Figure Skating 101: Boards

I got checked into the boards.

I’ll back up.

I was warming up for my figure skating competition. Each group of competitors (around six or seven skaters) has roughly five minutes on the ice to warm up for their programs. My group was called to the ice and at the first turn, things went sour.

We take the first corner. I was in the middle of the pack. A taller girl comes up beside me, to my left, and checks me into the boards like it’s a Rangers vs. Devils game and I had the puck.

Via Russian Machine Never Breaks

You don’t have padding in figure skating.

BAM. I’m into the boards, my blades catching in the slight dip between the ice and the heavy duty plastic boards. My right hand smashes into the chipped wall and, because I couldn’t stop, is dragged across the jagged edges (from hundreds of hockey games), knees twisted in an attempt to keep myself up. With the rest of the skaters trailing us, who knows what fingers would have been lost if I’d gone down?

The girl skated off, unscathed. I straightened myself out, trying to play it off, though I’m sure I looked more like an embarrassed cat attempting to recover from a fall off the kitchen table.

I survived.

A little banged-up, and bitter about the lack of any penalty call, I went back out there and kicked ice.

So, after I received my medal, I wrapped my throbbing hand in ice (could have just flopped on my back after competing, but whatever) and made sure I told this story to everyone who would listen (including those who didn’t necessarily want to).

Because, really, how many figure skaters can say they got checked into the boards pro-hockey-style?

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