Through June 14, you can get my book Skates Made of Bone: A History for 40% off (meaning $27 instead of the usual $45, plus shipping) by entering the code SPORTS40 on the McFarland website. This code also works for their other sports books, like Skating on Air: The Broadcast History of an Olympic Marquee… Continue reading Skates Made of Bone is on sale!
The grapevine is a move that goes back to the middle of the nineteenth century but has mostly been forgotten by figure skaters today. It still survives outside of figure skating.
Dowler blades look like a disaster for figure skating. They're only slightly wider than modern freestyle blades in the middle, but flare out at the ends, to nearly half an inch wide. Invented in 1879, they enjoyed a brief period of popularity in the late nineteenth century.
In 1940, Sven T. Kjellberg published the results of his experiments on bone skates. He concluded that the bones he evaluated weren't used as skates, but others could have been. I reached a different conclusion from his results.
Jackson Haines is often credited with inventing modern figure skating. The focus of this post is on his skates.
Prikschaats is the Dutch name for a type of medieval skate that includes a spike at the toe. It translates to "prick-skate." I made a pair, and they work.
Among the skills learned by today's figure skaters are pivots, two-foot moves where the skater sticks the toe (or occasionally heel) of one blade into the ice while the other foot circles around it. Four different types are known today, but there used to be six!
In this ice-free time, it seems appropriate to post about ways to keep skating off the ice. Skating on wheels---both quad and inline---has evolved in new directions that take advantage of the unique properties of these skates. I'm particularly interested in old skating moves that have survived on wheels, but not on ice.
My book on bone skates, Skates Made of Bone: A History, is finally out. My copy has arrived, and the publisher, McFarland, is filling orders. You can get it directly from them or from the bookstore of your choice.
Die Marken auf dem Eise sind das unauslöschliche Sündenregister, welches die Schlittschuhseele des Eisläufers, sein Schwerpunkt, auf dem Gewissen hat.