Answers to 5 Interesting Ice Skating Questions

The following five questions were sent to Figure Skating Expert JO ANN Schneider Farris from a student who was doing a research project on ice skating. The answers to that student's questions are below.

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What Can Rust Do to Your Blades When You Skate?

Rust Will Ruin Ice Skate Blades
Rust Will Ruin Ice Skate Blades. Hero Images / Hero Images Collection / Getty Images

Rust can "kill" a figure skater's blades because rusted blades cannot hold an edge and may prevent blades from gliding smoothly across the ice.  

To prevent rust, always dry your blades. Don't just dry your blades, thoroughly dry the entire blade and boot including the soles. Don't leave your blades inside of skate guards which will cause ice skating blades to rust since water will remain on the blades; instead, store your blades inside of soakers

Sharpening skates can sometimes remove rust.

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Are There Different Types of Ice Rinks?

An Ice Skating Rink
An Ice Skating Rink. Spaces Images / Blend Images Collection / Getty Images

There are natural ice rinks like frozen lakes and ponds, but the most popular form of ice skating today is on artificial indoor ice surfaces. Plastic artificial ice arenas also exist.  

Most figure skaters would say that a freshly cleaned sheet of ice in an indoor ice arena is better to skate on than a frozen pond or a hosed down outdoor frozen ice sheet.  Plastic ice is not as easy to skate on and skates usually have to be sharpened after skating outdoors or on plastic artificial ice surfaces.

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Why Are Edges So Important in Figure Skating?

Figure Skating
Figure Skating. David Madison / Photographer's Choice RF Collection / Getty Images

In order for an ice skating blade to glide and move across the ice, skating must be done on either an inside edge or an outside edge which means that edges are everything in figure skating.  Even when it appears that an ice skater is skating in a straight line, he or she is actually skating on a slight curve with the blade pressed on either an outside or inside edge.

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What Is the Best Brand of Ice Skates?

Figure Skates
Figure Skates. Robert Decelis Ltd / The Image Bank Collection / Getty Images

There are so many brands of figure skates that there cannot be one brand that is the best.  Some popular brands of boots are Harlick, SP-Teri, Jackson, and Edea.  Some of the most popular manufacturers of blades are MK, John Wilson, and Paramount.

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How Have Skates Changed Over the Years?

Ice Skaters
Ice Skaters. Phil Schofield / Photographer's Choice Collection / Getty Images

Ice skates have continued to improve through the years.  The boots worn for skating today have much support in them and usually are padded inside.  Leather is still a popular option, but artificially made materials have been popular with some skaters. Blades have changed the least, but there are a variety of models of blades.  People who figure skated hundreds of years ago would be very pleased with the improved figure skates of today.