Monday, August 28, 2017

Lake Placid 2017 Review

Upfront:  Overall, this was a strange year.

The 1932 rink was being repaired (NFI) this past week so it's hard to judge the quality of the camp when hockey, figure skating (adult) and figure skating (Kid) were  using the  two  remaining surfaces. I will say that the adults had plenty of ice time. Although the schedule struck some as awkward with a break from 2-4, I'm going to cut ORDA some slack on this one. The surfaces were always busy, and financially, that's what is important to the rink.

Secondly, there were very few kids this year and that may have affected some things. I'm not even sure the kids skating on kid ice for two hours a day were from out of town, or locals. So, really, just enough kids for a single surface. The effect this may have had were there were a limited number of what I'll call 'famous coaches': Gregory and Petukhov, Natalia Dubova,  or other well known former competitors were not there. Paul Wylie showed up for only one day due to another commitment. In addition, the test session that used to be held on the last day of camp did not happen this year. So, review the schedule when it's published to see when test sessions are available. You may need to come the weekend before if this becomes the regular scheduling procedure.

Next, ice quality. Everybody seemed to have a different opinion. I thought it was hard, other people thought it was nice and soft. It was never awful--it was just less perfect than last year's. Finally, a coach told me that the ice quality changed from the morning to the afternoon. I'm going to put this one down to possibly related to the repairs going on in the other rink. Eventually, I got used to it.

Group Lessons: I repeated some lessons from last year, and finally they clicked. So, I got a lot of review, and new learning from the lessons I took. I'll drop in some tips I learned in posts in the future. I was taking lessons from a guest coach and doubled up on the skills. For example, I took a group lesson on spins from Evelyn Kramer, and then a private lesson on spins--doing that I was able to syncretize the skills in order to get to the underlying physics of what both coaches were focusing on.
Group Power Stroking Class
Off ice lessons showed the rink was willing to try something new. There was a trainer giving Bolly-X (Bollywoodstyle) dance exercise, Mim Wacholder (a certified Yoga coach) had developed a program to tighten your core and balance using an exercise ball, and there were stretch classes, and other off ice classes. I took Mim Wacholder's CORE class with the ball. I liked it. Even though I've worked with a ball for years, she got me into some challenging positions.

Mim's class was much harder than this--but I like cats, so there.
Kids vs Adults:
Last year I ranted about kids on adult ice. This year, the rink was VERY STRICT about kids on adult ice, and adults on kid ice; in either case the skater had to have a coach with them. We had several adults get kicked off kid ice, and I didn't see a kid on adult ice without a coach. So well done ORDA.

Clocks: The rinks both had brand new hockey clocks in them and they were running, such a relief not to miss a class because you couldn't see the old clocks. So, thanks ORDA.

Dressing Room Facilities: They seem to have the overheating of last year under control. But other than that not much had changed. My recommendation is that you use the public bathrooms down the hall in the lobby to the left, or next to the entrance of the 1932 rink (down the hall to the right and around the corner). I won't even bother going over the issues--but it won't hurt to bring an emergency roll of toilet paper with you if you insist on using the toilets in the dressing room.

Reception: When you go to the meeting where you pick up your ID, t-shirt and stuff-it's no longer a 'reception', it's a 'meet and greet'.  It is still an opportunity to meet some of the coaches and schedule lessons, as well as, meet some friends. There were only some sodas. I assume this is the result of some cost cutting to keep the costs down (group lessons are STILL only $13 and I don't think the camp charge has changed significantly).

Local skating shopping: I always go across the street to the skating store to pick up some new tights or knee-hi's (cheaper than Amazon and in more colors and weights!) and go through  the adult skating clothes rack. This year I scored two cute zip up sweaters (perfect for figures) and a very nice down vest in teal. They also always have some skating themed t-shirts, so a good place to get skating gifts for back home!
Moose in the Field T-shirts were sold out :-(

I settled for....Moo's in the Field! T-shirt. :-)

Adult Ice Show:
It lasted a little over an hour with maybe 20? programs. It started off with a group ice dance number and ended with a group number. In between there were singles, dance, comic and other performances. As always, an opportunity to try out a new program or recycle an older well-loved program. After the ice show there was a nice little reception and camp was over!

Done until 2018!


  1. Glad you had a good time. I still don't understand why the adults aren't allowed to skate in the Saturday night show.