Hockey vs. Figure

Making the transition from hockey skates to figure skates has been a challenge for me. Now I understand why Đán didn’t want to make the switch. The hockey skates were much more comfortable than the figure skates.

When we first started out, we used rental figure skates for a while. Then I bought myself a pair of Bauer Supreme S29 for $130. The price was low because I could fit into the youth size. It was brand new. My wife bought Đán and Đạo CCM Youth Tacks.

We took lessons and skated for a while until Đán went to Gamma/Delta, in which he needed figure skates to do some of the techniques. I looked up on Facebook and found a pair of Jackson Freestyle for $25. A new pair would cost $265. The boot was still in good condition. I asked Đán to give it a try. He skated two rounds around the rink and gave up. I asked Đạo to try. He didn’t like it at first, but he had an easier time making the transition. He now can skate in both, but the Jackson Freestyle will be his main skates.

My wife found me a used pair of Jackson Ultima Freestyle Fusion on eBay for $100 plus shipping. A brand new pair is $320. The pair still looked new. The seller said that his son only skated one time.

I skated three times already. The first time was horrible. The boot felt super stiff compared to the hockey skates. I didn’t realize that the higher the line, the harder the boot. I couldn’t even shave the ice to stop. I took it to the pro shop to get it sharpened. The second time I skated felt the same. I could only glide, swizzle, and cross over forward. I felt so frustrated, I wanted to give up and just go back to hockey skates. In addition, skating with 80 other people in the rink didn’t help.

This morning, I took Xuâx with me to an earlier public session. The rink was almost empty. Less than 10 skaters in the rink. The patrol didn’t bother to keep an eye on the skaters. He had his eyes on his phone instead.

I was determined to give the figure skates one last time before giving up. I put more effort in and went beyond my fear. I reworked everything I had learned up to this point, which included T-stops, 3-turns, and the Mohawks. Figure skates gave me more balance to do these things than hockey skates. I am still having trouble doing backward crossovers because my back foot kept getting caught with the toe pick. The hockey stop was also much easier to do on the hockey skates than the figure skates. Once I can do both of these, I will complete the transition. I am looking forward to doing more with the figure skates.

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