delivered. Yes, there were people on ice as late as 8 pm and as early as 7am. Not the same people though.

Ice condition.  Resurfacing was conducted every two hours. Okay, in previous years it was every hour. But you lost a lot of time to ice resurfacing (although it's nice for a fresh surface every hour). Every two hours seems a good compromise.  The ice was still good enough in the second hour for high level skating.

Class and ice surface schedule. For the first time since I've attended Lake Placid, the skate camp maintained the skate camp schedule as published! The only changes were to add 3 evening group classes because Paul Wylie decided to stay a couple extra days. This was publicized by placing announcements on the dressing room doors two days before, so plenty of notice prominently posted. The skate camp also sent a preliminary schedule to all the skaters a few days before the camp.  I don't think they could get it out any earlier, as they had to schedule many coaches, compose and publish it.

Famous Coaches: Gregory and Petukhov, Paul Wylie, Ryan Bradley, and the Protopopovs were there for the skate camp. Wow! Just, Wow!  As a perpetual basic skills skater, I didn't take lessons from any of them, but I knew skaters who did and all raved about their coaching. I wanted to comment, that while she is famous as an ice  dancer, several skaters spoke very highly of Melissa Gregory as a jump coach.  Everybody loved Paul Wylie's coaching.

Unexpected pleasures: The ice rink has WIFI now! And the most gourmet snack bar outside of France!

Other skaters: I heard that there were 50 skaters at the camp. Since the June week camp, had been compressed into a weekend, a number of people transitioned from the June session to August, making the camp slightly better attended than last year. There were hardly any kid skaters since schools now start before Labor Day.

Off-Ice classes: These are designed for the kids, but adults are welcome. I wonder if an adult oriented off ice class would find an audience now that there are so few kids.

Minor Annoyances:
1. There was no clock in the 1980 rink. I don't know if the old one broke, but you could only keep track of the time if you wore a watch. I suggest  taking a cheap slap watch to the camp to wear over your jacket. I am assuming that the clock will be replaced by next year, but it's still important to have your own watch just in case in 2014, the clock in the USA rink is broken.

2. The time of the adult ice show was not published in the schedule. No kidding, people were asking me Friday what time the ice show was just because they knew I was in it.

3. There's probably a good logistical reason why the ice show is on Saturday, but a number of skaters always have to leave Saturday morning to go home. A more convenient time would be on Friday night, which would allow more participation.

4.  The schedule sometimes has several group classes with the same/similar titles, but different coaches. For example, there were 3 or 4 Stroking classes and two Skating with Style classes. It might be helpful to have a little better descriptor. Ice Dance Stroking or Stroking for Power, or whatever the coach is focusing on. Of course this suggestion might be impractical since the coach may decide on how to teach the class based on who shows up. And frankly, if two classes are titled "Skating with Style" once for Paul Wylie and the other for Ryan Bradley, a lot of people are going to take both.

Amusing Incident:
A skater of my acquaintance is a bit star struck by Ryan Bradley, and signed up for a lesson with The Tall One. The following was reported to me second hand. When my friend showed up for the lesson Ryan asked, "What did you want to work on?"
My friend replied, "I don't know."
Ryan said, "Well, I'm known for my jumps, why don't we work on that?"

Useless Trivia: Since we were sitting next to each other in the hockey box waiting for the ice to clear,  I asked Paul Wylie "Boots and blades?" Reidells for a couple of decades, and the John Wilson Revolution (based on the Gold Seal).  That's the kind of question I want to hear interviewers ask on TV.


  1. So glad you had a great time at LP Adult Skate Camp!! I didn't know that June was changed to a weekend; I might have attended. Please note, I said "might", as my recent past experiences at the camp had been anything but good.

    When I first attended the camp, adults were allowed and invited to skate the Saturday evening show with the kids. It made those of us who did it feel special. I am still saddened and a bit hurt that we are no longer invited or wanted at the Saturday night show. It's almost as though they want our money, but not our skills.

    1. I think that may have changed. I had a friend who skated in the adult group number, who skated in the kids show. There may have been others. There were *very* few kids. There may be time now for adults to skate in the show.

  2. HOw many classes do you do each day? I can see it getting very expensive at $13 per class!

    1. The first time I went I took several classes. Now, I only take two or three for the whole week. If you're on a budget, you can prioritize your spending.

  3. Sounds fun! (and Paul Wylie is a coach at one of my local rinks)

  4. Is the first 'event' the Sunday reception at 7 pm?
    What time/day is the last event?
    I'm trying to figure out when to arrive and depart for the week-long adult camp.

    1. When you sign up for the camp, they'll send you a schedule. I don't want to mislead you on times, because I'm only talking about what's happened in the past. You'll have a couple of months to plan before the camp starts. The announcement for the camp should be in the next few months.

    2. Thanks. How crowded is the ice during the sessions?

    3. It varies. There are usually 2 surfaces open; one is for group lessons, the other for freestyle. Last year there were 50 people attending, but there were never that many on ice. I wouldn't call it packed. I'm a timid skater and I never felt uncomfortable

  5. Babbette, you're a peach for answering all these questions! I have another one: Do you sign up in advance for the group classes you want, or do you just show up with your ticket in hand?

    1. Just show up with ticket in hand. If it's a private lesson, that you have to arrange in advance, but for group lessons, just show up.