What are figures?

Figures, also known as patch, haven’t been done in figure skating in many, many years. Skaters had to create figure 8’s on the ice while keeping perfect posture, perfect arm positioning, and perfect free leg positioning. The first figure to be tested was just plain edges. Skaters would make an entire perfect circle on an outside edge, coming back to where they started, then step on the opposite foot and make a perfect circle in the opposite direction. They had to continue this pattern for a few rounds, always making sure that their blade followed the same path that it did the very first time. The same pattern would be repeated for inside edges, then backward outside and backward inside. The next figures get harder and harder, adding 3 turns, brackets, rockers, counters, loops, and changes of edge. Some figures required 3 circles to be made. Skaters would participate in a whole session dedicated to figures. You had to have clean ice to do figures so that you could see the lines in the ice. You also needed to have a separate pair of skates made specifically for doing figures. Figures were replaced by skills many years ago but some skaters still choose to practice figures just for their own benefit.