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  1. #1
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    Do you go to Public Skate when your not competing?

    Say who here is a competitor, that gos to a Public Skate when there not competing? BTW. do we know of any famous Skaters that do too?

  2. #2
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    I'm adult skater who usually skates on adult only open skate sessions during the day. It's generally a few of us middle level skaters plus a couple of hockey skaters circling the ice.

    Famous skaters need safer ice to train on. It's hard to dodge hockey skaters when you are trying to practice triple lutzes.

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    Kids who compete at the lower levels might do some of their practicing on public sessions, but most competitive skaters do not. As sk8er1964 says, it's just too dangerous, both for the competitive skaters and the public skaters. Many rinks also have rules about what you are allowed to do on a public session, which make it impossible for a competitive skater to practice certain elements. For instance, it's pretty common that you're not allowed to do camel spins on a public session, because in that spin your blade is up in the air and if someone who doesn't know any better gets too close to you as you're spinning they could be badly injured. That's why skaters pay more to skate on freestyle sessions where they're allowed to practice more advanced moves and to play their program music.

    Some of the young competitors I know go to public sessions every once in a while to hang out with their friends from school, but usually not very often. It's not that fun for them to just skate around in circles - they would rather be jumping and spinning.

  4. #4

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    It's interesting. I'm an adult skater and pretty much a beginner but even I have stopped going to public sessions if there is any other option. In a public session, I can't really work on whatever I'm working on and that's ok. People aren't there to work - they're mostly there to skate around (and around) and goof around with friends, etc. The really hard work (like repeating your backward pumps until your thighs fall off - stuff like that) can't be done in those circumstances and the ice, after the first little while, is so dug up that it's almost dangerous to try. Now there are public sessions at our rink at 9:30 in the morning when there's no one there and so a few of us will use it as very empty freestyle and that's just great. But I assume you're asking about the average Sat. afternoon, full-of-kids public session. Can't do it anymore because I can get so little accomplished (and then get frustrated because of that) and I'm not even an advanced skater. For more advanced skaters, there's no skating reason to be there.

    The very best for me (as I've mentioned before) is that my rink has Adult Skate at lunchtime three days a week (not in the summer though - bah, humbug!). I love it and take lunchtime from work at the rink. BTW, our rink makes it very attractive for what otherise might be empty rink time - it's only $7.50 a session (over an hour) - bargains. It's handful of us adult skaters - some beginners, some adult competitors, several instructors who practice for themselves - but just a handful and no one under 18. It's a great atmosphere with everyone helping everyone and everyone accepting of everyone else. The nicest people - it just couldn't be better. Well, actually it would be better if I could get a forward crossover but that's another whole other discussion. I only started lessons and regular skating in January so I'm coming along - it's hard work.

    PS My discussion of Adult Skate is the long way of saying it's a nice idea that might work at other clubs - don't be afraid to suggest it. The many freestyle sessions we have are great but really aren't for us less advanced adults so this is something that works.
    Last edited by Willowway; 05-15-2011 at 03:29 AM.

  5. #5

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    We had a great freestyle session at my rink but that got stopped (the owners of the facility think they would make more money on public sessions). So we lost that. So back to skating in public sessions as the freestyles where I go aren't convenient for me. However it is not like they are really busy sessions and my coach can still coach me in the public sessions.

    I could go to the other rink and do theirs but at the moment can't be bothered. Too much other stuff going on in my life.

    However over the years, I have done the majority of my skating in public sessions. Some are good and some are bad. At the moment they are quite good.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  6. #6

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    When I started I only went to public sessions - I went to one freestyle session to observe the coaches but I was too intimidated to do much!

    The morning public session at my rink is 10am-12 and it's almost always empty during school terms, or has only one or two people there. As such, they usually let the skaters do what they want to do - it's hard to have crash accidents when there are two people on the ice. I used to have my lesson time with my coach during a morning public session.

    Then school broke up for the summer and all the public sessions became mayhem, so I switched to the after-school freestyle. I enjoy that a lot more, because it's pretty much guaranteed that everyone else on that ice is trying to do figure skating. The after-school freestyle tends to be more for the less experienced skaters, those landing their singles and starting their axels and occasionally starting doubles, although every so often one of the more experienced skaters landing doubles or even triples will come if they can't make the evening freestyle. (The girls REALLY don't mind when Robbie comes. Especially if he's doing double axels all over the place. )

    At my rink it's actually cheaper for me to skate freestyle; the public sessions are $14 a pop and aren't part of a monthly or ten-visit pass. The monthly pass is $170, but it becomes worth it, especially for the national-level skaters, because you can go to two sessions a day - usually the morning (6:30-9:30am) session and one of the two afternoon/evening sessions.

    Sometimes, especially now that my program has come together, I feel like going back to skating once a week on public ice, just in the morning session; then I might actually get to do a clean run-through of my program. But the extra $14 just isn't worth it.

  7. #7

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    I do most of my skating on public sessions. We don't have as much practice ice time available as we used to. Most off the times I'm there, the sessions aren't too busy. During school holidays it would be impossible to anything and the ice quality is absolutely awful but I can go to the early morning practice ice then.

    On public ice time, we have a small coned off area at one end of the rink where lessons take place and your allowed to jump. I think it's much more dangerous that way but the rink management obviously disagree. I'm quite scared I'm going to knock someone over, especially when there are little ones around and have had several near misses. I've also knocked the cones flying a flew times. If there are no coaches on the ice you aren't allowed to jump or spin at all.

    It's far from ideal but I can understand that the rink is trying to make money. Our rink is the only one left in in the whole of Ireland so I'd rather have this than no rink at all!
    Last edited by C_T_T_; 05-15-2011 at 01:04 PM.

  8. #8
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    We do not have freestyle at all at my rink under the new owners, which is very strange, since the owner's daughter is an adult figure skater. So all of our figure skaters have to practice on public, they really don't have a choice. If we are lucky, we get maybe two freestyle sessions added to the schedule every month. But that's a maximum of two per month.

    Most of our higher level skaters travel an hour and a half to skate at figure skater-friendly rinks.

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    I would gladly see several skaters who skate on freestyles sessions go back to public sessions. If you can't do crossovers, skate in jeans and baseball caps while wearing fogged up glasses and stare at the ice the entire time, you should stay on public sessions!

  10. #10

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    As others have said, it's impossible to get much serious figure skating practice done on a busy public session.

    When freestyle ice time is rarer at my rink during hockey season, often the only time my coach can give me lessons is on empty lunchtime public sessions, 10-20 skaters total, which means taking an extra hour off from work. But sometimes I've gone for a lesson and we found that it was a school holiday and there were too many skaters on the ice, so we've had to cancel a few lessons or change our plans about what to work on.

    Occasionally I take my niece and nephew to public sessions for them to have fun -- I don't get to work on my skating in those situations.

    If I'm breaking in new skates I'll usually skate a couple of public sessions at the beginning so as not to waste money and intimidate myself but getting on a freestyle session with blocks I can't control on my feet.

    And if I'm testing at a test session at my rink on one ice surface, and there's a public session on the other ice surface that I can use to get a little extra warm-up (or even practice if it's not too crowded), then I'll do that.

    But those last two reasons are something that only happens for me once every couple of years.

  11. #11

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    A friend of mine, an elite level skater who has been to Worlds and etc., brought some of his friends, when they visited the US, to skate at the public session at Rockefeller Center. He wore his X country Olympic Team hat for the occasion.

    I go on a public session with my little daughter, but I don't do anything "real" on that ice. And when I travel to other states for business, I will bring my skates if there's a rink I can get to, and I'll skate on either freestyle or public, depending on what's available to me. I just like to skate when I travel. I find it relaxes me - gives me a sense of home, no matter where I am.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  12. #12
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    While I don't skate on public sessions anymore, for most of the reasons stated above, I have been on public sessions where elite skater were practicing. One instance in particular was when Tiffany Scott and Rusty Fein were actually practicing lifts and throws on a public session. I nearly got run over by Rusty at least twice during that hour we were on the ice together. Not only is is not worthwhile for the elite skaters in terms of quality ice time, but it can be extremely dangerous for the rest of the people on the ice, since they don't really know how to get out of someone's way who may be come at them full boar to do some type of element.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexei'sgirl View Post
    While I don't skate on public sessions anymore, for most of the reasons stated above, I have been on public sessions where elite skater were practicing. One instance in particular was when Tiffany Scott and Rusty Fein were actually practicing lifts and throws on a public session. I nearly got run over by Rusty at least twice during that hour we were on the ice together. Not only is is not worthwhile for the elite skaters in terms of quality ice time, but it can be extremely dangerous for the rest of the people on the ice, since they don't really know how to get out of someone's way who may be come at them full boar to do some type of element.
    Ha? When was this? How did they end up in Public Skate? BT. of course famous skaters need room to practice. But do they take free time out to go to a Public Skate?

  14. #14

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    But do they take free time out to go to a Public Skate?
    By in large, no - it's simply not fun. When they are at the rink they want to work, get something accomplished or if they're going to goof around then they need a little space to really do it right (and at high speeds)! When they're not getting something accomplished on the ice, they're somewhere else either having fun or doing something different related to their work (gym, ballet studio, sleep, massage, etc). A public skate is not necessarily the idea of a fun free time for people who spend a large amount of their week working very hard at the rink. There are so many other things to do that are relaxing or exciting or simply don't involve ice and they have so little time (if they're really elite and competitive) to enjoy things outside of skating. I am happy to see elite skaters do something else when they have a free hour - they deserve it, it keeps them better rounded.
    Last edited by Willowway; 05-17-2011 at 03:04 AM.

  15. #15

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    I'm a middle level adult skater (I guess? i do doubles) and i train in public sessions during the day, as its much quieter than freestyle sessions. Im still getting back into shape after a 10 year hiatus, so i feel less fat/unfit at the public sessions ( a pride issue). When its school holidays, I will have to train at the proper freestyle sessions though.

  16. #16
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    Public skating sessions definitely vary. At my rink the weekday morning skates are lovely. There's usually only a couple of people and I've often had the rink to myself. But weekend public skates are a nightmare. The second time I went to one, a reckless hockey player slammed into me while I was doing nothing but forward stroking. That was the end of skating on the weekend.

    I can't imagine a competitive skater going to a public session unless it was just to have fun with friends or something.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by RockTheTassel View Post
    I can't imagine a competitive skater going to a public session unless it was just to have fun with friends or something.
    Yeah, or breaking in skates.

    Or coaching. But then they'd be working.

  18. #18

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    I prefer public sessions. I like to socialize and meet people as well as skate, but it is difficult to practice when they are crowded. I am very lucky in that there is a public rink with 2 ice surfaces and an extensive schedule near my job, so I am able to skate at lunchtime when the rink is not too crowded.

  19. #19
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    It entirely depends on the rink! The rink I currently skate at, has a pretty empty lunchtime public that has higher level FS and dance partners skating in it. There is occasionally a child or hockey player but it's not too bad, and camel spins are allowed. The 3pm session is a different story - lots of children, learn-to-skate privates and hockey dads.

    But I have skated at totally different rinks that are so strict that even backwards skating is not allowed during public sessions. I was once told at a rink that I couldn't lift my blades off the ice, because there was a "no open blade" policy - even during stroking. Ridiculous!

    Then you have rinks like Rockefeller Center which have no rules, really. You are allowed to do whatever, even if it's slammed with people, because they don't want to piss off their passholders, who are interested in doing freestyle moves.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    I was once told at a rink that I couldn't lift my blades off the ice, because there was a "no open blade" policy - even during stroking. Ridiculous!
    That's harsh
    I understand safety considerations but this contradicts the very nature of skating.

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