Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Patch Skates: Round 2

As you readers will recall, I had my first try in Patch Skates back in September. It was scary as all get out. Given how scared I was, and with the show coming up, I tabled the Patch Skates until after Ice Show. I couldn't risk injury.

Well, Ice Show is done, so I swallowed my fear and laced them back up. And it was a little easier this time. A little. I swizzled around and eventually picked up to one foot glides. Then I could do FI Edges. The balance point is insanely precise. Go off of it even slightly and skid perilously sideways. I tried FO Edges, and my left side was cooperative, but my right skidded badly. I knew I was not leaning.

Patch Coach came in and sighed. He had me try FI8's. My right side was easy, but my left inside edge was hard. Skid, skid, skid. Scary scrape at the pushoff.

He had me just do edges.

FI were no problem. FO... skid, skid, skid. Scary Scrape as I tried to push with a nonexistent pick.

He sighed and called me back over. "Did you bring the old ones?"

I frowned. Was this defeat?

He told me to bring the Freestyles and Figures for a few weeks while I make the transition. Start in the Freestyles, then switch to Figures, then back again. He gave me simple sets of swizzles and slaloms to do in the Figures. Find the balance point, learn to push from the knee and be on my heel.

"Now try backwards swizzles," he said.

"What, no." I do not like to go backwards in these things. Yes, I can snowplow backwards, but that little drag pick does drag!

"Just go slow."

So I did, painfully aware of my position on the blade. "DONOTPITCHFORWARD.... DONOTPITCHFORWARD... DONOTPITCHFORWARD.... DONOTPITCHFORWARD...." my swizzle pattern echoed my thought process. I could feel my back, ramrod straight. "I can't stop," I squealed as I came perilously close to the wall, but my foot dug into that shallow edge and stopped me, safe as peaches. Coach Yoda laughed.

I did a few laps, and then we did backwards slaloms, also terrifying. But I could feel the backwards balance point. I may not do actual Figures in my Figure Skates until the New Year, if that, but progress was made.

In the lobby, Coach Yoda then decided to tell me that "back in the day," they didn't start in actual Patch Skates until 3rd test... when they started doing Loops. Now he tells me.


  1. Not totally true. I had patch skates within a few months of starting figures and did my First Test in them when I was 10ish (I think). I was working hard on my axel at that point in my freestyle career.

  2. (argh, this thing keeps eating my posts!)

    Ha! I love this post. You will grow to love them though... they flow so beautifully! It's awesome.

    Can't wait to hear you do when you work on 3s in them though :p.

    I was curious so I asked my coach (Bronze and Silver medalist at US Nationals in figures) and she said she got her patch blades sometime between her Preliminary and 1st test. It certainly could vary by region and coach's custom though.

  3. Working on Second Test stuff. Patch skates still in the closet.