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kottke.org posts about skating

The wonderful sounds of black ice skating

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 12, 2018

Recently frozen lake ice has some interesting properties: it looks completely black and makes some interesting sounds when you skate over it. Swedish mathematician Mårten Ajne is a black ice skating enthusiast and he demonstrates his technique in this National Geographic video. You’ll want to turn up the sound or use headphones…the ice sounds like a cross between sci-fi phaser fire and getting pinged by sonar in a submarine.

The most desirable condition is virgin black ice, when a lake has caught its first ice cover and it has grown just thick enough to bear your joy. In favorable weather conditions this will take two days after freeze-over.

Five centimeters [2 inches] is often the limit [to how thin it can be]. If you’re close to shore, you can go thinner, up to about 3.5 centimeters, before it breaks. That’s for fresh, cold black ice. Brackish ice, which contains salt, needs to be thicker and is more difficult to assess.

At one point, Anje measures the ice with a caliper — it’s only 45 mm thick — but what really illustrates the crazy thinness of the ice is that you can see the surface flex as the water moves under it (wait for him to skate by the camera at ~1:42 in the video) and the ice cracking behind him (at ~2:02). Whaaaaa?!! (via the kid should see this)

Skating with style

posted by Aaron Cohen   Jul 23, 2013

We are truly in a golden era of skateboarding videos (again). The easy access to relatively good camera equipment on one side, and easy video distribution via the web on the other, have created a perfect storm in the last 4 or 5 years of gorgeous, highly stylized skateboarding videos. What am I saying, skateboarding videos have always been awesome.

Skating with shadows

posted by Aaron Cohen   May 16, 2012

I’ve seen skateboarding dogs, but I’ve never seen a skateboarding shadow before. The video feels like a dream sequence in a movie, a movie where some evil wizard turns the boys of Dogtown into shadows.

Slow motion skating

posted by Aaron Cohen   May 04, 2012

There’s angles/close ups in this video I’ve never seen in a skate video before.

All in together now

posted by Aaron Cohen   Aug 22, 2011

It’s been great posting for you all the last week+! Thanks for the good times. I couldn’t pick just one video for you tonight, so here are 3. Watch them all, but not at the same time.

This one makes me tense.

This one was filmed in 8 hours in Brooklyn. Pretty, pretty, pretty.

This one was filmed AND edited in 4 hours in Boston. (I love everything Paper Fortress does.)