|Submenu speed skates|
Ice skates made for skating straight forward
are called speed skates.
Dedicated speed skates should be light
yet sufficient sturdy for transferring a maximum
of physical power to the ice surface.
The Norwegian skaters Paulsen and Hagen
therefore experimented already around 1890
with blades that were completely supported
by light weight tubular frames and fixed boots.
Their ideas are still valid.
As in the Netherlands touring on ice
is a very popular people's sport
practised by young and old, poor and rich
and as the Netherlands did not have a metalworking industry
of any importance until after World War II
hundreds of thousands of relatively cheap ice skates
with wooden platforms
have been made by local blacksmiths in winter seasons
when agricultural activities
came to a pause.
Only after the middle of the 20th century
all-metal speed skates became the standard
in the Netherlands as well.