Friday, March 9, 2012

Skating – Then And Now

English: amateur ice hockey skates with transp...Image via Wikipedia

It is altogether exhilarating and romantic to strap on a pair of skates and take off around the local skating rink. Skating offers a different experience when compared to its cousin, the skateboard. The first obvious difference is that skating resemble running more while skateboarding resembles surfing. While the difference may seem trivial, the obvious is lost in a battle between the supporters. However the cookie may crumble, one thing is for certain, skates require more skill, they require more grace and the certainly require more practice.

Dates On Skates

Growing up, there were countless dates on skates. The romantic side of skating certainly had its appeal. There were many opportunities to show gallantry by coming to the rescue of a damsel in skating distress. However, as skill levels increased so did the adventure; and, romantic interludes on skates made way to rough and tumble jaunts with the guys. Simple skates were traded in for more complex pairs. And in a seeming instant, pairs that once were tied on with laces gave way to snap-ons, with teflon braking systems and micro steering.

Technology Never Sleeps

It seems technology has even pervaded the realm of the simple pleasure. And that is a very good thing. The fun has escalated to the heavens with lighter, faster more high-tech skates. Along with the mounting speed, safety has also been significantly beefed up. Skates have even been streamlines to offer greater agility while improving its stability. By altering the tandem wheel base to an in-line format, the designers reduced the ground contact surface area and allowed for more manoeuvrability.

Skates have also upgraded the materials from which they are made. When first entering the market, the base was steel, the wheels were a hard resin and the ball bearings in were steel. That has mostly been altered where now, composite materials are used and the construction of these skates have tended toward sophisticated.

Advanced Protection

Every skater is aware that among the many possible injuries that can ensue from an incident is the sprain of the ankles. It’s hard not to do when one takes a tumble and the legs, below the knees, are going in one direction with the skates, while the center of mass is headed in another. The only way to control the severity of the damage is to use skates that lock in the ankles, just as it’s done when skiing.

It makes the most sense when embarking on a new hobby such as skiing to first consider the safety of the sport. It is one of the most important things to consider protecting the hot spots – the ankles, the knees, the elbows and the head. Today there are many more options to protect yourself while skating. The lightweight flexible pads are comfortable enough you will forget you are wearing them. All else – well, they'll make good war stories.

Your author Linda Evans enjoys writing on her favorite hobbies which include ice hockey skates and also roller skates.

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