Ice skating

Ice skating is the self-propulsion of a person across a sheet of ice, using metal-bladed ice skates to glide on the ice surface. This activity can be carried out for various reasons, including recreation, sport, exercise, and travel. Ice skating may be performed on specially prepared ice surfaces (arenas, tracks, parks), both indoors and outdoors, as well as on naturally occurring bodies of frozen water, such as ponds, lakes and rivers.

Skating, man, woman, ice-skating rink, winter, smile, free time Fortepan 14348
Outdoor ice skaters in 1925
DBP 1994 Tag der Briefmarke
A postman in Germany during the winter of 1900 (stamp from 1994)


Early history of ice skating

Skating fun by 17th century Dutch painter Hendrick Avercamp

Research suggests that the earliest ice skating happened in southern Finland more than 4,000 years ago. This was done to save energy during winter journeys.[1] Originally, skates were merely sharpened, flattened bone strapped to the bottom of the foot. Skaters did not actually skate on the ice, but rather glided on top of it.[2]

True skating emerged when a steel blade with sharpened edges was used. Skates now cut into the ice instead of gliding on top of it. Adding edges to ice skates was invented by the Dutch in the 13th or 14th century. These ice skates were made of steel, with sharpened edges on the bottom to aid movement.

The fundamental construction of modern ice skates has stayed largely the same since then, although differing greatly in the details, particularly in the method of binding and the shape and construction of the steel blades. In the Netherlands, ice skating was considered proper for all classes of people, as shown in many pictures by the Old Masters.

Ice skating was also practiced in China during the Song dynasty, and became popular among the ruling family of the Qing dynasty.[3]

The Skating Minister
The Skating Minister by Henry Raeburn, depicting a member of the Edinburgh Skating Club in the 1790s

Rising popularity and first clubs

Ice skating was brought to Britain from the Netherlands, where James II was briefly exiled in the 17th century. When he returned to England, this 'new' sport was introduced to the British aristocracy, and was soon enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

The first organised skating club was the Edinburgh Skating Club, formed in the 1740s, (some claim the club was established as early as 1642).[4][5][6]

An early contemporary reference to the club appeared in the second edition (1783) of the Encyclopædia Britannica:

The metropolis of Scotland has produced more instances of elegant skaters than perhaps any country whatever: and the institution of a skating club about 40 years ago has contributed not a little to the improvement of this elegant amusement.[4]

From this description and others, it is apparent that the form of skating practiced by club members was indeed an early form of figure skating rather than speed skating. For admission to the club, candidates had to pass a skating test where they performed a complete circle on either foot (e.g., a figure eight), and then jumped over first one hat, then two and three, placed over each other on the ice.[4]

On the Continent, participation in ice skating was limited to members of the upper classes. Emperor Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire enjoyed ice skating so much, he had a large ice carnival constructed in his court in order to popularise the sport. King Louis XVI of France brought ice skating to Paris during his reign. Madame de Pompadour, Napoleon I, Napoleon III and the House of Stuart were, among others, royal and upper class fans of ice skating.

Glaciarium Ice Rink
Interior of the Glaciarium in 1876

The next skating club to be established was in London and was not founded until 1830.[4] By the mid-19th century, ice skating was a popular pastime among the British upper and middle classes—Queen Victoria became acquainted with her future husband, Prince Albert, through a series of ice skating trips[7]—and early attempts at the construction of artificial ice rinks were made during the "rink mania" of 1841–44. As the technology for the maintenance of natural ice did not exist, these early rinks used a substitute consisting of a mixture of hog's lard and various salts. An item in the 8 May 1844 issue of Littell's 'Living Age' headed the 'Glaciarium' reported that "This establishment, which has been removed to Grafton street East' Tottenham Court Road, was opened on Monday afternoon. The area of artificial ice is extremely convenient for such as may be desirous of engaging in the graceful and manly pastime of skating".

Emergence as a sport

Fenskaters ronden ton
19th-century fen skating

Skating became popular as a recreation, a means of transport and spectator sport in The Fens in England for people from all walks of life. Racing was the preserve of workers, most of them agricultural labourers. It is not known when the first skating matches were held, but by the early nineteenth century racing was well established and the results of matches were reported in the press.[8] Skating as a sport developed on the lakes of Scotland and the canals of the Netherlands. In the 13th and 14th centuries wood was substituted for bone in skate blades, and in 1572 the first iron skates were manufactured.[9] When the waters froze, skating matches were held in towns and villages all over the Fens. In these local matches men (or sometimes women or children) would compete for prizes of money, clothing or food.[10]

The winners of local matches were invited to take part in the grand or championship matches, in which skaters from across the Fens would compete for cash prizes in front of crowds of thousands. The championship matches took the form of a Welsh main or "last man standing" contest. The competitors, 16 or sometimes 32, were paired off in heats and the winner of each heat went through to the next round. A course of 660 yards was measured out on the ice, and a barrel with a flag on it placed at either end. For a one-and-a-half mile race the skaters completed two rounds of the course, with three barrel turns.[10]

Fen Runners
Fen runners

In the Fens skates were called pattens, fen runners, or Whittlesey runners. The footstock was made of beechwood. A screw at the back was screwed into the heel of the boot, and three small spikes at the front kept the skate steady. There were holes in the footstock for leather straps to fasten it to the foot. The metal blades were slightly higher at the back than the front. In the 1890s, fen skaters started to race in Norwegian style skates.

On Saturday 1 February 1879, a number of professional ice skaters from Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire met in the Guildhall, Cambridge, to set up the National Skating Association, the first national ice skating body in the world.[11] The founding committee consisted of several landowners, a vicar, a fellow of Trinity College, a magistrate, two Members of Parliament, the mayor of Cambridge, the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridge, journalist James Drake Digby, the president of Cambridge University Skating Club, and Neville Goodman, a graduate of Peterhouse, Cambridge (and son of Potto Brown's milling partner, Joseph Goodman).[12] The newly formed Association held their first one-and-a-half-mile British professional championship at Thorney in December 1879.

Jackson Haines
Jackson Haines

Figure skating

The first instructional book concerning ice skating was published in London in 1772. The book, written by a British artillery lieutenant, Robert Jones, describes basic figure skating forms such as circles and figure eights. The book was written solely for men, as women did not normally ice skate in the late 18th century. It was with the publication of this manual that ice skating split into its two main disciplines, speed skating and figure skating.

The founder of modern figure skating as it is known today was Jackson Haines, an American. He was the first skater to incorporate ballet and dance movements into his skating, as opposed to focusing on tracing patterns on the ice. Haines also invented the sit spin and developed a shorter, curved blade for figure skating that allowed for easier turns. He was also the first to wear blades that were permanently attached to the boot.

Central Park, Winter – The Skating Pond, 1862 lithograph by Currier and Ives

The International Skating Union was founded in 1892 as the first international ice skating organisation in Scheveningen, in the Netherlands. The Union created the first codified set of figure skating rules and governed international competition in speed and figure skating. The first Championship, known as the Championship of the Internationale Eislauf-Vereingung, was held in Saint Petersburg in 1896. The event had four competitors and was won by Gilbert Fuchs.[13]

Physical mechanics of skating

A skate can glide over ice because there is a layer of ice molecules at the surface that are not as tightly bound as the molecules of the mass of ice beneath. These molecules are in a semiliquid state, providing lubrication. The molecules in this "quasi-fluid" or "water-like" layer are less mobile than liquid water, but are much more mobile than the molecules deeper in the ice. At about −250 °F (−157 °C) the slippery layer is one molecule thick; as the temperature increases the slippery layer becomes thicker.[14][15][16][17][18]

It had long been believed that ice is slippery because the pressure of an object in contact with it causes a thin layer to melt. The hypothesis was that the blade of an ice skate, exerting pressure on the ice, melts a thin layer, providing lubrication between the ice and the blade. This explanation, called "pressure melting", originated in the 19th century. This, however, did not account for skating on ice temperatures lower than −3.5 °C, whereas skaters often skate on lower-temperature ice. In the 20th century, an alternative explanation, called "friction heating", was proposed, whereby friction of the material was causing the ice layer melting. However, this theory also failed to explain skating at low temperature. In fact, neither explanation explained why ice is slippery when standing still even at below-zero temperatures.[19] A detailed calculation of the velocity dependence of the friction has shown that the frictional force scales with the square root of the velocity, which can explain why ice remains slippery even at low velocities.[20]

Inherent safety risks

Ice Skating (12)
Adult and child ice skating

A person's ability to ice skate depends on the roughness of the ice, the design of the ice skate, and the skill and experience of the skater. While serious injury is rare, a number of short track speed skaters have been paralysed after a heavy fall when they collided with the boarding. A fall can be fatal if a helmet is not worn to protect against severe head trauma. Accidents are rare but there is a risk of injury from collisions, particularly during hockey games or in pair skating.

A significant danger when skating outdoors on a frozen body of water, is falling through the ice into the freezing water underneath. Death can result from shock, hypothermia or drowning. It is often difficult or impossible for the skater to climb out of the water, due to the weight of their ice skates and thick winter clothing, and the ice repeatedly breaking as they struggle to get back onto the surface. Also, if the skater becomes disoriented under the water, they might not be able to find the hole in the ice through which they have fallen. Although this can prove fatal, it is also possible for the rapid cooling to produce a condition in which a person can be revived up to hours after falling into the water.

Communal activities on ice

A number of recreational and sporting activities take place on ice.

  • Ice hockey – fast-paced contact team sport, using a vulcanized rubber puck, usually played on a special ice hockey rink
  • Speed skating – competitive form of ice skating where contenders race over fixed distances, short track and long track versions
  • Figure skating – winter sport with four disciplines: men's singles, ladies' singles, pair skating and ice dance
  • Bandy – contact team sport similar to ice hockey, but using a ball instead of a puck, and played on a large ice field
  • Rink bandy – a form of bandy that can be played on a standard ice hockey rink
  • Ringette – non-contact team sport using a small rubber ring instead of a ball or puck
  • Tour skating – recreational long-distance skating outdoors on open areas of natural ice
  • Ice cross downhill – competitive extreme sport featuring downhill skating on a walled track
  • Barrel jumping – speed skating discipline in which skaters jump over a length of multiple barrels[21]

Broomball and curling are also played on ice but the players are not required to wear ice skates.



Ice skater on Lake Neusiedl.

Skating in Central Park (1900), one minute silent film by Frank S. Armitage. EYE Film Institute Netherlands.

Documentary on the World Championship Skating for Women at Helsinki in 1971.

See also


  1. ^ Federico Formenti & Andrea Seabrook (26 January 2008). "The History and Science of Ice Skating". NPR.
  2. ^ Formenti, Federico; Minett, Alberto E. (2007). "The first humans traveling on ice: an energy-saving strategy?". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 93: 1–7. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2007.00991.x.
  3. ^ "'Imperial' ice skating". People's Daily Online. 20 February 2013. Archived from the original on 17 March 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d "In The Beginning...", Skating magazine, Jun 1970
  5. ^ Bird, Denis L. "NISA History". NISA. Archived from the original on 22 September 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Figure Skating". The Canadian Encyclopedia. 2011. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Ice Skating". Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  8. ^ Goodman, Neville; Goodman, Albert (1882). Handbook of Fen Skating. London: Longmans, Green and Co. OL 25422698M. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  9. ^ Greiff, James. "History of Ice Skating". Scholastic Corporation. Archived from the original on 29 December 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  10. ^ a b Cycling, 19 January 1895, p 19.
  11. ^ "The History of Long Track Speed Skating". NISA. 18 July 2014. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014.
  12. ^ DL Bird 1979 Our Skating Heritage. London.
  13. ^ Hines, p.75
  14. ^ Chang, Kenneth (21 February 2006). "Explaining Ice: The Answers Are Slippery". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008.
  15. ^ Somorjai, G.A. (10 June 1997). "Molecular surface structure of ice(0001 ): dynamical low-energy electron diffraction, total-energy calculations and molecular dynamics simulations". Surface Science. 381 (2–3): 190–210. doi:10.1016/S0039-6028(97)00090-3. Most studies so far were performed at temperatures well above 240 K (–33 °C) and report the presence of a liquid or quasiliquid layer on ice. Those studies that went below this temperature do not suggest a liquid-like layer.
  16. ^ Roth, Mark (23 December 2012). "Pitt physics professor explains the science of skating across the ice". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on 13 January 2013. It used to be thought ... that the reason skaters can glide gracefully across the ice is because the pressure they exert on the sharp blades creates a thin layer of liquid on top of the ice... More recent research has shown, though, that this property isn't why skaters can slide on the ice... It turns out that at the very surface of the ice, water molecules exist in a state somewhere between a pure liquid and a pure solid. It's not exactly water -- but it's like water. The atoms in this layer are 100,000 times more mobile than the atoms [deeper] in the ice, but they're still 25 times less mobile than atoms in water. So it's like proto-water, and that's what we're really skimming on.
  17. ^ "Slippery All the Time". Exploratorium. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Professor Somorjai's findings indicate that ice itself is slippery. You don't need to melt the ice to skate on it, or need a layer of water as a lubricant to help slide along the ice... the "quasi-fluid" or "water-like" layer exists on the surface of the ice and may be thicker or thinner depending on temperature. At about 250 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (–157 °C), the ice has a slippery layer one molecule thick. As the ice is warmed, the number of these slippery layers increases.
  18. ^ Science News Staff (9 December 1996). "Getting a Grip on Ice". Science NOW. Archived from the original on 28 May 2013.
  19. ^ Rosenberg, Robert (December 2005). "Why is ice slippery?" (PDF). Physics Today. 58 (12): 50–54. doi:10.1063/1.2169444. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
  20. ^ van Leeuwen, J.M.J. (23 December 1017). "Skating on slippery ice". Scipost. 03: 043. doi:10.21468/SciPostPhys.3.6.042.
  21. ^ "World Barrel Jumping Championships 1958". British Pathé. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2015.

External links

Ankara Ice Skating Palace

Ankara Ice Skating Palace (Turkish: G.S.İ.M. Buz Pateni Sarayı, formerly Belpa Buz Pateni Sarayı) is an indoor ice skating and ice hockey arena located in the Bahçelievler neighborhood of Ankara, Turkey. It was opened in 1989 and has a capacity of about 1,150 people.It was built by the Municipality of Ankara as the first Olympic size 30 m × 60 m (98 ft × 197 ft) ice arena in Turkey. In 2001, the venue was handed over to the Youth and Sports Directorate (G.S.I.M.) of Ankara Province.

Ankara Ice Palace is home to all kinds of ice sports events in Ankara including Turkish ice hockey leagues for men's, women's and junior's. Between January 8 through January 14, 2007, the arena hosted the Division III matches of the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.

British Ice Skating

British Ice Skating (formerly the National Ice Skating Association) is the governing body of ice skating within the United Kingdom. Formed in 1879, it is responsible for overseeing all disciplines of ice skating: figure skating (singles, pairs and ice dance); synchronised skating; and speed skating (including short track).


Choreography is the art or practice of designing sequences of movements of physical bodies (or their depictions) in which motion, form, or both are specified. Choreography may also refer to the design itself. A choreographer is one who creates choreographies by practicing the art of choreography, a process known as choreographing. Choreography is used in a variety of fields, including musical theater, cheerleading, cinematography, gymnastics, fashion shows, ice skating, marching band, show choir, theatre, synchronized swimming, cardistry, video game production and animated art. In the performing arts, choreography applies to human movement and form. In dance, choreography is also known as dance choreography or dance composition.


EsselWorld is an amusement park located in Gorai, Mumbai and established in 1989.

The park is owned by EsselWorld Leisure Pvt. Ltd. (ELPL). EsselWorld along with its counterparts, Water Kingdom are stretched over 64 acres of land. Together, they are recognized as one of the largest Amusement And Water Park .

German Ice Skating Union

The German Ice Skating Union (German: Deutsche Eislauf-Union, DEU) is the national amateur association for figure skating and ice dancing in Germany. The members of the DEU are the various German ice sports associations; there are no individual members.

The Deutsche Eislauf-Union was formed in June 1964 in Hamburg to promote professional ice skating in its many forms, to recognize achievements in figure skating and ice dancing, and to provide educational opportunities for ice skating professionals. The DEU holds championships and other competitions in Germany. It has training programs not only for athletes, but also for coaches, competition judges, and others in the ice skating industry.

Among the events that the DEU holds is the annual Nebelhorn Trophy, an international competition in singles, pairs, and ice dancing. The DEU hosted the World Figure Skating Championships in 1991 in Munich, and again in 2004 in Dortmund. It also holds the ISU Junior Grand Prix competition Blue Swords in Chemnitz in some years.

The DEU is a member of the International Skating Union, and until 2006 the DEU was a member of the Deutscher Eissport-Verband. Upon the dissolution of the Deutscher Eissport-Verband, the DEU became a member of the German Olympic Sport Federation (DOSB) as an independent organization.

The DEU headquarters are currently in Munich.

Hunter Ice Skating Stadium

The Hunter Ice Skating Stadium is an ice sports and public skate centre, located in Warners Bay, a suburb of the city of Lake Macquarie, in New South Wales, Australia. It serves as the home ice rink of the Newcastle North Stars who compete in the major Ice Hockey Leagues.

Ice Skating Australia

Ice Skating Australia is the governing body for the sport of Ice Skating in Australia.

Ice rink

An ice rink (or ice skating rink) is a frozen body of water and/or hardened chemicals where people can ice skate or play winter sports. Besides recreational ice skating, some of its uses include ice hockey, bandy, rink bandy, ringette, broomball, speed skating, figure skating, ice stock sport and curling as well as exhibitions, contests and ice shows. There are two types of rinks in prevalent use today: natural, where freezing occurs from cold ambient temperatures, and artificial (or mechanically frozen), where a coolant produces cold temperatures in the surface below the water, causing the water to freeze. There are also synthetic ice rinks where skating surfaces are made out of plastics.

Ice skating in India

Ice skating is popular in North India in places like Ladakh, Kashmir and Shimla where cold weather occurs and it is possible to skate outdoors. Much of India has a tropical climate, hence in the rest of the country, ice skating is limited to the few artificial rinks available. An ice skating festival is organised in Shimla every year.

International Skating Union

The International Skating Union (ISU) is the international governing body for competitive ice skating disciplines, including figure skating, synchronized skating, speed skating, and short track speed skating. It was founded in Scheveningen, Netherlands, in July 1892, making it one of the oldest international sport federations. The ISU was formed to establish standardized international rules and regulations for the skating disciplines it governs, and to organize international competitions in these disciplines. It is now based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Japan Skating Federation

The Japan Skating Federation (Japanese: 日本スケート連盟) is the sports governing body of Japan for figure skating, speed skating, and short track speed skating. It was created in 1929.

List of ice rinks in Australia

There are 22 ice rinks in total around Australia. They are used for recreational, educational and private use. Most of these ice rinks have private lessons in all aspects of ice sports such as ice hockey and figure skating.

Lulu International Shopping Mall

LuLu International Shopping Mall is a shopping mall located in Kochi, Kerala. It is the largest shopping mall in India in terms of total area. With an average daily footfall of more than 80,000, it is one of the most visited places in Kerala. Spanning 17 acres (6.9 ha) with a total built up area of more than 2.5 million square feet, the mall has a total retail space of 1.7 million square feet. The mall was opened on March 2013. It contains more than 215 outlets, including food courts, restaurants, family entertainment zones, a multiplex, ice skating rink and bowling alley. The estimated cost for this project is more than ₹16 billion or US$250 million. The property is owned and managed by Yusuff Ali M.A. Chairman and Managing Director of Lulu Group International, which has extensive business in retail, hospitality, real estate etc. LuLu Mall in Kochi was their maiden retail venture in India. The group has planned to construct malls in Thiruvananthapuram,Thrissur Lucknow, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad

Nebelhorn Trophy

The Nebelhorn Trophy is an international senior-level figure skating competition organized by the Deutsche Eislauf-Union and held annually in Oberstdorf, Germany. It became part of the ISU Challenger Series in the 2014–15 season.

The competition is named after the Nebelhorn, a nearby mountain. It is usually one of the first international senior competitions of the season. Skaters are entered by their respective national federations and compete in four disciplines: men's singles, ladies' singles, pairs, and ice dancing. The Fritz-Geiger-Memorial Trophy is presented to the team with the highest placements across all disciplines.

Phillip Ice Skating Centre

The Phillip Ice Skating Centre (also known as Phillip Swimming & Ice Skating Centre and the Brave Cave) is an ice sports and public skate centre, open in 1980 and located at the Phillip precinct of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. It is the current home of the CBR Brave AIHL ice hockey club and previous home of the Canberra Knights AIHL ice hockey club.

Phillip Ice Skating Centre's rink is the only ice rink in Canberra and will continue to be the only rink in Canberra for the foreseeable future after ACT Sports minister Shane Rattenbury on 16 August 2014 confirmed the ACT Government is not looking to build a new larger ice rink co-located with a new swimming pool next to Stromlo Forest Park to service the new suburbs of Molonglo in Canberra's west despite constant lobbying by the CBR Brave. This followed years of speculation about the aging Phillip Ice Skating Centre after it was revealed in 2012 that the private owner of the centre was open to working with developers to reconfiguring the site so that the outdoor pools went inside, a new ice rink was built and a boutique hotel constructed on the block.

Skate Canada

Skate Canada (Canadian French: Patinage Canada, lit. "Skating Canada") is the national governing body for figure skating in Canada, recognized by the International Skating Union and the Canadian Olympic Committee. It organizes the annual Canadian Figure Skating Championships, the fall Skate Canada International competition, as well as other national and international skating competitions in Canada.

Speed skating

Speed skating is a competitive form of ice skating in which the competitors race each other in travelling a certain distance on skates. Types of speed skating are long track speed skating, short track speed skating, and marathon speed skating. In the Olympic Games, long-track speed skating is usually referred to as just "speed skating", while short-track speed skating is known as "short track". The ISU, the governing body of both ice sports, refers to long track as "speed skating" and short track as "short track skating".

An international federation was founded in 1892, the first for any winter sport. The sport enjoys large popularity in the Netherlands, Norway and South Korea. There are top international rinks in a number of other countries, including Canada, the United States, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and Kazakhstan. A World Cup circuit is held with events in those countries plus two events in the Thialf ice hall in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion

The Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion is an ice arena in Syracuse, New York. Named for donors Marilyn and Bill Tennity, the facility opened in October 2000 for the use of Syracuse University students. The facility is the home of Syracuse University's ACHA Division I men's hockey team competing in the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League, and new NCAA Division I women's program playing in the College Hockey America conference. The Ice Pavilion is also used for intramural hockey and broomball leagues, as well as Syracuse University physical education classes. The new women's hockey team locker room was designed by QPK Design.The facility features two ice sheets, a regulation NHL sized surface and a 94–85 ft (29–26 m) oblong studio rink for ice skating and figure skating.

Winter sports

Winter sports or winter activities are competitive sports or non-competitive recreational activities which are played on snow or ice. Most are variations of skiing, ice skating and sledding. Traditionally, such games were only played in cold areas during winter, but artificial snow and artificial ice allow more flexibility. Artificial ice can be used to provide ice rinks for ice skating, ice hockey, and bandy in a milder climate.

Common individual sports include cross-country skiing, Alpine skiing, snowboarding, ski jumping, speed skating, figure skating, luge, skeleton, bobsleigh, and snowmobiling. Common team sports include ice hockey, curling, and bandy. Based on the number of participants, ice hockey is by far the world's most popular winter sport, followed by bandy. Winter sports have their own multi-sport tournaments, such as the Winter Olympic Games.

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