Search the FAQ Archives

3 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z - Internet FAQ Archives

Recreational Figure Skating FAQ - Index

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Forum ]
Archive-name: sports/skating/ice/rec-skate/index
Disclaimer: Approval for *.answers is based on form, not content
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: Feb 27 2007
Version: 1.05

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
                        Recreational Figure Skating FAQ

     * Home
     * Index
     * Questions
     * Basic Skating
     * Advanced Skills
     * Adult Skaters
     * Boots
     * Blades
     * Injuries
     * Off-ice
     * Tests

   Copyright © 2002-2006 Ana Gonzalez
   © 1995-2001 Karen Bryden

   This  archive  was  originally written and maintained by Karen Bryden.
   Subsequent updates and additions to the original document are done with her

   Some  portions  of  this  archive  are used with permission from their

   A version of this archive is periodically posted to the Internet by the
   Owner, and may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without
   alteration provided that this copyright notice is not removed.

   Private individuals are granted permission to make a copy of this archive
   for their own personal use, provided that the copy includes this copyright

   This archive or any part thereof may not be sold for profit nor incorporated
   in other documents without the Owner's permission.

   This archive resides at, and is mirrored at
   It may NOT reside at any other website (use links, please) without the
   permission of the Owner.

Table of Contents


     * Scope of This Archive
     * Charter of
     * Notes on posting to r.s.s.i.r.
     * Please Read This Disclaimer
     * Other FAQ's on Skating
     * Other URL's on Skating
     * Acknowledgments

  1. Questions and answers

     * 1.1 Should I buy skates or rent them?
     * 1.2 Should I buy figure skates or hockey skates?

     * 1.2.1 Will figure skates give me enough ankle support?

     1.3 Why are there different kinds of blades for figure skates?

     1.4 How often do I need to sharpen my skates?

     1.5 Are hand-held sharpeners useful?

     1.6 What is skating leg, free leg, outside edge, inside edge, LFO, RBI,

     1.7 Why do I skate mostly on my inside edges?

     1.8 Why do most skaters spin and jump counterclockwise?
     * 1.8.1 Is there an easy way to tell what my "natural" spinning direction

     1.9 Why can I do X on my right leg but not my left?

     1.10 What's the difference between a crossover and a progressive?

     1.11 Turns. What's a counter, rocker, bracket, 3-turn?

     1.12 Turns. What's a mohawk, Choctaw?

     1.13 Step sequences: : What are waltz threes, waltz eights and power

     1.14 Are spin trainers any good?

     1.15 Will inline skating improve my ice skating?

     1.16 What are US Figure Skating, ISI, Skate Canada, NISA, etc?
     * 1.16.1 Should I join ISI or US Figure Skating?

     1.17 What are MITF?

     1.18 Sessions; patch, freestyle, dance, open, public; what are they?

     1.19 I have heard that you can skate on ice because the ice melts under
   the blade pressure. Is this true?

     1.20 How do you make an outdoor rink?

     1.21 Why does my music sound terrible in the ice rink?

     1.22 How do I find a suitable private instructor?
     * 1.22.1 What are the guidelines to deal with coaches?
     * Should I tip my instructor?
     * What are the rules for taking a coach to competitions?

     1.23 Is there a painless way to leave my coach?

  2. Basic Skating

     * 2.1 First time out
     * 2.2 Falling and protective equipment
     * 2.3 Stopping
          + 2.3.1 Snowplow stops
          + 2.3.2 Hockey stops
          + 2.3.3 T-stops
     * 2.4 Posture
     * 2.5 Stroking
     * 2.6 Skating backwards
     * 2.7 Forwards and backwards cross-overs
     * 2.8 Forward 3-turns
     * 2.9 Backward 3-turns
     * 2.10 Mohawks

     * 2.10.1 Open and closed mohawks
     * 2.10.2 Where does the name "mohawk" come from
     * 2.10.3 Tips to learn a mohawk

     2.11 Chassés

  3. Adult Skaters

     * 3.1 Adult beginner skaters
          + 3.1.1 The skater mother and other horrors
          + 3.1.2 Talent vs. determination
     * 3.2 Amount of practice needed to make progress
     * 3.3 Adult-Onset Skating Syndrome (AOSS)
     * 3.4 Lessons
     * 3.5 The pay-off!
     * 3.6 Skating programs for adults
          + 3.6.1 US Figure Skating adult testing track
          + 3.6.2 Skating competitions for adults

  4. Boots

     * 4.1 Selecting new boots
     * 4.2 Breaking in your boots
     * 4.3 Maintenance
          + 4.3.1 Waterproofing
          + 4.3.2 Re-plugging the screw holes
     * 4.4 Selecting used boots
     * 4.5 How do I know my boots are worn out?
     * 4.6 Lacing
          + 4.6.1 What is lace bite?
     * 4.7 Children's skates
     * 4.8 New technology for figure skating boots?
          + 4.8.1 Hinged boots

  5. Blades

     * 5.1 Buying new blades
     * 5.2 Three ways of checking used blades
     * 5.3 Mounting
          + 5.3.1 Problems with warping
          + 5.3.2 Checking for mounting problems
     * 5.4 Rocker
     * 5.5 Grind or hollow
     * 5.6 Advanced blade features
          + 5.6.1 K-pick
          + 5.6.2 Side honed, parabolic and tapered blades
     * 5.7 Sharpening explained by an expert
     * 5.8 Maintenance

  6. Figure skating skills

     * 6.1 Dance
     * 6.2 Freestyle skating
          + 6.2.1 Waltz jump
          + 6.2.2 Salchow
          + 6.2.3 Toe loop
          + 6.2.4 Loop jump
          + 6.2.5 Flip jump
          + 6.2.6 Lutz jump
          + 6.2.7 Axel jump
          + Axel exercises
          + 6.2.8 Two foot spin
          + 6.2.9 Forward Scratch spin
          + Traveling spins
          + about dizziness
          + 6.2.10 Back spin
          + 6.2.11 Sit spin
          + 6.2.12 Camel spin
     * 6.3 Synchronized skating
     * 6.4 Figures

  7. Injuries

     * 7.1 Concussion
     * 7.2 Arm injuries
     * 7.3 Knee injuries
     * 7.4 Foot injuries
          + 7.4.1 Bumps on feet

  8. Off-ice training and endurance

     * 8.1 Weight training
     * 8.2 Improving turn-out
     * 8.3 Knee strengthening exercises
     * 8.4 Plyometrics
     * 8.5 Pilates
     * 8.6 Off-ice warm-up

     * 8.6.1 The cooling down


     * A.1 Commonly available blades, radius, hollow and price
          + Dance blades
          + Synchronized skating blades
          + Beginner Freestyle and all-purpose blades
          + Intermediate and Advanced Freestyle blades
          + Advanced and Elite Freestyle blades
     * A.2 Test requirements
          + A.2.1 ISI tests: Freestyle and Dance
          + A.2.2 US Figure Skating Adult freestyle test requirements
          + A.2.3 US Figure Skating test dances
          + A.2.4 FFSG freestyle "Club" track test requirements
          + A.2.5 NISA freestyle test requirements
     * A.3 Comparative table of national freestyle tests


  Scope of this Archive

   Welcome to the news group The charter of
   the group (below) encompasses a wide variety of skating activities aimed at
   the  active  recreational  skater.  This archive contains responses to
   frequently asked questions about ice skating, and contains outstanding
   contributions to the news group which have appeared in the past. It is aimed
   at the recreational and lower level competitive figure skater.

  Charter of

   Appropriate topics for this group include public skating, social or dance
   sessions and outdoor skating; learning to skate and more advanced group or
   private   instruction;  equipment  selection,  use,  maintenance,  and
   troubleshooting; and stretching, training and fitness issues.

   Discussion of skating skills on both hockey and figure skates are welcome.
   The group is aimed specifically at skating from the participant perspective.

  Notes on posting to r.s.s.i.r..

   In general, if you follow the Usenet etiquette rules you can't go wrong.
   Everyone will be grateful if you try to stay on topic, make sure that the
   subject  of  your  post  corresponds to its actual contents and ignore
   outrageous posts and trolls. In particular, pay attention to these points:
    1. In general, avoid cross-posting to other groups as much as possible.
       Even when cross-posting to other skating or related groups is justified,
       this practice sometimes results in a bunch of off-topic posts addressed
       to r.s.s.i.r. Similarly, check and, if necessary, edit the "newsgroups"
       and "follow-up" headers of posts you reply to.
    2. Sharing  movies and pictures is popular and very useful to receive
       feedback about your technique and for general discussion of a skill, but
       please,  do not send those files in the body of your post or as an
       attachment. Read the FAQ on posting binaries to newsgroups to understand
       why. The best procedure is to put the file in a web site and post the
       URL to the group. Be aware that doing this will generate lots of visits
       to  your page. If your file is very large and you have a bandwidth
       restriction on file transfers, access to the page may be temporarily
       blocked by your provider. To avoid this situation, double-check the
       conditions that apply to your site.
    3. It has become common practice in the group not to refer to one's skating
       instructor(s) by their names as a matter of course (many people use
       nicknames).  The  main  reasons  to  do  this are 1)preserving the
       instructor's privacy 2)avoiding that a particular miscommunicated or out
       of  context  instruction  or comment affects the reputation of the
       instructor.  This  practice  does not apply if the identity of the
       instructor is already public knowledge (for instance, if you are posting
       about a publicly advertised skating camp with famous coach X, it is OK
       to quote X by name).

  The Following Disclaimer Applies to This Archive

   This archive is furnished "as is" without express or implied warranty. If
   you wish to learn figure skating, please sign up for a class (offered at
   many rinks) so you can have an instructor demonstrate the proper techniques
   and  help  correct you if you're doing something wrong. Rely on a good
   instructor to help you select skates and other equipment.

  Other FAQ's on Skating

   There  are  five  other FAQ's posted regularly to*,
   rec.answers  and  news.answers.  They are the amateur and professional
   figure/artistic skating FAQ list posted by Sandra Loosemore, the Inline
   Skating FAQ by Tony Chen, the Conventional Roller Skating FAQ and the Skate
   Books FAQ by George Robbins and Welcome to* posted by
   Charles MacDonald.

  Other URLs on Skating

   Charles   MacDonald  keeps  a  current  listing  of  Skating  URLs  at


   This  archive  represents  the  collective  wisdom  of  the news group and the mail list
   Many people have contributed to this work, far too numerous to mention.
   However special thanks go to the late George Robbins and Janet Swan-Hill,
   who have written major portions of this document.


User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index ]

Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer:

Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM