Dowler blades

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.


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!

Freestyle slalom skating

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.