Friday, October 29, 2010

Game Tip o’ the Day: Mad Skillz Edition

Napoleon Dynamite: Well, nobody's going to go out with *me*!

Pedro: Have you asked anybody yet?

Napoleon Dynamite: No, but who would? I don't even have any good skills.

Pedro: What do you mean?

Napoleon Dynamite: You know, like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.

Too true. But choosing a skill is tricky. You want something that girls find sexually attractive (so don't bother learning to play the oboe) and at which you might develop a competitive advantage with other males (i.e. not football).

Φ's recommendation: figure skating.

My daughters started practicing figure skating in earnest about three years ago, and eventually I started coming along for the ride. (We found it cost-effective to buy a "family pass" to the rink, and I'm the kind of person who is determined to get his money's worth. )  I never personally took any lessons, but I studied people who looked like they knew what they were doing, and I eventually became reasonably competent.  Not great, but good enough to have a stranger compliment me and invite me to the rink’s pickup hockey game.

But here’s the thing:  lots of people go ice skating occasionally, and it’s an activity that girls will often do by themselves or in groups of other girls.  So it’s an environment that allows someone who works at it to look really good by comparison in front of women who may not be attached.  And . . . these girls will notice you.  It’s a physical activity, and high-speed backwards crossovers look much harder than they actually are.  You will feel the attention to your status display.

Of course, this isn’t a substitute for game.  You will still need to make an approach and show yourself not to be a complete dork.  But you will do so already having made a favorable impression.


  • Buy your own skates.  Rental skates aren’t broken into the shape of your foot and will give you sloppy performance.  A quality pair can be had for under $200.
  • Learn in hockey skates.  Yes, hockey skates are designed for speed rather than agility, and without a toe pick most of the advanced figure skating moves like jumps and spins will be impossible.  But these limitations are more than compensated for by greater comfort.  Figure skates have pointed toes for better control, but it hurts to have your toes shoved into that point.  Hockey skates, in contrast, have big round toes.  I suffered figure skates for years before I tried hockey skates on whim.  I never went back.
  • Don’t actually play hockey.  First, the guys that already play hockey are bigger and meaner than you are.  Second, the only girls who watch hockey are already in a relationship with a hockey player or somebody who drags them to games.  So they’re not your intended audience.


Elusive Wapiti said...

Good advice, the ice skating thingy.

Anecdotally, FIL met MIL at a rink in San Fran, and it sounded like a target-rich environment back then too (40 years ago).

Fringe benefit: most of the women that a fellow would meet at a rink are in decent shape themselves. That's something that I think is important to many guys...that his woman is in the proper shape.

Anonymous said...

Φ's recommendation: figure skating.

Figure... freaking... skating? And you're dissing the oboe?

I actually played the oboe in sixth grade. I dropped it in seventh grade to help salvage my cool. In retrospect, I think it'd be pretty cool to be able to play it now. Have a listen:

Beautiful instrument, really.

Also: hockey rulz, and it'll make a boy tougher, which is always a plus. But I'm Canadian and biased, after all.

Justin said...

Let add a recommendation:

Live somewhere that water freezes!

I'm in AZ.... D'oh!

Dexter said...

My suggestion?


The female to male ratio is AWESOME. What is the opposite of a sausage fest? That's what a yoga studio is. And so many of them are both hot and extremely flexible...

Φ said...

Samson: yeah, I played the clarinet myself. I plan to pick it up again once the dissertation is finished. But most musical instruments take years of hard practice before you can become proficient enough that anyone would want to listen to you play solo, and being in an orchestra doesn't carry much alpha cred in my experience. A possible exception might be, say, the guitar, which is relatively easy to get good enough at to accompany your church's youth group. And it's "cool" in a way that the oboe is not.

Regarding hockey: sure, if you start early enough to make your high school team, then you get alpha cred in that context. But as an adult, even if you can get good enough to make your local league, there isn't a built-in population of unattached females that will be watching the games.

Dexter: regarding Yoga, how many of those hot flexible women are single? And what is it that a man can do in a Yoga class that will impress them?

Justin: The greater Phoenix area has lots of indoor rinks.

Anonymous said...

One drawback about a man's taking up figure skating is that some women may wonder if he's straight. Rightly or wrongly, figure skating has a reputation as a gay man's activity. With ice hockey, there's of course no such ambiguity.


Φ said...

Peter: at the level of elite competition, I concede there is sexual ambiguity surrounding male figure skaters that doesn't surround male hockey players. The relative pluses and minuses between the two sports isn't for me to say, though I suspect that both do quite well.

What I'm talking about is the merits of taking up hockey for the first time as an adult. If you enjoy the sport, fine, go for it. I'm just saying I don't see much in the way of opportunites to meet women compared to just showing up for open skate time.