Frequently Asked Questions

  1. There are no patch sessions near me! How can I do figures?
    Look for poorly attended freestyle and public skating sessions. These may be early in the morning or in the middle of the day, depending on the time of year and your local rink culture. Then, go and do figures. The conditions are less than ideal—people will probably skate right through your patch—but you’ll be able to do more than you expect.
  2. How big should my circles be?
    In general, the diameter of the circle should be approximately three times the height of the skater. To set your scribe to the right length, calculate your height in inches and multiply by 1.5. A skater who is five feet tall should use a setting of 60 inches times 1.5 = 90 inches, or a little more or less depending on personal preference. Judges seem to like big circles, so if you’re unsure, make them bigger. This table of figures circle sizes will spare you the math.
  3. What about loop circles?
    The diameter of the loop circle should be the height of the skater. The five-foot-tall skater in the previous example should use a scribe setting of 30 inches. The loop itself should be about one blade-length wide and 1.5 blade-lengths long.
  4. What if I don’t have a scribe?
    You can pace out a circle using bladelengths or steps. Mark the center of your eight and measure eight to ten bladelengths or about four paces. Make a mark. This is the center of your circle. Measure eight to ten bladelengths or about for paces further along the long axis and make a mark. Measure eight to ten bladelengths or about four paces to either side of the center and make more marks. Now you have four marks on your circle: one at the center, one at the top, and one at each side. Connect the dots to make a circle. Repeat for the other side.
    If you want to be very accurate, calculate the ideal radius of your circle in inches (1.5 times your height) and measure the length of your blade. Divide the radius by the length of your blade to get the number of bladelengths to use.
  5. Where is that nice picture in the banner from?
    The picture in the banner was taken at the 2018 World Figure & Fancy Skating Championship & Festival in Vail, CO.
  6. Who maintains this site? Bev Thurber
  7. How can I get other questions added to this list?
    Fill out the contact form.