Ice skate

Ice skate

Ice skates are boots with blades attached to the bottom, used to propel oneself across a sheet of ice.The first ice skates were made from leg bones of horse, ox or deer, and were attached to feet with leather straps. A pole with a sharp metalspike was used for pushing the skater forward. [ [ Old Norse Bone Skates] ]


According to a study done by Federico Formenti, University of Oxford, and Alberto Minetti, University of Milan, Finns were the first to develop ice skates some 5,000 years ago from animal bones. [ [ Bone Ice Skates Invented by Ancient Finns, Study Says] ,] This was important for the Finnish populations to save energy in harsh winter conditions when hunting in Finnish Lakeland. [cite web |url= |title=Dashing Finns were first to get their skates on 5,000 years ago |publisher=The Times |accessdate=2007-12-24] [cite web |url= |title=Skating traced back 4,000 years |publisher=BBC News |accessdate=2007-12-24] The first skate to use a metal blade was found in Scandinavia and was dated to 200 C.E. and was fitted with a thin strip of copper folded and attached to the underside of a leather shoe.

In about 1859, James A Whelpley of New Brunswick, Canada developed a skate that was well suited for long distance skating on the bays and lakes of southern New Brunswick. [ [ Biography of James A Whelpley] ] It was called the "Long Reach" skate, after Long Reach, a section of the Saint John River, where the Whelpley family operated a factory manufacturing the skates. The skate had a steel blade about 40 cm long, on a wood platform that was attached by leather straps to normal boots. [ [ Long Reach Skates at McCord Museum] ] The Whelpley family continued to make the Long Reach skates in New Brunswick, until about 1886, when the factory was moved to Keene, New Hampshire.


Modern ice skate blades are not shaped like knives. The bottom of the blade has a crescent-shaped hollow, creating two sharp edges on each skate. Ideally, the two edges of a blade are parallel, but poor maintenance practices, such as improper sharpening or lack of consistent sharpening, can often result in oblique edges. These "bad" edges can affect skating ability significantly. The depth of this hollow is known as the Radius of Hollow (RoH). The Radius of Hollow is typically between 1/4" and 1" depending on the type of skates and the user. The optimal depth depends on factors such as the skater's weight, ability, strength, sporting activity, and (for ice hockey) style of play. The skater uses these edges in different combinations in order to maneuver. When ice skates are "sharpened" the blade is ground against a template either to restore the hollow or provide a different radius.

Speed skates and touring skates, however, have a completely flat bottom. There is no hollow, only a squared off bottom with 2 edges. This improves glide time by not cutting into the ice.

Inexpensive skates for recreational skaters usually resemble either figure skates or hockey skates, but recreational ice skates resembling inline skates with a molded plastic boot are also available. These recreational skates are the form which can be rented from ice rinks for beginners who do not own their own skates. They are often called 'death wellies' by skaters who own their own equipment because of their appearance and their reputation for giving people blisters.

Types of ice skates

There are five main types of ice skates, the figure skate, the hockey skate, the bandy skate, the racing skate and the touring skate.

Figure skates

Figure skates are used in the sport of figure skating. They have "toe picks" on the front of the blade, which are usually made out of aluminum or steel. The toe pick has a variety of uses, but is most commonly used for certain jumps in figure skating, such as the Lutz jump and toe loop. Figure skating boots are typically made of several layers of leather and the leather is very stiff to provide ankle support.To lace them together you tie it just like sneakers.

Hockey skates

Hockey skates are used for playing the games of ice hockey and ringette. The boot is generally made of molded plastic, leather (often synthetic), and ballistic nylon. Skates used in competitive hockey rarely use molded plastic for the upper boot, as this results in limited mobility.

Goalie skate

Goalie skates are used by Goaltenders in Ice hockey. They are constrctued the same way as forwards skates are but are cut lower (similar to bandy skates). The blade is also set into a different kind of holder with a protective shell, called a cowling, this provides more protection then of a forwards skate.

Bandy skates

Bandy skates are used for playing the games of bandy and rink bandy. The boot is generally made of leather (often synthetic). The boot is lower than the hockey version, often not covering the ankles. All bandy skates are designed such that they will not cause injury to an opponent. The blade is generally an inch longer than the hockey skates, allowing for higher speeds. The Russian bandy skates have an even longer blade and a very low cut shoe.

Racing skates

Racing skates, also known as speed skates, have long blades and are used for speed skating. A clap skate (or "clapper skate") is a type of skate where the shoe is connected to the blade using a hinge. Short track racing skates have a longer overall height to the blade to allow for deep edge turns without the boot contacting the ice.

Touring skates

Touring skates (or Nordic skates) are long blades that can be attached, via bindings, to hiking or cross-country ski boots and are used for tour skating or long distance skating on natural ice. The blades are approximately 50 cm long with a radius of curvature (or rocker) of about 25 m. The blades are about 1 mm wide, with a flat cross-section. The length of the blades makes touring skates more stable on uneven natural ice than skates with shorter blades. Since tour skating often involves walking between lakes or around unskateable sections, the fact that the blades can be easily removed from one's boots is an asset. Although mainly used for non-competitive touring, touring skates are sometimes used in marathon speed skating races on natural ice.

See also

* Roller skates
* Ice skating


External links

* [ Ice Skates Virtual Museum]
* [ History of Canadian hockey skates]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ice skate — ► NOUN ▪ a boot with a blade attached to the sole, used for skating on ice. ► VERB (ice skate) ▪ skate on ice as a sport or pastime. DERIVATIVES ice skater noun ice skating noun …   English terms dictionary

  • ice skate — n. a skate for skating on ice: see SKATE1 (sense 1) ice skate vi. ice skated, ice skating ice skater n …   English World dictionary

  • ice-skate — (v.) 1690s, from ICE (Cf. ice) (n.) + SKATE (Cf. skate) (2). The verb usually was simply skate until the advent of roller skating mid 18c. made distinction necessary …   Etymology dictionary

  • ice skate — ice′ skate n. 1) spo a shoe fitted with a metal blade for skating on ice 2) skate I, 3) • Etymology: 1895–1900 ice′ skate , v.i. ice′ skat er, n …   From formal English to slang

  • ice-skate — ice skater. /uys skayt /, v.i., ice skated, ice skating. to skate on ice. [1945 50; v. use of ICE SKATE] * * * …   Universalium

  • Ice skate — A shoe with a metal runner (called a blade) attached to permit the wearer to glide on ice. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ice-skate — v to slide on ice wearing ice skates >ice skater[i] n >ice skating n [U] …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • ice-skate — v to slide on ice wearing ice skates >ice skater[i] n >ice skating n [U] …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • ice-skate — ice skates also ice skate N COUNT Ice skates are boots with a thin metal bar underneath that people wear to move quickly on ice …   English dictionary

  • ice-skate — ice ,skate verb intransitive to move around on ice wearing ice skates …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”