Continuing on with some questions from Ice Mom from icemom.net.
(I promise...Transitions soon. I know you can hardly wait!!! I completed a seminar for a group of about 12 kids today on Transitions and I think they thought I was a little crazy I got so passionate about transitions. they're my new love!!!!)
DIRTY SKATES/FUNKY SKATES: I was at a test session last week and a judge wrote at the bottom of a skater's feedback form dirty skates. How big of a deal is it? Ice Girl has solid red glitter on the heels and soles of her boots. It's soooooo cooooool. But, she wears over-the-boot tights during competitions and testing to hide the glitter from the judges. Some kids have stickers, photos, or their names in the varnish on the bottom of boots. Is this a big deal?
Well, truth be told - this goes pretty in line with the hair question too. It's not going to put you in last place just because Ice Girl has shiny, glittery red soles...but I think that continuing to wear over the boot tights during competitions and testing IS a good idea? Why? It's distracting!!!
Do you really want to draw attention to your feet? That answer is a big fat no. If you're drawing attention to your feet, you'd best have the most beautiful footwork and crossovers, ala Patrick Chan, I have ever seen. If you're going to make me look at your feet with red glitter, you better give me good reason to be distracted by your feet!!!
I think it's the same with any of those examples up there - stickers, photos, etc.- the judges don't really need to see those because they're distracting and unnecessary. I don't see top level skaters with those things on their boots, so really there's no reason for you to have them either.
But again, that being said, I understand that it's cool and hip...but remember - I'm young and I hope I'm hip. Mr. Man Judge next to me that has judged for 400 years isn't going to like your stickers on your skates and sometimes he doesn't follow the rules - sometimes he'll knock you down a couple placements (especially in 6.0 judging where it's easier to do that) - because he's grumpy and doesn't like it. I'm not saying it's right and I'm not saying that's what I would do...but someone, somewhere has to admit these things.
Another thing I remember doing as a younger competitor was being forced to paint my skates. Truth be told, I won't notice as a judge. But as a skater it gave me something to do the night before a competition and made me feel as though the competition was important and big. Painting my skates was indicative of my "professionalism" in a competitive world. Anyways - painting your skates is much more time consuming than over the boot tights, but if you want to keep them shiny and white, by all means. I probably won't notice. As for the skater at a test session with the dirty skates according the judge, they must have been pretty tarnished up and dirty for a judge to notice. Again, don't distract and draw attention to your feet (where mistakes are made!).
So, if you're a parent wondering out there - let's make it easy. If your skater insists on decorating their skates, then just wear over the boot tights. However, I can tell you that when my daughter is old enough to have skates she won't be decorating them, cool or not - that definitely decreases the value of them second hand and I'm kinda cheap that way ;)
Look next for a post on tights or transitions. It's a good surprise to come back for.