Stand on Guard for Thee

An ad for Avant Guards
An ad for Avant Guards

My skate guards are white. They stand out amongst the teals and oranges on the boards at the arena where I skated a last year. On several occasions we had to make quick exits from the ice because of an overzealous Zamboni driver, so I thought I would play it safe.

In 1990, while I flipped through a figure skating magazine, I found an advertisement for a line of custom figure skating guards, Avant Guards. They offered several cool designs, which included an alligator, bunny and turtle motif. For a while, I considered changing my hot pink guards in for the red Esprit design, which was red with black, white and yellow squished Pac Mans-like objects arranged on them. The Montreal distributor, RLC Skate Designs & Sales, offered eight custom choices. Wow! Just to order one pair would have been rather expensive though, so the idea was kiboshed.

Back then, websites and email addresses were non-existent at the bottom of advertisements. So, I called them today to see if RLC Skate Designs and Sales were still up and running. Nope – they have been taken over by Cozumel Fashions Inc., a manufacturer of brassieres and corsets.

While nobody mass produces pieces of plastic in baby pink with a racer stripes

The bumblebee skate covers!
The bumblebee skate covers!

today, Jerry’s Skating World, based in Markham, Ontario, carries flashing fibre optic skating guards, or Flashies, in a slew of different colours. They also offer the product line Blade Buddies, which are blade covers that look like animals. Don’t you want a pink poodle, bumblebee, tropical fish and otter to keep your blade from rusting?

The colours and styles offered today in simple guards are mind boggling. I remember when a “wide range of colours” meant they offered more than five colours, but less than 10. Now when visiting the local skating boutique to buy an $8 pair of skate guards, it’s like the Sears Catalogue of colours: geranium marble, cloud blue, petal peach gel and orchid glitter. The styles are similar to lipstick descriptions: Gel Gloss, Glitter, Marble and Satin.

Just as no one is too old to skate, no one is too old for pink champagne glitter skate guards. Inner Edge, put a pair of Flashies on hold for me!

Do you have them in white?

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