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Author Topic: This is an expensive sport!  (Read 915 times)

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Offline Christy

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This is an expensive sport!
« on: July 20, 2017, 06:00:35 PM »
I just decided to add up the ice time and lesson costs since I started skating a few years ago  :o
Probably not the best thing to do!! and I don't even want to think about the additional equipment costs. I just wish I felt I'd progressed more than I have, oh well.

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2017, 06:14:20 PM »
There are far worse things to do with your money than skating! You are healthier for it too.
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Offline AgnesNitt

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Offline FigureSpins

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2017, 09:45:47 AM »
How much off-ice are you doing?  Doing just skating to build strength, balance and control is expensive. 

When you're tempted to buy something, ask yourself "Will this help my skating or it is a status symbol?"  It took me five years to convince myself to buy Rockerz guards.  When I went to 2011 Nationals, a vendor had them for $30, so I made that my souvenir.  I just replaced them earlier this year when I bought new skates/blades.  I gave them away to an teenage beginner at the rink who had just gotten her first "real" pair of skates.  My blades needed sharpening less often, so the savings offset the price.

Take good care of your equipment and apparel, so you won't have to replace things as often.
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Offline amy1984

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2017, 09:58:05 AM »
I once started adding up costs and then decided I really didn't want to know the numbers lol.  That said, my mother often rags on me for spending on skating but she probably spends more than I spend on skating on things much less healthy for her like cigarettes and wine.  So take that mom.  Honestly, there's a lot worse things to spend your money on.

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2017, 10:06:31 AM »
Yeah, as a mother who has had teens that excuse for something else that *wasn't* at all good for them, I'd advise you to not criticize your momma.  ☺

Everyone should do a budget at the beginning of the season and try to stick to it.  Save up to buy boots and blades.

We had a beginner at the rink a few years past wearing ill-fitting hand-me-down skates but pulling a brand-new Zuca bag. Oh, and she had light-up guards and soakers with noisemakers.  I had to bite my tongue when the parents complained about the cost because they should have invested the Zuca/guard/soaker overpayment money in good skates that fit properly.
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Online Jf12

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2017, 10:21:24 AM »
I know how much I spend on skating and it is a crazy amount. However, there are other areas that I find I spend much less money than before.  I don't really have time to go out as much, so I save a lot of money on dining out and entertainment.  And I spend a lot more time in skating clothes, which means I don't buy as many 'real' clothes, which tend to be more expensive than skating clothes... Every little bit, right??

Offline amy1984

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2017, 11:38:58 AM »
Yeah, as a mother who has had teens that excuse for something else that *wasn't* at all good for them, I'd advise you to not criticize your momma.  ☺

Just to be clear, I'm an adult.  Not sure if that gives me more of a right to fire back when she tells me her opinion on how I spend my money :P

Offline Christy

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2017, 03:03:34 PM »
Normally I do a few hours of off ice each week, although for the last 3 months I've been hampered by an injury I got during off ice and it's lingering so I don't want to stress it.
I tend to scrutinize my equipment costs and try to justify using cost / wear but they have been high thanks to my dodgy feet. However it's the ice time and lessons that have added up to way more than I was expecting because both are normally fairly reasonable, although we do have a few really expensive sessions that I maybe need to rethink.

Offline Christy

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2017, 03:08:26 PM »
I know how much I spend on skating and it is a crazy amount. However, there are other areas that I find I spend much less money than before.  I don't really have time to go out as much, so I save a lot of money on dining out and entertainment.  And I spend a lot more time in skating clothes, which means I don't buy as many 'real' clothes, which tend to be more expensive than skating clothes... Every little bit, right??

I look at things on a cost / wear basis so the fact that I spent $60 on leggings 3 years ago and have worn them every week with plans to wear them for a few more years means they were worth the investment. Same with my skates as I wear them most days but if I was only skating once a month I would have got cheaper ones. They work out way better value than a lot of 'real' clothes and shoes.

Offline Query

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2017, 06:12:03 PM »
Just to add a few more pennies:

If the injury occurred on ice, or as a result of ice skating, you should include all costs related to handling the injury.

And include the cost of off-ice physical training of all sorts, that you might be doing to support your ice skating.

However... Proper estimation of expenses requires that you estimate the expenses that you save but not doing something else.

So subtract the cost of whatever you might be doing instead of figure skating. Skydiving, gambling at Las Vegas, surfing at Hawaii, Skiing in the Alps, Diving in the Bahamas, eating at $100/plate gourmet restaurants, etc.

See, you are actually saving a lot of money!  :encore

Offline nicklaszlo

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2017, 06:55:27 PM »
Here in Australia, I think skating is cheaper than other drugs, including the legal ones. 

Offline dlbritton

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2017, 08:50:24 PM »
When I took up skating my wife's comment was "Great, another expensive sport to go along with skiing".

I think I spend more on skating than skiing now.
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Offline RoaringSkates

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2017, 08:56:16 PM »
No doubt this is an expensive sport. But I started to feel a lot better about it when I began ballroom dance. Now THAT'S an expensive sport. So much so that I can't afford to compete. Period. End of story. I can go to adult nationals AND sectionals AND do several local competitions each year AND also take tap dance AND pay for my coaching and ice time for less than nationals in ballroom. So now, I don't feel so bad.

Does that mean my advice to you is to take up something even more expensive for a short time, so you don't feel as bad...?  :angel:

Offline skategeek

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2017, 09:32:08 PM »
No doubt this is an expensive sport. But I started to feel a lot better about it when I began ballroom dance. Now THAT'S an expensive sport. So much so that I can't afford to compete. Period. End of story. I can go to adult nationals AND sectionals AND do several local competitions each year AND also take tap dance AND pay for my coaching and ice time for less than nationals in ballroom. So now, I don't feel so bad.

Does that mean my advice to you is to take up something even more expensive for a short time, so you don't feel as bad...?  :angel:

My daughter moved on from skating to karate to horseback riding.  I feel much less guilty about my skating costs now.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2017, 09:43:58 PM »
I used to show horses for other people locally.

Figure skating is like boarding money.
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Offline FigureSpins

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2017, 04:14:44 PM »
Excellent observations.  I tried Fencing for a while via group lessons using borrowed outfit/equipment.  The required clothing for competition levels was over $200, without the weapon.  Private Fencing lessons are about $20/hour more than the average figure skating coaching rate, but it includes the facility use, so it's about the same cost for training. The Club membership varied widely based on how many practice sessions you planned to attend, group classes, private lessons, and equipment storage.  If you wanted to compete, it was even more, but it was supplemented by the initial package and included even more lessons/practices.  It was very confusing for a beginner, but I guess the fencers know what they need once they are taking privates.
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Offline Query

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2017, 11:31:50 PM »
Re: fencing

I don't know how often this occurs, but fencing equipment standards change, requiring new purchases, and changes in allowable and practical technique.

I fenced a little, using foil, up to about 1980. About 15 or 20 years later, I went to a local club session, and brought my old equipment - I couldn't use it. And not just for competitions, because it wasn't electric.

Apparently "foils" became completely different - much stiffer, almost like Épées used to be. I think some decided the old ones were unsafe, because they were too flexible and fragile - i.e., the tip could break off, leaving a sharp point. That must also radically change the technique, because I guess you can no longer whip the point into place, and perhaps the stiffer and heavier blades alter circular parries. I wouldn't be surprised if old jackets weren't thick enough to provide sufficient protection against the newer style blades.

Also, the person in charge wouldn't let me use what used to be one of my favorite moves, on the basis of safety, where you go into a deep lunge. She claimed it wasn't safe to bend the knee past 90 degrees (like, of course, everyone does in figure skating). I'm not sure if that was an actual rule, or just what she had been taught. Also, for some reason, the moves in which you pass or come side-by-side with someone, then touch their back from behind, were apparently banned, or maybe are just impractical with electric equipment.

Even when I fenced, the altered scoring system, and the use of electric equipment in tournament play had forced people to move along narrow lanes, radically changing the nature of fencing (and dueling) styles of a few decades earlier, when people danced and circled around each other.

Perhaps older styles of equipment and technique are still used by the Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA), Markland, and the Renaissance Fair people - or by some of the martial arts fans...

It would not be at all surprising if wireless fencing equipment will soon completely replace the current generation of equipment, again requiring new purchases, and changes in allowable and practical technique - including, perhaps, a partial return to older techniques. So you may soon need to buy more stuff, and get new lessons. :) And maybe you now need to augment your training with WII and other video games, adding another dimension to cost.

In contrast, figure skates and clothing styles change, but you can still theoretically skate with old style skate equipment and clothing, even for tests and competitions - I think.

BTW, some college and university fencing clubs admit older folk - and probably charge a lot less.

Offline DressmakingMomma

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2017, 10:10:30 AM »
It all started with $100 for eight weeks of group lessons and a pair of used skates - we had no idea what we were in for!!! We have had to put the brakes on and say this is it, we cannot spend another penny on skating because we don't have another penny to spend. It is hard to say no to something that you view as really healthy for your child. We are tapped out at three lessons + one off-ice class per week, although our kiddo wishes she could have lessons everyday.

I thought I read someone's comment about lessons being $20? That would be amazing. I'm curious to how different the costs are regionally across the U.S., and globally. For us, this is about what it costs to skate in our area.
  • $160-200 per month for unlimited freestyle ice or $11-16 for an hour of walk-on ice fees
  • $30-40 per half hour for coaching fees
  • $15 for a half hour off-ice class
  • $100-150 for first event at competition, $35-45 for additional events
  • $20-25 for freestyle blade skate sharpening
When I add up the gas and extras, we are paying a small mortgage payment for our kid to skate and then I start to feel horrible. But skating does something special for her soul and I just can't imagine her stopping. We view it as an investment in her future as we believe she is being prepared with some pretty special life skills, especially given the state of today's typical teenage attitude towards hard work, dedication, ability to work through failure, and pushing yourself past what you believe your limits are. We don't really care what she does as a skater, it is all the other benefits that motivate us to come up with the money to participate in this crazy sport.

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2017, 01:32:11 PM »
I thought I read someone's comment about lessons being $20? That would be amazing. I'm curious to how different the costs are regionally across the U.S., and globally. For us, this is about what it costs to skate in our area.
  • $160-200 per month for unlimited freestyle ice or $11-16 for an hour of walk-on ice fees
  • $30-40 per half hour for coaching fees
  • $15 for a half hour off-ice class
  • $100-150 for first event at competition, $35-45 for additional events
  • $20-25 for freestyle blade skate sharpening

I'm over in the UK and I forget what the exchange rate is at the moment (it's diabolical) but going by the historic one of about $2: £1, the costs are fairly similar. It's just that my rink happens to charge significantly less for freestyle. We're probably closer to $90 a month for unlimited ice (freestyle and public - not that many of us use public once we're on freestyle). We're a public rink and the private rinks tend to charge more but I've not heard of many places which are above $120 a month.
For the kids, there are no additional events at competitions. It's just a free program, unless they are competing dance, when there is a slight reduction for doing both pattern dance and free dance at an event (we don't have enough competitions so they're heavily oversubscribed and they're all run IJS which takes slightly longer with the judging than 6.0).
Where our costs do increase is that because of the limited number of competitions, to get extra experience some skaters end up competing elsewhere in Europe and then there's flight and hotel costs to consider. UK competitions it's just gas money and possibly a hotel.

But it's quite nice to see that the pricing is reasonably comparable.

Offline icepixie

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2017, 05:04:48 PM »
Costs in my area are:
  • $450 per 36 tickets for hour-long freestyle sessions (works out to $12.50 an hour and lasts me about 3 months if skating 3-4 hours per week; you can also buy smaller amounts for a higher per-ticket price or walk-on is $15 each)*
  • $30 per half-hour lesson for my coaches; varies depending on who the coach is, but I think they're all within about $5 of that, maybe $10 more for a couple of them
  • $20 skate sharpening
  • For us it's also about $100 per first event at competition and $40ish for additional events
  • $100 a year club dues
  • It's been a while since I tested anything, but I think we're up to about $60 per moves or freestyle test, maybe $25 or $30 per dance
  • This summer we've had a really good deal for on-ice classes.  There's one each weekday and Saturday morning for adults only(!), things like figures, Curry, stroking, jump/spin, and dance.  It's $20 for the class and another half-hour of ice either before or after the class.  You don't have to pay for the ice separately, which was always my experience in the past.
  • That rink also does off-ice classes aimed at kids, but I don't know much about them.  I think they're $20 each.

* At the other rink I probably won't skate at any more once my no-longer-sold punch pass is done, if you commit to specific days and times and do way more per month than I could, you can get it down to about half that, but there's no way I can plan my schedule that far in advance, and anyway you need to buy like 40 hours a month to get the cheap price.  And of course, before management changed last year at my usual rink, it was $4 per 45-minute session...  :'(

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2017, 06:13:12 AM »
But I started to feel a lot better about it when I began ballroom dance. Now THAT'S an expensive sport. So much so that I can't afford to compete. Period. End of story. I can go to adult nationals AND sectionals AND do several local competitions each year AND also take tap dance AND pay for my coaching and ice time for less than nationals in ballroom. So now, I don't feel so bad.

Yes, I found that out last year when my wife and I signed up for ballroom dance lessons.  With the large franchise dance studios, it's difficult to breakdown the costs, because they package a bundle of private lessons, group lessons, and open practice sessions.  But a first-order estimate indicated it cost more than figure skating.  With my figure skating, overall I feel that I'm getting proper value for what I'm paying.  With ballroom dancing, I always had the sneaking suspicion that I was getting taken for a ride.

I later found a listing for an independent dance instructor who offerred services a la carte.  His private instruction rate is $100/hr; my skating coach charges $90/hr.


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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2017, 06:18:59 AM »
If the injury occurred on ice, or as a result of ice skating, you should include all costs related to handling the injury.
But then you should also subtract all the costs you didn't incur because you maintained an overall higher level of physical and mental health via regular skating. 

Offline Christy

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2017, 02:53:06 PM »
I'm over in the UK and I forget what the exchange rate is at the moment (it's diabolical) but going by the historic one of about $2: £1, the costs are fairly similar.
But it's quite nice to see that the pricing is reasonably comparable.

$2 is around £1.50 at the moment

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Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2017, 01:00:08 AM »
$2 is around £1.50 at the moment

I know, it means visiting is VERY expensive at the moment and there's no point shipping skates/dresses etc in as it costs the same as it does over here.