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Ice skating

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
In my annual quest to find an activity to pass the time till ski season rolls around, and to try and stay in shape, this year I gave ice skating a whirl.
Somehow my skates, that I thought had been assigned to the trash heap, mysteriously reappeared while we were cleaning out the basement. It must have something to do with Hawking’s new theory. So with more than a little trepidation I set out for the local skating rink a few weekends ago.

I haven’t been skating in, well, in a really long time. But I used to skate all the time as a kid, so how hard could it be to relearn. A little more difficult than I imagined as it turned out. My confidence sagged when I stepped out on to the ice and my normally responsive appendages refused to obey my simplest commands. As my legs are wobbling side to side, my torso is lurching fore and aft and my ankles feel like they are ready to collapse at any moment it occurs to me that this is what it must feel like to click into a pair of skis and step onto the snow for the first time. I give a tentative push and try to glide forward, my skates shoot out from under me, I try to compensate and almost go over backwards. With my arms pin wheeling fast enough to generate gale force winds I half fall, half stumble down the rink. After what seems like a lifetime I look up and see I’m approaching the end of the rink. Decision time, either I crash into the boards or make some attempt at changing direction. My instinct for self preservation tells me to slide into the wall and make my getaway before I really hurt myself. My ego tells me to stop being a wimp. Ego wins out and I some how manage to wrench my skates around. I continue in this manor for several more revolutions.

My confidence improves as I make a few more laps. I’m suddenly aware that I’m the only one on the ice, which is strange considering the number of cars I saw in the parking lot. The helpful rink attendant shows up, he must be the skating equivalent of the ski patrol, and he politely informs me that this rink is closed and would I please move over the other rink so the Zamboni can resurface the ice for the next session. Looks like I no longer have the mountain all to myself.

I proceed to the other rink; it’s as crowded as Sugar Slope at Mountain Creek on a busy Saturday, just great! I notice how awkward and tense I feel. I’m taking short shallow breaths and my muscles are so tight I can hardly move. Trying to relax I tune into the music and skate to the rhythm of the song that is playing. The wobbliness starts to disappear and I’m gliding smoothly with only an occasional stumble.

I start to play with tipping my skates to change direction. It feels just like carving on snow, very cool. The dial on the fun meter is moving up, I’m smiling and having fun with this. An hour has passed, time for me to pack it in. I’m quitting while I’m ahead. There will be other days to return and crank up the fun-o-meter.

I have a question for PM/Tom, Fastman, RustyGuy, et al. Skates have no side cut, no base to speak of and no flex in any direction, only a narrow curved blade. Yet I’m able to make what feels to me like carved turns. Why is that?
Explain using language Bonni can understand.
post #2 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillA
my skates shoot out from under me
dont forget to get those old basement skates sharpened!
post #3 of 30

hot knife

Bill,

Ever heard the expression "Carves like a hot knife through butter"?

As I thought about this I went from "that explains it perfectly" to "oops not at all". The question is "How does something with no flex and no sidecut carve turns?" Darn, it's been years since I had ice skates. I'd love to double check to make sure that the skate blade does not have any miniscule sidecut. With such a short blade even a tiny amount of sidecut would have great benefit. But sidecut is not needed. My rollerblades do not have sidecut and they definitely carve. Rotary movements of the feet, legs and hips are enough to turn.

Getting back to the knife analogy, pressure on the knife directs where the cut goes. When cutting butter, a skid instead of a carve would be very messy. With a hot knife it's easier to carve than to skid.

So for ice skating, once the blade is engaged in the ice, the skate is literally carving into the ice, even if only in a straight line. Changing the direction of the line only requires a change in pressure. Once one is moving on sharp skates, the only way to skid on skates is to get on a too high edge angle and have too much rotary pressure.

Does that help?
post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 
Marta
I noticed on my first day that people were staring at my skates; they are so old Hans Brinker probably took a few turns on them. So, the next time out I rented a pair which was a mistake because I spent a fair amount of time adjusting to them. Not unlike rental skis and boots.

Therusty
Skates have a slight curve to the bottom of the blade, if I place the bottoms of the blades together I can see the curvature, it’s slight but it’s there. So it appears to me that skates have a “reverse camber” built into them. When the skate is tipped on edge, as long as it is not over pressured, it feels like the “tail” is following the “tip”. Just like carving, but I sense that it happens without rotary input on my part.
So, yes, your explanation helps but I think there is more to it.
post #5 of 30
You are right. Skates do have a curve to the blade. The amount depends on what they are used for.

Speed skates are long and almost dead flat for speed in a straight line. (Note how they make turns, cross stepping all the way.)

Figure skates have a lot of curve so that the skater can do spins easily. (A flat skate would not spin.)

Hockey skates are a cross between the two. Flatter at the rear for speed and curved at the front for quick turns.

post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryTerry
You are right. Skates do have a curve to the blade. The amount depends on what they are used for.

Speed skates are long and almost dead flat for speed in a straight line. (Note how they make turns, cross stepping all the way.)

Figure skates have a lot of curve so that the skater can do spins easily. (A flat skate would not spin.)

Hockey skates are a cross between the two. Flatter at the rear for speed and curved at the front for quick turns.

Not quite accurate, but close enough to get the discussion going.

Don't look just at the "rocker" which is the curve front to back with tips farther off ice than mid section, look also at the blade from end to end and you'll see a semi circle cross section called "hollow" so that if held blade up the blade has a very slight "U" shape to it.

Speed skates have little or no rocker and little hollow. Figure skates have a bit more rock and a bit more hollow, not that much tho.

Hockey skates have the most rock and most hollow ground in as well as the thinnest blades. A defensemen usually has a flatter rock to offer more stability because they tend to skate backwards a lot. Forwards and offensive defensemen tend toward more rock and more hollow for its tendency to be grabby and quick to change direction, but less stable.

It is also true that the blade can be ground as TerryTerry said, with more shape aft or forward as you like---purely preference and intent.


Figure skaters spin on the toe, not the flat of the blade---not as far up as the toe pick, but on the upturned part of the blade.

Sharp skates are just like sharp ski's totally different than dull ones to use. Much easier to stay balanced on---but they can be TOO sharp. Watch youth hockey closely (Say up to High School level, get higher level than that and ya don't see it as often because the palyer has way more input into the equipment prep) and you'll occasionally see a player looking ackward and skate to the bench sit down and rub his baldes on the dasher to take a bit of sharpness out of the edge, go back on the ice and look way more comfortable.

I once heard that the blade actually melts the ice surface to gain its grip, don't know if that is true or not.

In my skating (hockey), turns are really rotary inputs, subtle or aggresive as needed but they are rotary induced.

If you could hang out like a ski turn and really truly generate no rotary input, I suspect you'd keep going straight since there is no sidecut like a ski to turn for you.

My .02
post #7 of 30
BillA,
This question came up in the infamous thread "Get off those edges", where, confusingly, most of the contributors were called Ric, Rick, slider or daslider. It was part of a discussion whether it is possible to carve with reverse camber alone - and no sidecut. (I think the conclusion was yes, as long as the surface is less than infinitely hard.)
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...4&page=1&pp=30
(BigE seems to be our resident skating expert. Well he does come from the country which is currently Olympic Men's Hockey Champion - if not Stanley Cup holder...)
SkierJ,
I believe that skis, as well as skates, create localized melting. Hence the usefulness of "hydrophobic" waxes such as "Cera F".
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillA
...I have a question for PM/Tom, Fastman, RustyGuy, et al. Skates have no side cut, no base to speak of and no flex in any direction, only a narrow curved blade. Yet I’m able to make what feels to me like carved turns. Why is that? ...
I haven't been on Epic very much in the last week or so and just happened to notice this thread. Bill, I'm not sure I'm the best guy to answer your question, because I'm not an ice skater, don't have any equipment to experiment on, and never seriously considered the question you asked. So, take my comments below with a huge block of salt.

My best guess is that, just like in skiing, there are several types of turns that can be made. For example, in the pivoting category, you can bet there are the skating analogs of rotation, counter-rotation, and braquage turns.

Then, as BigE pointed out in his thread, Turning Skates, ( http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=17757 ), the skater can put one foot in front of the other, lock in two tangents to an arc, and set off on something that looks very carve-like.

Finally, Martin Bell pointed out that just like a ski without sidecut on a deformable / indentable surface, a skate should theoretically be able to carve an arc as long as it has rocker and can cut into the ice.

Spurred by this, I calculated the approximate turn radius for a 20 cm long skate with 0.5 mm of rocker that cuts into the ice by the full 0.5 mm, and is edged at 45 degrees. Such a skate should make roughly a 10 meter radius carve. A skate with 1 mm rocker digging in at the center by 1 mm should give about a 5 m radius carve. These sound like very reasonable numbers to this non-skater.

Finally, because skates are so short compared to skis, the transition between pivoted and carved turns is bound to be more blurry on skates than it is on skis. Specifically, a degree or two of angular change in the direction a skate is pointed will require much less torque from your legs/body than the same angular change with skis, so this introduces the everpresent question of whether skating turns claimed to not employ rotary really did make use of some.

HTH,

Tom / PM

PS - I did a couple of fairly extensive web and usenet searches on this topic and, much to my surprise, found very little information on this subject that I would trust and was technically deep. OTOH, I did happen upon a GREAT explanation of the physics of turns on in-line skates. Check it out: http://home1.gte.net/pjbemail/Turning.html
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhysicsMan

My best guess is that, just like in skiing, there are several types of turns that can be made. For example, in the pivoting category, you can bet there are the skating analogs of rotation, counter-rotation, and braquage turns.

... because skates are so short compared to skis, the transition between pivoted and carved turns is bound to be more blurry on skates than it is on skis. Specifically, a degree or two of angular change in the direction a skate is pointed will require much less torque from your legs/body than the same angular change with skis, so this introduces the everpresent question of whether skating turns claimed to not employ rotary really did make use of some.
I don't think skating has an equivalent to bracquage or pivot slips. Skate edges are engaged almost all the time, even if you use some rotary to steer them. If the skate starts to skid sideways (the way skis often do), you will generally not be able to maintain your speed through the turn. Rotary is a pretty easy skill to master in skating, but most turns are done by stepping. Edging (as we do on skis) doesn't seem to be important for turning as much as it is for propulsion, although maybe you could turn by edging alone.

If you watch skiers skate, you will see that their skis are always carving.

Skidding on skates is almost always done for braking. Skate edges engage so easily that skidding is actually a pretty difficult skill. Ironically, hockey stops are easier to do on skis than on skates because of that. Figure skater use T-stops (the front foot glides and the other foot is held behind at 90 degrees and skids) because it's easier to keep one skate skidding smoothly if you hold most of your weight on a gliding skate, and it looks cool too.
post #10 of 30
PM, what an EXCELLENT link!! I blade alot in the off season and was always a bit irritated that I couldn't get a mental handle on what made my blades turn and carve in the manner I felt them. It didn't make sense to me so it never fit in my head very well and I simply quit bothering myself about it after a while. It probably won't make me any better of a skater but the mental sigh of relief and the little "AHA" experiance after going through that link is much appreciated. Verrry interesting. Thanks again.


joel
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
I don't think skating has an equivalent to bracquage or pivot slips.
One use of a "bracquage-like" move is to slow down. Taken to completion, the move will stop you: it is then called a showboat stop.

This stop is exactly like a hockey stop, except that you do not use the inside edge of the leading skate -- that skate is in the air... Only one skate is on the ice, and it's outside edge is used to slow you down.

The similarity to bracquage is that edge engagement is initiated very slowly from a "flat" blade. If you do it very very slowly, and keep the blade flat for a long time, then it's most similar to bracquage -- except you only ever do it on one leg.

This move is effective when getting into the bench/penalty box, as you hold the leading leg in a raised position anticipating the step up.

We also used to do them in hockey drills when we got lazy, because one could start to cross over the lead foot (and rotate) in preparation of a 180 degree change of direction. Sounds faster than it is: it's the slowest way to do that.

Cheers!
post #12 of 30
One thing skier_j forgot to mention is that speed skates actually DO have side cut, especially on short track, called blade bend: http://www.neonet.bc.ca/dcspeedskating/BEND.HTM

The rocker on recreational inline skates is quite often invisible to the naked eye- take the wheels off and put the frames center-to-center. Most recreational frames will have about 2 mm over 10" of frame length or so.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
One use of a "bracquage-like" move is to slow down. Taken to completion, the move will stop you: it is then called a showboat stop.

This stop is exactly like a hockey stop, except that you do not use the inside edge of the leading skate -- that skate is in the air... Only one skate is on the ice, and it's outside edge is used to slow you down.

The similarity to bracquage is that edge engagement is initiated very slowly from a "flat" blade. If you do it very very slowly, and keep the blade flat for a long time, then it's most similar to bracquage -- except you only ever do it on one leg.
That is similar to a figure skater's T-stop, except that a T-stop is way easier because you glide on the leading skate, so you can pick up the other skate and put it down in the skidding position. Starting that type of stop slowly with a slow rotation is a very difficult skill, way more difficult bracquage or any other 2 footed ski drill. I never made the connection between that and bracquage before you pointed it out.

Nevertheless , it all proves my point that skidding on skates is always used to slow down.
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex
One thing skier_j forgot to mention is that speed skates actually DO have side cut, especially on short track, called blade bend: http://www.neonet.bc.ca/dcspeedskating/BEND.HTM.
I've seen those devices, I actually thought they were to repair a blade that got bent somehow! I had no idea they were to bend a "sidecut" into a speed blade.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE

This move is effective when getting into the bench/penalty box, as you hold the leading leg in a raised position anticipating the step up.
Ah! I know that move well -- the kid spent an inordinate amout of time in "The box" when he played!
post #16 of 30
Quote:
posted by BillA:


I have a question for PM/Tom, Fastman, RustyGuy, et al. Skates have no side cut, no base to speak of and no flex in any direction, only a narrow curved blade. Yet I’m able to make what feels to me like carved turns. Why is that?
Explain using language Bonni can understand.
Thank you, BillA!!!
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
That is similar to a figure skater's T-stop, except that a T-stop is way easier because you glide on the leading skate, so you can pick up the other skate and put it down in the skidding position. Starting that type of stop slowly with a slow rotation is a very difficult skill, way more difficult bracquage or any other 2 footed ski drill. I never made the connection between that and bracquage before you pointed it out.

Nevertheless , it all proves my point that skidding on skates is always used to slow down.
The main difficulty of doing bracquage like moves on skates is developing a feeling for the edges, and the balance and strength you need not to engage the edges. But, once you can do the move, you will be surprised by how many times during a game bracquage like moves ( those that use the flattened blade of one or both skates) are actually done. These are moves which delay commitment.

eg. during a forecheck, trying to corral the other player, the flattened blade allows you to delay commitment to edge engagement, until you are certain of the opponents path. Bracquage ensures that you are facing the opponents predicted path.

The move lasts only a short duration. Think of when a defensemen is behind the net, and the forward comes straight at the goal from the blue line. The forward may pivot-slip from one side to the other very quickly, anticipating the exit path of the defencemen. This move can also be used to fake a direction change, which may force the defencemen out from behind the net and onto your pre-planned path.
post #18 of 30
Oh, and if anyone is interested in learning how not to engage the edges of your blades, two words:










Glilding Wedge

post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhysicsMan
I
Finally, because skates are so short compared to skis, the transition between pivoted and carved turns is bound to be more blurry on skates than it is on skis. Specifically, a degree or two of angular change in the direction a skate is pointed will require much less torque from your legs/body than the same angular change with skis, so this introduces the everpresent question of whether skating turns claimed to not employ rotary really did make use of some.
Add this to the blur: The torque is actually near zero, since the skater will rock and pivot at the same time.
post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 
Tom/PM
Spurred by this, I calculated the approximate turn radius for a 20 cm long skate with 0.5 mm of rocker that cuts into the ice by the full 0.5 mm, and is edged at 45 degrees. Such a skate should make roughly a 10 meter radius carve. A skate with 1 mm rocker digging in at the center by 1 mm should give about a 5 m radius carve. These sound like very reasonable numbers to this non-skater.
Your calculations confirm my observation/experience. Thanks

Bonni
Just trying to help out.

I’m finding skating to be an excellent cross training activity. I thought the carving was a bit of a stretch at first.
What I’m finding most helpful is the improvement in fore and aft balance. The short blade really forces you to stay centered.
I think I’m on to something here.
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
The main difficulty of doing bracquage like moves on skates is developing a feeling for the edges, and the balance and strength you need not to engage the edges...
That's one reason why skating is such good cross training for skiing. Bracquage is easier on skis, but you still need a feel for the edges, or rather a feel for when the edges are not engaged.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillA
I’m finding skating to be an excellent cross training activity. I thought the carving was a bit of a stretch at first.
What I’m finding most helpful is the improvement in fore and aft balance. The short blade really forces you to stay centered.
I think I’m on to something here.
Fore aft balance is another ski skill that's easy to develop on skates.

I taught both my kids to skate before I ever took them skiing. Both of them developed into excellent skiers.

When I taught beginner lessons years ago, I found that figure skaters and hockey players could all learn to ski pretty well almost as soon as they put their skis on. One 8 year old hockey player had some difficulty at first. I told him skiing was just like skating, and pointed him downhill. He immediately crashed. I picked him up and pointed him downhill again, and he crashed again. The third time I told him "don't cross your feet." His eyes lit up, and he took off and was skiing all the greens and the easy blues by the end of the day.
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
When I taught beginner lessons years ago, I found that figure skaters and hockey players could all learn to ski pretty well almost as soon as they put their skis on.
Having hockey and figure skated well before skiing, that too is my experience. Skiing was made easy to learn because of skating.

However, there is one major difference: the strong aggressive positions required to propel yourself on the rink are somewhat counter-productive to good skiing.

There is so much more hip tension in skating than in skiing. Especially when playing hockey, the explosive power interferes with the suppleness required for really good skiing. I'm thinking shock/terrain absorption here -- there is no analog to that skill in skating.

Figure skating is different than hockey skating, in that the stroke is far different -- it's nearly identical to ski skating. There can be very little or no fore/aft roll of the blade on the ice, since the picks will catch and you will fall.

Also, having figure skated, I can say that the hips can be held far looser, and that edging/balancing on edge plays a much more dominant role. Also, the added lateral support in the figure skate means that good stroke mechanics are much easier to learn -- the "ankle skating" phase done by most young hockey skaters is avoided.

Having said that, I am convinced that the proper way for kids to be taught how to skate is on figure skates with the picks ground off.
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
...the strong aggressive positions required to propel yourself on the rink are somewhat counter-productive to good skiing.

There is so much more hip tension in skating than in skiing. Especially when playing hockey, the explosive power interferes with the suppleness required for really good skiing. I'm thinking shock/terrain absorption here -- there is no analog to that skill in skating.
The "aggressive positions" of skating are similar to ski racing. The difference is not so much that there is no use for those strong positions as it is that most recreational skiers never develop to the point where they can use them effectively.

OTOH the flexion and extension required to manage pressure and absorb terrain is probably the most difficult skill for skiers to develop. Skating requires lots of flexion and extension (and suppleness at times too), and that can carry over to skiing.

Absorbing terrain changes is nothing more than responding to external forces that disrupt balance. Maybe responding to body checks in hockey is analogous to that.

You can probably tell I really like skating as an off the snow exercise for skiers. I don't think any skills you learn from skating interfere with skiing skills at all.
post #24 of 30
Hey, I love skating as well ! It's not the perfect exercise, but pretty close....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
The "aggressive positions" of skating are similar to ski racing. The difference is not so much that there is no use for those strong positions as it is that most recreational skiers never develop to the point where they can use them effectively.
There is a similarity in racing, but not so in counter, angulation, cross-over/under, fore and aft pressure control, rotation, pivot.... I mean sure, you can do all these things on skates, but that's not nearly the point.

Quote:
OTOH the flexion and extension required to manage pressure and absorb terrain is probably the most difficult skill for skiers to develop. Skating requires lots of flexion and extension (and suppleness at times too), and that can carry over to skiing.
But the flexion and extension of skating is built on explosive power -- on concentric muscle contraction, not on the eccentric "letting go" movements. And that is the main problem.

There is a suppleness of skating best exhibited by figure skaters, but in hockey it is generally avoided: hockey players once they get clocked hard, change their skating style to anticipate getting hit -- 99% will crouch more and get tense.

Quote:
Absorbing terrain changes is nothing more than responding to external forces that disrupt balance. Maybe responding to body checks in hockey is analogous to that.
Excepting that body checks target the upper body, and terrain changes target the basis of support. A skater is more likely to push against a bump, because their use of concentric muscle contractions is ingrained. IMO skiing requires far more use of the eccentric contraction.

IIRC, I read somewhere that one should not do heavy squats or other heavily weighted leg work the day before skiing. I think this has to do with setting up a preference for the muscles to operate in concentric contraction -- the opposite of suppleness.

Here's a definition I want to float out there: Suppleness exists at the cusp of eccentric and concentric contraction.

Quote:
You can probably tell I really like skating as an off the snow exercise for skiers. I don't think any skills you learn from skating interfere with skiing skills at all.
I sure can tell that!

Skating IS a wonderful exercise for skiing. It keeps the legs and hips strong, and improves ones sense of balance and coordination considerably. An accomplished skater can push themselves along the ice very efficiently.

But pushing yourself aroung is MUCH different from allowing gravity to pull you around, and makes different bodily demands. A good skater is not immediately a good skier, but they do have an edge on the non-skater mainly because of balance and coordination.

Cheers!
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
There is a similarity in racing, but not so in counter, angulation, cross-over/under, fore and aft pressure control, rotation, pivot.... I mean sure, you can do all these things on skates, but that's not nearly the point.
Counter, angulation etc are all positions, which anyone can get to. The important skill is feeling what is happenning at the edge, and learning the appropriate response to that feeling to accomplish your intent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
But the flexion and extension of skating is built on explosive power -- on concentric muscle contraction, not on the eccentric "letting go" movements. And that is the main problem.

A skater is more likely to push against a bump, because their use of concentric muscle contractions is ingrained. IMO skiing requires far more use of the eccentric contraction.
That's exactly why some racers struggle in bumps. Most of them never learn that suppleness, which is ironic because it would help them ski faster. It's actually easier to get them to do squats in the weight room than it is to get them to work on flexibilty. I think next season the J3's will be working on bumps and suppleness.

You can probably also tell that I've been screwing off at work all day today. Unfortunately, I'm self employed, so I'm probably going to get caught.
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
Counter, angulation etc are all positions, which anyone can get to. The important skill is feeling what is happenning at the edge, and learning the appropriate response to that feeling to accomplish your intent.
I agree. But YOU have to practice those positions. Normal skating instruction and skills development doesn't teach them.

Quote:
I think next season the J3's will be working on bumps and suppleness.
Everyone should do it. You don't even have to be all that good at them, just making it down a long steep bump run will help -- the groomers become WAY easier afterwards, regardless of your bump style. The gnarliest bumps really force you to become edge and ski-aware, even if you must sideslip a lot of them! Although it is helpful to beable to throw in a few turns in the bumps from time to time .

Quote:
Unfortunately, I'm self employed, so I'm probably going to get caught.
Not if you're careful! Shhhh!
post #27 of 30
Thread Starter 
I take it you guys think skating is a pretty good off season sport to sharpen skiing skills.
post #28 of 30
Yes, I agree that it is a good sport to sharpen skills, stay in shape, and have fun! I've been iceskating (I have figure skates) for many years now. My dad first took me when I was younger. It is a lot of fun and I got pretty good at it. I found skiing a bit more difficult though when I first tried it. My boyfriend had been skiing for many years and taught me how to ski. One day I took him iceskating (which he had not done before). He thought it was more difficult than skiing. I suppose it is just what you are use to,what you grew up with/are fimiliar with.
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillA
I take it you guys think skating is a pretty good off season sport to sharpen skiing skills.
To sharpen balance skills.

Inline slalom is also very good, and that you can do on a hill!
post #30 of 30
Skating is great for keeping the legs in shape and feeling the balance point over an edge. The problem I have (I've been taking a group figure skating class) is with fore and aft balance. From skiing, I'm used to mainly keeping my weight on the balls of my feet. I like to ski steep terrain so I'm always driving forward. Plus, even when on flatter ground and centered fore and aft, I have these long boards extending front and back to keep me upright. In figure skating, my instructor says, my weight should be centered between the arch and heel of my foot. This makes me feel like I'm going to fall over backwards.
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