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The five rules of … skating

The situation

It is freezing and cracking and so we go wild in the Netherlands again. Ice skating! The fiercest skating fever has already subsided because it is just pouring off, but hopefully it will slide well on the ditch behind your house or the skating rink nearby. Everything corona-neat of course. But how do you actually behave best on the ice? The rules at a glance.

The gamerules

1. Discover your spot

Natural ice is of course the best. While skating you suddenly come to places that you otherwise can only look at. At an ice rink you can whiz around in succession, but at most places only members are now welcome. If you are a ‘good weather skater’, check in advance where you can cross the ice without wet feet.

2. Watch for a hole

Never skate on ice with snow on it, because then you will not see where the ice is bad. Or where there is even a hole. The ice on the shore side is always weaker, especially on the side where the sun is shining, the experts at schaatsen.nl know. So take a big step when you step off the shore onto the ice and follow your examples left and right. See where others have safely entered the ice.

3. Don’t take a solo

As tempting as it may be, after dangling indoors for almost a year on each other’s lips, never go out alone. A lap on grass on an ice rink is possible, but it is better not to brave natural ice on your own. If you fall, get lost, get under the ice: help is badly needed. So go on the road with the two of you at least (yes, it should be fine at a distance of 1.5 meters) and always let someone at home know exactly where you are going to skate. If you accidentally submerge, stay calm and swim to the dark spot, because that’s where you fell through the ice. If there is snow on the ice, you have to swim to the lighter part.

4. Shout loudly at speed

On winter days, skaters of all kinds tie the irons under. So maybe you can work very hard with your marathon body, Els from next door is just balancing a bit rickety on the same square meter. So shout nice and loud: ‘YesJa’ if you want to overtake someone from behind. Experienced speed skaters also like to shout ‘KAAAAAAAAAASS’ because it sounds so nice and long. Choose what you want, as long as you make yourself heard. And for all of us, be aware of your surroundings and just grab a chair, or your friend’s arm, as long as you keep wobbling. Does not matter.

5. Score pizza points

Practice, practice, practice: that’s the way to learn to skate better. But yes, you have nothing on now. Therefore three useful tips to get back to it. Practice a round on inline skates first, for example. Same movement, less smooth. Do you want to brake? Bring the front sides of your skates together in the shape of a pizza slice. And finally: keep your balance. Keep your body balanced by spreading both your arms, that makes the balance a lot easier. Otherwise you just go back to rule four. Now especially enjoy this cool bright spot!

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