What's the difference between the many varieties of skates?

Figure skating blades have a rocker which is the degree to which the blades are curved. Longer blades result in good stability and speed whereas shorter blades provide maneuverability. Long blades make certain skating moves dangerous or impossible.

Classic figure skates only have a rather weak rocker. Hockey skates have a much stronger rocker and are not straight at the tail.

This might mean that you don't feel that secure when skating backwards while shifting your weight towards your heel. Of course, this is not a big deal for the experienced skater and ice-hockey player ;-)

At first sight recreational skates don't look any different from commonly used figure skates or hockey skates. Though they might have a very weak curverture in the middle of the blade (hardly any rocker), which makes executing a turn, especially when ice dancing a challenge.

I took up the challenge and bought comfy recreational skates from a local hardware store to give them a try. They are perfect for skating on a lake, but pretty hopeless for ice dancing.

Summing up one can say, the shorter the blade and the stronger the curverture (rocker), the more maneuverable the skates are. This explains why it is a challenge to make a turn with speed skates.

Last update on 12. March 2018 by Gudrun Wakolbinger.

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