What is the difference between these three types of skate blades?

Close-up of skate blades in short track speed skating Photo/Visual China

At the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the Chinese team won a total of 191 Winter Olympic seats. Among them, 8 figure skaters, 10 short track speed skaters, and 14 speed skaters, a total of 32 people participated, and 28 gold medals will be produced. These three events must be the focus of the Chinese team’s competition for medals.

Figure skating, short track speed skating, and avenue speed skating are all skating events. So the question is, do athletes use the same skate blades in these three sports?

The most significant difference between figure skating skates and ordinary skates is that they have “teeth” at the front end. The tip of the blade has teeth, which are mainly used in jumping, and can move flexibly to facilitate the change of gliding direction. Athletes use skates to draw shapes on the ice surface and perform difficult movements such as jumping and spinning. Figure skating has a shorter blade to meet the dance’s requirements for close cooperation and fine footwork. The judges will score the athlete based on the quality and artistic performance of the athlete’s movements.

Avenue speed skating, also known as speed skating, refers to skating competitions for the purpose of racing within a specified distance. Short track speed skating, short track speed skating, is an ice racing sport played on a shorter track. The maximum circumference of the avenue speed skating venue is 400 meters, and the minimum circumference is 333.33 meters. Short track speed skating has much shorter ice tracks, with a circumference of 111.12 meters. Although the two sports have similar names, there are many differences in the venue, rules, technical essentials, etc. Therefore, the skate blades used are also different.

Short track speed skating tracks have many curves and large inclination angles. The large number of players in a game, the number of dodges and the speed of running during the race require the skate blade to be able to adapt to the characteristics of the competition. Compared to the avenue speed skating blade, the short track speed skating blade is taller, shorter and has a larger arc, which makes the turn smoother. The butt is movable, allowing the runner to adjust the position of the blade while running. The ice blade tube must be closed, and the knife root must be rounded and arc-shaped, with a small contact area with the ice surface. The skate blade is completely fixed to the skate, with no movable parts.

In contrast, the blade body of the avenue speed skating is relatively long, the blade is narrow and flat, and the ice pedaling area is large and the friction resistance is small when in contact with the ice surface, which is suitable for long-distance sliding. The front of the skate blade and the skate are fixed together, and the rear part is not fixed, which can maintain a good straight glide.

In addition, the blades and skates are combined in a set, and the size of the skates depends on the shoe size of the skate. The skates used by athletes for competition are often custom-made, and the size of the blade varies.

Yangcheng Evening News reporter Zhan Shuzhen

Source: Yangcheng Evening News

About the Author

You may also like these