What do you call those things that help you ice skate?

What do you call those things that help you ice skate?

Ice skating equipment

Figure skating is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated sports of the Winter Olympics, but it is also one of the most demanding sports for the athletes involved. It involves so many movements and principles that it always works as a good example to demonstrate how physics applies to sports.

It is important for figure skaters to have a good dance routine, know how to perform and be in good physical condition. But just as important is that they know certain physical principles to optimize and control their jumps and spins. Through five questions, I will try to explain the physics behind figure skating.

Let’s start with what makes figure skating different from dancing on the floor. Ice is an ideal material for skating because it has very little friction, that is, it generates little resistance against the skates. Friction is generated when two surfaces are in contact and their molecules come together. When the two surfaces try to separate and break the bonds, resistance is generated. The rougher and more irregular a surface is, the easier it is for its molecules to come into contact with the molecules of the other surface, and therefore the greater the frictional force.

History of ice skating

Ice skating is nowadays both a discipline and a sport that takes place on smooth ice surfaces. The skater must use special footwear, called “ice skates” which consist of leather boots either natural or synthetic, which must have a wooden or plastic heel relatively light at the same time. The blades are part of the ice skates and play a fundamental technical role. Thanks to the blades, which are relatively thin, smooth gliding is possible. The blades have two edges, internal and external, located on each side of the blade. While ice skating can be seen as a pastime, it is also a discipline, which requires both physical and mental strength to practice. It also requires the practitioner to be artistic, and able to move nimbly in order to attract the attention of the spectator.

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From this description and others, it is evident that the form of skating practiced by the club members was an early form of figure skating rather than speed skating. To be admitted to the club, candidates had to pass a skating test where they performed a full circle on each foot (i.e., a figure eight), and then jumped first over one hat, then two, then three, placed one on top of the other on the ice.[3]

Ice Skating

Here is an overview of common youth figure skating overuse injuries from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).    Common youth figure skating overuse injuries:Skin irritations.

Blisters and calluses.  Friction may cause hardening and painful fluid-filled bumps to form on the skin. Pressure points may be caused by skates that do not fit properly or are too tight. The use of donut-shaped padding in skates can help with irritated areas.

Calf skin irritation.  To help prevent boot rubbing from irritating the back of the calf, use padding or silicone sleeves. Another option is to modify the skates to include a soft, dense, closed-cell foam material to replace the back top of the skate boot.

Hammer toes.  When the foot moves too far into the boot, it is natural for skaters to curl their toes to avoid slipping. About 18% of figure skaters develop hammertoes, which can cause pain, swelling and a clawed toe appearance. Prevention includes making sure boots do not fit too big or too wide.

Ice speed skating

Figure skating on ice consists of performing a piece of music by skating on an ice rink and performing pirouettes, spins, jumps and acrobatics; these elements are judged by judges following a scoring code that takes into account both the technical and athletic aspect of the performance as well as the artistic interpretation. Although skating for recreational purposes has been practiced for several centuries, figure skating emerged in the 19th century and underwent various technical and stylistic developments until it reached its present form.

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It was practiced in cold climates, where lakes and rivers froze during the winter. In the 12th century, William Stephanides mentions the presence of skaters in London. Skating was also popular in Holland, where it was used to get around the extensive network of canals. At that time, skates were made of bone and were tied to the shoes with strings. Skaters used sticks with a sharp point to propel themselves over the ice.[2] Skating was also popular in the Netherlands.

What do you call those things that help you ice skate?
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