Rollerblading, Roller-skating, Ice Skating Part 1: Pick

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What sort of skating would you like to try?  All skating is fun, all skating is great for fitness, all skating is a real challenge, and despite what some people think you are not likely to break things by skating!  Lets face it, do you stop crossing roads just in case a car hits you - no, you learn to look both ways.  Let me tell you, the worst-case scenario for crossing roads is a lot worse than the worst-case scenario for skating...  Of course you can suffer injuries, but they are generally small - don't become obsessed with what might happen, get out there and LIVE!

ICE SKATING
Obviously being a little warmer than, say, Canada, we don't have a lot of ponds we can skate on in Aus.  Although the number of ice rinks in Australia varies, it is usually around 20 (for 20,000,000 people).  Not a lot of rinks huh?  Actually it is about right for the population, based on a Vic Sport research document they published a while ago.  Although ice skating is less accessible it has a distinct grace, speed and allure.  The cold is not an issue (unless you are one of the mums and dads that sits there while the kids skate - think: icicles).  Ice skating parties, ice dancing, figure skating, and ice hockey are things that come to mind.  Winter Olympics...cool (oops, pun).  Remember, apart from the differences in stopping techniques, ice skating and rollerblading are very similar.  Try both.

ROLLER SKATING
Have you seen all the music video clips with roller skaters lately!  What! It's not cool again is it!?!  Retro quads...wow.  Mums & Das did it when they were kids..how can it be cool again?  Boot skates or sneaker-style skates, they are all fun.  In some ways less stress on the ankles than ice skates or rollerblades (I know there is an argument against this, but..) due to the transverse axles and the wheels on either side of the frame, you can stand on one foot WITHOUT MOVING.  Try that on anything other than quads...hehe.  What I often see that's really nice is mums, dads and kids all skating together.  Good old family fun.  I guess if you look at their feet, it's the mums and dads that are on roller skates and the kids on rollerblades, but hey who cares - it's all good.

ROLLERBLADING
Don't see a lot of figure skaters on rollerblades (I know they are trying, but you don't see many).  Although, rollerblading has so many dimensions.  As an aside, I come from three (or is it four) generations of skaters.  We could all ice skate and roller skate, but when blades came along, they changed everything.  Sure there were blades hundred of years ago, but when the Olsen brothers came up with the modern rollerblade, they gave us a chance to combine both roller skating and ice skating.  Some people love them, others hate them, but you can use them indoors in rinks, outdoors on the road, on skate ramps, as an alternative to a push bike (95% as efficient if I recall) you can speed skate with them, play roller hockey, or what ever.  Yes you can use roller skates outdoors, but they are a little less safe, and (sorry quad lovers) slower.

This is a very potted guide designed only to get you thinking.  Inspired yet?  Ice skate, rollerblade or roller skate (even become a wood-pusher and skateboard!) just get off the couch or turn off that computer, lose the fear of breaking something (yes, OK it can happen) but more likely you might lose those kilos, instead!

Oh and although I have a vested interest in getting people to skate, I skate because it's fun.  Real fun, even after 30+ years.  Check out Part 2.

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