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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old August 1st, 2014, 10:58 PM   #101
streamline
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I've never skated on a rink track. Seen lots of videos and for the most part it's seems like a cross between long and short track speed skating. Skating a larger track but have too many skaters on the track making it look like short track.

I've only skated outdoors on asphalt. I am also the only inline speed skater in my area. I make it a point to show off how much fun speed skating is. There are areas where the regional trail is visible to traffic. It's in these areas that I crank it up, tighten up my form and put on what ever show I can. Be it chasing down and passing a cyclist or just putting down an awesome double push. Pretty much any thing to draw attention to the sport.

I talk to anyone willing to listen and tell them how much fun this sport is. At 56 years of age I have empressed more than a few cyclists with the speed I can generate on my skates. I'm still hoping to see another skater on the trail someday. If I can pull off a great performance at Montreal this year maybe it will put the spot light on this sport in my area.

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Old August 2nd, 2014, 01:57 PM   #102
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Most indoor tracks are 100Meters, ST ice is 111 Meters, and the LT is 400. So we are fighting the smallest track, with the most skaters on the track, and it creates(imo) the best possible spectator sport of skating... NIRA track(16 cones) is even more exciting with many more passing lanes.

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I've never skated on a rink track. Seen lots of videos and for the most part it's seems like a cross between long and short track speed skating. Skating a larger track but have too many skaters on the track making it look like short track.

I've only skated outdoors on asphalt. I am also the only inline speed skater in my area. I make it a point to show off how much fun speed skating is. There are areas where the regional trail is visible to traffic. It's in these areas that I crank it up, tighten up my form and put on what ever show I can. Be it chasing down and passing a cyclist or just putting down an awesome double push. Pretty much any thing to draw attention to the sport.

I talk to anyone willing to listen and tell them how much fun this sport is. At 56 years of age I have empressed more than a few cyclists with the speed I can generate on my skates. I'm still hoping to see another skater on the trail someday. If I can pull off a great performance at Montreal this year maybe it will put the spot light on this sport in my area.

Always an ambassador.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 02:39 AM   #103
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for what it may be worth... of course numbers will go up in the last weeks, but seems low for this point in time
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Old August 21st, 2014, 03:22 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by eighteen_psi View Post
- Our sport has an exceptionally steep learning curve, especially when
- There are very few skilled coaches around to help, and if
- There are relatively few places to skate regularly, and when
- Many rinks and other appropriate venues actively fight us - with this,
- It costs boatloads of money to skate, especially for kids, whose
- Peers already discourage healthy, character-building activities and whose
- Parents and other proponents are often hard-up for the time and money needed to build interest.

one word rebuttal for almost all of these: HOCKEY.

Hockey is way more expensive than skating. No problems finding people. But hockey is an interactive sport. You donít see many people on independent swim teams either. Kids want to do something that is mainstream, and so you are never going to see lots and lots of javelin throwers. I suspect that speed skating has gone the way of other individual sports now that fewer and fewer people skate; thus fewer and fewer are interested in skating sports.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 01:40 AM   #105
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I would agree compared to a lot of other individual and fringe sports speed skating is really not that expensive. I'm speed skating now because I haven't had enough money to keep ski racing after moving and starting college. I don't think money is the main reason inline skating is dying however I think it really exacerbates things. It still is much more expensive than something like basketball.

I do think the cost of speed skating and the fact it lacks marketing and viewership as spectator sport makes it very unlikely for it to ever not be a fringe sport. That being said ski racing is also a fringe sport but it seems to have a larger much more dedicated following than inline speed skating has at the moment. I think this is due to the age of the sport with ski racing being older, there are also more venues in that almost ever little ski area has some kind of racing team, and its more visible to recreational skiers at ski resorts with practicing teams.

Interestingly though due to the crazy costs involved in ski racing (like we're talking $10,000-$30,000 a year if you are a serious racer) and the fact its not accessible in that most racing programs with coaching will not train you if you are over the age of 12 and most racers have been skiing since age 3 and racing since age 6. So it is basically passed down through skiing families. Speed skating seems to be much more welcoming to newcomers.

I think the big reason why its not doing well is lack of coaching along with lack of venues at least for indoor skating. WA vs AZ is the perfect example. Washington state has a ton of skating rinks all privately owned and run by people who are skaters and care about people who are making skating a significant part of their lives. You can see this in that the diamond coating on the wood floors is replaced very regularly sometimes even before it is really needed. In Arizona we have almost no rinks despite a larger population and they are all with the exception of 1 out of 4 owned by the same greed corporation (United Skates of America). They don't care about skaters they only care about throwing birthdays for little kids and giving families a cheap way to be entertained for the night. They wait till there is no coating on the floor left to replace it and skating on it is almost impossible since there will be a patch of coating left where grip is great and then a bare spot where you lose grip without warning.

Washington has a ton of inline teams and great coaching where as Arizona has only one team and one coach. The United Skates of America will not let us rent out any of their rinks unless we have at least 20 skaters and at $50 per skater in fees to cover the rental costs they basically want $1000 a month just so we can practice 3 times a week. How are we suppose to get more skaters and people interested in the sport if we don't even have a place to skate? Our practices don't cut into session times and the rink has stipulated they can cancel our practice anytime they want for birthdays parties even though we are also paying for the space not just the partiers. I don't understand they would be making more money with us there than with us not there and it would bring more attention to the sport. Same with the adult night they changed from every Monday to the 1st Monday of the month because they didn't have a high enough attendance. Did they replace the adult session with another family skate, no. So they are perfectly willing to loose out on money to try and starve people out till attendance goes up so they can get the amount they want. Its completely immoral especially being basically the only rink in town and its downright vindictive.

I have never heard of a rink that threw out its speed or derby teams till moving to Phoenix. I've never even been to rink in Washington state that doesn't show off, advertise, and plug the local speed team to the general public at sessions every change they got. United Skates of America makes no mention of us and although they hand out a lot of stupid flyers I highly doubt they would hand out flyers for the speed skating team even if we paid to have them printed ourselves.

So frustrated grrr.....
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Old October 25th, 2014, 04:12 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by colbym2 View Post
I would agree compared to a lot of other individual and fringe sports speed skating is really not that expensive. I'm speed skating now because I haven't had enough money to keep ski racing after moving and starting college. I don't think money is the main reason inline skating is dying however I think it really exacerbates things. It still is much more expensive than something like basketball.

I do think the cost of speed skating and the fact it lacks marketing and viewership as spectator sport makes it very unlikely for it to ever not be a fringe sport. That being said ski racing is also a fringe sport but it seems to have a larger much more dedicated following than inline speed skating has at the moment. I think this is due to the age of the sport with ski racing being older, there are also more venues in that almost ever little ski area has some kind of racing team, and its more visible to recreational skiers at ski resorts with practicing teams.

Interestingly though due to the crazy costs involved in ski racing (like we're talking $10,000-$30,000 a year if you are a serious racer) and the fact its not accessible in that most racing programs with coaching will not train you if you are over the age of 12 and most racers have been skiing since age 3 and racing since age 6. So it is basically passed down through skiing families. Speed skating seems to be much more welcoming to newcomers.

I think the big reason why its not doing well is lack of coaching along with lack of venues at least for indoor skating. WA vs AZ is the perfect example. Washington state has a ton of skating rinks all privately owned and run by people who are skaters and care about people who are making skating a significant part of their lives. You can see this in that the diamond coating on the wood floors is replaced very regularly sometimes even before it is really needed. In Arizona we have almost no rinks despite a larger population and they are all with the exception of 1 out of 4 owned by the same greed corporation (United Skates of America). They don't care about skaters they only care about throwing birthdays for little kids and giving families a cheap way to be entertained for the night. They wait till there is no coating on the floor left to replace it and skating on it is almost impossible since there will be a patch of coating left where grip is great and then a bare spot where you lose grip without warning.

Washington has a ton of inline teams and great coaching where as Arizona has only one team and one coach. The United Skates of America will not let us rent out any of their rinks unless we have at least 20 skaters and at $50 per skater in fees to cover the rental costs they basically want $1000 a month just so we can practice 3 times a week. How are we suppose to get more skaters and people interested in the sport if we don't even have a place to skate? Our practices don't cut into session times and the rink has stipulated they can cancel our practice anytime they want for birthdays parties even though we are also paying for the space not just the partiers. I don't understand they would be making more money with us there than with us not there and it would bring more attention to the sport. Same with the adult night they changed from every Monday to the 1st Monday of the month because they didn't have a high enough attendance. Did they replace the adult session with another family skate, no. So they are perfectly willing to loose out on money to try and starve people out till attendance goes up so they can get the amount they want. Its completely immoral especially being basically the only rink in town and its downright vindictive.

I have never heard of a rink that threw out its speed or derby teams till moving to Phoenix. I've never even been to rink in Washington state that doesn't show off, advertise, and plug the local speed team to the general public at sessions every change they got. United Skates of America makes no mention of us and although they hand out a lot of stupid flyers I highly doubt they would hand out flyers for the speed skating team even if we paid to have them printed ourselves.

So frustrated grrr.....
Well, it does cost them to turn the lights on and the wear on the floor, plus they'll worry about rising insurance costs if there are injuries. They do have to have someone there to open the door and "supervise"; so you are paying for their time, be it an employee or an owner.

If they don't care about the sport it's hard to blame them for not wanting to do something that's not, in their eyes, worth it. And enough money is how it makes it worth it for them.

There are a couple rinks here in Washington that don't have speed teams, but, yeah, all the rest that do are pretty proud of them and try to boost their numbers through "advertising." The 3 near me are pretty big on it, in those respects.

I just wouldn't take it too personally that the owner of your local rink doesn't seem interested in it beyond a direct profit. And you can't make someone have an ego about something they don't care about. Even aside from the ego of having a winning team, while the residual profits can be there, they aren't without risk or work. So if a particular owner has been left holding the bag before, I could certainly see them setting a higher bar for entry before they want to try again.

I mean, if I was an owner I would think it'd be kind of cool to have a hockey team, but I probably wouldn't care enough to put myself in a position to lose money supporting it. And I certainly wouldn't want a hockey team tearing up my nice wood floor that my speed team uses.

And, yes, we do take good care of our floors.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 04:31 AM   #107
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What you could do, though, is advertise yourself. There's lots of free advertising options. Grassroot the sport. Even if you don't have your 20 skaters, it wouldn't surprise me if you could get some of the skaters to double up on fees until you do.

Or, you might be able to put it in to per-practice perspective. At 3 times a week there'd generally be about 13 practices in a month. Divide 1000 by 13 and you get just about $77. If you change it up and can get at least 8 people per practice and charge them $10 per practice, you'd be able to make your $1000 a month. Assuming the owner/operator would go for it that way. You'll need more than 8, likely, 'cause some people will miss a practice here and there, so you'll probably need at least 10, but that's less than 20. And you'll need to keep recruiting.

And you need kids. As tough as it is to feel like you're running a day care at practice, it's the new blood. And if you get one, chances are less than zero that they have a sibling, and that one can quickly turn in to 2 or more. Then, look for kids at sessions doing races or getting yelled at to slow down. Those kids want to go fast, give them a constructive outlet for it.

Before you know it you might have 2 tiers of teams practicing at separate times, kids and beginners/Novice at one, Elite team at the other. Once that happens you might see an owner/operator's tune change a bit.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 06:36 AM   #108
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I'm aware they have overhead however lights and someone to unlock the doors would not cost much. Here in AZ the real cost would be the air conditioning heh. I would not be so mad with them if they weren't the only rinks in Phoenix with the exception of one other. They have forced all the derby teams to basically be an underground sport practicing in warehouses. As far as people getting hurt effecting them that's what liability waivers are for. With ski racing its even worse since all it takes is a coach setting a downhill course up with one of the spill out zones on the corners leading into a tree to kill someone. I doubt the owner even lives in Arizona as the rinks in question are owned by corporation. http://www.unitedskates.com/

As far as charging more per practice they haven't given us that option. Its really about the 20 skater minimum. Which is why I doubt its about the money. I think they really just don't want to be bothered by the skating community. They don't care about skating. I would love to see kids coming into the sport. Most of the Marysville team was much younger than me. Yeah some of the kids were really bad about swerving and slowing up/speeding down in speed line but not all of them do that, some are quite serious little things. There are some roller hockey places that will rent us out the venue for much less than these rinks but its an uncoated floor. Anybody who skates on higher level than recreational skating has told me that these rinks don't want them there. Derby is pretty big here but even at sessions you rarely see derby skaters or anyone over the age of 16 who can skate well. I honestly think a warehouse with super grippy wheels like outdoor wheels or even indoor training wheels is the way to go. Its just going to suck trying to get to nationals not practicing on a real floor. Even the floors at the rinks in question are coated concrete and suck compared to wood.

If a small privately owned rink like the Skate Inn in Marysville WA can support a speed team and still turn a profit a corporation can definitely do it. Diane the owner of the Marysville rink is definitely focused on making money, she is shrewd business woman, but she has an interest in skating she has a rink because she supports skating not throwing birthday parties. Yes thats how she makes a lot of her money but allowing a team to rent out the rink is not going to cause her to lose money and it spreads more interest in skating.

The United Skates of America will actually refuse things like team practice or adult night and not replace the time slots with anything else. I'm not saying the rink should let us skate for free we should at least cover overhead which I highly doubt is $1000 a month just to keep the lights and air on a few hours more each week. They have free skate nights all the time and for that you need a ton of employees working on the clock and the cafeteria open.

I more mad because there are 6 million people in Phoenix and we can't get 20 skaters and if practice is shut down how is anyone going to try it out to see if they are even interested. But to get 20 people not only do we need newcomers we now have to ask them to commit to joining before they've even experienced speed skating. And what if we had 20 dedicated speed skaters but on of them got injured and couldn't pay dues. Its pretty simple the United Skates of America is an entertainment company to throw birthday parties and sell candy and glow sticks to children. They cut sessions 20 minutes short to have everyone come onto the floor in their shoes to do stuff like tug-a-war. I heard they even used to turn the rinks into teenage clubs which ruins the floor. Diane in Marysville won't allow anyone near the floor with their shoes on and she has new diamond coating put down every 6 months.

The corporate rinks here are insanely profitable compared to privately owned rinks and are at no risk of loss if they allow teams in. Luckily the one privately owned rink here has been negotiating with our coach for floor time and the employees I've talked to have actually seemed excited about it. They don't even allow inlines during sessions and yet they are far easier to deal with than the other rinks. Of course corporations can do what they want but when asking why skating is dying there is your answer. Skiing would be dying is well if resorts only catered to vacationers and spent more on spas than run maintenance and kicked out race teams. Skiing is so expensive I would go as far to say its even elitist and yet its not dying because there are venues. Who would be interested in skiing if there were no places to do it? If someone wants to skate fast they will quickly find you can't do it at session and if there are no speed teams then there really isn't any place to do indoor skating thus there isn't a reason to be interested in it.

I really wish the rinks owned by United Skates of America would stop calling themselves a skating rink. Its like Funtasia in Lynnwood calling itself a go kart track. Yeah they have go karts but its purpose built for birthdays and events.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 12:13 PM   #109
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I was a bit absent recently mostly because I was trying to secure a great winter spots for my team to train. I was really excited to find out that few months ago University for sports here in Ljubljana bought a skating mill. I thought that this will really boost our sport and I was not wrong - many outside people got excited. So around a month ago, right after we ended our season I took initiative and contacted the lead professor to get a rent. I was going in totally open minded even prepared to pay considerable amount of money for 1 session per week (imagine that if 4 people go skating to coast in winter is costs us around 80 USD, so in my mind 240 USD per month for skating mill would still be "doable" just to get more advertisement among people).
Well story ended fast. I have a University graduate student in club that got in contact and once I called the lead teacher he started talking how machine costs 140k USD (at that time I was thinking he's telling me this just to raise the starting price) and then went on that belts cost 5kUSD, etc. It was all good conversation until he said this machine is for research only and that even though it is not 100% covered they will not let anyone train on it. Let me restate that to more plain words: We got skatemill, yet they will not allow to use it daily. At that moment I tried to get a reason why, etc, and I got it: skaters use to step on same spot and the belt gets destroyed.
HAHaHa.
This mill will be used for research of Biathlon, cross country skiers and inline skaters, but it cannot be used for training in winter.

As of time of the writing this and actual talk there were few weeks apart, but I still get mad of a thought that I wanted to risk a whole day's group training just to pay for one skatemill session. Even if we are a club, I still need to manage the trainings as economical as I can, and going to seaside for a weekend is a much much better choice. My advice for 1000kUSD per month is that you could probably find some better venue to train on - even rent a parking garage of some supermarket.
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Old October 28th, 2014, 07:01 PM   #110
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The vibe I get is that there is struggle with rinks for some reason in the sport as well, so how do we as a skating community reach out and help build the sport?

@ Colby - curious does the rink there in PHX offer lessons, "Learn to Skate"? If not, maybe it's and opportunity, or something you or others can offer up to the rink to help the rink and to help build the sport, which could ultimately lead up to that 20 person min. for rink time. Seems a 2 way street and partnerships go a lot further than just individuals asking for rink time. There are a couple of certified instruction in the PHX area that we know, though I am not sure how they are doing instruction these days, whether via private lessons or thru rinks. But, it may be worth contacting them to see if they've approached rinks to offer skate lessons/classes, and what the response was. An example of successful lessons offered via rinks is Skate Journeys in WA state - they provide lessons for all abilities, but mostly getting people started. Basic skating skills lead to other areas of skating, but skill building is a must. If people try it on their own, and cannot skate most likely they won't be back. If you can get people into the rink for lessons, and help them learn the sport and have fun with it,that is key. Half the battle is just getting people engaged in roller sports. Consider talking to the rink and mapping out a pilot program, getting the local instructors involved (or getting certified as an instructor yourself) and see where things go.

Of course, at the end of the day you may just say "I just want to skate", and that is fine, but it's unrealistic to expect a rink to just open it's doors for 1 person or smaller groups at their expense. So, I look at it as bringing something to the table where the rink will benefit, but you have to sell it to them, too. There is/was an indoor team there, Pirates of Speed, sounds as though maybe you've already hooked up with that group? Why not get the club there to offer a 'Try Speedskating' free clinic, skaters or those interested don't even have to be on inlines to experience speedskating, but can be on any skate, just to get things going and get people interested. Those interested will learn soon enough that if they want to race, they will need to get speedskates, and join USARS, and pay club and coaching fees, etc. But, committing to USARS, and club, coaching & session fees should not be mandated or expected for a "Come try speedskating' clinic. Maybe this freebie clinic is offered once a month for a few months to see where it leads.

I used to skate with many of the PHX are outdoor skaters, and knew a few indoor skaters. You can PM me for local area contacts if needed. There was once a very large number of skater in PHX, the Predators - was a lot of fun to go up and do races there.

And, you are correct re: outdoors, one false move off the pave and you can land on a cactus. If you get a chance to head south to Tucson, the outdoor group there has many new miles of pave to skate - it's worth the trip.
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Old October 28th, 2014, 07:29 PM   #111
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I started my speed skating in Marysville, and know Fred (My old Neighbor) and Eric and the Rink owners. Moving to Phoenix I thought there would be lots of skate teams. The Pirates of Speed in Glendale were a great and fun team.

The Predators are no more. I skate with the last remaining few (unofficial) Predators left, there are 4 of us that meet three times per week outdoors. It's for advanced and above as we do 30 hard miles on Sunday's and 15 or more Tuesdays and Thursdays. A couple of us still race outdoors only. There are no regular indoor practices for indoor skaters in this area. The Rink in Glendale has their quota. Unfortunately not enough skaters left to make the team go in Glendale.

We have an open invitation to anyone wanting to join us but it's every man for themselves as when they take off it's keep-up or limp home. I've limped home a few times myself. Arizona is great for outdoor skating. There are hundreds of miles of wide open paved canal trails I skate often and we hit the roads as well.

I've posted adds in craigs list to see if any other skaters in the area are interested, never had a reply. 6 million and there are 4 of us.
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Old October 28th, 2014, 09:53 PM   #112
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We have an open invitation to anyone wanting to join us but it's every man for themselves as when they take off it's keep-up or limp home.
hate to be negative... but could this be part of why you've only got 4 skaters?
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Old October 29th, 2014, 02:09 AM   #113
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hate to be negative... but could this be part of why you've only got 4 skaters?
Maybe! It's a tough sport. I learned the hard way from some hard coaches, if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen, sorry but skating is difficult and understanding that from the start separates the men from the boys. We help each other but not the point of sacrificing an entire workout.

I grew-up in the 70's where if you want to play sports surviving the initiations were tougher than the drills. If todays kids had to survive the initiations we went through I doubt most would play. That's one reason I believe the sport is dying, it's too tough for most kids today, not all but most. We had kids leave the skate team to go play school sports because it was easier.

Look at the pro skaters, these guys are tough dudes and could excel in most any sport, skating is hard, if it was easy everyone would do it.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 02:26 AM   #114
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Skating comes in all flavors, colors, and shades. The "pro" skaters (USA world team, anyway) are happy to help anyone who is interested. No need to sacrifice one's own workout, but people who care can always find time to help those on their way up, or those who want to skate, but whose priority isn't to train enough to be as fast as those who train hours each day; today's kids know there's more to life than that, for most kids. (And what's the value of an initiation unless you do want to eliminate people?)
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Old October 29th, 2014, 03:31 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Jim White View Post
Skating comes in all flavors, colors, and shades. The "pro" skaters (USA world team, anyway) are happy to help anyone who is interested. No need to sacrifice one's own workout, but people who care can always find time to help those on their way up, or those who want to skate, but whose priority isn't to train enough to be as fast as those who train hours each day; today's kids know there's more to life than that, for most kids. (And what's the value of an initiation unless you do want to eliminate people?)
Super, have the kids join a team with a coach. We're not coaches but skaters. Anyone is welcome to come and skate. Not sure how you came to your conclusion that we're a team with a coach and wouldn't help people. My previous comments are for adult skaters wanting to skate in Phoenix. I have no interest in coaching kids.

You want to grow the sport then put on your big boy pants and do it. Good luck babysitting the kids when the parents drop them off, that's not for me! If you want to bleed, sweat and work hard come join us for a skate, otherwise have a great day. I have enough friends and don't need skirt around pleasantries here.

Sincerely,
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Old October 29th, 2014, 03:47 AM   #116
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Seems like we're in complete agreement about various kinds of skating. But I apologize for using the word "kids"; most of the adult skaters around the country don't have bleeding as a goal either.
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Old October 29th, 2014, 03:53 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by AZ Roadrunner View Post
I started my speed skating in Marysville, and know Fred (My old Neighbor) and Eric and the Rink owners. Moving to Phoenix I thought there would be lots of skate teams. The Pirates of Speed in Glendale were a great and fun team.

The Predators are no more. I skate with the last remaining few (unofficial) Predators left, there are 4 of us that meet three times per week outdoors. It's for advanced and above as we do 30 hard miles on Sunday's and 15 or more Tuesdays and Thursdays. A couple of us still race outdoors only. There are no regular indoor practices for indoor skaters in this area. The Rink in Glendale has their quota. Unfortunately not enough skaters left to make the team go in Glendale.

We have an open invitation to anyone wanting to join us but it's every man for themselves as when they take off it's keep-up or limp home. I've limped home a few times myself. Arizona is great for outdoor skating. There are hundreds of miles of wide open paved canal trails I skate often and we hit the roads as well.

I've posted adds in craigs list to see if any other skaters in the area are interested, never had a reply. 6 million and there are 4 of us.
Wow we have basically the same story. I started with Marysville and Fred regularly showed up at practices. Kim and Eric are my old coaches. I thought there would be a lot more teams here as well with the larger population size however WA state has a much better reputation for speed skating. The pirates are the team I was referring to trying to get rink time. I've been in contact with Michael offering suggestions for other venues than the great skate. A 20 skater minimum is ridiculous. What if people are injured and can't skate, is the whole team suppose to suspend practice as a result? The team seems to have been much bigger in the past as they do indoor, outdoor, and quad racing and I'm sure there are skaters out there who would be willing to pay a bigger team due to supplement the lack of numbers but the rink doesn't seem to want to go for it.

I really need to skate outdoors more but my wheels get trashed so fast and money is tight right now. At this point I really couldn't keep up only having been an indoor skater I'm like pushing on the straights? Whats that? Getting a good work out is great but ultimately I don't think it can be done at the same time as working on form. At least with ski racing and it seems to be true with skating as well speed is a crutch and can interfere with developing proper form. At Marysville we had practices with more of an exercise focus doing lots of laps in pace line and dryland exercises and others with more focus on technique with lots of drills. My ski coach always said skiing a course is not time to work on form. I know kids can be hard to work with but they are the future and the ones that goof off and cause trouble are usually either not going to remain interested long or are just board since they are actually much better skaters than the older people. When kids enjoy the sport and a serious about getting better their brains are more plastic than adults so they pick it up quicker. Of course young adults that have been speed skating all their lives will be faster but people joining the sport as an adult take a very long time to get fast enough to even keep up with the best junior skaters. Ivan on the Marysville team consistently beats kids twice his age. So just because someone is young doesn't mean you will be babysitting. The kids on Marysville did get distracted a lot since drills and pace line are done at a slower speed but during practice races and the end of pace line they could go as fast a they wanted. So I don't think taking the time to work on technique means sacrificing a workout which can be done at the gym anyways. Kim and Eric actually suggested if I couldn't find a team here to actually start one. Most coaches are skaters themselves and as was mentioned pros like passing on their knowledge as should skates of any level, its how the sport grows. One thing I didn't like about ski racing was that racers didn't give each other a lot of advice because it helped the better skiers having a better chance winning more often. My coach was always yelling at us to act more like a team but he himself even said be careful asking other racers for help since they might try to sabotage you through misinformation.

The rinks do offer skating lessons at particular sessions and its all done in house by rink employees that don't necessarily have much experience with coaching or instruction. My point is the rinks really don't care about the skating community and would rather not be bothered with it since they make most of their money from birthday parties for children and people showing up to sessions that don't skate regularly and have probably only been on skates three times. There are usually no more than 15 skaters at any session that skate with any regularity and know how to skate well. And with the rinks being so difficult to work with the people are losing interest. Why bother with a sport that you can't find venues or coaching for? It sounds like most of the team has lost interest. We went from having 9 sign ups to 6. Its very hard to make even dedicated skaters pledge to attending practice when it might not happen for a long time and even harder to generate interest in new people when the rinks really don't want to bother with the sport. Talking to other skaters I get the strong impression that the stronger indoor teams are from places where the rinks provide them with affordable floor time for practice and plug the team to the general public at sessions. Not full on advertising but it gets the word out. You also see a lot more speed skaters during sessions at these rinks. Diane the owner of the Marysville Skate Inn always had the speed skaters skate alone for the fast skate and races so it would be safer and she could tell people about the team. Even as the pirates are struggling to get more members the great skate makes no mention of us even though that is the home rink. WTF?
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Old October 29th, 2014, 05:23 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Roadrunner View Post
You want to grow the sport then put on your big boy pants and do it. pleasantries here.

Sincerely,
You don't grow the sport by trying to get more speed skaters to play with you.
You grow the sport by making new speed skaters.
You don't make new speed skaters by leaving them to limp home on their own.
More will show up just to skate, meet new people and have some fun.
Some, seeing how fast you can go (without leaving them alone) will want to learn more, and some might get the bug and want to race.
You want to get the hard workout, fine. Make another day you invite all skaters out for some "fitness" skating and stay with them or have many "regroup" stops along the way.
Being from the NW you might have heard of the Cascade bike club. They have many group rides geared to different levels.
Having all skates geared to speed skaters you can only get people already in the sport.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 08:07 PM   #119
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My personal anecdote somehow seems like a worthwhile entry here:

A couple years ago, when I finally gathered the courage to seek "professional help" in skating, I stumbled on a tiny speed team with a superb coach that were based out of my same suburban location. The very first time I met them was for a 13 mile road skate, and I was pretty terrified about things.

So the way this ended up working, that day and hundreds of times since then, is that the slow guy (almost always me) is the "pace car" while the faster skaters do all sorts of drills along the way. What I'm saying is that every skater definitely gets a hard workout, and it's very rare that anyone skates for very long alone. It's worth noting that just in the time I've been with them, three skaters have been on the USA Worlds outdoor team -- so there must be something good in this strategy?

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the 'limp home alone' thing; you guys aren't trying to do anything but get your long skate on, and I get that.

But we are out here trying desperately to attract more skaters for indoor and outdoor. We can't afford to lose our good workout time, either, but we also can't afford to lose someone who just might be interested in being a dues-paying member of a struggling speed team.
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Old November 18th, 2014, 10:03 PM   #120
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Out of curiosity, what time do other regions/states meets start? I posted on Facebook before our last meet that we would be having our closest meet of the year to my home location (still an hour away). Yesterday I talked to two friends who said they would have gone to watch - if competition hadn't started at 6am and been done by noon. I realize that rinks have sessions and want us out and gone in time, but this may be impacting things as well. I've heard the announcements at session that people can come watch for free, but how many people are motivated to get up before the sun to watch a sport they have no connection to?
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