Well, I went rollerblading tonight in Eltham after Rob & Jess insisted at ice skating last Friday. Of course, neither of them ended up going, so it wound up being just Tony, Chris & myself. Although Kim, whom I met last week, was also there. There weren’t very many people – about thirty or so, half of which were a party group of ten year olds or somesuch. Nearly all the rest were evidently the regulars, given they knew everyone and the staff, and in the case of Kim at least helped themselves behind the counter at the snack bar. :)
So, how does rollerblading stack up against ice skating… in summary, I think I’ll stick to the ice skating. The rollerblades were surprisingly uncomfortable – rentals always are, of course – but at least on ice your feet are cool and you don’t feel it as much… the cold also reduce the severity of the smell when you do finally take the boots off at the end of the night.
You have more “stick” with rollerblades, which would definitely make them easier for beginners – Tony was much happier on rollerblades than last week on ice skates – but even at my mediocre level that quickly becomes a hindrance – I wasn’t able to turn as well or manoeuvre as fast as a result. I think you definitely have more flexibility and control with ice skates. But, each to their own. I wouldn’t rule out going rollerblading again by any means, but given that it takes nearly as long to get there as it does to ice skating, and I think actually uses more fuel – have you seen some of those hills in Eltham?! – there’s not that much going for it.
The other option I’ve vaguely considered is buying my own rollerblades, which would be generally useful and would remove the pain from the equation… but in terms of practical locomotion my bike is better, and blades are still quite expensive.
A big problem with the rollerblade rink in Eltham, though, is that’s it’s run by the staff for the staff, and possibly the regulars… they have all these silly dancing bits and games and “couples” skating and stuff… which in a nutshell means you only get to actually skate half the time you’re there. And in most of the games the staff play, and are of course a hundred times better than us mere mortal casuals, so there’s not much actually gaming, mostly losing. Even the regulars, like Kim, weren’t particularly impressed with all these shenanigans.
Still, it wasn’t a bad night out in any case; worth a shot at least once. Now I’m off to Mt. Eliza way, while it’s still late at night and the traffic isn’t so bad. Tony & I had a shocking run back from Eltham – I think we got caught at every single light. We were talking about how bad my luck with lights is when I dropped him off, and then on the way back to my place I scored green at every light… hopefully my luck continues in that vein. :)