Monday, September 13, 2010

Double Runner Skates are Stupid

Back in March, when I was in the market for Boy's Figure Skates, I made the mistake of going to Dick's Sporting Goods. There, I was presented with a clueless staff and a selection of Hockey Skates for Big Boys, White Figure Skates for Girls of All Ages, and Double Runner Skates for Little Boys.

The message here is loud and clear; BOYS DON'T FIGURE SKATE. While Dick's website doesn't have the same sexist slant as their Brick and Mortar stores, I still felt a bit shunned and put out at my inability to run out and grab some black skates.

Double Runner skates are NOT skates. At all. Period. You cannot ice skate in double runner skates. What starts out as being a well-meaning attempt at ensuring kids don't fall over their own asses repeatedly becomes a crippling exercise in parental nonsense.

Here's why Double Runner skates don't work: Double Runner blades are not sharp. They are dull like your Butter Knife Blade. Figure Skate blades are sharp. A single blade has two edges that are sharp, a little duller than your paring knife but not by much. Double Runner Blades are flat. Those skates can sit on a table, and that's all they should do. Traditional Figure skate Blades have a rocker, they bow outwards in the middle slightly. You won't notice until you hold them together. Here's a video:

Yeah, Double Runners have none of these things. They are soft shoed, flat bladed, dulled pieces of nonsense meant to turn boys off of figure skating entirely. They don't glide, they don't swizzle, they don't do anything. There was one weekend where we saw two boys in Double Blade skates, and they were expending so much energy simply pushing themselves along that they never had the chance to feel the wind in their hair or have their cheeks get cold. Even K asked me, "What is wrong with their skates? They aren't working right."

The way I feel about Double Runner Skates is the same way I feel about those "bikes" with handles for Parents attached. Fucking dumb! Kids have to be allowed to fall, to get hurt, and yes, to bruise and bleed. This shit happens, and it happens to everyone. As I tell K at every single skating session, I don't care how many times you fall down, I care about how many times you GET BACK UP. A kid who never falls will never learn how to pick themselves back up and keep going.

Yes, it's hard to watch your BAYBEEEEEE fall down and cry, and bruise, and even bleed. It's really hard. I haven't posted about the Goose Egg Incident because I don't want DCFS knocking at my door. Deep down, I believe that Parenting is shaping a whiny kid to be a responsible, kind, motivated, and tough individual. Whiny kids don't become that if they're skating in Double Runners.

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