Alternative Uses for Ice Skates


In these increasingly troubled economic times, I think rather than compulsively purchasing new items it’s important to take stock of everything we already own and consider whether or not we’re allowing each of our possessions to fulfill their maximum potential.

For example, we invest a lot of money into our figure skates. Has a regular person (i.e. non-skater) ever asked you how much skates cost? Did you have to pick her up off the floor or rush her to the ER to get her jaw re-attached after you told her? 

I’m not saying we should stop buying the things, I think we should just get as much use out of them as possible. We should be inspired by Tom Hanks in that movie, Cast Away, where he’s stranded on a desert island after a plane crash. A bunch of Fed Ex boxes drift ashore and lo and behold one box contains…ice skates. My mother recently caught this movie on TV and reminded me of the scene where he has a toothache: he uses the skate blade for a little impromptu self-dentistry. Horrifying! And brilliant. This is exactly what I’m talking about, here: we need to think outside the rink.

So here are some other suggested alternative uses for figure skates…

Self Defense: Who needs mace, pepper spray or a karate class when you have your skates at the ready? Potential attackers will be surprised, I guarantee. 

Butter Knives: This is a no-brainer. We’ve been using dull skates for this purpose for years. And it’s a fact: butter officially makes everything better.

Whittling Tool: Just think how easily you could take care of your entire Christmas list (and especially if you use your skates to also chop down the tree). What boyfriend hasn’t always wanted a tiny wooden owl figurine? What grandmother doesn’t want a nice skull and crossbones? And don’t be too hard on yourself here: remember that beauty is often in the imperfections.  

Turkey Carvers: In many households across the country, carving the turkey on Thanksgiving is a coveted role. Who can deny you this honor after you get your skates freshly sharpened? Stand up in the dining room with them on your hands then perform a dramatic, so-fast-it’s-blurry knife show á la Edward Scissorhands.

Mirror: The only obstacle here is access… Mirror mirror on my foot, who’s the most flexible of them all?

Juggling: Let’s face it, that act with the bowling pins and the torches is getting really old. Granted, you’ll have to get a second pair so that your show includes three skates, but maybe shops could start selling skates individually for this purpose.

Shoes: Boots this expensive should get some serious mileage. Slap some guards on the bottom and you’re ready for all sorts of terrain. In fact, I see a huge opportunity for the guard industry. There are already illuminated styles perfect for the disco, but what about guards with cleats? Stilettos? Soles rugged enough for hiking? Hey look, stock prices for blade guards just went up .0004 points. See? We’re onto something.

Icee Shavors: Kids love this icy treat and we could all use a little extra practice on our snowplow stops. With a just few different types of flavoring and some cardboard cups, you can get a good side business going and give the snack bar a run for its money.

Getaway Vehicles: As long as there’s enough ice, you can escape any situation, literally or figuratively, with these gems on your feet. See turkey above.


What did I miss? Please contribute by clicking on Comments below.

And I know, I know, ’tis the season to be thankful, but I have a few very specific pet peeves to gripe about. Click on Cusp of Greatness here.



  1. Mrs Redboots · November 25, 2008

    I’ve used an old ice-skate to mark the location for a party (put it on the gate – all the skaters I’d asked knew it meant they’d come to the right place). And, of course, I couldn’t have done my “Jake the Peg” piece without a spare skate to do it with.

    My sister-in-law uses old boots as planters for flowers – you could do that with skates, and you have something to cut the flowers with, too….

  2. june · November 25, 2008

    Now that is multi-tasking!

  3. Jerry L · November 25, 2008

    That’s right. That scene in Castaway was really crazy. I think he used a rock or something to hit at the blade in order to knock his tooth out right?

  4. Strats · November 25, 2008

    Whoa, the possibilities are limitless…I like the whittling option myself, but those icees would be too tasty to pass up.

  5. pat · November 26, 2008

    pitching a tent? harpoon? roasting marshmallows? whose ready for some camping?

  6. LP skater · November 27, 2008

    How about decorative bird houses? My skating club made several different ornamental bird houses out of skates; just decorate them and voila! Instant unique fixture for the home!

  7. ice charades · November 27, 2008

    Great post! I agree with the juggling! How about plant holders!

  8. Martina · November 30, 2008

    When I was little, I remember turning my old skates into roller skates, what a deal that was!! O’ the memories:-)

    Nice one Joc!!

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