New online resource

Skating Figures in the Twenty-first Century is a free online collection of resources for ice skaters who are interested in figures.

Compulsory figures were a large part of skating until 1991, when they were separated from free skating in competition. Instead of having to do figures in competition—and do them well, since they made up for a substantial part of the score—skaters were free to focus on their free skating.

And focus they did. Over the next few years, skaters stopped doing figures entirely. Rinks stopped offering patch sessions, and skate manufacturers stopped making patch blades. Skate shops lost money as skaters no longer needed two pairs of skates.

Now, there is something of a revival going on, due in large part to the work of the World Figure Sport Society. Many skaters who learned to skate in the interim are now getting started with figures, and skaters who did figures in their youth are getting back into it.

Skating Figures in the Twenty-First Century collects information on figures events, rinks that offer patch sessions, places to get specialized equipment, and references for learning more about figures. It should help all skaters interested in doing figures, whether they are just getting started or getting back into it.

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