Family time with ice skates and ice stocks
What's rather cumbersome and often dangerous in street traffic simply creates more fun during leisure time: sliding on ice is a great joy for young and the young at heart. While some dash across the slippery surface on skates, others slide their ice stocks as close to the target as possible.
When temperatures drop under the freezing point and the sheet of ice is thick enough, frozen lakes tempt us to skate or play ice stock. Please be sure to select approved bodies of water for safety reasons. In cities, ice skating rinks provide an opportunity for sports, fun, and games; mobile ice skating rinks are a part of some townscapes, at the latest around Christmastime.
The effortless gliding on ice is a matter of balance. Ice skating exercises the sense of balance and enhances coordination. Endurance and the circulatory system benefit from it, as do the muscles in legs, hips, and trunk. The gliding motion is particularly beneficial and gentle for intervertebral discs and joints.
Great care must however be exercised in case of falls and collisions. Even well-practiced people should not move against the flow of traffic or straight across the surface of the ice. Controlled stopping should be practiced straight from the start in any case, in order to avoid painful surprises.
Everything is fairly basic when it comes to equipment. Gloves for protection are mandatory, and padded pants also wouldn't go amiss. The onion method is recommended for everything else, because once can work up quite a sweat due to the physical activity, even in very low temperatures. Ice skates in all sizes can be rented at public indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks.
Ice stock sport, particularly well-known in the alpine region, has a very different appeal. The popular sport originated in Scandinavia and is today offered by event organizers even for company and family events. Indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks at Christmas markets offer tracks that can be used with floodlights even at night. Played in teams between four and twenty persons, the goal is to slide the stock of one's own team into the best position – as close as possible to the cube- or ring-like target. Ice stocks are made of wood or metal and the specific version varies depending on the pursued level of seriousness. Because a precision sport has developed out of the traditional sport; it is similar to the Olympic discipline of "curling" and can even be played on asphalt, concrete, or wooden tracks in the summer.