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Skating

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

It has been said that skating is the master drill.  I'd like to hear thoughts on how diverging skating movements relate to dynamic skiing movements.

 

I have been ice skating all summer and am looking to connect the movements to the upcoming ski season.

post #2 of 23

I've heard the same thing. I understand the concept, but I've never seen it work as a "wonder drill" in real life. The simplest way to think of it is that skating is the easiest way to understand the power of "go" movements as opposed to "slow" movements. The common movements between skating and dynamic skiing are the movement of the COM to the inside of the new turn and the inside ski guiding the new turn (that takes some imagination). 

 

Skate to shape is a great drill to transition the offensive skating movements into real skiing movements. Knowing your skiing a little bit, I think this will drill will answer your question better than we can in a forum. Like many drills, skating drills are most effective when you tweak them to the needs of the student and the conditions du jour. The flip side of this is that if you are given a skating task in a lesson, your mileage may vary.

post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

The simplest way to think of it is that skating is the easiest way to understand the power of "go" movements as opposed to "slow" movements. The common movements between skating and dynamic skiing are the movement of the COM to the inside of the new turn and the inside ski guiding the new turn (that takes some imagination). 

 

As a nordic skate skier, I know that one of things that's essential to making that sport fun is tuning into the subtle aspects of technique that allow you to preserve momentum in the most effective and efficient way. Radical failure in this department means you basically just keel over in exhaustion. (I'm not really much of an ice skater, but it seems to me that there is a bit of a difference here, in that steel blades on level hard ice make it pretty easy to maintain at least a modicum of momentum. By contrast, skating up and down hill on flat plastic bases, in snow that may be soft, does not always make it easy to maintain a forward flow.) So in some ways it's exactly the opposite of what most of us spend a lot of effort doing in alpine skiing (trying to dump momentum). This seems to line up quite well with what Rusty is saying above. I believe that the mental and physical habits acquired while practicing this skill helps my alpine skiing by making "go" more of a habit than "whoa," if only because the penalties for indulging in "whoa" while nordic skiing - lying on the snow panting like a beached whale - are so severe.

post #4 of 23

Skating was kind of a master drill back during the straight ski days . Go back to when PSIA had the diverging parallel as the pinnacle at the top of the advancement chain.

 

Skating promoted a very early edge through pressure transfer to the new outside ski then rolling that ski onto its inside (big toe) edge, extension to direct the center of mass in the direction of the new turn, guiding the new inside ski into the new turn and pressuring the new outside ski early.  All the things you wanted to carve a stiff long straight ski.

 

Skating is still excellent for foot to foot work, balance, breaking up static patterns in skiing, edging the outside ski directing the cm in the direction of the new turn, warming up, traversing flats and versatility when done across the slope just to name a few.

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

That makes sense Pierre.  I do see in particular the benefit of skating as far as developing a comfort with getting on what is going to be the outside ski early.

 

In ice skating that is the gliding skate which then extends and drives off the inside edge, so now the outside ski, in effect.  So you get over it long before it becomes the driving skate, thus early edge engagement, analogous to being before the fall line.

 

What I notice the most from my ice skating practice is subtle movements of my hips side to side to keep my weight stacked over the gliding skate.  I have had problems with proprioception regarding my hips in skiing, this is the most I've felt them.

post #6 of 23

the movements of skating may be diverging, but the single edge change of the old inside ski to it being the new outside ski while our bodies is facing the direction of travel is very transferable to modern skiing.

 

on short SL radius skis it entirely possible to 'skate" with out lifting your inside leg.

post #7 of 23

Skating requires a number of important skills such as edge engagement, pressure management, femoral rotation, and other basic skill that all translate into dynamic modern skiing. What makes skating so effective as a drill is that the velocity is being supplied by the skier. There doesn't have to be an outside force (gravity) working on the skis or the skier, which means that the instructor can more easily manipulate the parameters of the drill to focus on different things. It allows the the instructor and skier to isolate movements and explore how they will affect subsequent actions in the movement chain. For example, while skating a skier can explore how an edge angle is generally directly proportional to the amount of force you can place upon that ski. The higher the edge angle, the more force you can place on the ski, which is illustrated by only being able to push off gently while skating with a low edge angle, but being able to really flex the ski and get good hard pushoff without the ski skidding if you are creating a higher edge angle. This translates directly into a turn in an obvious way, but the skier has discovered it in isolation, under controlled circumstances on flat ground, and can now apply that while executing a turn.

post #8 of 23

On a slightly related topic, I have found that one unintended side effect of rockered skis is that they skate real well on up hill cat tracks because there is so much less ski in contact with the snow. I wonder if "rocker" will make it to nordic skate skis?

 

Back to the main topic: A lot of first time skiers that have an ice skating background take to skiing a lot quicker than those who don't ice skate, so it follows that it must be beneficial as a training tool.

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

Skating requires a number of important skills such as edge engagement, pressure management, femoral rotation, and other basic skill that all translate into dynamic modern skiing. What makes skating so effective as a drill is that the velocity is being supplied by the skier. There doesn't have to be an outside force (gravity) working on the skis or the skier, which means that the instructor can more easily manipulate the parameters of the drill to focus on different things. It allows the the instructor and skier to isolate movements and explore how they will affect subsequent actions in the movement chain. For example, while skating a skier can explore how an edge angle is generally directly proportional to the amount of force you can place upon that ski. The higher the edge angle, the more force you can place on the ski, which is illustrated by only being able to push off gently while skating with a low edge angle, but being able to really flex the ski and get good hard pushoff without the ski skidding if you are creating a higher edge angle. This translates directly into a turn in an obvious way, but the skier has discovered it in isolation, under controlled circumstances on flat ground, and can now apply that while executing a turn.

This is all so true.  I read this post during a short break skating today.  Had the entire rink to myself.  Skated for 1:40 and much of it I spent with both skates on the ice making pure carved short turns (I could see my tracks as I was the only one there.)  Focus was on flexing and extending the outside ankle to drive forward and on my hip placement.   This pure focus on just extension is something you just can't do while skiing, too many other things going on.

 

I could skate directly across the rink and watch my upper body and hips reflected in the boards on the other side too.

 

After your post I spent some time focusing on edge angle which helped to (somewhat) fix my left leg extension which is so much worse than my right.  When I skate my right skate drives off and to the side, even a little forward.  My left skate kicks back a bit, I can hear and feel the edge coming off the ice.  

 

All I know is that this is without a doubt incredible training for skiing, particularly the slalom skating which has no divergence.  The tracks I made were beautiful, two very curvy pure carved railroad tracks in the ice.  Huge smile created by seeing them!

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
 

This is all so true.  I read this post during a short break skating today.  Had the entire rink to myself.  Skated for 1:40 and much of it I spent with both skates on the ice making pure carved short turns (I could see my tracks as I was the only one there.)  Focus was on flexing and extending the outside ankle to drive forward and on my hip placement.   This pure focus on just extension is something you just can't do while skiing, too many other things going on.

 

I could skate directly across the rink and watch my upper body and hips reflected in the boards on the other side too.

 

After your post I spent some time focusing on edge angle which helped to (somewhat) fix my left leg extension which is so much worse than my right.  When I skate my right skate drives off and to the side, even a little forward.  My left skate kicks back a bit, I can hear and feel the edge coming off the ice.

 

All I know is that this is without a doubt incredible training for skiing, particularly the slalom skating which has no divergence.  The tracks I made were beautiful, two very curvy pure carved railroad tracks in the ice.  Huge smile created by seeing them!

SMJ, i LOVE your avatar! Go SOX!

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 

Took today off from work, skated from 12-1:40,  upper body workout in my basement during part of the Sox game,then a well earned beer after close to 3 hours of exercise.

post #12 of 23

I have often heard it said that ones of the keys to advanced skiing is the ability to balance on one ski, specifically the outside ski. I think skating is one of the few sports that allows us to practice this kind of dynamic balance. Specifically working on spending more time balanced on one skate also improves your skating abilities too.

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 

I have often heard it said that ones of the keys to advanced skiing is the ability to balance on one ski, specifically the outside ski. I think skating is one of the few sports that allows us to practice this kind of dynamic balance. Specifically working on spending more time balanced on one skate also improves your skating abilities too.

 

Yep!  One of my key drills skating is gliding on one skate as long as I can.  It also is good training for balancing on the inside ski, as that gliding skate at first is like the inside ski - you must move your hips to that side.

 

I wish I'd discovered skating earlier, my expectations are that people are going to see me ski this year and say "wow, what did you do?"  I truly anticipate dramatic improvement in my skiing for what will be 30+ times on ice skates from June-November.

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
 

 

Yep!  One of my key drills skating is gliding on one skate as long as I can.

 

That is a drill used by xc skaters a lot.  I was in a xc clinic where we had to see how far we could go on one ski without falling back to the middle.  All the skiers with an alpine background could go forever, we even started to finish it off with a royal christy just to show how easy was to us.  I keep telling the XC skiers to hit the slopes some.  The good ones agree with me.

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
 

 

Yep!  One of my key drills skating is gliding on one skate as long as I can.  It also is good training for balancing on the inside ski, as that gliding skate at first is like the inside ski - you must move your hips to that side.

 

I wish I'd discovered skating earlier, my expectations are that people are going to see me ski this year and say "wow, what did you do?"  I truly anticipate dramatic improvement in my skiing for what will be 30+ times on ice skates from June-November.

 

Take that up a notch, and see if you can initiate turns while on one skate. Especially turns using what would be the outside edge if you had a ski on. Turning right on your right leg, left on your left leg. I know that might be more difficult with the shorter base of support and less ankle support in skates as compared to skis and boots. But if you can get used to how to engage an edge on one foot like that, you can translate that onto snow rather well. Take to the beginner area, and see if you can get good enough at one footed turns to leave a ski behind. You'll find that your balance benefits incredibly, and your ability to manipulate all four of your edges gets so much better. When I was a freshly minted instructor, one of my coworkers/roomates told me how much fun one skiing was. I said he was nuts. His response was to kick off one of my skis after we were about 100 yards past the loading station on the next lift ride. Far enough that the lifties wouldn't see it and send it up, but close enough that I was going to have to ski the entire next run on one ski. This was skiing Open Slope at Okemo. It's a green, but it's a decent length, so I was in for a whole lot of one skiing to get back to my ski. I spent the first few hundred yards making J turns to the left (I had my right ski on). After a few of those, I tried out the outside edge... and it started to work. I could smear short radius turns. After doing it for the rest of the year, I ended up being able to carve GS turns on groomed blues with either ski missing. And my overall skiing ability skyrocketed. My balance became better, I was using all of my edges... it was awesome.

post #16 of 23

The glide portion of skating equates to lingering on the LTE of the uphill/inside ski at the very end of a ski turn.  (long time span on skates, short time span on skis)

 

In skating you have to find a state of balance on that glide which lasts much longer then in skiing.  

 

Eventually in skating you move your CoM back inside off the LTE and onto the BTE of that glide skate so that you can do the push off.  That equates to the skiing transition of moving the CoM across to the inside of the next turn.  In skating that happens by making movements of the inside leg and foot, and by tilting your torso that direction, etc.. These actions pull you onto the BTE of that glide skate and then you can finally do the push off.  

 

The skating push off happens quickly, but equates in skiing to the long held ski glide on the outside ski for the turn. (short time span on skates, long time span on skis)

 

There are some parallels and what I like the most is awareness of balance, and BTE/LTE edges, what your CoM needs to do on order to be balanced and getting your CoM to the inside for the pushoff, by using inside foot actions.

 

However, I just want to caution that in terms of timing, the LTE glide on skates is not the same phase as the BTE glide on skis.  The gliding portion of skating corresponds to a very short event in skiing, and the glide in skiing equates to short and more muscled push off in skating on the BTE.

post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 

Much of my time is spent skiing on skates, this video not exactly what I'm doing, but it gets the point across.

 

post #18 of 23

I like the second drill "inside edges".  

 

The first one she called skiing or slalom is ok if you want to develop a pivot entry in your skiing with a pop extension transition.

post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 

I like the inside edge drill too.

 

I do something like the first drill, but it is a pure carve, no pivot.  I've looked at my tracks in the ice and they are perfect railroad tracks.  The movement is all outside leg extension, not pivoting.

post #20 of 23

I think I just came to understand why Canadian society is so much saner than American. Because they all skate pretty much from the time they drop out of the womb ( it's a law up there, right? ;-) Canadians are more ... balanced.  :cool

 

Great discussion and drills. Thx.

post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post
 

I think I just came to understand why Canadian society is so much saner than American. Because they all skate pretty much from the time they drop out of the womb ( it's a law up there, right? ;-) Canadians are more ... balanced.  :cool

 

Great discussion and drills. Thx.

Nope, if you have the genes for being mean you come out with skate on.  If not youz come out with skis on eh.

post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 

Skied for the first time today and all the ice skating really paid off, it directly applied.

 

The biggest thing I noticed is how much more natural it is for me to get onto the new outside ski way before the fall line and extend that leg throughout the turn.

 

First movement is moving my hips to the inside to get on the (soon-to-be-old) inside ski, then roll that ski over and progressively extend it and move it forward.  Also keeping the now new inside ski in and back was natural, as well as flexing it so that when I move to it it is flexed, allowing me to extend it when it becomes the outside ski.

 

The only adjustment, and it was easy, was moving more to the front of the foot as the turn progresses.  On figure skates I had to be very careful never to pressure the toes because I'd catch the toe pick and fall, so I was a bit concerned that this staying more back would be an issue with skiing, but not at all.  In the skating I kept my ankle flexed and thus wasn't "back."  So on skis I was still flexing (and extending) my ankles and thus wasn't back.  I did have to focus a little on pressuring the big toe as the turn progresses, but it was an easy adjustment.

post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 

11 ski days in and everything I try is easier.  Things I have known about for a long time now work.  I have a breakthrough almost every ski day.

 

I attribute a majority of this to the ice skating.  

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