March Break

Oval swaps blades for wheels in time for March Break

Warm weather brings early end to ice skating

People heading to the Emera Oval over March Break will be trading in their ice skates for in-line skates, as warmer weather is here to stay.

The ice skating season officially came to an end on March 3. Warm air, wind and rain have made it impossible to keep the ice rink in good condition.

The city isn’t short-changing skaters. The oval is open for in-line skating this week – something that’s typically only provided during the summer months.

Katie Buckley skates with the Dalhousie Figure Skating club, and while she doesn’t use the oval to practice or train, she goes there quite often just to be on the ice.

“I’ve never tried in-line skating, but I’m really excited to,” she says. “I will definitely use it to satisfy my skating craving while the ice is gone.”

Rules for in-line skating at the oval are very similar to those for ice skating, and can be found on the HRM website.

In general, some tips for hitting the concrete include:

  • Be mindful of other skaters, and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Use the appropriate speed during public skate times.
  • Don’t cut people off.
  • Faster skaters on the inside, slower or new skaters on the outside.
  • Make sure your skates actually fit properly before you get on the rink.

A public skating schedule has been posted on the city’s website. The oval is stocked with about 500 pairs of skates. For those worried about safety, there are helmets, and an array of wrist, knee and elbow pads too.

After March Break, the oval will shut down for its normal summer preparations.

Nearly 120,000 people are reported to have skated at the oval since it opened on Dec. 21. Will skaters now take to the wheels as well as they’ve taken to the ice?