Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rink Culture: The rink etiquette diagram

A lot of skaters have asked me a very valid question recently: How, exactly, are you supposed to get out of the way when you have no idea where skaters are going?

Good point. On a crowded public session it's difficult to get out of the way, and that's when everyone is skating in the same direction. When you get on a freestyle session, skaters are suddenly flying in all directions! Forwards, backwards, around in circles, up in the air...the list goes on, and the sudden changes of direction can come as a complete surprise even to a knowledgeable skater. Fast skaters are especially shocking, because they can be at one end of the rink one minute, and in the blink of an eye they'll be right next to you. 

I believe that there's no sure-fire way to stay out of the way constantly, but you can be as helpful as possible to your fellow skaters by knowing where skaters usually jump, spin and do footwork and spirals. 

I drew a quick diagram of a rink, indicating where most skaters will jump. I also included straight line, circular and serpentine footwork sequences. The diagram looks pretty confusing, but I included a key to help you out! 

Obviously, not ALL skaters will jump in these spots. It changes at different rinks and some skaters just jump wherever they find the space! Even if it's not perfect, I hope it helps!


  1. hi gina thanks a lot for posting this! but the diagram only shows up to the green: cw skaters line, then the rest of the diagram goes there something wrong with my computer? or am i the only one who is seeing this?

    btw, i love your blog! thanks a lot!

  2. o i'm terribly sorry... the diagram goes back to normal once i've posted the comment. sorry if i confused you!

  3. Thank you Gina - this is really great! I find I nearly crash with higher level skaters than me in the top left hand corner (on this diagram) and I guess they must be doing flip or lutz jumps!
    I was wondering if you could do a post about synchronized skating? I skate syncro and I think would be really really interested in a post on it!!! Thanks for this great blog - the only possible improvement would be to post everyday! :-)

  4. Hi. This is a great diagram, and very helpful for the newer skaters. Thanks! :) One thing I would like to point out is that also, in the middle of the ice is where spins happen, although that is more easily noticable than the various jumps

  5. I didn't know there was something called a serpentine sequence.... whatever, I love how you drew that out, and I feel its very true (I like to jump in these areas), but there is a little boy at my rink who does ALL his jumps on the same line as the SL sequence... but at least I know that he is preparing a jump when he goes there!

  6. Gina I was wondering if I could ask you - or any other skaters on here - for some help... I really need to get my teapot/shoot the duck position, but I just cannot do it! I can't even do the position off ice. I think it is probably strength, so could someone please give me some tips/stretches/exercises for getting it? Thank you so much, I really need this urgently!

  7. what is ccw and cw??? i dont know?

  8. conter clockwise and clockwise

  9. to the one who needs to get the shoot the duck position-do squats! start them on both legs, up and down count as 1 time, then perhaps start with 20 times, once you feel you can do more, add 5-10 times each time. you can do 20 times in the morning and 20 times in the evening. but remember not to overdo it or else you'll get serious muscle pain the next day. minor muscle pain is ok though. also try practising the shoot the duck off ice. you can cling onto something at first. you can also try some jogging each day to strengthen your legs. off ice jumping also helps but ask your coach first.

    i hope this helps! squats helped loadz for me:)

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