Thursday, August 26, 2010

Skating and Skating Shit, Part 1

In theory, skating should be one of the least expensive hobbies around. All you need is access to a sheet of ice, a decent pair of skates, and a high pain tolerance.

However, figure skating has a collection of assorted gak and accessories that make a game of Obstacle Golf look like an exercise in Voluntary Simplicity. I'd like to take a moment to add up the costs of diving whole hog into the world of skating.

We've already examined Blade Guards. And Puffy Soakers. Yes, these are two things that you will crucially need if you don't want to look like a Savage at the rink.

Let's start with the basics. Skates. We're not even going to discuss the Crocs of the Skating World, the Soft Series Skates. Put your feet in these puppies for a clonking good time, or perhaps for a trip down memory lane of you last run in with the Mafia. Recreational figure skates will set you back a measly $70.00. But you aren't a recreational skater, oh no. When I upgraded K's skates, Coach Y was very pleased. "Those other skates were for public skate." Such a big dismissal in such a simple statement. Your child is a Beginner. And a Beginner deserves gear with an appropriate label. Double your money for Beginner Skates. Yes, this fabulous boot and blade combination features padding enough to support wobbly unease on the ice and enough discomfort to make you feel like you're accomplishing something spectacular with those backwards wiggles. (I own a pair of these. They hurt like hell for three weeks.)

Oh, I'm sorry, that was a new term; Boot and Blade.

After you pass the innocuous Beginner Skate Stage, you get the astounding privilege of purchasing the Shoe Part (the boot) and the Skatey Thing (the blade) seperately! Aren't you thrilled?

Boots can run anywhere from $215 to $600 and up. And this is Riedell, which is the brand I'm familiar with. SP Teri (pronounced "Spuhterry")runs upwards of $500, and they go on into some detail about their fabulous Toebox which only reminds of some rather unflattering names I have for the wenches hogging the pedicure chairs. I can't even think about a Graf without reaching for my Beta Blockers, much less try to comprehend why they cost more than a steak dinner for four. At Lawry's.

Moving on to the Skatey part, you get some fabulous selections like Wilson who boasts some kind of Legendary English quality akin to Legend of King Arthur, who to my knowledge never skated. Then of course you can go for the Guido look on the ice and trick yourself out with some Paramounts. Skate blades can go anywhere from sixty to a hundred to car payment and then mortgage. What comes after that is Grandparent and Dark Corner in Shady Part of Town.

After you've selected your BOOT and your BLADE and removed the AED from your chest, your Skate Technician will affix your blades to your boots with a fucking screw gun. Yes, all that cash and careful selection, hopes and dreams poured into a single check, months on end of peanut butter while your coworkers ate Wendy's, all that will boil down to a single moment when you hear the whir of a screw gun unceremoniously screwing it all together. This the moment to remind yourself; this is all just hardware. No parabolic carbon fiber toebox ever substituted for talent.

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