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Skating Faux Pas!

Here's my personal opinion on what not to do when skating.

Kneepads over your trousers

Well, it's a good way to save on getting holes in your trousers, but it sure looks waaaay uncool.  Instead why not wear them underneath and get that street cool torn trousers look.  Not always so popular with the significant other when you come home with a pair of recently converted skating trousers.

Long socks

Oh dear, this is a terrible fashion faux pas.  Show only a little sock, at most an inch above the cuff of your skates.  Better still, if you skate in specialised skates such as speed or hockey, you can show real credibility by not wearing any socks.  Some skaters prefer this for the tiny increase in control you get with very hard carbon fibre skate boots.

More sock issues.

Brightly or multi-coloured socks aren't too cool either, IMO.  So are wearing multiple pairs of socks, or very thick socks.  This is bad because you put some thick and thus flexible socks in between your feet and your skates, making control input first get soaked up by your socks, then by the skate liner, and only then do you actually start controlling your skates.

Never getting your knees together between strides

Not getting your knees together makes a skater look like someone stuck a giant carrot somewhere painful.  I think it adds up to a lack of style and is generally considered poor technique.

Not bending your knees

So many skaters skate with stiff and straight or nearly straight legs.  Bend those knees and your stance immediately looks more cool, you'll have better balance, and tricks will become slightly easier.

Wearing your pads upside down

Unless it's your first one or two times out skating, there's no excuse for having knee pads upside down or wrist guards bending your hands down instead of up.  It's true that pads aren't the most user-friendly items and many people do get them wrong initially.


Bend your knees and work on that balance.  Nothing shows a new skater up more than poor balance and the inability to stand around without falling over.  There's nothing wrong with falling per se, every skater no matter how good will fall sooner or later.  It's excessive lack of balance that's the issue here for me.

Heel brake on speed skates

If you aspire to speed skates, you should at least be able to skate somewhat well and have learnt to stop effectively with other methods.  I think that wearing a heel brake on speedskates just makes a skater look like a beginner.  To me it implies the skater hasn't got the necessary ankle control and skating skill to make any real use of the small extra efficiency speed skates could give.

Oops, I'm guilty of this one, although I don't use it for my own skating.  I'm not sure being an instructor and needing it to teach beginners how to stop is any excuse either.

Having shoes tied to your belt

Every now and then I see a skater with his/her shoes tied to their belt, or even worse, tied to their skates.  What for?  There are lots of alternatives - skate from home, get some roll-up shoes like Samsonite travel slippers, etc. etc.


In case you didn't already realise, this article is tongue-in-cheek humour.  Comments are welcome - send me an email using the contact link above left.  I'm just as interested whether you disagree with any of the above, or have your own suggestions.



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