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A History of Ice Skating | Things You Never Knew

Ice skating is a well-loved activity by many generations around the world, as well as being influential in the world of sport through hockey and figure skating. But how much do you know about its past and how it came to be? We’ve got an insight into the history of ice skating and some things you might not have known about the activity.


Where it all began

Ice skating is said to have been around since as early as 3000BC and originated in Scandinavia; the reason this is thought to be true is a pair of early ice skates that were discovered and dated by scientists. These early models were made from animal bones and leather straps. It didn’t become a recreational activity until the 17th Century when King Charles II introduced it to the UK after a trip to Holland. Before then it was used as a method of transportation. 1763 saw the first ever official ice skating competition, taking place in England, as skaters raced 15 miles across frozen canals.

Skaters racing on ice


The first Winter Olympic Sport

Figure skating is known to be the very first Winter Olympic Sport, making its debut in 1908 at the London Olympic Games, 16 years before the first formal winter games. Jackson Haines is said to have made figure skating what we know it to be today by developing a special skating blade in 1865. This blade allowed skaters to accomplish new moves, turns and jumps without losing their balance.


Figure skater in blue dress


‘Rink-mania’

This is the name of the movement between 1841 and 1844 where the first attempts at creating synthetic ice rinks took place. People were trying to make them from hog’s lard and salts. Thankfully since then the technology and means of creating synthetic ice rinks have come a long way. The first indoor ice rink was made in London in 1941, using chemicals to create a synthetic frozen surface.

Skaters on an indoor ice rink


Ice Skating Today

Now recognised as not only a recreational activity but also as a competitive sport, ice skating has become a favourite pastime of many people around the globe. Thanks to the development of synthetic ice rinks, even people in warmer countries are able to take part. We have installed rinks all around the world including Seychelles. If you’re interested in hiring or purchasing a synthetic ice rink then please do not hesitate to get in touch for a quote.



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