Figure Skating 101: Blades

Figure skating is a beautiful sport – it’s like ballet on ice. Only the skaters wear knives on their feet and run the risk of getting “ice burn” on any exposed skin. Growing up on the ice, I’ve encountered many questions from non-skaters. The most popular one? Are the blades sharp?

Yes – the blades are sharp.

No – I have not seen anyone get “stabbed” by another skater.

Yes – I’ve cut myself on my blades many times (and ruined countless pairs of tights).

I Cut My Fingers Cleaning The Blades

There is a lot of care and love required to maintain your blades. And you’d better take care of them – they’re pretty pricy (what in figure skating isn’t?). After each session, it’s important to swipe the ice off and use a towel to dry them thoroughly.

Well, if you’re not paying attention to what you’re doing – suh-liiiice. Next thing you know, one of the coaches goes white and rushes to your side to make sure your finger is still indeed attached – all the while another coach is trying to wrap a fresh Stayfree Ultra Thin panty liner around the gushing cut.

I mean, seriously, all that was needed in the end was someone to help me keep the blood from getting on my skates and a big Band-Aid.

You Can Slice Yourself While On Ice

Any time your fingers come in contact with your blades, you run the risk of cutting yourself. This includes competitions, naturally. We do a lot to impress the judges to squeeze out any points they can – or want to – give. So, it’s good to show off balance and flexibility by grabbing our skate and blade and yeeting our foot above our head while spinning (and trying not to fall). So, it wouldn’t be surprising to finish your performance and notice blood streaming from somewhere on your hands while waiting for your scores.

You’d think you’d get extra credit for putting literal blood (and sweat) into that performance.

I Have Stabbed Myself In The Thigh

With ice, you know you’re going to fall. With tiny swords attached to the bottoms of your feet, you know you’re bound to get hurt. Put them together, and when you fall, you run the risk of stabbing yourself. The number of tights and leggings I murdered because my toe pick jammed itself into my thigh/shin/butt cheek is astounding. And the amount of holes left in my legs is even higher.

I know what you’re thinking: Why? Why figure skate if it sounds like a battle scene straight out of Richard III?

To be honest, I don’t know. I run for fun, remember?

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