Friesland speed skates with aluminium platforms

Fig.1: Friesland aluminium speed skates, around 1935
The aluminium platforms of these ice skates were thought to make the skates stiffer and to contribute to the sustainability of them. It appeared, however, that the metal platforms worked out to be a big disadvantage as snow and ice sting froze to them and resulted in a poor contact between boots and ice skates. It also became clear that the aluminium used was too soft to withstand the skating forces. After a few years already the production was ceased and the retail stocks were taken back. It is clear that aluminium skates were designed for the happy few that loved skating and could afford their high price.

se skates came in three models that could be distinguished by the colour of the middle part. Skates with short blades were blue and skates with extended blades were red or green. The difference between red and green concerns the thickness of the blades. The green ones have thinner blades than the red ones. The idea was that the green skates were used on hard and the red ones on soft ice. Experienced skaters leaving for a long ride took both types with them. In the morning they left on the green skates and changed them for the red ones when in the course of the day the ice softened.

Manufacturer: E. Vonk, Oudeschoot; mark: see detail 1
Technical data
green model: total length: 39.5 cm; height over ice: 3 cm; platforms: 29 cm long, 4.5 cm wide; runner blades: 16 mm tall, 1.5 mm thick; weight: 310 g
Technical data
red model: total length: 39 cm; height over ice: 3.2 cm; platforms: 28 cm long, 5 cm wide; runner blades: 18 mm tall, 2 mm thick; weight: 320 g

Fig.2: Friesland speed skates, around 1935

The platforms of these skates were made from a special aluminium alloy. They were called 'Silumin' skates, a contraction of the words silicium and aluminium. Silicium was added to harden the rather soft aluminium. These skates had the same disadvantages as those in figure 1.

Manufacturer: Batavus, Heerenveen; mark: see detail 2

Technical data: total length: 41.5 cm; height over ice: 3.2 cm; platforms: 30 cm long, 4.5 cm wide; runner blades: 11 mm tall, 1.9 mm thick; weight: 355 g






detail 1





detail 2

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